Located an hour north of Vancouver, Squamish celebrates Canada Day on July 1st with a parade on Cleveland Avenue followed by festivities at Junction Park.
The 2019 event also featured fireworks at Brennan Park and live music with The Paperboys and other bands.
SQUAMISH, CANADA DAY AND COVID-19
Similar to July 1st events in other parts of the Lower Mainland, Canada Day festivities won’t be the same as usual in Squamish this year because of the coronavirus.
Back in December of last year the local government announced that it would be cutting back on its funding of the event in 2020 which meant no fireworks this year. And this was even before the coronavirus crisis hit BC! Since then the province has banned all major public events this summer anyways.
In late March the Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association officially announced the cancellation of the annual Canada Day event in Squamish for 2020. That means there will be no parade, fireworks or other activities as there have been in previous years.
Hopefully the celebrations will return in 2021. Details about that, however, are to be determined.
Canada Day Events in Squamish
Below are details about the parade, opening ceremonies, general festivities and the fireworks at the Squamish Canada Day event in years when it doesn’t get cancelled. Admission to everything is usually free!
The Canada Day Parade
The Canada Day festivities in Squamish begin with the parade at around 10:00 am. The procession usually starts near Winnipeg Street and then works its way along Cleveland Avenue towards Stan Clarke Park where the opening ceremonies for the day take place.
The Squamish Canada Day parade is a short parade, but a good one. It lasts for close to half an hour (which is a great length of time – not too long and not too short). In past recent years it involved just a foot procession. In 2019, however, entries were also permitted to use vehicles.
Cleveland Avenue gets lined with folk from the community. A lot of people turn out, but it’s not overly crowded.
In the parade expect to see some vintage vehicles, veterans marching from the local Legion, an entry from the Squamish Days Loggers Festival, RCMP officers in their red uniforms, and entries from local businesses and community organizations. There might even be a cement truck or logging truck in the procession too.
The Canada Day Opening Ceremonies
The official opening ceremonies for the Canada Day event in Squamish takes place at Stan Clarke Park which is located across the street from Junction Park in the 37000 block of Cleveland Avenue.
The cenotaph at Stan Clarke Park is where the ceremony takes place. Mounted police stand at attention, dignitaries are recognized and make short speeches, and local First Nations offer a traditional welcome. Everyone also sings the national anthem, the Canadian flag is raised and the Canada Day birthday cake is cut and distributed.
Close to 30 minutes after the opening ceremonies start, they end, and the crowd then heads across the street for the day’s main festivities.
Canada Day at Junction Park
Junction Park can be found at the corner of Cleveland Avenue and Main Street in downtown Squamish. That’s where the U Siyam Pavilion is located and where Squamish’s main Canada Day celebrations take place. From 11:00 am until 5:00 pm there are food trucks, family-friendly activities, a small artisan market and live entertainment.
The U Siyam Pavilion is a community stage. On it, in 2019, Aude Ray, Blueberry Jam, Jessica Yue, Music Together, the Howe Sound Dance Academy, the Squamish Academy of Music and The Wells all performed. Children’s entertains Bob’s & LoLo also made an appearance.
Fireworks and Festivities at Brennan Park
Things quiet down in Squamish between 5:00 and 7:00 pm while folk recuperate and have their dinners. Starting at 7 o’clock, however, the celebrations start back up again at Brennan Park which is located by the community rec centre at 1009 Centennial Way. At least this has been the case in previous years.
Last year at Brennan Park there was a beer garden and more live music, plus, for the first time in many years, fireworks at 10:00 pm. Due to funding cuts, there weren’t going to be any fireworks in 2020, even before COVID-19 became an issue. Whether the evening program happens again in 2021 is to be determined.
The live music at Brennan Park in 2019 included The Paperboys which is a really good and well-known Vancouver-based Folk and Celtic band.
For more information about Squamish event on July 1st and other dates see the Downtown Squamish BIA website.
For a list of similar events in other parts of the Lower Mainland, click Canada Day in Metro Vancouver.