Canada Day in a pandemic – What to do in Edmonton on July 1

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EDMONTON —
You may have already guessed that this year’s Canada Day will be pretty different from any other before.

The COVID-19 pandemic means mass gatherings are no longer sanctioned by public health officials, forcing the City of Edmonton to cancel this year’s traditional Canada Day event and fireworks display.

About Canada
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world’s longest bi-national land border. Canada’s capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
Various indigenous peoples inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years before European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled along the Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.
Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with a monarch and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the Cabinet and head of government. The country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and officially bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada’s long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.
A developed country, Canada has the seventeenth-highest nominal per-capita income globally as well as the thirteenth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Canada Day in a pandemic: What to do in Edmonton on July 1

About pandemic:

Last week Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw laid out some advice on how to spend the day safely, discouraging large barbeques and potlucks. 

But that doesn’t mean you have to forget about celebrating the holiday altogether.

Canada Day in a pandemic: What to do in Edmonton on July 1

Here are some ideas on how to safely celebrate the country’s 153rd Canada Day.

CITY LIGHTS

If you’re close to downtown after sunset July 1, you can check out several of Edmonton’s lit-up structures.

The High Level Bridge lights will be glowing red and white.

Walterdale Bridge, Rossdale Power Plant, Muttart Conservatory and City Hall will all be showing off special light displays.

Why not put up your own lights display around your home and join the fun?

VIRTUAL FIREWORKS

Who needs real fireworks, when you can have virtual fireworks?

That’s right. The Government of Canada has created a three-minute augmented reality fireworks display you can see with your smart phone or tablet for a Canada Day show-on-the-go.

Point your device at the night sky and enjoy Canada Day fireworks wherever you are.

ORCHESTRA ON WIZARD LAKE

Not a night owl? No problem. The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) has you covered. But you’ll need a boat.

Musicians from the ESO will be presenting a program of water-inspired music from a boat on Wizard Lake, about 50 kilometers south of Edmonton.

Cash donations to the orchestra will be accepted at the event in lieu of tickets.

Concert-boaters are asked to assemble near Wizard Heights Boat Launch at 1 p.m.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., weather permitting.

EDMONTON VALLEY ZOO

Why not go to the zoo?

It’s open and as of time of publishing, there are still tickets available.

Just make sure to book ahead, as you’ll only be allowed in with an online timed booking. 

CELEBRATION KIT

Did someone say ‘Celebration Kit?’

This Canada Day Celebration Kit is packed with interactive, creative and educational activities for the whole family. 

GOLF

Golf? Yup, that’s still a thing.

Lots of tee times are still available at Edmonton courses. You may still be able to find one that works for you.

POST CANADA DAY WEEKEND FUN

July 4 and 5 is Family Fishing Weekend, and the province said fishing licences will not be required in provincial parks for families who want to give it a try. All other fishing regulations still apply.

MAKE YOUR OWN FUN

Just because this Canada Day will be different, that doesn’t mean you won’t still want to get in the spirit.

Perhaps you could paint your face, or dress in red and white.

If you have a Canadian flag, this could be the perfect time to put it on display for all to see.

You may even want to treat your neighbours to your best version of O Canada as you raise it up.

However you decide to spend the day, hopefully you’re able to make it a safe and fun-filled one.