2019 – Anniversaries of significance in Canada

175th Anniversary of the birth of Louis Riel and 150th Anniversary of the Red River Resistance

Black and white photo of Louis Riel.
Credit: Library and Archives Canada/c052177

When the Government of Canada bought the land of the Red River Colony from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869, the Métis were worried about their future and their rights. Louis Riel led a resistance against the Government. As a result, the province of Manitoba was created. Riel remained a controversial leader. To some a rebel, to others a hero, he would eventually be charged with treason and hanged.

50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality

People during a parade waving flags bearing the  6 colours of the Pride Movement.
Source: Destination Canada

Discover the history of the decriminalization of homosexuality. The partial decriminalization of homosexuality in the late 1960s paved the way for steady gains in rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2) people in Canada. Major strides toward mainstream social acceptance and formal legal equality have been made in recent decades. Canada is internationally regarded as a leader in this field.

50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act

Picture of a paper document about the Official  Languages Act.

Did you know? French and English are recognized through Canada’s Constitution and its democratic system. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Official Languages Act guarantee the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society.

30th anniversary of the Polytechnique Montréal school tragedy

Four small lit lamps are placed diagonally.

On December 6, 1989, 14 women were murdered and many others injured by an armed man at Polytechnique Montréal school in an act of gender-based violence. Thirty years later, the effects of this tragedy continue to be felt and women and girls remain targets because of their gender.

Other milestone anniversaries

Canadians will have many other opportunities in 2018 and 2019 to celebrate our country’s history. Below are examples of other significant anniversaries that have helped shape the Canada that we know today:

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