Communities have been making plans to bring back larger events to mark Canada Day.
Activities in 2021 were particularly subdued, as news broke of unmarked graves found across the country at former residential schools. But also, since 2020, the pandemic and public health measures have meant larger events either weren’t appropriate or not allowed.
This is the first year since 2019 that communities can hold larger events on July 1.
Prior to the pandemic there had always been two separate events held in Greater Sudbury to mark Canada Day.
One was always held at Science North, and another at the Sudbury Community Arena hosted by the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association.
The two started a partnership in 2020 to hold a virtual Canada Day celebration. That continued again in 2021.
“It’s great that we’re coming together and doing this together,” said Ryan Land, director of education and northern programs at Science North.
“I mean that really is the theme of the day: celebrating that coming together and community and diversity,” he added.
The two partners will hold just one outdoor event, on the grounds of the science centre, with cultural entertainment, food and craft vendors and Science North’s Blue Coats holding demonstrations.
About a dozen cultural groups are on tap to perform, said Judy Cartman, the vice-chair of the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association.
“We feel it’s very important that all the different groups can show off who they are, what they are, and I think it’s important for our whole community to understand each other and to live together,” she said.
Cartman is a little disappointed that just four cultural food vendors came forward.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome people back with our community partners to Canada Day, and we can’t wait to celebrate with people,” Land said.
The day caps off in Greater Sudbury with fireworks at 10 p.m.
North Bay celebrates at waterfront
The City of North Bay is returning to Canada Day activities, mostly planned around the community’s waterfront.
Bryan Kimber, the city’s community development co-ordinator, said the day will start with a road race, followed by opening ceremonies at 12 p.m. Entertainment is planned throughout the afternoon.
The Canada Day festivities will cap off with fireworks at dusk.
Kimber understands not everyone is comfortable with larger crowds or ready to make it a festive celebration.
“We know that, and we recognize that this day holds a different meaning for a lot of different people throughout the country,” he said.
“We’re just hoping that people come down and celebrate and enjoy a good day of fun, kids’ activities and entertainment at our waterfront.”
Timmins celebrates at Hollinger Park
This is the first year Tourism Timmins has teamed up with the Timmins Community Park Association (TCPA) to plan Canada Day events for the City of Timmins.
TCPA president Mark Rogers says they’ve got a family fun day planned at Hollinger Park.
“It’s great to see things coming back to life. It’s great to see people out in the park enjoying the way things are supposed to be,” Rogers said.
“We’re about family fun and fitness and getting families out to do stuff.”
The TCPA also is responsible for the skating path at the park in the winter.
Rogers said he enjoys seeing families out celebrating Canada’s birthday.
“In my opinion we do live in one of the best countries in the world,” he said.
The Canada Day Family Fun Day runs from noon to 4pm in Hollinger Park, with a barbecue, a DJ and various family-friendly activities.
The fireworks display from Rampant Fireworks will be visible from the shores of Porcupine Lake.
Sault celebrates at Roberta Bondar Pavilion
CBC also reached out to the City of Sault Ste Marie.
A spokesperson said Canada Day festivities will return to the Roberta Bondar Park Tent Pavilion, with opening ceremonies at 2 p.m.
That will be followed by entertainment and attractions throughout the day, with food vendors and children’s activities available and fireworks at dusk.