Canadian Immigrants Day is observed on May 22 every year. The holiday is meant to celebrate Canadians who immigrated to the United States. Citizens of the two neighboring countries have always found it easy to visit each other’s countries. In the early days of the two nations, Canadian immigrants mostly crossed the border for better job opportunities in factories. As the years passed, the profile of the average Canadian changed with the improvement in living standards in Canada. Today, many Canadian immigrants form an integral part of many industries across the United States. Actors Nathan Fillion and Sandra Oh are two famous Canadian immigrants.
History of Canadian Immigrants Day
The U.S. and Canada have a long history with each other. When the United States gained independence from the British, several loyalist anti-Americans fled to Canada, which was still a British colony. Over the years, the two countries’ relations have oscillated between tense and amicable. The first wave of Canadian immigration to the U.S. began in the mid-1800s when the majority of the influx of people consisted of unskilled labor looking for jobs. A significant portion of the Canadian immigrants that relocated to the U.S. during the early 1900s were people fleeing from religious discrimination.
After the Second World War, Canada’s economy began to stabilize and the quality of life within the nation improved. This, in turn, decreased the number of people immigrating to the U.S. from Canada. Furthermore, the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 drastically limited migration to the country from within the Western hemisphere. However, the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made it easier for Canadian citizens to access new temporary work visas, thus boosting immigration.
Today, the United States accounts for over 60% of emigration numbers from Canada, followed by the UK, Australia, France, and Italy. There are around 800,000 Canadian immigrants in the U.S. among whom are students, working professionals, family migrants, retirees, e.t.c.
Canadian Immigrants Day timeline
The United States gains independence from the British Empire.
The War of 1812 is fought between the U.S. and the British in North America.
Immigration into the U.S. is limited by the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.
NAFTA makes acquiring temporary work visas easy for Canadian citizens looking to migrate to the U.S.
Canadian Immigrants Day FAQs
What is Canada famous for?
Scenery, maple syrup, and extreme politeness are things that seem to boost Canada’s fame.
Is Canada ruled by the Queen?
Queen Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of Canada.
Is Canada a part of the U.S.?
Though they were supposed to merge and become a singular country in 1781, Canada is a separate country.
Canadian Immigrants Day Activities
Look up prominent Canadian immigrants
Look up prominent Canadian immigrants like Sandra Oh. Read their biography to gain insight into their experiences.
Take the time to view their work
Watch their movies and T.V. shows, and read their books. Appreciate the talent they bring to the country.
Discuss their impact on American culture
Once you know who they are and the art that they’ve created, ponder on their impact on American culture. If possible, grab a friend or family member and talk about it.
5 Interesting Facts About Canada
The second-largest country
By landmass, Canada is the world’s second-largest country.
The Vikings came first
The first Europeans to colonize Canada were the Vikings in 1000 A.D.
The national animal
Canada’s national animal is the beaver.
The only walled city
Canada is home to Quebec, the only walled city in North America.
The longest international border
The Canada — U.S. border is the longest international border in the world.
Why We Love Canadian Immigrants Day
It celebrates an interesting history
The history of Canada — U.S. relations is immensely interesting. Canadian Immigrants Day is a great way to broaden your knowledge.
It makes us think about immigration
Migration has been a very polarizing topic for decades now. This day allows one to think about the very human impact that having the option to immigrate or not has on people.
It celebrates the contribution of Canadian immigrants
The day celebrates the achievements of Canadian immigrants. It highlights their contributions to American culture.
Canadian Immigrants Day dates