Canada Day

A.V. Walters

In the old days we called it Dominion Day. Just days before the Fourth of July, it was a huge summer celebration in our border town. Both sides of the border joined forces for a combined Freedom Festival affair that said as much about reveling in summer as it did about the countries’ respective national holidays. There were art fairs and barbeques, music and, of course, rides to shake up all that junk food and soda-pop on a hot day. We loved it.

The kick-off event was the fireworks. Funded by the J.L. Hudson Company in Detroit, the show lasted near an hour in the mid-summer late evening of the first of July. Though held on Dominion Day, the fireworks were a joint celebration for both countries, fired off over the border that separated them, the Detroit River. Spectators lined the shores on both sides of the river for about a mile, tens of thousands of us milling about waiting for darkness to fall. The downtown areas of Windsor and Detroit stopped for an evening of oohs and aaahs and cotton candy and hot dogs on sticks.

I was from a mixed family. My American parents were landed immigrants in Canada. Only my little sister and I were actually Canadian—a circumstance of birth location. We celebrated a motley mix of combined holidays. We never missed the fireworks. I was always impressed that though the pyrotechnics were donated by businesses on the American side, the fireworks display was always held on the Canadian holiday. Even more, as I didn’t understand the physics of fireworks, I was captivated by the generosity of the American donors, because, from our Windsor perch on the river it seemed that we, on the Canadian side, always got to enjoy the front side of the of the annual display.

And so it is, with the release of my second novel, The Gift of Guylaine Claire. Canada Day is the perfect day to launch this, most Canadian, of explorations. Like those fireworks of long ago, it comes from an American or outsider perspective, but one that has always had a foot in each camp. While the focus, the front side of it, is specifically Canadian and French-Canadian, I hope my readers will find that the real focus is universal. So, check it out at

The print release will be in August, but for the curious, or for those who arrive early at the river’s edge for the good seats, the ebook release should provide its own oohs and aaahs, in anticipation of paper.