Canada Day Celebrations

canada_dayCanada Day. July 1st. In history, this day marks the joining of The British Colonies of Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada into a federation.  Although in the past, this holiday has been less of a party, and more of a long weekend. However, in recent years, festivals, races, parties, and sheer tom-foolery have begun taking place every July 1st. This post however, is not here to bore you with history. I’m just going to dive in head first and list the most well known celebrations’ on Canada Day.

Canada Rocks the Capital!
Parliament Hill,
Ottawa Ontario

This is THE party to be at. If you happen to be near the Capital of Canada on or around July 1st,canada_day do yourself a favour and check out Parliament Hill. This is by far the most massive party you can find on Canada Day.

9:30 am – Flag-Raising Ceremony
10 am – Changing the Guard
10:30 am – RCMP Musical Ride
12:10 pm – The Canada Day Poster Challenge2009
Noon to 1:30pm – The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages invites you to join the Governor General, the Prime Minister and thousands of Canadians on Parliament Hill to mark Canada’s hosting of the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Once you get through all the formalities the parties will commence. Beer gardens, games, events, concerts, etc.

Concerts this year include:  Sarah McLachlan, Gordie Johnson with The Respectables, Marie-Mai, Shane Yellowbird, Marie-Jo Thério, Cirque Fantastic Concept, Hannah Georgas, Said The Whale, Nico Archambault, AlexWells, K’naan, Cassiopée, Chic Gamine and the Canadian Tenors.

The fireworks will begin shortly after 10pm and are definitely worth checking out. Buses are free after 10pm so don’t be so quick to refuse those shots of Canadian Club Whiskey. For more information on the Party on Parliament Hill, check out their website.

Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York
Friendship Festival Sloan_1

A joint festival between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York. Part Canada Day, Part Independence Day, Part “Put down our differences and eat a corn-dog together”. This festival is typically geared towards families, as there are lots of children’s events. However, if you’re looking to have a beer with a couple strangers, stop by the beer gardens, cold beer is on tap all day.

Concerts include: David Wilcox, The Trews (Must see if you’ve never!), Rides Again, Crash Karma, The Ending

For more information on the Friendship Festival check out their website

Granville Island, Vancouver, BC

Come and savour the food from across the globe at the 4th annual Canada Day festivities. They have musicians from around the world, including many local talents, dancers, activities, and of course the delicious food. Admission is free.

Granville Island has several events taking place around it on Canada Day, if you’re “Out & Aboot” on this day, you’ll be sure to find something worth stopping and checking out.

For more information check out their website

2009 Surrey Canada Day Surrey Canada Day 2008
Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre, Surrey, BC
176 Street & 64th Avenue

Tickets = FREE

Surrey is proud to feature a stage packed with music from all over Canada. The party starts at 10am and proceeds until 11pm. Bands this year include: You Say Party! We Say Die!, Dan Mangan, Current Swell, Wild Moccassins, Now Or Never Bboy Crew, and healine bands 54-40 & Bif Naked.

For more information on the event check out their website

Canada Day Halifax / Dartmouth NS
All over / Dartmouth WaterfrontHalifax Harbour - Canada Day

Find something red & white, and make your way to Halifax for some good ol’ fashioned Canada Day fun. Enjoy a pancake breakfast, scream Oh Canada from the top of Citadel Hill and watch the Tattoo Parade in downtown Halifax. After all the daytime activities have died down, head to the free outdoor concert on Dartmouth Waterfront featuring Nova Scotias own Joel Plaskett, and other Canadian artists. Top the night off with some Fireworks over Halifax Harbour at 10 pm and you’ve got yourself an authentic Canada Day.

Visit their website for more information
Whether you can make it to any of these events or not, you’re sure to find something going on pretty much everywhere in Canada on July 1st. There’s not a city in Canada without a couple fireworks, a free concert, a beach to hang out on, or a bar to get drunk in. So find a Canada Flag, some face paint, and some fellow people to celebrate on behalf of this great country.

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