There’s a variety of Canada Day events going on throughout Greater Victoria this year.
Celebrations are returning after hiatuses in Sooke and Saanich, while Langford is hosting its first-ever of Canada Day events within the community.
Victoria’s Canada Day celebrations will include an array of Indigenous and international music and dance performances.
The day is set to start with an Indigenous traditional canoe protocol and welcome ceremony by the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers.
“We’re so excited to be working with Central Walk to host an event that will honour the Lekwungen people, their lands and culture and offer a fun, family-friendly and inclusive event that reflects the diversity of our community and our country,” Mayor Lisa Helps said in a release.
The acts taking to the main stage include Indigenous blues artist Garret T. Willie, award-winning finger-style guitarist Don Alder, Capital City Syncopators, Claire Coupland, Pedro Cardenas & the West Coast Cuban All Stars, Vox Rea and Marafani World Beat.
La Société Francophone de Victoria is also bringing award-winning Montreal-based singer-songwriter Joyce N’sana over for the show. In support of Ukraine, the Veselka Ukrainian Dancers and the Kalyna Ukrainian Choir will also be performing.
The Gorge Canada Day Picnic is returning after its COVID hiatus from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on July 1 along the Gorge Waterway. The event stretches along Gorge Road West from Tillicum Road to Admirals Road which will include pancakes, a parade, car show and voyageur canoe rides. The Lekwungen Traditional Dancers will also be performing at the Gorge, along with other musical acts both on stage and busking.
Langford is hosting a family-friendly mixture of events at Starlight Stadium on July 1. Events will be running from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., including live music with local musician Vince Vaccaro headlining, a hot wing eating contest, K9 unit demonstrations by West Shore RMCP, as well as Langford Fire Rescue hosting a firefighter obstacle course. There’ll also be a family movie screening on the turf.
The city is also working with local Indigenous relations consultant Charla Huber on including a presentation from First Nations groups.
Sooke’s Canada Day events will look different than in previous years with logistical challenges.
After a three-year hiatus for Canada Day events, the West Coast Lumberjack Shows have been cancelled due to a last-minute scheduling problem. There also won’t be any fireworks over fire concerns and the lack of black powder worldwide.
Up the peninsula, the celebrations start with Sidney Days on June 30 with live music at 7:30 p.m. at Beacon Park, followed by fireworks scheduled for 10:15 p.m. On July 1, Sidney Lions will host a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Mary Winspear Centre. Then the Canada Day Parade down Beacon Avenue will get underway at 11:30 a.m. followed by a Family Fun Fair from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in downtown Sidney.
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