Happy birthday Canada! In anticipation of our country’s birthday this summer, Vancouver has announced plans for activities to take place all throughout 2017. The official name of the celebration is Canada 150+ “Moving Forward Together,” recognizing ties to the local Indigenous populations such as the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
It is designed to be a uniquely Vancouver experience, acknowledging an ancient past and looking forward to a future where people from different backgrounds come together to form a strong unified society. All communities, settlers, newcomers and visitors are welcome to learn, connect and participate.
“The 150th anniversary of Confederation is a unique and powerful opportunity to build a better future for Canada,” said Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly.
“We are proud to support the City of Vancouver and the important work it is doing to bring British Columbians together, in the spirit of cooperation and partnership, to honour the rich history of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and inspire action on reconciliation.”
Many events are planned, headlined by The Drum is Calling Festival taking place July 22 to 30 at downtown’s Larwill Park. Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte Marie is scheduled to kick things off, and there will be performances from country artist Crystal Shawanda as well as others.
The Vancouver Native Housing Society will also be installing an exhibit featuring a traditional life-size village of Aboriginal housing structures on festival grounds.
Additional highlights include The Gathering of the Canoes July 19 and 22 on Jericho Beach, and a Walk for Reconciliation in September with the exact date and route to be announced shortly.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said he and the city are excited about what’s to come.
“We have programmed a once-in-a-lifetime immersive experience that, at its heart, features the cultural traditions, art, music, and much more,” said Robertson.
Visit the official webpage for updates.