Our neighbors up north are celebrating Canada’s 147th birthday, and we’re breaking out our red and white face paint and maple leaf attire to salute the True North strong and free. Oh Canada, you've given America (and the world!) some of the finest talents, people, and pastimes around, and we’re honoured (let’s never face-off in a spelling bee, Canada) to celebrate our shared independence with you this week. You kick off the celebrations, and we’ll provide the grand finale. Sharing a continent with you is the best, and this Canada Day we want to tip our hat to some of the finest, quirkiest Canadian contributions that we’re grateful to have here in the States. Happy Birthday, Canada – this one’s for you.
1. Ice Hockey.
As Canada’s official winter sport, hockey is profoundly Canadian. British soldiers and immigrants brought the traditional stick-and-ball game to Canada in the early 1800's, but they played it in the snowy, icy conditions typical to a Canadian winter. We can thank Montreal for birthing the modern archetype of ice hockey in 1875, followed by the 1924 expansion of the NHL into the United States, starting with the Boston Bruins. Today, there are 30 teams in the NHL, with players hailing from around the world. So next hockey season, when you’re jumping on the band wagon for your local team (Happy first day of free agency, hardcore NHL fans!), thank Canada for steer-heading one of the most brutal, fast-paced, and addictive games in North America.
2. Actors and Musicians.
Canada, you've got talent. Some of North America’s most famed celebrities are from Canada, and they are quick to rep their country on talk shows, press junkets, and even in their slight accent. We’re here to thank you for the likes of Seth Rogen, Ellen Page, Jim Carrey, Pamela Anderson, The Rock, Michael Cera…the list goes on. Despite the recent Justin Bieber backlash, we were all singing “Baby, Baby, Ohhh…” just a few years ago, and we’re willing to negotiate his joint custody during this difficult time. Canada’s home to some of the world’s most prolific and legendary talents, and we’re forever in your debt for gifting us Feminist Ryan Gosling. Seriously, thank you.
3. Sweet escape.
Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Have passport, will travel – and we’re always grateful for a sweet escape up north. For Michiganders (Mango HQ calls Michigan home), Canada is just a short trip away – and for the rest of the country, it’s worth the trek. Canada truly has it all: big cities, serene natural landscapes, French culture, and rustic campsites. Many a young American remembers trekking across the border (pre-passport regulations!) for glorious under-21 drinking escapades, but even more fondly, we look to Canada for an opportunity to explore new culture, unique traditions, and the best poutine in the entire world.
Here at Mango, we love dogs. It’s come to our attention that some of our most beloved breeds originated in Canada, and we couldn't be more grateful. For example: you gave us the Labrador retriever. More affectionately known as a “lab,” these dogs are not only man’s best friend, they are world-renowned service dogs, providing therapy and assistance to people with sight disabilities, autism, and other physical and emotional challenges. They’re not just sweet, playful, Youtube stars, they are heroes – and Canadian, through and through.
5. Exceptional Mangos.
Here’s the real kicker: some of our favorite Mangos are Canadian. Both in office (Hi, Julian!) and in our customer and client database, lovable, inspiring Canadians make up a crucial part of our Mango world. They are quick to navigate us to the nearest Tim Horton’s (Timbits, anyone?), first to hold the door open for others, and we look to them daily for language-learning motivation. Canada’s two official national languages are English and French (swoon!), but the country is home to over 200 global languages. Powerhouse institutions like the Quebec Bibliotheque Archive, Westmount Public Library, Winnipeg Public Library, University of Ottawa, and Alberta Library (to name just a few) work every day to serve the public with language-learning opportunities (including Mango!), community building, and Canadian culture gems in the form of influential literature, history, and entertainment.
O! Canada, we salute you. Neighbors to the north, border-buddies, and one of the coolest (sometimes literally!) countries around, we wish you a very Happy Canada Day.