Canada 150
Book ReviewsBook Review: The Year Canadians Lost Their Minds and Found Their Country: The Centenary of 1967

Book Review: The Year Canadians Lost Their Minds and Found Their Country: The Centenary of 1967

Book Review: The Year Canadians Lost Their Minds and Found Their Country: The Centenary of 1967

The Year Canadians Lost Their Minds and Found Their Country: The Centenary of 1967
By
Tom Hawthorn

208 pages • ISBN 978-1-77162-150-2


It happened much like the 2010 Olympic did: an internal period of indifference and cynicism, and then a huge blockbuster party from a normally reserved people –only this one was nation-wide. After years of indifference, Canadians embraced the official plans for celebrating the centennial in the final weeks leading up to New York´s Day, 1967. And then they started making plans of their own: an epic canoe trip, a dangerous dogsled race, a bathtub race, and even a UFO landing pad. Hundreds of other centennial projects can still be found in almost every city and hamlet across Canada, and the climax of the party was Expo 67 held on man-made islands in the middle of the St. Lawrence River near Montreal.

As we approach the 150th anniversary, Tom Hawthorn offers Canadians a look back at the unlikely and inspiring story of the centennial of 1967 in The Tear Canadians Lost Their Minds and Found Their Country. As he says in the preface: “Trudeaumania: the state getting out of the bedrooms of the nation; women demanding an equal place in society; and massive changes to the population through immigration –was made possible during Centennial Year…The Canada of 2017 owes more to decisions made in the wake of 1967 than to the negotiations conducted in 1867.”

Richly illustrated with period photographs and ephemera, here is the story of the fun, exciting year, told in the same giddy spirit with which Canadians celebrated. Uncover the strange and unique ways that individuals marked the occasion, the birth of traditions, and the moment when Canadians discovered who they were and got a hint about who they were to become in the modern age. Once hewers of wood and pliers of water; they discovered a talent for literature, for design, for athletics, for innovation. And above all, it was a party never to be forgotten.

Tom Hawthorn is an award-winning (and, on occasion, award-losing) journalist whose byline has appeared in publications large (Reader´s Digest, Canadian Geographic) and small (South Bend Tribune in Indiana and the Sanger Herald in California). Tom has been a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail since 1984. He is also the author of Deadlines: Obits of Memorable British Columbians (Harbour Publishing, 2012). He lives in Victoria, BC.

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