It’s Canada’s birthday and a party is in order! Whether you want to dance for hours with thousands of other folks or keep it more low-key, there’s an event that will be perfect for your family. Here are 10 places to celebrate Canada Day 2011.
1. Canada Place
Canada Day celebrations in Vancouver will be centered around Canada Place, with fun stuff going on all day long, from 8:00 a.m. outdoor yoga to fireworks over Burrard Inlet at 10:30 p.m. Patriotic activities include the Faces of Canada exhibition, a collection of portraits of influential and famous Canadians, a special citizenship ceremony, singing “Oh Canada” at 12:00 p.m. and the relighting of the Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza.
2. Granville Island
Another great place to celebrate Canada Day 2011 is on Granville Island. Watch a parade, tuck into a giant pancake breakfast, watch an official Canada Day Ceremony and soak up the live jazz and street performers. There’s even a False Creek Ferry Ballet! Very Granville Island.
3. Surrey Canada Day
The biggest Canada Day celebration in western Canada happens in Surrey, where over 100,000 people join in the festivities. Highlights include the Shooting Stars Midway and headliners such as Trooper, Elise Estrada, The Freshest DJ Collective, Lisa Brokop and Music with Marnie. Held in the Cloverdale Millenium Amphitheatre, this huge event is free and sure to be a blast.
4. Yaletown Grand Prix
The best way to top off a weekend of Canada Day celebrations, the Yaletown Grand Prix starts racing through downtown Vancouver at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 3. This race has been a hit since the first event in 2004 attracted thousands of spectators. Competitors range from novice racers to Olympic athletes, and the speed and narrow streets make for a thrilling race.
5. Fireworks in Burrard Inlet
This year’s two-barge fireworks display in Burrard Inlet will dazzle and delight kids of all ages. Viewing spots include the Stanley Park seawall on the East and West sides of the park, Coal Harbour, Lonsdale Quay, Kitsilano, Jericho and UBC. You can also purchase a ticket to the View for Change spectator area, which gives you unobstructed views of the display and access to washrooms. Tickets are $10 and support Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security for Children program. Children 12 and under are free.
6. Steveston Salmon Festival
Celebrate Canada Day in Steveston style at the Steveston Salmon Festival. The day kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with a parade, followed by an official opening ceremony. Then the famous salmon barbeque begins at 11am, where over 1,200 pounds of wild salmon fillets are grilled over open fire pits. Don’t be late, because the salmon sells out every year! Other highlights include a Children’s Festival, mini midway, craft fair and Japanese cultural show.
7. Canada Day Parade
Vancouver’s 3rd annual Canada Day Parade will be happening in the evening this year, between 7:00-8:00 p.m. After a day spent celebrating at Canada Place, take a while to enjoy the parade before the fireworks display! Parade displays will be highlighting Canada’s diversity, multiculturalism, freedom and that indescribable Canadian-ness. The parade begins at Georgia and Broughton, then heads east to Granville Street, north up Granville Street and finishes at Hastings Street.
8. Canada Day At Burnaby Village Museum
There’s a Canada Day party happening at the Burnaby Village Museum, with historic displays and demonstrations as well as a parade, musicians, entertainers and, of course, the Carousel. All of the festivities are set against the backdrop of the 1920’s village streets. Canada’s birthday cake will be served at 2:30 p.m., and the day ends with a series of French Canadian dances by Traditions.
9. Canada Day at Fort Langley National Historic Site
Learn about the history of settlement in the Lower Mainland while celebrating Canada’s 144th birthday at the Fort Langley National Historic Site. Talk with the costumed interpreters, try on period clothing and be an settler for a day while enjoying the Canada Day festivities and birthday cake.
10. Canada Day at Queen’s Park
Enjoy the excellent playground at Queen’s Park while enjoying the Canada Day celebrations, including music in the bandshell, activities for the kids, and of course, happy Canada Day cake! Finish the day off by enjoying the fireworks display off Westminster Quay.
No matter where you celebrate Canada Day, it’s a perfect time to relax with family, soak up the summer sun and reflect on our shared Canadian heritage. Have a great day, eh!
Michelle Carchrae is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom to two girls. With a serious love for Vancouver and an equally serious need to get out of the house with two young kids, Michelle searches out the best kid and parent friendly places to go. Michelle also writes about parenting at her blog, The Parent Vortex.
Michelle Carchrae is often asking those important life questions: "who moved the scissors?", "how would you do that differently next time?" and "are you finished with the glitter glue?" Homeschooling two girls, ages 6 and 3, is her full time job. The rest of the time Michelle can be found blogging at The Parent Vortex, hiking in the forest or knitting and reading simultaneously. She recently published her first ebook, The Parenting Primer: A guide to positive parenting in the first six years, and moved to Bowen Island.