3 Things for Canada


We are in the midst of our sesquicentennial—the 150th anniversary of Confederation—and I find myself with two goals.

The first is to say and write the word sesquicentennial as often as possible. Seriously, it’s super fun. Grab a pen and write it into this page right now. I’m sure the next person to read this after you won’t mind.

The second is to encourage every Canadian to do a very Canadian thing: give an anniversary gift to the nation—a gift of service. Imagine if every Canadian did just three things for their neighbourhood, their nation, and their world in 2017. Over the course of a year, we’ll have done over 100 million acts of community building. Over 3 million acts in Calgary alone!

3 Things for Canada (www.ThreeThingsforCanada.ca) is all about doing just that. It helps us consider what gifts of service we can give to our nation—be they large or small—by considering our own passions and how we can help. What you do is up to you. Shoveling a neighbour’s sidewalk, hosting a community BBQ, volunteering for a non-profit that is making a difference around the world, taking a role on your community association, running for office. Your 3 Things for Canada are limited only by your imagination.

In this time when it may seem dark in many parts of the world—when hearts, minds, and borders may be closing—the world needs Canada more than ever. It needs our capacity to do great things be they large and small.

So let’s get out there and celebrate our sesquicentennial the best way we know how. Because Canada, and the world, deserves it.

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Naheed Nenshi, A’paistootsiipsii, was sworn in as Calgary's 36th mayor on October 25, 2010 and was re-elected in 2013 and 2017. Mayor Nenshi holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction) from the University of Calgary, where he was President of the Students' Union, and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he studied as a Kennedy Fellow.