Inner Harbour prepping for Canada Day celebrations

Watch Set up for Canada Day in Victoria is underway. Tens of thousands are expected to show up for the celebrations, but as Julian Kolsut reports some are concerned about the cost of the event. 

The B.C. Legislature lawn began to take shape Sunday, as Canada Day was just one day away.

Crews have been on site since 7 a.m., and will be working late into the night to get everything ready for the big day.

“Definitely busy, we have lots of moving pieces. People, suppliers, items… It’s just making sure we are organized and working together,” said Stephanie Eisenvraun of Atomique Productions.

City Councillor and event organizer Charlayne Thornton-Joe has been involved in the event for 19 years and says it’s a staple of the capital city.

“An event like this is important because it gives an opportunity to come together, with something that we all share. and its a very special day for new Canadians,” she said.

“I’m a new Canadian, I took my oath on Canada Day,” said one man watching preparations.

The event will first kick off with the renowned living flag. An indigenous blessing will follow before the live music kicks off.

The night will then wrap up with fireworks filling the sky.

More details on the event can be found here.

At 6 a.m. Belleville Street from Menzies to Douglas will be closed. Government street, from Humboldt to Superior, will also be blocked off at 4 p.m.

Both will open back up at midnight.

The city is expecting between 40-60,000 visitors. But some are raising concerns about the event.

Victoria police were not available for an on-camera interview today but acknowledged that they were facing a strain on resources.

They spoke out earlier this month about the cost of policing the celebrations. They were left paying more than $78,000.

Soon after city council approved an increase to cover the costs of this event and others.

Victoria city Councillor Ben Isitt also raised concerns about the event costs earlier this month, making recommendations the event be downsized.

“Some of my colleagues on council have asked for more information about costs about the size of the event. Whether we can make it a smaller venue. I think unless you understand the event fully which I do since I’ve been involved for 19-years that’s very difficult to do,” added Thornton-Joe.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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