"Canada Day?" you ask. Time for me to educate.
On July 1, 1867, the then three portions of the North American continent still under British control were united into what we now know as Canada. While the enactment of the British North America Act was just the first step toward complete independence from the British government, it was the first time that Canada became Canada and the first time that our neighbors to the north were recognized as an autonomous, self-governing country. The process of independence continued to roll in various stages until 1982, when the Canadian Constitution was patriated and the Canadian government was officially severed from the the British. Known as the Canada Act, Canada became an completely independent country when Queen Elizabeth signed the Act on Parliament Hill in '82.
Why is this relevant to Michigan? Oh for so many reasons my fine friends.
You might know the young man below. A holder of an undergraduate business and graduate business degree from the University of Michigan. Arguably Michigan's greatest hockey forward, he played in the NHL for 17 seasons, won a Stanley Cup, coached in the NHL for four years, has coached at Michigan for the last 27 years, and has two national championships at Michigan as its Head Coach. Michigan owes their thanks to Regina, Saskatchewan for sending their finest son to Ann Arbor.
Speaking of winners, there's another Canadian Wolverine that'll take you down memory lane. He's the NCAA's all time leader in wins. Holder of two national championship rings and a Stanley Cup ring. Arguably the greatest stick handling goalie in the history of the game and an all-around nice guy. Michigan owes a big round of thanks to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
A few more of our favorite Maize n Blue Canadians after the jump....
Michigan's favorite Québécois. The big defensive lineman played hard and mean for the Michigan Football team for four seasons and is now plying his trade in the CFL. Our thanks Montreal, our French Canadian Biggie Smalls was a favorite around these parts.
You know this next guy pretty well. He scored the game winning national championship goal in 1996 to beat Colorado College, he won the Hobey Baker award in 1997, and was a three time All-American. He's had a 15 year NHL career and shows no signs of stopping any time soon. He's Michigan's career leaders in career points and career assists, by wide, wide margins. Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Michigan thanks you.
And the list goes on, and on, and on. This is just a small sampling of Canada's contribution to University of Michigan athletics. So, today, while you're planning your own Fourth of July American Independence Day celebrations, give a little nod to our neighbors to the North. They've given us quite a bit over the years.
Happy Canada Day to all our Canadian friends and heroes, from Maize n Brew.