Saturday is the big day, the day that the whole country has been talking about. After all, 150 years is a big milestone, or should I say kilometre-stone? There are many places around Canada that are going to be having special celebrations on Saturday and St. Albert is no different.
“Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation is more than a birthday party. It is a moment to reflect, renew and regenerate as individuals and as a country. Canadians in every community will join in celebrating this milestone of sesquicentennial,” said Rhonda Egar-Lee, the city’s Canada 150 co-ordinator and ambassador.
“2017 continues to be an exceptional year, providing St. Albertans with the opportunity to connect, engage in their community’s celebrations as a nation and create a lasting legacy for the future generations. The City of St. Albert is committed to ensure everyone in our city has been touched in some way from Canada 150.”
Organizers are doing their level best to make sure that happens. The day is chock-a-block full of activities at various city parks, facilities, and historical sites.
It all starts with a pancake breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at the St. Albert Legion #271 at 6 TachĂ© St.
At 8 o’clock, there will be a special performance of Home To Me by Lia Cole, the Canada 150 songwriting finalist. Earlier this year, the city held a contest encouraging all people to enter original songs that highlighted life in St. Albert combined with the significance of the country’s sesquicentennial. If you miss that morning performance, you can catch it again during the City-Wide Block Party to be held on Fri., Sept. 8. A video of her performing the song can also be found on the city’s special website at www.stalbert.ca/canada150.
The fun continues afterward at Rotary Park and Riel Recreation Park at the end of Rodeo Drive. The celebration there will include live entertainment, games, inflatables, crafts, face painting, and food vendors. There will be special performances by local singers Hailey Benedict, Karimah Marshall, Darla Daniels, Post Script, Alleviate, Thursdays, and Altameda. Cole will also be doing a repeat of Home to Me for the lunchtime crowd. It runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Attendees should please note that parking on site is extremely limited but that there is a free park and ride starting from St. Albert Centre. Rotary Park is located along the Red Willow Trail so there will be a bike check available for riders.
A free outdoor concert will take place at City Hall from 7 to 10:30 in the evening. See Anna Borowiecki’s story on the Canada Day 150 two-page feature in this issue for more details. Of course, the day just wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t capped off by the annual fireworks display. That will be starting at 11 p.m. at Seven Hills. People are encouraged to bring a donation for the St. Albert Food Bank.
For more information including a map of the free shuttle service, please visit www.stalbert.ca/rec/events/canada-day.
The St. Albert Botanic Park is the place for the Canada Day Strawberry Tea from 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers will serve cake, strawberries and ice cream and there will be music in the gazebo by violinist Shane Pon and the Jan Baker Trio. Children can plant a red petunia if they like. Admission by donation. It’s at 265 Sturgeon Road. Visit www.stalbertbotanicpark.com for more.
Arts and Heritage St. Albert is hosting events at the Father Lacombe Chapel, the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park, and the Little White School House.
People can make crafts, eat homemade ice cream and tour the chapel, Alberta’s oldest building, from noon to 4 p.m. It’s at 2 St. Vital Ave.
At the Grain Elevator Park, there will be cupcakes and watermelon, grain elevator tours, old-fashioned games, and a scavenger hunt with prizes of ice cream sponsored by Dairy Queen. Attendees can create a Canada-themed postcard as part of the “Dreaming of Canada” mail art project with the Art Gallery of St. Albert too. Jack’s Burger Shack will have a food truck on site. The St. Albert Community Band will lend its music for a bit of atmosphere too.
The Little White School House will have lots to do, and lots for people to learn. You can decorate maple leaf cookies, get a nostalgic tour of the historic schoolhouse, design a flag, and even win prizes in its Great Canadian Flag debate. It’s located on Seven Hills.
The Morinville Historical and Cultural Society is the host of the day, putting on a free hot dog lunch from noon till 1:30 p.m. The event will also have free cake, games, bouncy castles, face painting, and live music until 2:30 p.m. The Edmonton Transit Pipes and Drum Band will perform in the church parking lot. At 1 p.m., they will also unveil the Canada 150 hand-painted tile mural that was made with the help of many local students and residents. Check it out at St. Jean Baptiste Park located at 101 Street and 101 Avenue.
The evening fireworks will be set off from its new location at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre field area at 9908 104 St. The fireworks will be set off to a low to mid-level range, so people are advised to move as close to the centre as possible to get the best view. A seating area will be set up adjacent to the arena’s rear parking lot close to the volleyball courts.
The show is scheduled to start at 10:45 p.m. For more information, call 780-939-3925 or see the full list of events at www.morinville.ca.