Canada Day 2014

Woodchopping and Lumberjacks, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaJuly 1st is Canada Day, the national celebration of when Canada became a nation rather than a British Colony as declared by Queen Victoria in March 1867. In 1879, July 1st was established as a holiday titled ‘Dominion Day’, and in 1958 the Canadian Government organised for formal observances to occur every year. In 1982, ‘Dominion Day’ was renamed ‘Canada Day’.

We attended the Canada Day celebrations in Vancouver starting at Canada Place. When we emerged from the Skytrain the city was already bustling. There was a stage for music, a market, a sports arena, a hall dedicated to Canada’s military, lumberjack shows, picnic areas with buskers, and food trucks and stalls galore.

As organised as it was, the feeling was quite casual except for the extensive lines for free Iced Tea, Yoghurt and other assorted items. The Lumberjack show was just that, a show. There were four lumberjacks and an MC who joked and bantered between races, providing an enjoyable show as well as displaying various tools and skills of the trade. In the Sports arena visitors were treated to a wheelchair basketball performance that included a couple of Olympic and young adult athletes against the general public which was a joy to watch.

Yoga in the street, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaIn the early afternoon we walked across Vancouver towards Granville Island. On our way we came across a Marijuana festival outside the Vancouver Art Gallery with dozens of tents selling various strains of weed and paraphernalia, complete with a stage offering Hip Hop performances. Further along was an acrobatics display with two people undertaking some excellent displays of balance and dexterity.

Granville Island was abuzz with people flowing every which way. The Public Markets and most of the outlets were open, half a dozen stages scattered throughout were providing live music. The Island also had numerous workshops, art displays, buskers, and many family friendly activities. There was also the MELA! Mariachi Band, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaFestival thrown in for good measure, offering a small international bazaar, music, dance and food. Canada Day also marks the end of the Vancouver Jazz festival, with over a dozen acts on four stages, several of whom provide two shows. Here we caught Dawn Pemberton offering soulful harmonies, the Kristin Fung band providing Lounge music, and Tim Sars Band with eclectic saxophone driven jazz. We also caught a Mariachi Troupe performing next to a bar.

Canada Day March, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaWe left the island in the early evening to make it back to downtown for the Canada Day parade, a long and diverse parade highlighting the multicultural nature of the city. It started with an excellent display of precision motorcycling courtesy of the Police, followed by an assortment of marching bands, military cadets, bagpipes, dancing girls, military and police vehicles, chorus groups, community groups and associations (middle-eastern, Asian, European, Polynesian and more), regional floats, martial arts troupes, Asian drummers, beauty pageant winners, anime appreciation, street racing, and more. To list them individually would take more space than the entirety of this article. The parade went on for over an hour and the most glaring omission of this multi-cultural parade was the lack of any First Nations people.

On Canada Place, they had lit the Torch built for the Olympics, and thousands of people were finding a place to sit and enjoy the fireworks display that would close out the evening. We found a space along the seawall to watch and enjoyed the display, enhanced by the crowd breaking into the national anthem, O’Canada.

Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaOlympic Cauldron, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Other Canada Articles

Vancouver Part 1
Vancouver Part 2
Vancouver Part 3
Tough Mudder



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