In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, a variety of events and displays have occurred across the country. To celebrate, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (AMJ) community is trying to break the world record for most signatures on a flag, currently set at 115,405 signatures. On 3 November and 6 November, Garneau students got the opportunity to participate in the ongoing effort.

Students sign the Canadian flag. Photo: Musawar Ahmad

During lunch on these two days, students were invited to sign a Canadian flag, which was set up at a table in the galleria, and contribute to the cause. Grade 11 student Nouman Ahmad, who is volunteering as part of the initiative, said “[The event] is to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary since Confederation by breaking the old record and making it Canada’s.”

AMJ is a community dedicated to advocating for universal human rights and has a membership of tens of millions in two hundred countries with over seventy branches in Canada. As to why they choose to celebrate by breaking a record, Grade 12 student Musawar Ahmad, who organized the initiative within Garneau, said, “Everyone celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday by doing parties and shows. Instead, we chose to do this because breaking a record would be a proud moment for all Canadians and it will become a part of history.” He also said that the initiative will continue at locations across the country until they reach their goal of 150,000 signatures, and that Garneau is only part of the thousands the community hopes will sign the flag. If they do break the record, AMJ are considering bringing the record-breaking flag to Parliament, and later donating it to a heritage community in Ottawa.

Of the students that passed by the table at lunch, many were eager to stop by and sign the flag. Grade 11 student Mariam Wafa, who signed the flag, said that she was excited to contribute to the cause. “I was happy to sign it—it’s a good opportunity for MGCI to be part of this. We could help set a world record, and that’s not just something local, or even just within Canada.”  

In addition to contributing to the record, students could also share their participation on social media. To help raise awareness about the initiative and encourage Canadians to participate, students who were asked to post a picture of themselves with one of the promotional posters on Instagram or Twitter and the hashtags #CanadaUnited and #Canada150.