‘A pretty big event’: Riverview Health Centre hosts 4th New Year’s fireworks

With The Forks not hosting its usual New Year’s Eve festivities this year, Winnipeggers may be looking elsewhere for some celebratory fireworks to ring in 2024.

People in the south part of the city are welcome to check out the display at the Riverview Health Centre.

The palliative care facility began hosting New Year’s fireworks in 2020 in memory of one of their residents.

“When she passed, they wanted to do something to recognize the staff and to give something special back to the patients and residents,” said Bridgette Parker, executive director of the Riverview Health Centre Foundation. “So we’ve been very fortunate to have Cushman & Wakefield Stevenson sponsor the fireworks for the last four years.”

Parker said the annual display has become a favourite for Riverview residents, who must often give up some of their holiday traditions when they move in to the health centre. She said the fireworks offer an opportunity for residents to celebrate the holidays just like everyone else.

Area residents are free to gather outside the health centre, located at 1 Morley Avenue, at 8 p.m. Sunday evening to enjoy the show.

“Actually in talking to community members, I found out that there are also people who sit along the bank of the river in Norwood flats and enjoy the fireworks from there,” Parker added. “Apparently the view is spectacular.”

Looking ahead to 2024, Parker said the 27-year-old building is already under extensive renovation, which will continue into the new year.

“We will be redeveloping all of our tub rooms into beautiful, relaxing master suites and really focus on shifting to more of a person-directed living model of care,” Parker said. “Which allows folks to have more options available to them with regards to how they’re spending their time here at Riverview.”

Fireworks displays are also being held at three other locations in Winnipeg.

Transcona residents can watch the show at Oxford Heights Community Centre, 359 Dowling Avenue E., at 8 p.m. In the Norwood Flats, people can watch fireworks at the Champlain Community Centre, 282 Niverville Avenue, at 8:30 p.m.

Finally, the Ethiopian Cultural Centre at 215 Selkirk Avenue is lighting their fireworks after 9 p.m.

Parker believes fireworks are still an important part of the New Year’s celebration.

“Bringing in a new year is a pretty big event,” she said. “And it’s nice to be able to continue that tradition for the community of Riverview and the greater community that supports the work that we do here.”

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