Oshawa, Ontario


The City of Oshawa has developed into a fast-growing city lots to offer - many recreational facilities, almost 27 km of trails, a vibrant downtown and a growing arts and culture community.

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Happy Birthday Canada
By Shelley Norman

“They’re here, they’re here!” Riley exclaimed jumping up and down and waving. “Carrie, Aunt Sue over here!”

Tina turned from where she was spreading out the picnic blanket to smile at her sister and niece approaching through the crowd of people gathered in the town’s soccer fields. After a long day of Canada Day festivities through-out their small town including a parade at noon, Tina felt ready to collapse on the blanket for a nap and her sister looked the same. Their children though were still exuding more energy than a power plant. Excitement over the soon to start fireworks? or a few too many popsicles to keep cool on the hotter than usual July day? Tina wasn’t sure.

“Hey, you made it,” she said taking a picnic basket from her sister, Sue, and setting it in the middle of the blanket.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t have minded calling it an early night and going to bed, but Carrie wouldn’t hear of it,” Sue said settling on the blanket by the basket. “Oh well, fireworks only happen once a year, and I heard this is suppose to be an extra special show for Canada’s 150th.”
“They’ve brought in a company from the city to orchestrate it,” Tina pulled the flyer from her back pocket and passed it to her sister. “They match the timing of the fireworks to music. That’s why we came here to watch them instead of just watching from home like usual, so we could hear the music.”
“Look they list the songs, and they’re all by Canadian musicians. They even have a Stompin’ Tom one,” Sue pointed to the sheet.

“Mom, can we do the sparklers now,” Carrie interrupted, dropping to her knees by the picnic basket and digging inside looking for the package.
“I want one of the really long ones, so does Riley.”
“Sure honey. Just make sure you don’t wave them close to anything that might catch fire, or anyone you might burn,” Sue reminded the girls.

As Sue helped the girls open the package and then light the sparklers, Tina pulled out her camera ready to take pictures of the girls running around in the cool grass by the blanket making light patterns in the air with their glowing wands.
“Sparklers were always my favourite part of Canada Day growing up,” Tina said with a sigh.
“Uh-huh, that’s because it wasn’t your hair that caught fire and it wasn’tfireworks you who then had to go around for the rest of the summer with a singed do,” Sue grumbled.
“Are you going to make me apologize for that every year, for the rest of our lives,” Tina looked over at her sister.
“Maybe,” Sue smirked back. Checking her watch she said, “They should be starting any minute. I brought snacks and pillows so I can lie back and enjoy the show.”
Tina just shook her head as she watched her sister pull a cushion and a bag of chips from the picnic basket and make herself comfy. The sound of a chip bag opening attracted the girls back to the blanket and they had all just got settled down when the music started to flow from the large speakers placed around the field.

Eyes to the sky the four watched explosions of colour light the night for the next half hour. They ooh’d and ahh’d as the tempo sped up then slowed, the fireworks always right in sync. The pop and boom of the bursts matched up to the music as if they were one. For the grand finale of the show “O Canada” began to play over the sound system, just like all the others around them; Tina, Sue and their daughters rose to their feet in respect to the national anthem of our great country. As the final burst of colour lit the sky in a giant red maple leaf, they joined the crowd applauding and cheering, “Happy Birthday Canada!”