Canada Day 2015

Today, Canada Day, we celebrated Canada’s 148th birthday and the 50th anniversary of our flag. In my humble opinion, it is still one of the best places on earth to live. We are a very blessed and privileged nation. I wonder what our pioneer ancestors would think or say to us if they were with us today. At any rate, below are the photos I took of our Canada Day celebration here in Camrose, Alberta.

Kokopelli

Kokopelli

We enjoyed the Kokopelli choir from Edmonton, there were a couple of guest choir members from South Africa and Namibia, and most of the songs were, interestingly enough, African.

Colourful Canadian woman

Colourful Canadian woman

This person celebrated Canada with class!

All aboard!

All aboard!

This train was busy most of the day, providing rides around Mirror Lake.

 

 

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Canada Day July 1, 2013

Happy one-hundred-and-forty-sixth Birthday Canada! Here are some pictures I took at our Medicine Hat, Alberta Canada Day celebration in Kin Coulee Park.

Gene and Chelsea

Gene and Chelsea

 

We started off our day with an Ecumenical Worship Service at the Kin Coulee Park Bandshell. Our musicians were the Rev. Canon Gene Packwood on guitar and vocals, and Chelsea McCann on keyboard and vocals. The Rev. Canon Packwood also organised and led the Service—thanks Gene!

Virgil

Virgil

 

The Rev. Dr. Virgil Covel, president of our Medicine Hat Ministerial Association welcomes everyone to the Service.

DSCN1582

 

 

Kin Coulee Park Bandshell and puppet stage decorated with Canadian flags and windmills.

Amanda (left), Julianna (right)

Amanda (left), Julianna (right)

 

The Rev. Julianna Wehrfritz-Hanson and Amanda Roseveare puppeteers. Pastor Julianna also wrote the puppet show.

Children watching puppet show

Children watching puppet show

 

The puppets, Max the Moose and Leo the Lion perform for the audience. The puppet show consisted of Max the Moose conversing with Leo the Lion who had just recently arrived in Canada. As the two converse, Max describes our nation.

 

Max (left), Leo (right)

Max (left), Leo (right)

Close-up shot of Max the Moose and Leo the Lion.

Break Dancer

Break Dancer

Break Dancer

Break Dancer

Break Dancer

Break Dancer

Break Dancer

Break Dancer

Next, as you can see from the above pictures,  the GX Canada Dance group of Aaron and Kendra Melanson and Friends performed some cool break dancing.

 

Jose

Jose

 

Pastor Jose Gurdian, an immigrant from Costa Rica, preached the Canada Day Sermon. 

After the Service, we walked around Kin Coulee Park and I shot a few more photos.

Umbrellaflag hats

Umbrellaflag hats

There were folks like this wearing their patriotic Canada flags in the form of umbrella hats. Today however it was not to keep their heads dry from the rain; rather it was to enjoy a bit of shade on this 30 plus degree C day.

Habitat for Humanity Canopy

Habitat for Humanity Canopy

Astronomy Club Display

Astronomy Club Display

Canadian Armed Forces Display

Canadian Armed Forces Display

Children's Play Area

Children’s Play Area

Portable Toilets

Portable Toilets

Piper

Piper

Scottish Cuisine

Scottish Cuisine

Patriotic Bicycle

Patriotic Bicycle

The Bike Tree

The Bike Tree

Once again, Happy Canada Day to all of my readers!

Happy Birthday Canada!

I like this version of “This Land Is Your Land” by the Travellers. There are some interesting pictures of the diverse nature of our country. As we move into the future in this twenty-first century, I think Canada continues to change for better and for worse. For some, we are too secular and Christianity seems to be less influential in influencing the direction of our nation. For others, that is seen as a good thing. For some, we are moving too far politically to the right, while for others that is viewed favourably. For some, we are an embarassment to the world because of the way we are developing our natural resources, especially the oil and gas industry. For others, we are doing the best we can given the technology we are utilizing to develop these resources. For some, our universal medicare is in deep trouble and we need to put more money and resources into it if it is going to survive in the future. For others, there is a trend already towards privatization, and so we should go with that where it is cost-effective. What do you think? What direction would you like to see Canada moving towards in the future?

Fort McMurray and Ottawa

Fort McMurray and Ottawa

What do Fort McMurray and Ottawa have in common? Well, not much, except that my wife has a brother living in each city. As pictures describe at least a thousand words, here’s a few pictures we took with our new Nikon camera while spending one week of our holidays at Ft. McMurray and another week in Ottawa and environs. You can enlarge these pictures by clicking on my Flickr on the sidebar.

 

Oil Sands Museum

My wife Julianna and yours truly in front of the Oil Sands Museum.

