Fireworks, music, multicultural food, children’s activities, street hockey, parades, buskers and a living Canadian flag are just a few of the sights and sounds of the Canada Day weekend in the capital region.
Communities big and small are welcoming visitors and locals as they host celebrations for Canada’s 146th birthday Monday. In Victoria and Sidney, revellers can kick off the festivities a day earlier, on Sunday. Here are the major events:
City of Victoria
Sunday and Monday
Victoria celebrates Canada Day with two days of family-friendly events.
Sunday: Entertainment runs from noon to 7 p.m. at the Zone Stage at Ship Point. Artists include Cynthia Davis and Isobel Trigger.
Monday: Choose from performances on two stages: Entertainers begin performing on the main stage on the legislature lawn at 3 p.m., with artists such as B.C.-based trio Hey Ocean! They will be joined by Quebec singer-songwriter Caracol, Victoria’s Kathryn Calder and Victoria-based Acres of Lions. The last act starts at 9:30 p.m.
The Zone stage at Ship Point runs from noon to 9 p.m. Artists include the Royal Canadians, Masala and Rococode.
You can also check out the Kids Zone on the legislature lawn, which opens at noon. Youngsters will enjoy Juno-nominated band the Kerplunks and their high-energy, foot-tapping sounds.
The popular “living flag,” where up to 2,000 people don red or white T-shirts to form a human Canadian flag, returns Monday. Pick up shirts at 12:30 p.m. The photo on the legislature lawn is at 2 p.m.
The Flavour of Canada, an international food village featuring Jewish, Mexican, Greek, Indian, Hungarian and other cuisine, runs both days.
Green initiatives include food vendors using biodegradable food containers and ample recycling opportunities on site. It opens at 11 a.m. both days at Ship Point.
There will also be a bicycle valet service, with a safe place for people to lock up their bikes.
Activities take place at the Inner Harbour. Belleville Street from Menzies to Douglas will be closed Monday from 10 a.m. to midnight. Government Street from Humboldt to Superior will be closed Monday from 4 p.m. to midnight.
Sunday and Monday
Sidney also has two days of Canada Day celebrations.
Sunday: Celebrations for Sidney Days kick off with an early dinner (4 to 6 p.m.) on the beach. Starting at 7:45 p.m. there is live entertainment, cake and fireworks set to music at dusk.
(Aficionados can take advantage of three straight days of fireworks: On Saturday night, Butchart Gardens offers its first weekly fireworks display of the season with paid admission, then there’s Sidney’s show on Sunday night, and the Inner Harbour finale on Monday.)
Sidney Days events take place at the Beacon Pavilion at Beacon Park, in front of the Pier Hotel.
Monday: A pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. at the Mary Winspear Centre. The Sidney Days Parade winds along Beacon Avenue starting at 11 a.m. A Family Fun Fair runs from noon to 3 p.m. The fair includes road hockey, kids’ inflatable obstacle course, games, face-painting and a dog show at 1:30 p.m. The fair and dog show take place at Iroquois Park, Ocean Avenue and Fifth Street.
For more information, go to peninsulacelebrations.ca.
The day starts with a pancake breakfast followed by a parade. There will be 23 food vendors, a main stage for performers, canoe rides, an artisan market, art display, road hockey, a classic car show, buskers and a strawberry tea.
Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. along the Gorge waterway between Tillicum and Admirals. Gorge Road is closed to traffic along that stretch for the day.
For more information, go to gorgecanadaday.ca.
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard National Historic Site
Canada Day is the only day of the year admission is free to the national historic site in Colwood. Celebrations include live music, a birthday cake and activities for children. Visitors can explore the 153-year-old Fisgard Lighthouse or the fortress plotting room throughout the day.
Access to heritage buildings and other historic sites is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Thrifty Foods Saltspring Canada Day festivities include a classic car show, live music, games, crafts and kids zone.
A black-powder cannon goes off at noon, followed by a birthday cake at 12:30 p.m. People can watch or participate in the Island Star beachball toss in the afternoon. A fireworks display caps the day around 11 p.m.
Festivities begin at 10 a.m. at Centennial Park in downtown Ganges.
For information, go to saltspringchamber.com.
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