Guest Author - Cavelle Natasha Layes
Canada is full of interesting people, places and events. In honour of Canada Day I have put together these interesting facts about our great country and the, people and places in it.
Well we know that a large percentage of earth is covered by water, but did you know that it covers 18,000 square kilometres of the province of Britsh Columbia? The province is known for it's amazing fishing and no wonder, beautiful BC is made up of many lakes, streams and rivers. The largest of these lakes being Williston at 1,773 square kilometres and Atlin (the BC portion) at 735.5 square kilometres and the deepest being Quesnel at 530 meters and Adams at 357 meters.
With all that great water to swim in it is no wonder why it is home to the worlds largest salmon spawning as well as the worlds second largest salmon run. The salmon make their way to Adams River each around Sept-Oct. Though large numbers of salmon always come each and every year it is only every four years that the "big" migration occurs, during which time you can easily spot over 3.5 million sockeye salmon making the journey. The next major migration is scheduled to occur in 2010 so mark your calendars. If you can not make the salmon spawning don't get to upset. Instead make your way to Vancouver Island (also in BC) between the months of February and April and watch as over 22,000 Grey whales make their way from Mexico to Alaska. Book yourself on a whale watching tour and enjoy watching the longest mammal migration in the world.
Stop by the Bay of Fundy (which can been seen from areas in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) and be greeted by the world's largest tides. The tidal period normally last's about 12.4 hours, during this time waves can reach over 17 meters high. The highest tides ever to be recorded here were caused by a tropical cyclone in 1869 which resulted in waves reaching 21.6 meters in height. The massive tide provides plenty of food for over 16 species of whales that live in the area.
Canadians love to take part in many different sports of all variations. However there is only two sports that are loved so greatly that when it came time to choose a national sport it was a tie. As of 1994 Canada officially named la crosse and hockey (no surprise there) as our TWO official sports. La Crosse was named Canada's national summer sport as Hockey shines its way through winter.
Its no secret that we as Canadians love our hockey, but even I was shocked at learning that as of 2003 there were about 3500 hockey rinks spread throughout the country. Even more shocking then this is the amount of children registered at this same time, as of 2003 there were over 500,000 kids registered for minor hockey (and that is only a fraction of our hockey players).
Foster Hewitt announced his very first game on the Toronto Stars Radio Station CFCA on March 22 1923. Hewitt went on to become a well known known figure in hockey history and even made a spot for himself in the hockey hall of fame. Ever since that night on March 22nd Hewitt has been known to many as "the voice of hockey". It was also Hewitt who had first yelled the well known phrase "He Shoots! He Scores!" during one of his broadcast'. A simple phrase said in the heat of the moment which has carried its way through the ages and has been said by just about every hockey player since both young and old.
Head to Souris beach P.E.I this summer and get more then just a great tan, get a story you can share with all your friends and well. Souris beach just happens to be home of the singing sand. Yep the singing sand, well I guess its more of a squeak but either way its truly unique. Scientists have been studying the sand for years and though it still confuses them they attribute the sound "quartz sand is very well rounded and highly spherical"*. Whatever it is that causes this sand to see it is sure worth a trip to hear it.
Do you have the guts to become an honorary Newfie? Well if you think you might just take part in one of the many "screeched in" ceremonies that are held in NFL each night. But be warned you will need to stand in a bucket of water, kiss a cod and recite an almost cryptic tongue twister such as "Long may your big jib draw" (I'm not kidding either). Its all in good fun though and in the end you even get a certificate, so join in the fun, I mean how often do you get to say "I kissed a cod"?
The Yukon is home to one of the world's toughest dog sled races. The race is called the Yukon West and been held every year since 1984. The race runs between Whitehorse, Yukon, Fairbanks, and Alaska for a total of 1000 miles of rough, dangerous terrain. The racing route can be recognized as the same route that was used through out the gold rush as well as the mail delivery dog sled route. The race allows up to 50 teams, all teams who finish the race receive $1000 and the champion will receive $35,000, pretty good deal right? Well it isn't that easy, the mushers and their team of dogs must face 100 mile an hour winds, open water, climb four mountains and many more obstacles (including temperatures that can dip below -40). Still think its easy money? Why not give it a try then, the race is held every year in February.
These sites and books helped me with this article, if you want to learn more about any of the above facts make sure to check them out :
The Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates: Revised and Updated by Richard W Pound (Third Edition)
The Encyclopedia of British Columbia by Daniel Francis