 

 

 

Sign

This sign gives you an idea of the enormity of the machines used to mine and process the tar sands.

 

Bucket

Me in front of the bucket.

 

Conveyor Wheel

Julianna in front of the conveyor wheel.

 

Earth moving machine

Brother-in-law George and his wife Merabel in cab of earth moving machine, which was about two stories high.

 

Pianoman

Ottawa brother-in-law John performing a mini concert for us on the piano, with his daughter Jahna smiling, and to the left their dog Toto on my lap.

 

Reindeer

Reindeer in Omega Park.

 

Bison

A noble bison bull in Omega Park.

 

OttawaBeaverdam

Beaver dam in marsh area of the Rideau River.

 

Peacetower

Centre Block with Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

 

Guard1

Changing of the Guard.

 

Guard2

Changing of the Guard.

 

Parlentrance

Julianna, our daughter Anna, me, & front row, Jahna, in front of the main door into the Centre Block Parliament Building.

 

OttawaFamous5

Anna and me with two of the Famous Five, who succeeded in gaining women the right to vote.

 

Rideaucanlocks

The Rideau Canal locks

 

Museumcivilization1

The Museum of Civilization

 

Morrisseaupainting

Me in front of artist Norval Morrisseau’s masterpiece, “A Separate Reality.” This is a breathtakingly beautiful painting, depicting the interconnectedness and peace of humankind with the whole creation. One could spend two, three or more days in the Museum of Civilization in order to appreciate more fully its rich, diverse exhibits.

 

Cdnmint

The Royal Canadian Mint, building on the right, inside the fence. Did you know that in addition to printing Canadian currency, our Canadian Mint prints currency for one-quarter of the world’s nations?

 

Ottawaview

A bird’s eye view of Ottawa taken from the Peace Tower. Across the Ottawa River you can see Canada’s National Art Gallery, and across for it, Notre Dame Cathedral.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures. We are truly a blessed nation, rich in geographical and cultural diversity.

 

 

New Year thoughts in different directions

New Year thoughts in different directions

The arrival of another new year brings with it many open doors of opportunity. The old adage, when you’re so far down, there’s only one way to go, up, may well describe the present state of the world.

 

On the international scene, Christmas and New Year’s headlines focussed on the conflict in the Middle East, the breaking of the six month truce between Israel and Hamas, and the bombings of Hamas military targets by Israeli planes. The psalmist’s age old lament-question, “How long, O LORD,” is as applicable as ever. The issues, of course, are as old as the days of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael. Questions, criticisms, and advice are legion—however, solutions are still as enigmatic as ever. Fundamentalist and evangelical preachers with all of their eschatological scenarios are a dime a dozen. A Bruce Cockburn line comes to mind: “Everyone wants justice done on somebody else.” Or maybe a little more hope in a Leonard Cohen line: “Ring the bells that still can ring forget your perfect offering there’s a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.” Maybe we all need to pray for more cracks and ring more bells. What is the international community—including the so-called moderate Muslim nations—doing about the escalating anti-Semitic rhetoric and the Holocaust denial conference of Iran’s Prime Minister? Remember, the Nazi movement also started with rhetoric and escalated into anti-Semitic political policies, which in turn, resulted in the Holocaust. Why is the international community criticising Israel to no end, yet failing to act to declare suicide bombings a crime against humanity? Israel has a right to exist in peace with her neighbours. Do her neighbours accept or reject this right? My hope and prayer for 2009 is that the peace movement among Israelis and Palestinians shall flourish, and the press focus more on what they are doing to make a difference in everyday life for both peoples.

 

On the national scene, we had a bit of a political crisis, with the threat of a coalition between the NDPs and Liberals, and the BQ promising their support. Most Canadians may not have voted Prime Minister Harper into parliament—since the voter turnout was rather pathetic!—yet, I think the majority of Canadians would consider such a coalition with a separatist party holding the balance of power rather dangerous. I empathize with the Governor General; she had a difficult decision to make; however I think she made the best one, considering the alternatives. Our M.P.s in Ottawa from all parties need to stop playing destructive political partisan games and consider the overall well-being of the nation—that’s what Canadians gave them a mandate to do, to govern responsibly in a minority situation by working together regardless of their political ideologies. The growing—statistics may not support this—violence, or at the least media coverage, is a concern for every Canadian. What are the circumstances and other factors that draw people into gangs and drugs? Do we need to be more proactive? How can we as a society meet the needs of people in order that they would not turn to gangs, violence and drugs? We all need to struggle with questions like this and work together for a more peaceful society. Rather than signs of despair, these are doors of opportunities, for where there is life there is hope and vice versa. Happy New Year and God bless us one and all!