Sooke Lions planning bigger Canada Day celebration

Residents asked for their thoughts on expanding the celebration

The Sooke Lions Club wants to celebrate Canada Day in a big way this year, but it needs your help.

The Lions have hosted Canada Day festivities at the Sooke River Flats for the last five years, and this year hope to expand the program recognizing Canada’s 150 anniversary celebration.

So far, the Lions have received support from many community groups including the Sooke Community Association, Sooke Rotary Club, Harbourside Lions, District of Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.

Now residents are asked for their thoughts on expanding the celebration and what they’d like to see and do.

“It’s a bigger nationwide celebration, and we want to make it a bigger event in Sooke,” said Al Beddows, who is co-chairing the event with fellow Lion Lorne Christensen.

“What we’re doing is looking for input from anybody who has something that they would like to do, like an act or display … something that they would like to contribute to Canada Day.”

This year’s Canada Day festivities will kick off earlier with a 9 a.m. breakfast. Opening ceremonies will be held at noon. There will be entertainment, family events, booths and displays throughout the day.

“This is for the people of Sooke, and we’re [the Lions] just the catalyst to put it on,” said Christensen, who is booking the entertainment and has announced the return of Virtual Elvis for the fifth straight year.

Canada Day has become Sooke’s largest celebration since the demise of All Sooke Day in 2002 and attracts more than 2,500 people every year.

Beddows hopes with an expanded program that Sooke residents will make a day of enjoying Canada Day activities at the Flats on July 1.

Those interested in helping with Canada Day events can call Lorne Christensen or Al Beddows at 778-425-4420 or email lionscanadaday@shaw.ca.