With many details still being worked out, Victoria says its Canada Day celebration will once again include fireworks, but this year’s events will also have a strong focus on the inclusion of local First Nations and highlighting multiculturalism.
Mayor Lisa Helps updated the preliminary Canada Day plans during the city’s Jan. 20 committee of the whole meeting.
A multicultural street fair and festival with artisan vendors will kick off Victoria’s events, running from noon to 8 p.m. Government Street between Humboldt and Belleville streets will be closed, along with a stretch of Belleville between Douglas and Menzies streets.
Helps said the city will work with a number of local groups to ensure the street fair is “as vibrant and inclusive as possible.”
Music will be played from a main stage at Ship Point beginning at 4 p.m. That location was chosen because the city expects people will want to protest at the B.C. legislature – where pairs of shoes graced the building’s steps for months last year to honour the Indigenous children who didn’t get to come home.
Helps said there’s been discussion about a canoe protocol taking place, with Ship Point being the endpoint.
It’s proposed there could then be a ceremonial opening of the music stage that would be performed by Lekwungen dancers.
Helps plans to reach out to the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations to get more details on what their communities would like to do and how they want to participate and shape the day.
Instead of the national anthem, the plan is to have Lekwungen music playing during the fireworks display.
The public can expect various opportunities to participate and engage in the events, but the proposed plans are preliminary and more details will come.
The Canada Day subcommittee, which includes some councilors and city staff, was given authority by council to plan the day’s events.
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