Canada Day celebrations expected to push forward despite rainy weather

The rainy weather forecasted for Canada Day in southern Manitoba may shift a few people’s plans, but community organizers are moving forward with their scheduled celebrations in Winnipeg. 

Zohreh Gervais, executive director of the Osborne Village BIZ said there will be tons of family activities at The Bell Tower on 150 Osborne Street and live music venues who are excited to open their doors or patios on July 1. 

“They are all hopefully not going to get rained out tomorrow,” she said on CBC Radio’s Weekend Morning Show with Nadia Kidwai on Sunday. “We are praying for sunshine.”

Gervais said she’s excited to resume Canada Day celebrations at Osborne Village after a multiple-year hiatus. 

“We really wanted to bring that for the community. I’ve heard from so many people that that was something people really missed,” she said. 

The Métis duo TiBert et Douzie will start the celebratory events in Osborne Village with a storytelling session at 1 p.m. followed by circus acts and performances from bluegrass bands The Spectacles and the Dirty Catfish Brass Band. 

The Forks will be hosting events from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. which includes a slam dunk competition and the final game of Basketball Manitoba’s three-day tournament, skateboarding demonstrations and workshops with the Graffiti Gallery and Pitikwé. 

The Winnipeg Sea Bears will also be on site to greet visitors during the day.

A man smiles at the camera
The Forks’ communications manager Zach Peters invites people to celebrate diversity and reflect on Canada’s history of colonialism this year on July 1. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Zach Peters, the communications manager at The Forks, said this year’s events build on a framework of acknowledging Canada through a lens of reconciliation. 

“It really is about recognizing that everybody has different approaches and feelings toward what Canada Day is,” he said. 

Peters said it’s a day to celebrate the country’s diversity while reflecting on its history and what it means to move forward as a community.  

He said The Forks has partnered with 2Spirit Manitoba and Tunngasugit Resource Centre who will host a panel with youth and Indigenous Elders in addition to Inuit game demonstrations and throat singing. 

Meanwhile, Knowledge Keeper Cree Crowchild will be hosting Fire Teachings at the Indigenous Peoples Garden Fire Node from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Assiniboine Park. 

“That is a really great opportunity for people to come and learn and really understand that part of the Indigenous culture,” Bruce Keats said, who is the chief operations officer at the park. 

A man wearing a black suit with a blue tie outside.
Bruce Keats, chief operating officer of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, said he is excited to watch the Canadian citizenship ceremony at the park, which starts at 11 a.m. on Canada Day. (Daniel Igne-Jajalla/CBC News)

While a variety of family friendly activities will take place on the main field near the Lyric Theatre, Keats said he is especially excited to watch people officially receive their Canadian citizenship at a ceremony in the morning. 

“My partner is actually becoming a Canadian citizen, so I am really looking forward to that tomorrow and for them to be participating in the celebrations,” he said. 

“If people haven’t come and experienced that, that is truly a magical opportunity to see new Canadians officially become Canadians.”

Throughout the weekend, approximately 70 vendors set up tables at the third annual Tyndall Community Market on 2255 King Edward Street, Lou Alarkon, one of the organizers, said on Saturday. 

She said the market is all about food, culture, fun and representing Winnipeg’s diverse community. 

“This is an opportunity for food trucks, local businesses, young entrepreneurs to basically get the exposure and basically market themselves to the community,” Alarkon said. 

Fireworks will wrap up the evening celebrations at the Tyndall Community Market, Alarkon said. 

Community members can also watch fireworks at Princess Auto Stadium, Assiniboia Downs, Burland Park and Sage Creek.