(Courtesy FlickrCC/Tony Webster)I've always been moved the way Canadians have incorporated our beautiful flag into cultural events. Of course, I'm biased. How could I not be? But even when I try to be objective, I'm still convinced our flag, that splash of red Maple Leaf on the stark clean white background is an attention-grabber. It also lends itself to artful depictions in paintings, wall-art, summertime light shows (as witnessed last July on Parliament Hill; see above), and even on celebratory cakes! Many Canadians are pulling out all the stops as our national flag turns 50 this month. It still surprises many people that our red-and -white maple leaf flag was raised for the very first time on Parliament Hill just 50 years ago on February 15, 1965. Cities and towns across Canada are hosting various events to honour the anniversary of our flag, and many of them coincide with Family Day weekend (February 15 and 16), which is a statutory holiday in some provinces. And why is our flag so important? To quote the official statement: "Our national flag speaks to what we have accomplished together, to the historical moments that have served to define us, and to the promising future of this great country." Here are ten across-Canada highlights from the Flag of Canada Day Calendar of Events: 1. Quebec City, Plains of Abraham, Feb. 15. Hockey Canada's Century Tour, which celebrates 100 years of Hockey Canada, hosts a Flag Day event during the Québec Winter Carnival. Bring your family and friends to the caravan on the Plains of Abraham. Organizers have arranged a photo booth in which visitors can take their picture with the Canadian flag as a backdrop. 2. Prince George, British Columbia - Feb. 15 Activities at the Canada Games Plaza include an outdoor selfie station where visitors are invited to have their photograph taken with the aim of creating a Canadian flag mosaic. 808 Canada Games Way 3. Toronto, CN Tower - Feb. 13 to 15 Head on down to one of the tallest structures in Canada to have your selfie taken. On the evening of Feb 15, the CN Tower will be lit in the colours of the national flag. 4. Gatineau, Quebec, Museum of History February 6 to July 5 The museum curators have produced an incredible exhibit with rarely-seen artifacts and memorabilia related to the Canadian flag. Must-see: the first known depiction of the flag as it exists today. Also, visitors can view flags that were proposed but weren't chosen!
This is just one of the numerous designs that was proposed, more than 50 years ago, as the National Flag of Canada, but obviously wasn't chosen. Courtesy: Museum of Civilization.5. Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Canadian Human Rights Museum - Feb. 15 There will be the heart-stopping raising-of-the-flag ceremony followed by hot chocolate (it's winter in Winnipeg, after all) and other indoor activities. 6.Victoria, British Columbia - Feb. 15 The public is invited to Government House for the outdoor ceremonial flag raising along with army, air and sea cadets. Indoor programming and refreshments follow. 7. Regina, Saskatchewan - Feb. 13 The "Celebrate the Flag!" exhibition includes an interactive touch table where visitors of all ages can create their own flag, and then record their own Canadian moment in the video booth. 8. Fredericton, New Brunswick - Feb. 15 to March 31 A special flag exhibit at Government House is a dual 50th anniversary celebration of both the Canadian and New Brunswick flags. 9. Ottawa, Confederation Park - Feb. 15. There are lots of activities in Ottawa in honour of the flag's 50th anniversary: outdoor events, ceremonial flag raising, unveiling of a collector's commemorative stamp and coin, a citizenship reaffirmation – and what's a party without cake! 10. Vancouver, British Columbia - Feb. 12, (morning) Guest speakers Senator Nancy Greene and John Furlong at this breakfast event reflect on the 50th anniversary of the flag and the 5th anniversary of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Vancouver Convention Centre West. For complete details and times of Flag Day celebrations, visit the Flag of Canada Day Calendar of Events. Oh, and if you're hosting your own flag celebration, you can always serve our delicious Tested Til Perfect O Canada Cupcakes.
