Canada Day 2016 at the Little White School And the Winners of the Great Canadian Flag Debate Contest!

Canada Day, or Dominion Day as it was called until 1982, at the Little White School was great fun again this season! We had many people drop in and visit us at the historic 1948 school house: about 170 in total.

 

It was really nice to reminisce with people who remembered going to the Little White School (or schools similar to it) and it was a good opportunity for the younger generations to see for themselves what kind of schools their parents, grandparents, and even their great-grandparents would have gone to.

 

Little White School in 1949, Grey Nun's Archives, Soeurs Grises de Montréal, L016-Y1-p23A

 

 

At the school, we offered Canada Day themed colouring pages and worksheets for children, maple leaf shaped cookies from Grandin Bakery for people to decorate with red or white frosting, and perhaps most importantly, the annual Great Canadian Flag Debate contest.

 

In 1964, Prime Minister Pearson asked Canadians to submit ideas for a uniquely Canadian flag to replace the traditional British Union Jack and the unofficial Red Ensign. At the Little White School on Canada Day, we asked participants to design a “new Canadian flag.” Visitors were not given many guidelines, but were instead asked: “What does Canada mean to you? What symbols represent Canada to you?”

 

The contest received a host of fantastic entries! There were four age categories: 5 and under, 6 to 8, 9 to 12, and 13 and over. Selecting the winning flags was a difficult task, but in the end, museum staff decided on:

 

sam 5 underSam’s (age 3) exciting and active red and white flag (5 and under category).

 

sarah 6 to 8Sarah’s (age 8) autumn maples flag with mosaic and heraldic lion and unicorn (6 to 8 category).

 

murray 9 to 12Murray’s (age 10) inuksuk flag with maple leaf, St. Andrew’s cross, and northern lights (9 to 12 category).

 

caitlin annika meghan 13 plusCaitlin (age 21), Annika (age 19), and Meghan’s (age 15) symbolic creation (13 and over category). Read what these young ladies wrote regarding the symbolism in their flag:

 

“In light of recent events in Alberta, in the centre we have the silhouette of the firefighters logo [with] the traditional Metis sash surrounding it in the circle. The sash represents the unity of our country (and between the First Nations and Europeans) in situations such as this, and overall our multiculturalism and unity in that sense. The maple leaf is present for obvious reasons. The red and blue outside represent the [British] Commonwealth and French heritage we share. The two large triangles represent the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.”