Today is Victoria Day in Canada, and the unofficial beginning of summer. Here in Victoria (haha), we've had pretty nice weather over the past few days, and we definitely look forward to the dry, sunny summers that delight so many tourists and locals.

As I think of it, Victoria day must be one of the most effective marketing campaigns of all time. First set into law in Canada in 1845 (before Confederation) as a celebration of the Queen's birthday, the Parliament of Canada finally made it a national holiday in 1901, right after her death. Back then, Victoria was considered the "Mother of Conferedation". In 1904, Victoria Day was decreed throughout the British Empire. Interesting fact: Canada is the only country with an official holiday commemorating the 19th century monarch.

Whether it's because we just like long weekends or because English Canada still cares about its imperial past (Quebec has a different holiday), we still remember the Queen more than a hundred years after her death. Year after year, we fill the streets and watch parades, often have our first patio parties of the year, and generally celebrate our British past. The name Victoria has not faded from our cultural consciousness in a century.

If that's not effective marketing, I don't know what is!

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