What is Canada History Week?

Every July, Canada celebrates National History Week in commemoration of Canada’s rich past. Canada history week is therefore the perfect opportunity for Canadians and newcomers to learn about the people and events that have shaped the great nation that we know today and get better accustomed with Canadian culture. Because Canada is so diverse, there are many unique people, cultures, heritages, places and events to explore – and what better time to do it than History Week?

Canada History Week is officially celebrated between the 1st and 7th of July and everyone is encouraged to partake in history-related activities organized by museums, historical societies and cultural organizations. Even if it is in a small way, people are encouraged to learn something new about the country’s history – be it attending exhibitions, viewing artefacts or watching biographies, videos and movies.

This year, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the designation of 13 new nationally significant persons, places and events that helped define Canada's history.

According to Parks Canada, “These new designations reflect the rich and varied history of our nation in areas related to Indigenous Peoples, government and the economy, arts and architecture, and military history. The commemoration process is largely driven by public nominations and designations are made on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. To date, more than 2,000 designations have been made.”

Canada History Week is therefore deeply imbedded in preserving the national identity and shared history of its people and history-focused organizations. As such, museums and historical societies across the country will be hosting activities, events and festivals during the week to unite their communities with the past.

"As we celebrate Canada History Week, I am very proud to recognize the people, places and events that shaped Canada, including the 13 new designations announced today. Each of these designations is a distinct and vibrant symbol of Canadian identity. They tell the stories of who we are as a people, including the contributions of Indigenous Peoples. I encourage all Canadians to take this opportunity to discover and learn more about the incredible and diverse history of our great nation," said McKenna.

The 13 new designations include:

Indigenous Peoples: Lucille Clifton ('Wii Nii Puun) (1876-1962)

Governing Canada: Thomas Clement "Tommy" Douglas (1904-1986)

Developing Economies: Agathe de Saint-Père de Repentigny (1657-1748); Jacques & Hay Furniture Manufacturers; Simon Fraser (1776-1862); Marr Residence, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Arts and Architecture: Port Hope Theatre, Ontario; Assiniboine Park and Zoo; David Brown Milne (1882-1953); Thomas Fuller (1823-1898); The Union Club of British Columbia, Victoria, British Columbia

Military History: The Halifax Explosion; Montgomery Place, Saskatchewan