• Hunter Cresswell

Pandemic changes, doesn't cancel, Canada Day

By Stuart Benson

Even though large crowds and social events are still not allowed as part of COVID-19, it doesn’t mean Wakefield residents won’t still be able to celebrate Canada Day, July 1, together, even if it’s only virtually.

Canada Day in Wakefield usually looks like this, vehicles packed with people driving down Wakefield's main drag past crowds of onlookers, but not this year. The event this year is going digital because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Low Down file photo

Simulcast on WKFLD Radio, as well as livestreamed on Centre Wakefield La Pêche’s Facebook page, Wakefield’s Virtual Canada Day will start at 4 p.m. with live performances from Mia Kelly, God Knows What, RBC Bluesfest Be In The Band, Claire Bestland Trio, and headline act Tractor. ‘Tune into’ WKFLD Radio by going to Facebook and searching “Wakefield Community Radio”.

Dale Kerr, WKFLD ‘storyteller’ and one of the event’s MCs, explained that, alongside the live performances, there will also be pre-recorded entertainment in between acts – from Pickachune, Julien Dionne, and more – while they sanitize and prepare for the next performance.

“We're also asking people to send in short videos recorded on their cellphones to tell us how they're celebrating and to wish everyone a happy Canada Day,” Kerr said.

Kerr asks that the videos be less than 30 seconds long and that businesses are also welcome to submit videos to thank the community for their support. The deadline for submissions is June 28 at 5 p.m, which can be sent to submissions@wkfld.live.

Kerr also says that at 10 p.m. there will be a virtual fireworks display to enjoy. He would also like to remind residents not to go to the actual Centre Wakefield La Pêche on Canada Day, as the doors will be locked and there won’t be anything happening in the grounds.

Canadian Heritage Media will also be putting on a virtual Canada Day event with downloadable online activity kits and daytime and evening concert broadcasts that you can watch on CBC, Radio-Canada, as well as on CPAC and on Canadian Heritage’s digital platforms at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Hosted by Serena Ryder and Pierre-Yves Lord, the Canadian Heritage Media’s daytime show will celebrate cultural diversity, sports excellence, Indigenous languages and cultures, and honour the hard work of frontline responders. There’s also a salute to the 40th anniversary of “O Canada” as our official national anthem, with performances from the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Atlantic Ballet Canada, Paul Brandt, Sierra Noble and more.

The 8 p.m. show “Canada Day Together” features original collaborations from such artists as Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, the Sheepdogs, and Alan Doyle, from across the country, including stops in Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver. The evening show will end with a montage of fireworks displays from previous Canada Day events.

The municipality of Low will not be holding Canada Day celebrations this year.

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