Because of COVID-19, North Vancouver celebrates Canada Day in 2021 with an online event showcasing local artists, places and community organizations.
Since the summer of last year, gatherings involving more than 50 people haven’t been able to take place thanks to COVID-19. As a result, instead of the region’s usual Canada Day Festivities at Waterfront Park, last year the local Rotary Clubs hosted a virtual Canada Day event on July 1st. Another virtual event takes place at 1:00 pm on July 1st in 2021. See below for details.
WHERE TO TUNE IN
On Canada Day, July 1st, 2021, you could watch the online event from 1:00 until about 3:00 pm. A recording of the livestream is now available on YouTube.
(Note: When watching the recording of the 2021 event on YouTube, begin at the five-minute point. You have to skip ahead to that spot as the show part of the recording doesn’t actually start until then. For the first five minutes the video just shows the stationary preview screen. At the five-minute point, however, the show begins.)
The July 1st event featured some of the top musical talent from Vancouver’s North Shore. Musicians and bands participating in 2021 include Adam Woodall, Andrea Superstein, Doghouse, Jared Suitor, Melanie Dekker, The Benders and more. See below for additional details.
Virtual Canada Day Events in North Vancouver
Canada Day in North Vancouver usually involves a pancake breakfast and parade in the morning followed by family-friendly festivities at Waterfront Park near Lonsdale Quay in the afternoon. The breakfast and parade are hosted by the Lions Club and the afternoon festivities are put on by the Rotary Club of Lions Gate (two totally different service clubs).
Last year, instead of the usual afternoon activities, the Rotary Club hosted a virtual Canada Day event on July 1st. The celebrations ran from 1:00 until around 2:10 pm. The event took place on a number of different social media platforms including the Rotary Club of Lions Gate’s Facebook Page. The celebrations in 2021 are happening in a similar format beginning at 1:00 pm.
The purpose of last year’s event was to celebrate Canada Day, but also to help the community in general. The event placed a spotlight on North Shore community organizations, places of interest, businesses and local musical talent. Local VIPs including North Shore mayors and Indigenous dignitaries took part, and the entire region was showcased. It was entertaining, educational and uplifting.
An Additional Important, Yet Serious Side
In 2021 North Vancouver’s virtual Canada Day event has a similar purpose – to help the community celebrate, and come together, after a very challenging year. The pandemic has been tough on everyone. In addition to celebrating Canada’s birthday and helping the community come together, however, this year’s event also offers an opportunity for somber reflection.
In the weeks leading up to Canada Day in 2021 the remains of hundreds of Indigenous children have been found on the properties of former residential schools. The findings shocked the nation (but weren’t a surprise to many). During this year’s North Shore Canada Day event, this darker side of our country’s history will be acknowledged and addressed.
Representatives of the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations will provide opening welcomes. During this time the audience will be encouraged to do some homework and read up about the Truth and Reconciliation Report and its recommendations. Expect the opening remarks to be heartfelt, impactful and important. A couple of local politicians will also provide opening remarks.
Virtual Canada Day Schedule
The virtual production hosted by the Rotary Club last year included official welcomes by the local Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, greetings from the City and District of North Vancouver mayors, and music by some of the North Shore’s top musicians. It was a very fun event! The 2021 edition is similar.
When you tune in at 1:00 pm on July 1st in 2021 you’ll be entertained by some of North Vancouver’s top talent. You’ll also see North Shore scenery, people and places. Folk from the community are showcased, as are visual scenes of the region.
Last year the 90-minute show was divided up into short segments of between around 2 and 5 minutes each. 2021 is similar.
The same as last year, the event is MC-ed by former CBC anchor Kevin Evans. It’s also produced by a professional production company, an experienced film maker (Shaun Finn) and event planner (Carole Johnston), as well as many volunteers. Vancouver’s Best Places has also contributed a lot of video content too.
North Vancouver Canada Day Performers
Artists scheduled to perform at the virtual event in 2021 are listed below. Those with an asterisk (*) by their name performed at last year’s event as well.
