Canada Day festivities return to riverbank and Kinsmen Park

Volunteers hand out cupcakes from a giant Canada Day cake during celebrations at Kinsmen Park in 2018. -- Herald file photo.

Canada Day festivities in Prince Albert are back in full swing this year at both the riverbank and Kinsmen Park thanks to The Royal Canadian Legion and the Prince Albert Multicultural Council. 

The Royal Canadian Legion will be throwing their annual Canada Day celebrations at Kinsmen Park on July 1 and the Legion Branch No. 2 president, Rick Hodgson, said it’s “good to be back” after the two-year-long absence.

“It was always a tradition to get together and celebrate Canada Day, especially the Legion. They’ve been running the in-park celebration for years,” Hodgson said. “It’s a place where people can go and see some good entertainment, some good ball and have a good day.”

The Legion promises a fun-filled day at the park starting at 10 a.m. with live entertainment, bingo, a ball tournament, K9 Police Dog demonstrations, and children’s games and activities. 

Food booths, candy apples, and other treats will also be available for those in attendance.

Lorraine Gobeil, Canada Day Chair for the Legion, said although organizing the event is a lot of work, “it feels good getting people together.” 

“Our veterans started it years ago and we’re trying to keep it going,” she said. “I’m proud to be in Canada.”

Gobeil said the day’s activities should be engaging, and she hopes all that come out enjoy themselves.

The Prince Albert Multicultural Council will be hosting their Multicultural Canada Day gathering at the riverbank. Michelle Hassler, Executive Director of the organization, said they are very excited to be back in person. 

“We are hoping for a really good day and for the community to support us and come gather with us on July 1,” said Hassler. 

The day will start at 2 p.m. with a children’s area and performances on the stage, including a magician and A Dream Come True princesses. Hoop dancer Lawrence Roy Jr will also be sharing traditional stories and teaching the children some hoop dancing basics. 

Acknowledging and celebrating kids at the festival was important for the Multicultural Council because “everything we are doing right now is for a better future for our children,” said Hassler. 

Main stage multicultural performances will follow an opening ceremony led by an elder and traditional Indigenous drumming at 5 p.m., and the night will end with a grande finale of fireworks over the river at 10 p.m.

Visitors can expect food and merchandise vendors, as well as information booths from community partners.

Hassler said the Multicultural Canada Day gathering will be a good place for people from all walks of life to share stories and recognize the true history of the country. 

“We want to celebrate the diversity, the beautiful mosaic of cultures we have in the community,” she said. “We want to celebrate the people, we want to celebrate us.”