Lynn’s Notes: Canada Day on the Quay

Here’s a note from Lynn about the Canada Day festivities she enjoyed, near her home in Vancouver:

I live a 15 walk from the waterfront, where the Sea Bus comes in to the Quay. There are family parks are on all sides.

I walked down with my daughter and her family, to see the Canada Day spectacle. There were tents set up everywhere with the usual buskers, crafts, and balloon animals…but the food trucks are the big draw. There are dishes from everywhere: Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, China, India, Persia, the Caribbean, Greece, Germany…and then you have Qu√©becois poutine, English pot pies, and the Canadian grilled cheese sandwich vendor (with the best mac’n’cheese anywhere), whose stuff is so good he had to get a second truck.

People-watching is the best here. WASPS are in the minority, and even if you do run into a European family, you can’t expect them to speak English. You hear Russian, Dutch, Danish, and Spanish…it’s a real melting pot, with couples of all colours going hand in hand. My mother used to say "We should all intermarry, then the population would all be the same colour. There would be no racial differences, everyone would get along." So, I said "Mom, you’d be happy if I married a Japanese man?" She looked shocked, and said sharply in her British best, "Not US, dear!!" Well, Mom. The day has come. There is mixing and matching, and it’s all working out just fine.

We stayed most of the day. Large tugboats came up to the wharf, and did what they called the "tugboat ballet". These things have monstrous engines and side thrusters, which allow them to be maneuvered in every direction. Four of them, polished and new, did movements in unison, facing each other in square dance fashion, lining up side to side, then swirling as fast as they could in place…the way they whipped the water up looked like a frothing storm—everyone on the jetty was sprayed, and the kids were mesmerised. None of us will ever watch the tugboats now without thinking about the day they danced at the Quay!

We stayed until 3:00, just in time to walk up to the movie theatre and take in a show. It was quite a day. We then went back to Kate and Lane’s. We were all full from the food trucks, so my granddaughter, Laura, and I had painting time in the basement studio. I’ve been working on a rather goofy cartoon painting of a dog, and Laura puttered about with watercolours. What’s good about her being there when I’m painting, is that I’m too focused on what I’m doing to watch her closely. I can’t answer her questions the way I normally would, and she can only break my concentration if she needs clean water or has an accident. This means she has become independently creative. She’s doing lovely abstract designs, learning to mix colours, and is enjoying the freedom to see whatever materializes from her hands.

When he’s in the mood, my grandson, Ryan, is also fascinated by colours and paper, crayons and clay. I think we have more artists in the family.

So, I have given you our version of Canada Day!  We celebrated our wonderful mixed nationality with food, music, and fireworks. And in the end, it really was a great way to express our joy and relief. To be able to live in freedom and harmony is not something one can take for granted!