Canada Day in the Birthplace of Confederation and the Capital City of Prince Edward Island will be an electrifying, family friendly, nation building experience! The City of Charlottetown, with financial support from the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada 150 Fund – Major Events, is pleased to announce major programming details for its special all-ages Canada Day activities and Canada 150 celebration.
"The Fabric of our Country: A Celebration of Canada" will celebrate Canadian culture and heritage in historic Victoria Park by building upon the City’s traditional Canada Day activities, expanding to include amplified, free-of-charge festivities that shine a spotlight on the Canada 150 themes through partnerships with cultural, youth, aboriginal, francophone and multicultural organizations. Additionally, the City will offer residents and visitors the opportunity to participate in several unique, national Canada 150 initiatives.
"We’re so excited to be hosting this spectacular Canada Day event to mark the 150th birthday of the country," said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. "It makes sense that such a celebration be held in the very location the Fathers of Confederation first conceived the idea of this great nation. We are a city steeped in history; we feel and live it every day and that is going to be evident in our festivities. We invite our residents and visitors to join us for what is sure to be a very memorable occasion."
Canada’s reigning couple of Celtic music, Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy and renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant and will headline the Canada Day stage at the new cultural pavilion in Victoria Park.
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy have won multiple JUNO and East Coast Music awards for their highly distinctive Celtic-rooted musical styles. Natalie, a Cape Breton native who is rumoured to have started step-dancing before she was walking, and Donnell, the oldest brother of the acclaimed family group Leahy, married in 2002. Their first recorded collaboration in 2015, One, was followed closely by 2016’s A Celtic Family Christmas. These albums cemented the couple’s status as powerhouses on the seasonal circuit and confirmed they were as dynamic working together as they were working apart. MacMaster and Leahy have six musical children and, when they aren’t travelling the world, they live on 120-acres of ancestral land in Lakefield, Ontario.
Lennie Gallant, a native of Rustico, PEI, has recorded eleven albums, which have won him a host of awards and nominations from the JUNOs, the East Coast Music Awards, and Les Prix Eloizes. His album, When We Get There was nominated for a Juno Award and went to the International Space Station aboard Shuttle Endeavour with Canadian astronaut Julie Payette. His songs have been recorded by more than 30 artists and have also appeared in feature films, television series, and numerous theatrical productions. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Lennie is an international touring artist who has represented Canada on songwriter events in Nashville, London and Texas, entertained troops in Kandahar, performed at Canada Day events in Washington and London, and on the world stage at the Winter Olympics.
Charlottetown’s cultural pavilion stage in Victoria Park will also showcase several other artists on Canada Day, including the 2017 ECMA Indigenous Artist of the Year, War Horses; Island Traditional Acadian Band Gadelle; rising stars Logan Richard Band; Victoria Children’s Choir, and Canada’s Rockin’ the Hits featuring the powerful vocals of Joey Kitson, Catherine O’Brien, and Caroline Bernard with Don Fraser on keyboard, Perry Williams on guitar, Devin Hornby on bass, Alan White on drums and a three-piece horn section, The Keppoch Horns. They will play top-of-the-chart hits by Lighthouse, Blood Sweat and Tears, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Steppen Wolf, The Guess Who, Trooper, Prism, Bryan Adams, Michael Buble, Celine Dion and the Powder Blues Band.
"In this momentous Canada 150 year, Canada Day celebrations will highlight what makes our country so unique, diverse and vibrant," said The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. "I invite all people of Charlottetown to participate in the activities taking place on July 1. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to celebrate this important milestone with your family, friends and neighbours."
The free Canada Day celebrations will start in Victoria Park with the Official Opening Ceremonies at 12:30 p.m., which will include a Citizenship Reaffirmation program presented by CIBC, a living flag activity featuring members of HMCS Charlottetown, and, of course, birthday cake! Children’s activities will take place from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. with Victorian carnival inspired activities, face painting, and balloon twisting. There will be vendors, buskers and a pop-up artisan market, along with the City’s new water refill station – H20 on the Go.
Other national Canada 150 initiatives available for public participation include ParticipACTION Canada 150 Playlist, the official unveiling of a community mural mosaic, Canada C3 at Port Charlottetown and ART EXPRESS’D, an initiative of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
"As a proud Canadian company celebrating 150 years of history this year, CIBC is very excited to be a part of this year’s Canada Day celebrations in the birthplace of Confederation," said Monique Giroux, Vice President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC. "Our involvement on July 1 complements our ongoing support of the Confederation Centre for the Arts, where this year, we are honoured to co-host a Canadian citizenship ceremony, helping to create a new generation of proud Canadians."
Throughout the day, the public is also invited to Port Charlottetown and Queen’s Wharf for a chance to admire the RDV 2017 Tall Ships Regatta – nine cathedrals of the high seas. On-ship tours, supporting vessels HMCS Charlottetown and Canada C3, Québec City cultural performers, and the Pirates of Halifax will add a lively air to this free celebration.
From 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at Victoria Park’s West meadow, catch the top professional Axe-Men in the country competing for the STIHL Timbersports Canadian Champions Trophy, an event that will have spectators at the edge of their seats from beginning to end. This free event includes the top eight athletes from the Canadian Championship.
The stage performances at the cultural pavilion will continue at 8 p.m. with the Canada Day headliners capped off by a spectacular fireworks display visible from the Victoria Park waterfront at 10:15 p.m.
"I’d like to thank our funding partners, volunteers, community partners, and City staff for helping us pull this amazing lineup together," said Councillor Bob Doiron, Chair of the City’s Economic Development, Tourism, Arts and Culture committee. "The weekend of Canada Day is jam packed with activities for all ages and the city is going to be buzzing – perfect for the celebration of this important milestone of our country."
The City of Charlottetown is one of 19 cities in Canada that have been provided funding through the Canada 150 Fund for amplified Canada Day celebrations. The City received $200,000 from Canadian Heritage for the event.
A detailed schedule for the Canada Day activities, the RDV2017 Tall Ships Regatta and the STIHL Timbersports Canadian Champions Trophy are available online at www.charlottetown.ca/Canada150.php Follow the City of Charlottetown on Facebook for the latest event details: www.facebook.com/CityofCharlottetown and on Twitter @ChtownPE
City of Charlottetown