- Adam Woodall* – one of the North Shore’s most well-known local musicians.
- Andrea Superstein* – a well-known local Jazz musician.
- Brockton School’s World Music Program* – an impressive group of percussionists and other musicians from Brockton School in North Vancouver.
- Doghouse – a family band made up of David, Piper & Sam Hughes.
- Jared Suitor* – an up-and-coming singer and guitar player with amazing talent.
- Melanie Dekker* – a musician from Deep Cove who performs around the world.
- Sweet Pan – a Caribbean-style steel drum-playing band.
- The Benders* – a popular long-time local band.
Joel Eddington, a local magician, is also performing at the online event in 2021.
North Shore musicians performing at the virtual event last year included the following:
- Early Spirit – a local band made up of Will Chernoff (on bass), Jay Knutson (on guitar), Gabriel Dubreuil (on violin) and Ben Kelly (on drums).
- Kevin Driscoll – a piano player who is also a member of the Rotary Club of Lions Gate.
- North Shore Celtic Ensemble – a local group of talented youth fiddlers.
The video below features photos of a number of the musicians performing at the virtual event in 2020. In order of appearance in the video they are Adam Woodall, Brockton World Music, Jared Suitor, Melanie Dekker, Andrea Superstein, the North Shore Celtic Ensemble and Early Spirit. Members of the North Shore Celtic Ensemble also appear once again at the end.
These groups are some of the North Shore’s finest! North Vancouver is home to lots of other amazing musical talent of course. It’s too bad not all of them could be included in the 2020 show, but there are just too many.
* The above photo and one used in the video of Andrea Superstein is by David Niddrie. The photo of Adam Woodall in the video is by Sarah Jane Photography.
2021 First Nations Contributions
The organizers of the North Vancouver Canada Day event are grateful for the contributions and participation of representatives of the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in the event. They are also grateful for being able to live and work on the unceded territories of these two nations.
Providing opening welcomes both this year and last year are Council Member Chris Lewis from the Squamish Nation and elder and knowledge-keeper Carleen Thomas from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Also participating in this year’s event is William George Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation who shares some traditional drumming.
Canada Day Sponsors
North Vancouver’s Virtual Canada Day celebrations are hosted by the Rotary Club of Lions Gate and the Rotary Club of North Vancouver. The Canadian Government and both the City and District of North Vancouver are also primary financial supporters.
Sponsors of the online event in 2021 include Vancouver’s Best Places as well as a number of local businesses and organizations including Adaptive Marketing, RE/MAX Crest Realty, Stong’s Market, Neptune Terminals, Western Stevedoring, the Shipyards Lower Lonsdale BIA and Lonsdale Quay, among others.
Other main supporters and contributors include North Vancouver Recreation & Culture, Vancouver’s North Shore, Peak Technologies, the Government of Canada, and the Port of Vancouver to name just a few.
The organization that hosts North Vancouver’s main Canada Day event at Waterfront Park each year is the Rotary Club of Lions Gate. The service club also organizes Operation Red Nose for the North Shore around Christmas time and supports various charities both locally and around the world.
Canada Day Video
To give you an idea of what to expect from the event in 2022, check out the following video. The above video shows you pictures of some of the musicians who perform. This next video though tells you a bit about the event. It also shows scenes of some of the people and places that are featured in this year’s production.
As you’ll see in the video, Vancouver’s Best Places is a proud sponsor of the event, but also proud to be Canadian and fortunate to be based in North Vancouver and to be part of that community.
For more information about the organization putting on the event see the Rotary Club of Lions Gate‘s website.
To learn about what happens in the community on a typical Canada Day (when there isn’t a pandemic), see our article about North Vancouver on July 1st.
To learn about similar events in other parts of the Lower Mainland click Metro Vancouver on Canada Day.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s June and July Calendars
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver on a Budget
- What’s Open in COVID-19 Vancouver?