I’m one of several thousand Canadian kids of my generation that have American parentage due to the Vietnam War. It’s a story so common that Doug Coupland referenced it in “Shampoo Planet”, where the protagonist and narrator has been born on a Gulf Island commune to American parents who have left in protest. I don’t know how many of those Canadians come back to the States, because every Canadian has different reasons for staying or leaving the home country, but that circumstance of American parentage was what qualified me for US citizenship, and the freedom to move to L.A. without the red tape and visa hoops.
I do know that there’s thousands more Canadians in Los Angeles. They come here for school, for work, for love. We come for the industries, for film, television, music. But because Canadians tend to blend in, and because there’s so many people in L.A. from all over the United States, it’s hard to tell who’s Canadian, as opposed to just being from a northern state. I’ve heard that there are six-figure numbers of Canadians in greater L.A., I just haven’t run across more than a dozen of them since I’ve been here.
So to all the Canadians out there who celebrated Canada Day yesterday, I would like to salute you, and wish you a slightly belated Canada Day. I, myself, threw a Canada Day party, served Nanaimo bars and rye-and-gingers, and blasted Metric and New Pornographers and the Tragically Hip until the neighbors complained. I hope all of you who are out there are in better shape than I am, and that your celebrations were as, well, celebratory as mine.
Next year though, I may just go to a SoCal Canadian Expat celebration. It would certainly save the half hour I spent picking up Molson bottles from all over my apartment this morning.