WASHINGTON — Canada held celebrations Saturday across 13 provinces and territories in six time zones – from Newfoundland in the east to the Yukon Territory in the north-west – to mark its sesquicentennial.
Concerts and citizenship ceremonies were held nationwide. Evening fireworks were planned, though heavy rain Saturday put the pyrotechnics in doubt in Ottawa, the capital.
British Crown Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, attended celebrations in Ottawa, the capital, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General David Johnston and other dignitaries.
Under Canada’s federal parliamentary system, the country remains a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II of Britain as head of state.
The royal couple attended Saturday’s reopening of the National Arts Centre, which underwent an 84-million-dollar renovation.
Native groups held peaceful protests.
Saturday was the 150th anniversary of the founding of a self-governing state in 1867 among the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Later joined by the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island and the territories of Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, Canada has a population of 37 million.
Canada is the world’s second-largest country by area with a gross domestic product of 1.57 trillion dollars.
Donald Trump, president of the neighbouring United States, tweeted congratulations Saturday.
“Happy Canada Day to all of the great people of Canada and to your Prime Minister and my new found friend @JustinTrudeau,” he wrote.