Happy Birthday Canada, from Caaden

Caaden Markwell worked for three months to make a Happy Birthday card for CanadaCaaden Markwell asked all the Sunnyside Elementary School students  to sign his birthday card for Canada Caaden Markwell used the back of the card to include some iconic Canadian symbols
By: 
Matthew McCully
Staff Writer

When Caaden Markwell heard that this year Canada was celebrating 150 years of confederation, he decided immediately that he should make a card to wish the country a happy birthday.
Some readers may remember young Caaden and his go big or go home attitude.
Last year he and his family organized a garage sale to raise funds for the victims of the fires in Fort McMurray.
The Record interviewed Caaden before the event and asked him how much he hoped to raise. Without batting an eye, he replied, “$10,000.”
While his goal seemed ambitious, with the help of his family and a community inspired by his determination, the garage sale snowballed into a Red Cross donation close to $8,000.
Caaden has once again proven that with a good idea and enough determination, anything can be accomplished.
His Canada birthday card is a far cry from anything you could find in a store.
“You have to build a card like this,” he said, explaining that he worked for three months to create the card.
The front features a maple tree with 150 leaves, one for each year of confederation, each glued separately.
Caaden said that when he first started working on the project some of his letters and numbers were backwards.
“Every time I made a mistake I crumpled the leaf,” he said, and started again.
“That’s 600 numbers,” commented Caaden, pointing to the tree.
As if the front of the card weren’t enough work on its own, Caaden didn’t stop there.
He organized a meeting with Mr. Weary, his Principal at Sunnyside Elementary School, to ask if it would be alright for all of the students in the school to sign the card.
Once he got the green light, he had all eight grades in the school write their names on giant maple leaves, which he glued onto the inside of the card, accompanied by a bilingual Happy Birthday.
On Wednesday, Caaden brought the card to school to show the students and teachers at Sunnyside.
According to the eight-year-old, the students lined up to see it, and Mr. Weary took two pictures of the birthday card.
The back of most cards you would find in a store are usually blank or simply have a company logo.
Caaden couldn’t pass up an opportunity to add to his creation.
The back of the card has a map of Canada’s provinces and territories with two beavers remarking on the grandeur of the country.
The lyrics to O Canada are also on the card, as well as pictures of Parliament with blooming tulips and special Canada Day stamps.
Caaden also included a picture of a totem pole out of respect for the country’s first nations.
Caaden explained that he used any recycled materials he could find to add to the decorations, including a t-shirt he cut up for the lettering on the front.
Caaden’s grandmother, Lorrayne Markwell, said Caaden worked on the card every day after his homework, which required a lot of focus and attention.
In addition to helping with his writing and numbers, Markwell said Caaden also learned a lot about Canada and its history. As he was making the leaves for each year, Markwell would often point out something significant that happened that year.
“1980 was the year my dad was born,” Caaden pointed out.
When asked what he planned to do with the card, Caaden explained that he had learned about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and local Compton-Stanstead Member of Parliament and Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau.
Caaden’s logical conclusion was that Mme. Bibeau could deliver the card ‘to Canada’ for him.
She happily obliged. A meeting has been set up for Caaden to present Canada’s birthday card to Mme. Bibeau, hoping she will pass it on to the PM.
Caaden already has a special outfit picked out for the meeting, including a special Canada hat and t-shirt.

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