It's official: I launched my courses just now, and on Monday I'll send a note around to all the students to let them know that they can start a week early if they want. It was fun being able to feature the Canvas course cards and how to remove the color overlay since logging on at Canvas is what the students will be doing as part of their first assignment. Last year we had both D2L and Canvas going; this year is our first all-Canvas year, so I told the students to spread the word to their other instructors about the Canvas course cards, something nice we could never do with D2L.
I do my Online Course Announcements as a blog, and it's also the Canvas course homepage. And I'll report back here when the first student blogs are up and running! That might even be today; you never know with students — if they happen to be poking around in Canvas today, they will see that the course is open. :-)