Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

March 16, 2008 15:00 ET

Statement by the Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) on St. Patrick's Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 16, 2008) - March 17, St. Patrick's religious feast day, commemorates the anniversary of the death of Ireland's patron saint in the fifth century.

People of Irish descent around the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day and take pride in a culture blessed with a wealth of literature, theatre, and music. The day's popularity among non-Irish people has given birth to the phrase "Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day"-a sentiment lightheartedly acknowledged when the Toronto Maple Leafs donned green sweaters for a St. Patrick's Day game on Hockey Night in Canada in 1999, in recognition of their years as the Toronto St. Patricks.

In Canada, celebrations held across the country recognize the long and rich presence of the Irish in this country, which dates as far back as 1536, when fishermen from Cork travelled to Newfoundland. St. Patrick's Day was celebrated as far back as 1759 by the Irish members of the British Regiment stationed at Montreal. March 17 provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the many contributions that people of Irish origin have made to this country's diverse heritage.

As Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity), I am delighted to wish Canadians and people around the world a very happy St. Patrick's Day.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Jason Kenney, PC, MP
    Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)
    Alykhan Velshi
    Director of Communications