There won’t be a crowded legislature lawn or a living flag, but Victorians still get a Canada Day celebration come July 1.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s 153rd birthday will be celebrated virtually, featuring music and performances from local groups as well as crowd-sourced community content. The Lekwungen Dancers will be among the featured performers, and community members can participate in the ceremony themselves by uploading a 20-second video where they share what it means to them to be Canadian or sing ‘O Canada.’
“It’s important, as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, to bring people together in any way that we can,” said Mayor Lisa Helps during a Friday press conference. “The online Victoria Canada Day celebration this year will allow us to do that.”
The one-hour virtual event is funded federally through the Canadian Heritage’s Celebrate Canada program, which is providing $50,000. The City is using $25,000 from its allocated Canada Day funds but by going virtual will save the $107,000 that traditionally pays for policing the event.
That money is being used to bolster a COVID-19 recovery grant program.
Helps said she would address the nation’s history of colonialism if she has the chance to speak at the event.
“Canada is a wonderful place for many reasons and that Canada Day deserves celebrating, but also Canada Day, for many of the nations within the country, is a very painful day,” Helps said. “Our country does have a very challenging historical legacy that does need to be addressed.
“If I get an opportunity to speak, this year, on Canada Day, I’ll make some of those comments. It is a great place to live, not a great place to live for everyone. There is still work to do.”
The Canada Day celebrations can be accessed through the City of Victoria website on July 1 at 7 p.m.
Details on performers and more will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information visit canadadayvictoria.ca.
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