Islanders enjoy first in-person Canada Day celebrations since the start of pandemic

CHEK

Vancouver Island was buzzing with all sorts of Canada Day festivities.

This is the first time many Islanders were able to gather in-person to celebrate on Canada Day in several years. An organizer for the Victoria Canada Day celebration talked about how he felt seeing people celebrate in person once again.

“As an event organizer, we’ve been down for three years and it feels really great to see so many people out wanting to get out, after a very trying period,” said event project manager David Geertz.

In Victoria, the return to celebrating in person also came with an effort to take more steps into reconciliation. The city opened this year’s festivities with a performance from the Lekwungen First Nations dance group.

Esquimalt Chief Rob Thomas spoke about why it was important to showcase Indigenous culture.

“This time last year, Canada Day was overshadowed by the findings of the lost children,” said Thomas. “For us to come together and celebrate Canada Day in this new way, hopefully it’ll continue. It just means a lot because it’s more inclusive.”

This year’s Victoria festivities are taking place along the Inner Harbour.  The celebration is going on all day with fireworks concluding the festivities at 10:20 p.m.

The City of Langford also hosted its first Canada Day celebration this year. The festivities took place at Starlight Stadium and coincided with the city’s 30th anniversary. Langford mayor Stew Young touched up on the importance of having these community celebrations as Langford continues to grow.

“It’s a testament to the people of Langford. We brought some change to Langford from what it used to be like. Now we’re in a community that’s a family community. That’s what we said we were going to build,” said Young.

Vancouver Island was among many areas across the country where people were able to celebrate Canada’s birthday.

Mohammed Hussain

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