Before 1982 Canada Day had been known as Dominion Day, First of July, Confederation Day, and July the First.

Canada Day celebrates the events that occurred on July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act created the Canadian federal government. The BNA Act proclaimed "one Dominion under the name of Canada," hence the original title of the holiday, "Dominion Day." Dominion Day was officially renamed "Canada Day" by an Act of Parliament on October 27, 1982. This change reflected the policy of successive governments to downplay Canada's colonial origins. Canada's national celebration is always observed on July 1, unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case it is observed the following day.

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