We Celebrate in August But Civic Pride is an Everyday Thing
Whether you take part in public celebrations connected to the Civic Holiday or enjoy the time in another way it is a good thing that we take a day to recognize what could be our most important level of organization. There is no doubt about the prominent roles played by provincial and federal governments, but the work done at the municipal level may have the most bearing on our day to day lives. Not all of that work is official either and the importance of neighbours and volunteers deserves our gratitude and recognition as we celebrate ourselves on this holiday.
It’s clear that when most people think about the Civic Holiday, they are not thinking about the day to day organization of our communities. There’s no doubt that work is important, but people naturally think about how the bonds that create neighbours and those we are closest to deserve to be celebrated. While these connections might not be the stuff of sensational news reports, they are how we show each other our very best. That creates positivity and goodwill, which can often seem in short supply as we go about our busy lives.
Here in the North, where a sparse population and greater distances create a dynamic our city counterparts never have to overcome, it can be argued our communities are more closely knit. There might not be as much going on as there is in big cities, but there may also be greater participation rates in community-themed events because of that. We are easily more regionally defined and see our communities as something that exists across municipal borders. That could be why so many of us travel to nearby events. We are good neighbours in that respect.
If there is one notion that deserves a place of prominence among our Civic Holiday celebrations it is that of good neighbours. That itself is the bread and butter of successful communities. People who are engaged, thoughtful, and give of themselves create better communities in ways that no official effort could even come close to achieving. Most of us know someone who goes about making other people’s days better just by being a good neighbour. There is no blueprint to follow to do this, but it seems that a positive attitude can be infectious and some people are blessed with that in abundance.
Volunteerism is another way that our communities come together and should be celebrated. Many of our communities do just that and I have been to volunteer appreciation events all over Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing. Still, the Civic Holiday is an opportunity for more of us to see how volunteer organizations, individuals, and service groups do so much to make our communities better places. This is all the more important as government budgets become stretched year after year. If it weren’t for volunteers picking up the slack our communities could easily be far less vibrant and vital. We should always take the opportunity to thank our volunteers for what they do and the Civic Holiday is an opportunity to do just that.
However you choose to mark this holiday, I hope that you are able to count your blessings and to recognize that we are privileged to live in vibrant communities located in a beautiful part of the world.
I wish everyone the very best for a safe and happy holiday weekend.