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Fit seniors have a 'fitness age' of up to 25 years lower than their real age.If you’re looking for a little motivation for your next marathon—or, hey, even your next trip to the gym—consider the age-defying athletes of the recent National Senior Games in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
Designed by Aimee Nishitoba Image by: Designed by Aimee Nishitoba
Save some money this season with easily accessible, moisture-retaining products for when that cold wind bites—all under $20.
Winter’s icy grip has set in, and the crisp weather calls for a new extra nourishing beauty routine. It's a fact that rough and dry skin longs for moisture when blizzards roll in and jacked up thermostats wreak havoc. The skin-care struggle is real. We can share our best ways to curb dry winter skin and tell you how to boost moisture, but you'll also need the beauty products to help see you through to warmer weather.
We know surviving sub-zero temperatures is hard enough—your pocket shouldn’t have to take a hit as well. The good news is, it doesn't have to. All of these beauty products can be purchased at your local drugstore and for under $20, leaving you with more spending money for a peppermint mocha on your way home.
This cult-classic beauty aid has the power to withstand Arctic climates. Slather on the all-natural product—with pansy, chamomile and calendula extracts— anywhere you need it: think dry patches, cuticles and rough elbows. $19, well.ca.
It's a beauty myth that exfoliating your skin will leave you more dry and dehydrated. The fact is, it helps shed dead skin and leaves your face primed to absorb your moisturizing products. Try these pads soaked in glycolic acid. They're less abrasive than a mechanical exfoliant such as beads or scrubs. $15, well.ca.
Even if you have oily skin, winter is time to replace your oil-free gel or clay cleanser in favour of milks or balms. This balm cleanser replenishes lost moisture through glycerin and cocoa butter while still erasing all traces of makeup and grime. $10, beautyboutique.ca.
When your skin is red, parched and in desperation for some heavy-duty TLC, that’s when you send in the face masks. In 15 minutes, this hyaluronic acid-infused facial sheet mask will prevent dullness and provide 24 hours of moisture retention. $18, indeedlabs.com.
Right now, summer feels like a distant dream—but your skin could still use a touch of (faux) summer glow. This foundation gives a dose of gradual self-tanner, providing buildable coverage when on, and a healthy bronze once you rinse it off. $18, almay.com.
Plenty of body washes can leave you dehydrated by the time you step out of the shower. This one does helps lock-in moisture post-shower with argan oil. $5.50, walmart.ca.
If body oil isn’t your thing, nourishing body butter is the skin fix you need. Whipped with shea and cocoa butter—both hailed for their moisturizing properties—there will be no dry skin ‘round these parts. $12, beautyboutique.ca.
This is a lifesaver. Coconut oil is an amazingly cost-effective way to help your body soak up all the moisture it needs. Since it can get greasy, slather it on overnight and wake up with supple skin (try your hair, as well). Added bonus: the scent will leave you smelling of the beach. $14, walmart.ca.
Nothing is worse than checking yourself in the mirror and realizing your lipstick is dray and cracked—and your lips are no better. Be preemptive and exfoliate before you leave the house using this E.L.F. stick made with sugar crystals that aren’t overly abrasive. $4, elfcosmetics.com.
"I don’t want velvety soft, moisturized hands for under $7,"—said no one ever! This cult classic is super-concentrated with glycerin, is fragrance-free and has the stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association. $7, well.ca.
Is everyone in the office—or your children’s school—getting sick? Spritz this anti-bacterial spray without fear of catching whatever bug is going around. Bonus: the added lavender oil prevents your hands from drying out. $7.50, drbronner.com.
Coming in an array of shades, this lip balm will give you that just-bitten winter colour we all strive for—while still keeping your pout moisturized and flake-free. $6, walmart.ca.
The sniffles, watery eyes, snowflakes that stay on your nose and eyelashes–all of these contribute to smudged makeup and raccoon eyes. To keep you looking doe-eyed all day long, switch over to one of our favourite waterproof mascaras. $10, well.ca.