An in-person Canada Day celebration will return to downtown Vancouver this July 1 after a two-year absence.
But the full day of activities at Canada Place—including food trucks, kids activities, musical and cultural performances, exhibits, and talks—will take place without its traditional closing fireworks display.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced today (May 19) that its 36th annual Canada Day event has been taken in a new direction, with the celebration being reimagined "in the spirit of reconciliation".
"Now named Canada Together, the event has been planned collaboratively with representatives from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations," a port authority release said. "From programming to the name and theme itself, the details of the day were carefully considered to create a welcoming experience for all people who live in this country."
The port authority said the theme for this year's festivities is “weaving together the fabric of a nation”, which was chosen in order to "honour Canada’s diversity and set an intention for the day to gather, celebrate, learn, and share".
Regarding the cancellation of the popular evening fireworks display over Burrard Inlet—which typically saw tens of thousands of viewers jammed together in Jack Poole Plaza, nearby vantage spots, and along the Coal Harbour seawalk all the way to Stanley Park, as well as all along the North Shore—the port did not mention any concerns about the rising cases of COVID-19 in the province, even though there are also no indoor events planned for this year's celebrations.
"After careful consideration, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has made the decision not to bring back the evening fireworks display for July 1 at Canada Place, due to rising costs for events, safety, and security," the release noted. "Instead, resources are being redirected into the daytime event."
“Canada Day and what it means to be Canadian has taken on a new meaning in the last year,” Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Jen Thomas said in the release. “Working alongside our relatives at Musqueam and Squamish, as well as the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, we look forward to working together on creating an inclusive event that showcases Tsleil-Waututh and Coast Salish history, culture, and values. We look forward to celebrating and sharing a piece of our community with the general public on July 1st, 2022.”
The notice also contained welcoming messages from the Musqueam Indian Band and the Squamish Nation.
The event will feature a "special message" from Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation.
Starting at 11 a.m., some of the day's activities will take place at the north point of Canada Place, which has been named the World Zone and which will feature musical performances and cultural exhibits and demonstrations from around the world. Local acts Aché Brasil and Lazy Syrup Orchestra (featuring Ashleigh Ball) are planned for this zone.
Family activities and entertainment will fill the Kids' Zone in Jack Poole Plaza during the day. Featuerd acts include Rock N’ Beau Dance Party, the annual mascot dance-off, and performances from Mom Bop, Will’s Jams, and other acts.
At the Main Stage, performances by Tsatsu Stalqyu (Coastal Wolf Pack), Spakwus Slolem (Eagle Song Dancers) with the West Vancouver Youth Orchestra, headliner Johnny Reid, the Boom Booms, Omega Mighty, Bitterly Divine, and Carsen Grey will entertain crowds all day.
Food trucks parked along Canada Place Way at the site will provide meals and snacks representative of Canada's cultural diversity.