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These true personal stories are like love letters to this vast and beautiful country. You'll read about winter snow and summer cottages, hockey and national spirit, wilderness and wildlife, the cultural mosaic, that famous Canadian hospitality, and everything else that makes Canada unique.

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Five great examples of the spirit of Canada on its 150th anniversary
Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada by Amy Newmark and Janet Matthews

Everyone loves Canada, and Chicken Soup for the Soul decided to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a special book about what makes Canada unique. Canadians are known for their patriotism, their warmth and hospitality, and their miles of natural wonderland. The contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada share stories about their own love and gratitude for their nation. Here are five examples of how the spirit of Canada manifests for our writers:

  1. Canadians welcome immigrants with warmth and appreciation. Shortly before she planned on fleeing war-torn Syria in a raft, Rahaf Bi reconnected with her cousin living in Canada. Her cousin promised to help Rahaf immigrate to Canada, which was accepting Syrian refugees. “Canada was truly a special place, she explained,” Rahaf says. “No other country in the world had the same program.” After a long and often terrifying journey—including a six-month stop in Turkey as her cousin completed paperwork—Rahaf arrived safely in Canada. “The day I arrived in Kelowna, British Columbia was nothing short of magical,” she says. Rahaf felt at home instantly. “And only in Canada,” she says, “just moments after arriving in my new home, would I be greeted by a rainbow.”
  2. Canadians love their wildlife. Canoeing one day, Sharon Lawrence and her field biologist husband found an injured chipmunk struggling to swim. Without hesitation, Sharon’s husband rescued and resuscitated the little creature using mouth-to-mouth. The couple brought the chipmunk—dubbed Shipwreck—home and she quickly recovered. That night, they put out food stations around the house and released her. The next morning, though, Sharon saw Shipwreck waiting by the door for food. When Sharon’s husband went outside, the chipmunk scurried up his pant leg and into his hand to snatch a peanut. “From that day on Shipwreck lived in the rock wall, imposing a peanut toll every time anyone stepped out the back door,” Sharon shares.
  3. Hockey is everyone’s common ground. Many of Julia Lucas’s dates with Dave, a divorced dad of two boys, started with going to his sons’ hockey games. And while everything was going well, Julia admitted to feeling uneasy about her role in the boys’ lives. Then at one hockey game, Dave’s ex-wife Mary Lou surprised Julia by approaching and greeting her. “Her smile was warm and reassuring as she sat down beside me,” Julia says. And the two women chatted nicely during the game. Now married to Dave for nearly forty years, Julia has become great friends with Mary Lou. “I have never once forgotten Mary Lou’s kindness, consideration and warmth at that awkward time,” Julia says. “For me, that one particular hockey game became a watershed moment, one that changed my life.”
  4. It’s a country that honors its First Nations people and traditions. At her family’s annual hunt camp, Mary Lee Moynan’s three-year-old son was badly stung by bees all over his stomach. Her neighbor, a First Nations woman named Lily, immediately came to their aid. Lily grabbed the toddler, ran into the lake with him, and smeared the clay-like sand on his stomach. Then she instructed Mary Lee and her husband to drive him to the nearest hospital. The doctor told them that what Lily did saved their son’s life. Back at camp later that night, the whole family sat by the fire. “We all sang. We gave thanks,” Mary Lee shares. “Lily’s forefathers were the first ones in our land…and we’ll be forever grateful to them for sharing their country with us.”
  5. Terry Fox lives on in the psyche of the nation. In the spring of 1980, Jacqueline Pearce was in high school as Terry Fox started his Marathon of Hope across Canada to raise awareness and funding for cancer research. Cancer was still something people whispered about, but Terry’s effort changed that. So when Jacqueline’s teenage brother was diagnosed with cancer not two years later, his disease and treatment weren’t as frightening and isolating as they could have been. “Terry’s campaign lifted the stigma and superstition associated with cancer. We could talk about what was happening,” Jacqueline says. “Terry also taught us about fighting cancer. And despite the tragic end to Terry’s own life, Terry gave us hope.” Two years later, Jacqueline and her brother, still in remission, visited Terry’s memorial. “We stood silently gazing at the statue of this real-life Canadian hero who had inspired and touched our lives,” she says. “Terry, we will never forget you.”
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