With in-person Canada Day events cancelled around Vancouver due to COVID for a 2nd year in a row, some jurisdictions are offering online celebrations in 2021.
This article contains information about Canada Day events that are actually still happening in 2021 in the following communities:
North Vancouver | Coquitlam | Maple Ridge | New Westminster | Richmond | Surrey | White Rock | Abbotsford | Fort Langley | Mission | Whistler
Canada Day Celebrations in 2021
A number of Canada Day events in the Lower Mainland aren’t taking place at all this year because of COVID-19. Instead of cancelling the festivities completely, however, some municipalities are holding events online for the second straight year. Some places though are hosting drive-thru events.
Below is a list of places that are conducting virtual Canada Day events on July 1st in 2021.
Online festivities happen on the North Shore in North Vancouver. Other places offering virtual celebrations include Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Surrey and White Rock. Abbotsford, Fort Langley and Mission in the Fraser Valley are also hosting a range of online activities.
To learn about virtual Canada Day events in 2021, continue reading. For details about what happens on July 1st in a typical year, click Metro Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations.
North Vancouver‘s Canada Day Re-Imagined
The North Shore community’s regular pancake breakfast, parade and free family-friendly activities at Waterfront Park have not been able to take place the last couple years due to the pandemic. Like last year, the Rotary Clubs in North Vancouver have organized online celebrations for 2021. This includes local musicians, people, places and organizations.
This year’s event starts at 1:00 pm on July 1st. The show takes place on multiple social media platforms and highlights local artists and community organizations from within North Vancouver. Bands performing include Adam Woodall, The Benders, Melanie Dekker and others.
Some of the Lower Mainland’s most beautiful and famous places are on the North Shore, and North Vancouver is home to amazing talent. Similar to last year’s event, this production will likely be one of the region’s most impressive. You can watch on both YouTube and Facebook.
For more details click Virtual Canada Day in North Vancouver or see the official North Shore Canada Day website.
Coquitlam Celebrates Canada Day
Coquitlam’s 2021 Canada Day celebration was going to be a mix of in-person and online events. From 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm there was going to be a drive-through parade that you could register for. It was going to be sort of like a reverse parade where you could drive through the route and pass by the entertainers like DJs, dancers and other performers. As of the end of June, 2021, however, it doesn’t appear like the live parade is still taking place.
The virtual portion of the day, however, is still happening. It begins at 9:00 am with a wide range of entertainment to choose from. This includes a variety of recorded performances, interactive demonstrations and activities that can be done by the whole family.
For more details see our article about Canada Day in Coquitlam.
Canada Day in Maple Ridge
Canada Day celebrations in Maple Ridge normally happen at the Memorial Peace Park and at the ACT Arts Centre. In 2021, however, because of COVID-19, the festivities take place in a drive-through format similar to what’s happening in Coquitlam.
This free event is labeled “Cross Country Road Trip”. It takes place at the Albion Fairgrounds from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. You must reserve a time slot in advance. At your scheduled time you can drive through the route past musical performances from various artists.
This event has been combined with the Canada Day Food Truck Festival, so at the end of the drive-through route will be a large collection of food trucks from which you can sample food from all across Canada.
Also there are different small activities available online like trivia games and informative exhibits, and different contests to enter as well.
For more information about the event click Maple Ridge on July 1st.
Virtual Canada Day in New Westminster
Canada Day in New Westminster in 2021 is a smaller scale compared to some other places, but there is still a variety of events on offer. This includes family yoga in the park, juggling practice, food trucks, the New West Farmers Market and a virtual photo booth. All of these events are free, although some you have to pre-register for.
As well, the theme for the event this year is “A Day of Reflection”. There is a focus on the history of Indigenous people in the country, especially in the light of the over 200 children found buried at the Kamloops Residential School. The Spirit of the Children Society has created a Medicine Wheel Healing and Teaching video which will be posted on July 1st.
For details see our article about New Westminster on Canada Day.
Virtual Canada Day in Richmond
Richmond usually celebrates Canada Day with the Salmon Festival in Steveston Village. The annual event was cancelled last year because of COVID-19. It’s happening this year, but in a virtual format.
