The District of Kitimat is scaling back Canada Day celebrations this year.
Events like the Canada Day live updates, the super soaker water fight tour with the Mayor, and the most patriotic Canada Day house decoration contest won’t be hosted this year out of respect following the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential school sites.
“This is something that we as a nation and as a society need to recognize, acknowledge, grieve, and work towards rectifying. It is with this sentiment that the District of Kitimat will scale back Canada Day celebrations this year,” the District of Kitimat stated in a release.
However, other items like the Canada Day stage shows, the Canada Day fireworks, the Canada Day balloon extravaganza show, the international food fair, kids play areas, busker stations, mechanical bull ridings, and other Canada Day concerts – which are more celebratory events, could have been potentially reinstated since cancelling them last year, but the district decided against it out of respect for all those whose lives have been taken or been forever impacted by Canada’s national tragedies.
“The events that we are maintaining are events that provide opportunity for families and children to spend time together,” Michael Dewar, director of economic development and communications for the District of Kitimat stated.
The district said this is not about cancelling Canada Day but recognizing that this year’s festivities are taking place at a time when many Canadians are struggling with tragedy and trauma that is part of our nation’s story.
The district is encouraging people to reflect on what can be done to continue supporting truth reconciliation.
Events still taking place are the virtual fun run, the town scavenger hunt, the Canada Day trivia through Facebook, the wood luggage tag, the colouring contest, fitness in the courtyard, food vendors, family hiking challenge, every child matters soccer games/tournament, helicopter rides, free bus rides, cupcake sales, story walk at Hirsch Creek, and the #festivalskitimat2021contest.
“Here at Festivals Kitimat our goal each year is to bring our community together in a fun, exciting and celebratory way. This year we feel it is still important to bring the community back together to recognize, acknowledge, grieve and to work together,” Kitimat Festivals stated in a Facebook post.