Each year, a few days after Canada Day, panels are placed on Plaza Bridge, where they reside well into the fall. The theme changes by the year; this year that theme was about the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and the various forces that have shaped us as a country.
Those forces include the vast geography of the land itself, our relationship with our First Nations people, warfare in the larger world, the role of women, and our disagreements.
This panel, for instance, explores the story of the Klondike Gold Rush, and the concerns on the part of the government at the time about prospectors coming in from all over the world. This factored into the formal organization of our far northern territories.
The panel to the left shows the Metis leader Louis Riel at the heart of a group of supporters. Riel would be hung for treason, and yet history has been kind to him- he's seen as a Father of Confederation today.
Aspects such as the First World War and Canada's assertion on the international stage in its wake are explored, which includes how women's rights were being advanced- women had served as nurses abroad and took up the slack in workplaces during that war.
This panel jumps ahead to the Second World War, with the involvement of Canadian troops in liberating Europe, and the effect that had on us as a nation.
Other thematic elements include the new flag that we have today.
I liked the look of this panel. Back in the late eighties there was an effort on the part of the federal government and the provinces and territories to update the Constitution in what was called the Meech Lake Accord. That accord failed; Elijah Harper, a First Nations Manitoba MPP who was opposed to the accord, started the process of its unraveling on a point of principle.
This panel is about Nunavut, the territory created out of the partitioning of the Northwest Territories into two before the turn of the century.