Canadian Days History
Prior to the first Canadian Days celebration held the second weekend of August 1977, Little Canada held a community festival on July 4, 1975, and a U.S Bicentennial celebration on July 4, 1976. Community members thought the city should host an event that didn’t interfere with the Independence Day festivities, but they needed a reason to celebrate. So, five people, Raymond Hanson, Irene Giampaolo, Roger Runyon, Glen Gibbons and Sharon Clasen showed up for a festival planning meeting in May 1977.
Sharron Clasen, president of the Little Canada PTSA, had an idea. She suggested "Little Canada Canadian Days," an event that would honor the city’s heritage and celebrate the world’s longest undefended border between Canada and the United States. Thus, the annual Canadian Days festival was born. Thunder Bay was asked to be a Sister City of Little Canada and the summer celebration got rolling. Since 1977, Little Canada and Thunder Bay, Ontario have come together for a weekend of food and fun, celebrating their international friendship.
Four decades later, the international friendship between the two cities continues to be strong. Many genuine relationships have been fostered and maintained. About 50 Thunder Bay residents come down for the celebration each year, including the Macgillivray Pipe Band, their families, the Sister City Advisory Committee members, and the Thunder Bay Mayor and Councillors. The Macgillivray Pipe Band has been an integral, traditional part of the Canadian Days celebration since 1977!
Have you ever wondered how our logo came to be? In the center is the Fleur-de-lis which is incorporated in the City of Little Canada flag to acknowledge our French-Canadian heritage. Next comes the maple leaf which is shared by both the flag of Canada and the flag of the City of Little Canada. The green line represents the beautiful "Sleeping Giant" land formation located in our sister city, Thunder Bay. The blue line represents Lake Superior whose shore is shared by both Ontario and Minnesota. Our logo is a reminder of the many ties that bind the residents of our two communities.
In honor of the 30+ years anniversary of the Sister City twinning, the Canadian Days Committee produced a video documentary. The production of the video was completed in 2010. A grant from CTV North Suburban Access Corporation was awarded to Canadian Days in support of this project.