Organizers preparing for Canada Day celebrations in Prince Albert

Herald file photo. A couple dance during Canada Day celebrations at Kinsmen Park in Prince Albert in this Daily Herald file photo.

Uko Akpanuko

Prepeartions for this year’s Canada Day celebrations in Prince Albert are well underway.

Prince Albert Royal Canadian Legion member and volunteer event planner Wayne Sarginson said things are coming together. The morning event will begin the morning of July 1 at Kinsmen Park, although the opening ceremony will not occur until noon.

“The day is about our country and the Legion is about the veterans who died for our country,” Sarginson said. “It is something that should be celebrated everyday not just every year.”

Canada Day events at Kinsmen Park will include musical performances by local artists, a parade with colour parties from the RCMP, Legion, ANAVETS, Fire Department, and Prince Albert Police Service.

Also, there will be food booths run by the Legion and other vendors. There will be the children’s area and games, face painting, and bingo. Tickets will be sold for cash prizes of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000.

This year’s celebration will have a new addition with the introduction of baseball games with eight different teams participating.

Sarginson said the day’s celebration will give the residents an opportunity to have fun, relax, unwind, bond and interact with families, friends and others.

“It’s a birthday party for Canada, and it won’t be a birthday party without a birthday cake,” he added. “We will have free birthday cakes for everybody.”

The Prince Albert Multicultural Council (PAMC) has organized a slate of evening activities to make Canada Day a memorable and interesting day. The event will start with an opening ceremony at the river bank at 5 p.m., followed by various cultural performances on the main stage such as the Iron Eagle Drum and Dance Troupe and Annette Campagne, and Phil and Dallas Boyer, among others.

There will be food trucks. Community Information booths and children activities. The event will end with the lighting up the fireworks by around 10:15 p.m.

While speaking on the buildup to the Canada day gathering, PAMC CEO Michelle Hassler said they hope to use the day to celebrate Canada, while also highlighting some of the challenges new Canadians face in the country.

“We are trying to make it not only welcoming and all-inclusive gathering but also very respectful towards our indigenous people in Canada,” Hassler said. “We also cannot forget that we also have newcomers immigrants and refugees that have found a safe home in Canada and we want to honour and recognize that, as well as all of the people’s contribution in our community and that makes out a very beautiful and wonderful diverse community here in Prince Albert.

“Everybody- indigenous people, non-indigenous, Canadian citizens should be able to work together for reconciliation and healing.”

There will be a large LCD screen to showcase anti-racism videos, and messages from newcomers about the challenges and the experiences in coming to Canada. Organizers have also invited Indigenous elders to share most especially share knowledge and information about the residential school system.

Hassler said this will also afford every one the opportunity to share their stories and messages about truth and reconciliation and working together as a community.