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Our Canadian Brand Essence - By Andrea Shillington

By:  Andrea Shillington

February 28th, 2010 marked the day of something new, something special, something found in us all. It will be remembered as the day our Canadian pride reached an all time emotional high. All across the world, people gathered, and Canada’s national pride came to life with a “Go Canada”.

I was fortunate to be one of the many people pouring onto the streets of downtown Vancouver, just minutes after Crosby scored the golden goal for Canada. Entranced by the smiles, random hugs, high-fives, cheers and the instant friends gained. I was infected by the natural high of our shared joy.

Looking back on my pictures of Vancouver’s streets, from the opening ceremonies to closing, it’s evident that something changed. What few high fives I gave and received on the first day of the Olympics, became thousands on the last. What streets were once crowded in dark winter wear, turned to a sea of red and white. What Canadian wear was once a memento turned into a patriotic fashion parade: flags as capes and maple leaf makeup. Anything really, as long as it was red and white.

Post gold, I can’t help but wonder what it was? At first, it was our athlete’s perseverance and courage that struck an emotional chord. Then the sunny skies that put a spotlight over our lands picturesque backdrop and throughout it all, moments on the podium turned us all into winners.

But, what piece of the Olympic magic can we hold onto beyond this day? What is it that makes us so proud to be Canadian? What momentum can we continue to build in our great country? What makes us different than any other nation in the world? What binds us at our maple leaf-loving core?

Please share your thoughts with us. Let’s continue to build what we started.


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