As an immigrant, Canada Day has a special place in my heart. It brings out the pride of being a Canadian – from the sea of people dressed in red and white, maple leaf flags, to the national anthem. The 150th anniversary of Confederation is even more special – it’s once in a life time – well, of course, it will never happen again. And being able to actually organize an event around Canada 150 is beyond imagination.

Excitement aside, the actual preparation work is nothing short of surprises. With only 3½ months to put the national event together, it was very challenging considering venue, production, program, dignitary invitation, cultural performances, volunteers etc. all have to be taken care of from scratch.

It has always been the top priority of the Legacy 150 Celebration Society to host a simultaneous drumming event across Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in style. Immediately, there is a deadline and a huge challenge of hosting this big birthday party across eight cities and five time zones. It is one of the very few, if not the only, events to take on such a challenge.

On top of that, the committee also decides that it would be nice to set a new Guinness World Record™ of “Most Nationalities in a Drum Circle (single venue)”. The pressure is mounting as there are many moving parts and one big, hard deadline!

The rest is history. We achieved the challenge of drumming for six minutes across eight cities and five time zones with very multicultural participants. The roaring of the drums, whether they were Aboriginal, African, Chinese, Indian, Korean, will forever resonate in our hearts.

The media expressed keen interest and gave us extensive coverage

Although we didn’t achieve a record this time, we’ve won many hearts and friendship. We are forever grateful to the many drummers who gave their best sportsmanship, time, and efforts to this event. From the cute couple from Australia to the gentleman from Guernsey, we can feel the energy and the unconditional love and passion. They are only here for a short vacation but they decided to spend valuable time with us to help us accomplish our goal. And, of course, there are immigrants from all walks of life who took part, reflecting the diversity and inclusiveness of our country.

For the days leading up to July 1st, drummers already knew we didn’t have enough nationalities to set the record. Instead of giving up hope, they looked up their phone books, invited friends, and sent out pleads on social media. On the morning of Canada Day, they could have stayed home or taken part in other activities; instead they showed up early for the final practice and then drummed for the entire five minutes in an exemplary manner. What else can we expect from these complete strangers?

With all said and done, there is unfinished business. Stay tuned…