On July 1st this year people can tune in online to watch a digital parade and videos showcasing the community. There is also a scavenger hunt with a salmon theme that participants can do in groups on their own between July 1st and July 31st. People who find answers to all the clues are entered to win a $100 restaurant gift certificate.
To learn more about Richmond’s virtual event in 2021 see our article about the Steveston Salmon Festival.
Surrey Celebrations on July 1st
The City of Surrey usually hosts one of the largest in-person Canada Day celebrations in the Lower Mainland. In 2021, instead of the usual games, amusement rides and live entertainment, however, the city is hosting virtual festivities on July 1st.
Like with North Vancouver, the Surrey event is being broadcast on YouTube and Facebook. There are two different shows, one from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm and one from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. There is a large number of musicians set to take the stage including Walk Off the Earth, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Jim Cuddy.
On top of that is also some dance and kid-friendly demonstrations. As well, there is a raffle with multiple prize draws. Virtual fireworks finish the festivities.
To learn more click Surrey Canada Day Celebrations.
Canada Day by the Bay in White Rock
White Rock’s annual in-person Canada Day by the Bay event isn’t taking place in 2021 due to COVID-19. However, the city has arranged for some activities to instead take place online.
Performers at the virtual event include the band The Heels, the White Rock City Orchestra and the sketch comedy group Hilarapy.
The event begins this year around 7:00 pm. Folk can watch from their own homes on the City of White Rock’s YouTube channel or Facebook page. There is also a “Canadian Spirit Contest” with prizes on offer.
For more details see our article about White Rock’s Canada Day by the Bay event.
Virtual Canada Day in Abbotsford
Canada Day celebrations in Abbotsford are being held in a format similar to Maple Ridge, as there is the Canada Day Drive Thru combined with the Food Truck Festival.
You must pre-register for a spot in the drive-through portion (held from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm) which is hosted at the TRADEX Trade & Exhibition Centre. There are exhibits set up for each province and territory as well as a Northern Lights display. There are also different performances including ones with gymnastics, dog tricks and puppeteering.
The Food Truck Festival is held for four days, from July 1st to 4th. It’s open from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm each day at Abbotsford Exhibition Park. Head there to grab some delicious food as you celebrate!
Click Abbotsford on Canada Day for more details.
Celebrate Canada Day in Fort Langley
The Township of Langley has also officially moved their Canada Day celebrations online. Instead of the regular in-person event, Fort Langley is hosting a variety of local artists and performers online.
Performing at the Fort Langley event this year are the Celtic band Tiller’s Folly, R&B artist Glisha and Country singer Cambree Lovesy. The festivities begin at 11:00 am. As well, there is a local scavenger hunt that becomes available to play on June 28th.
To find out more click Canada Day in Fort Langley.
Canada Day Celebrations in Mission
Similar to other municipalities around Metro Vancouver, Mission’s in-person Canada Day celebrations have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The 2021 virtual event offers different events throughout the day. This includes Canada Music Bingo at 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm, a virtual pancake breakfast, and a family swim at Mission Leisure Centre. You can also register to be sent temporary maple leaf tattoos and other decorations.
To learn more see our article about Canada Day in Mission.
Canada Day Celebrations in Whistler
Canada Day celebrations in Whistler are unique compared to many others in the Lower Mainland in 2021, as they include mostly in-person events! Of course there is social distancing and other safety measures still in effect, but there is plenty to go out and see in-person.
The Whistler Olympic Plaza is a hub of festivities with yoga and a drum circle in the morning followed by live painting and roving character actors in the afternoon. Food trucks are also taking up shop at various parks in the area to provide some tasty meals.
There are other free or admission-by-donation sites to visit, including the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, The Whistler Museum and different walking tours. To help people get to different places, all Whistler transit is free on Canada Day.
For more details on these different events click Canada Day in Whistler.
For a full list of Canada Day celebrations that usually take place around the Lower Mainland when there is no global pandemic, click Metro Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations.
Other articles that may be of interest include the following:
- Opening and Reopening Places in COVID-19 Vancouver
- Vancouver Events Cancelled Due to Coronavirus
- July Calendar of Events
- Free Vancouver Events in July
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver Summer Activities