Campbell River Canada Day fireworks show, billed as B.C.’s largest, leaves thousands in awe: organizer

Campbell River Canada Day fireworks show, billed as B.C.'s largest, leaves thousands in awe: organizer
Fireworks file photo.

Crowds came in droves and marvelled at the Canada Day fireworks display in Campbell River, which was the largest such spectacle in B.C., according to an organizer.

“It went off above our expectations, and we set our expectations high,” said Carol Chapman, chair of the Campbell River Canada Day committee.

“It was the biggest in the province based on how much money was spent on the fireworks.”

The show kicked off at 10:22 p.m. Monday, when crowds were gathered at Robert Ostler Park in the city’s downtown. In the past, the celebration hosted an estimated 20,000 people, and this year, Chapman says it was the biggest turnout ever.

“It was absolutely more than we expected. It was so spectacular. It was the biggest crowd the city has ever seen at the park,” she said in an interview.

Events, including a Canada Day parade, happened throughout the day, while Quality Foods provided cake and also helped put on the fireworks for the 25th year.

The organizers had planned to “go all out,” and according to Chapman, they succeeded. The grand finale, the fireworks, “did not disappoint.”

She says the show featured seven minutes of orange fireworks to pay homage to local First Nations. “Everything we do has our First Nations in mind.”

Fireworks Spectaculars, which lauds itself as “the leader of the Canadian fireworks industry,” was hired to do the job. In the past, they’ve produced and supplied fireworks displays in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and other Island cities.

“We had the biggest order, so the biggest display,” said Chapman.

The pyrotechnics quickly illuminated the skies after being lit from a barge in Discovery Passage, about 1,000 feet from Ostler Park, to ensure everyone’s safety. Chapman’s glad to report no injuries. 

Spectator Gail Hamilton sent photos of the display to CHEK News, summing it up as “exciting and beautiful.” She said the experience made her proud to be Canadian.

“Absolutely spectacular…” she wrote.

This year’s celebration came amid a new Leger poll suggesting Canadians’ sense of national pride is lower. The June web survey included responses from 1,600 people, with 45 per cent saying they were feeling less proud than they did five years ago.

READ ALSO: Are you proud to be Canadian? Poll suggests fewer people are feeling that way

Income inequality, poverty and the current state of the health-care system were some of the top concerns.

“When there seems to be so many things wrong in our country, our patriotic pride of our beautiful Canada will never waver. I think this is an important time to show how proud we are to be Canadian,” added Chapman.

Earlier this year, Campbell River council approved $33,500 for the local Canada Day celebrations to be funded partially from Council Contingency.

Now, Chapman is looking forward to July 1, 2025, when fireworks will return. “We booked the same amount for next year.”


Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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