Canadian experiences to have: my ongoing list

Guest post by Ana Paula Bertho

After spending my first year of university at home in Brazil, this summer I’m moving to beautiful Victoria.

Packing my stuff, I realized the dreams and plans which I am also taking, especially the Canadian experiences that I would like to have!

Today I want to share some of them with you. Come with me!


1. See snow

Whaaat? Yes, you read right! Casual for some, for others extraordinary, snow is something from the movies for me. In São Paulo, my hometown, the winter temperature is around 23ºC to 10ºC in June and July and starts to increase in August.

Victoria is warmer than most other Canadian cities, but you still can enjoy 2 or 3 days of snow every winter. Or, if you prefer, a ride to the mainland is always an option.

And I want to experience the whole package: make snowmen and angels, play with snowballs and – why not?! – learn to skate on ice or snowboard. Winter Olympic games, here I go!

2. Watch a hockey match

Thinking of Canada is also thinking of hockey. The history of this sport goes back centuries and centuries ago in Europe, but it was in this country that became popular!

Beyond having fun, that’s a great opportunity to understand why this sport is a national passion and makes it possible to gather family and friends around the TV.

I am making my plans to support our UVic Vikes teams at BCIHL matches and attend Vancouver Canucks games at Rogers Arena!

3. Experience Canada Day

Canada Day is one of the most important national holidays. On every July 1st, the nation commemorates the British North America Act in 1867 that unified 4 colonies into one country: Canada. 

For a long time, this day was just a moment to wear white and red, organize a barbecue or a party, gather your beloved ones to celebrate the pride of being Canadian.

But in the last decades, it has taken on other meanings. Different groups are making their disagreement heard, contesting this official history and remembering that the foundation of the country was the result and a reason for the extermination of many people, mainly Indigenous communities. July 1st is also a day to claim for justice and reparation.

As a foreigner and a historian, I think it’s very important to know the history of the country I’m living in and what people are doing to make it a better place.                      

4. A Canadian Thanksgiving

Every second Monday of October, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. In the past related to the harvest, nowadays it is a good day to share with family and friends.

If you are an international student like me or don’t have family in Victoria, you can join a host family Thanksgiving! That’s a good opportunity to exchange cultures!

5. Halloween

Another experience from movies that I want to try is Halloween! Houses decorated with cobwebs, bats, jack-o’lanterns; colleagues and neighbors becoming wizards and monsters! Am I too old to ask for candies?


 And you: do you have any other suggestions for me?

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2 Responses

  1. Jay says:

    If I may make a suggestion for an experience, try a classic style poutine. It looks like a heart attack but it tastes like heaven and is our national dish, so you’ll die happy when it clogs the arteries in your heart lol.

    I wish you luck and fun with your experiences! Welcome to Canada!

  2. NZ says:

    Thanks for writing and best wishes with all of your Canadian goals. You asked for suggestions and mine would be to make it a goal to speak to at least five Canadians from different ages, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds, and ask them what they feel defines their Canadian experience, and what it means to them to be Canadian. I think it could be very eye-opening and give you more of a true sense of what it means to be here. 🙂 Best wishes all around!