Happy Canada Day!
When is it?
July 1 is Canada Day. However, because that date falls on a Sunday this year, many Canadians will take off from work on Monday, July 2.
How did it start?
July 1 commemorates the joining of Canada’s original three provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Canada province, which is now Ontario and Quebec) as one nation in 1867. The holiday was previously called Dominion Day, for the Dominion of Canada in the British empire.
How do Canadians celebrate it?
Events start early in the morning and go until the evening. They include parades, barbecues, fireworks displays, concerts, and also welcome ceremonies for those who recently became citizens. Members of the British government have also celebrated the holiday. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attended the celebration in the capital, Ottawa, in 2010, and Prince William and his wife, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, attended in 2011.
Events start early in the morning and g
No matter where you are, you can celebrate Canada Day by looking at the London’s gallery of Canadian photographs.
Copyright collections – those aggregations of published material accumulated by libraries as a result of copyright deposit laws – can provide a unique view of the world; especially when they have the opportunity to add photographs to their holdings. With minimal curatorial involvement in their selection and collection, as well as few gate keepers beyond the administration fee required to register copyright, you could say that such caches of material are a rare thing – a photographic world selected by myriad photographers themselves.
This is the format of the British Library’s Colonial Copyright Collection of Canadian photographs, over 4,000 images registered for deposit and collected by the Library between 1895 and 1924. By and large the contents of the collection have been copyrighted as a result of the quality of the shot, the potential to make money from the photograph or, most likely, a mixture of both. These photographs were then accessioned by the British Library and left relatively untouched until a series of works were begun on them in the 1980s.
Why would such a collection end up in London? The answer hangs on an arcane piece of British copyright law, the colonial copyright legislation of the nineteenth century. To be frank the law was a lame-duck: it attempted to extend a part of British law to the Empire and ensure the comprehensive collection of intellectual property from beyond the metropole but in both areas it was fairly ineffective, with only a few territories taking it seriously.