We’ve been talking about Canada 150 since before Canada 149 and the day is finally (nearly) here. But what are you going to be doing on Canada Day? Hitting one of those free national parks? Watching Canada in a Day? Getting Tim’s surprise birthday Roll Up the Rim? Taking in your local fireworks show? Here’s an idea: what about some live music? This isn’t just any old Canada Day. We won’t see another celebration like this for 50 years. What better way to celebrate that than with a concert that wouldn’t happen on any old Canada Day. It’s not just Ottawa that’s having a huge show, there are musical celebrations happening all over the country. Here are some of the concerts and events you might want to work into your Canada Day plans.
Are you even Canadian if you haven’t heard about what’s going down in Ottawa? There are some major stars performing in the three-day event including Serena Ryder, Alessia Cara, Gordon Lightfoot and Cirque du Soliel. They also just announced that U2 will be performing one song only on Canada Day, so you don’t want to miss that. Talk about a star-studded event. Authorities are expecting three times the normal Canada Day crowd for the 150 celebration. Oh Canada!
Saint John, N.B.
Saint John welcomes in Canada Day the same way most of us welcome in the New Year. With a midnight countdown. Now that’s a way to celebrate. The event starts at noon on June 30th and goes into the wee hours of the morning. Partay! Said the Whale is headlining along with Ria Mae and a number of other Canadian artists.
Halifax has quite a few things going on (who doesn’t?) including a few historical reenactments. Their main event features DeadMau5, Matt Mays and more Canadian artists. You’re also going to want to hit at least one of the several parades happening in the area that day too.
Charlottetown is going for a folksier feel with performances by fiddlers Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy. The music will run all day long and there’s going to be birthday cake, people. Birthday cake.
St. John’s, N.L.
St. John’s has your whole day broken down from dawn till dusk. Start off the day with a breakfast event, have some family-friendly fun in the afternoon and close off the celebration with an evening concert featuring The Sheepdogs. And obviously some fireworks, duh.
Montreal has been celebrating their own big birthday this year (375 years!) but Canada Day is going to be extra special. The Old Port of Montreal will host an all-day carnival with games, face-painting and a farmhouse petting zoo to celebrate all that Canadians are. Then cap off the night with Funkline, Renee Robitaille and a whole host of other French-Canadian performers.
Of course, the 6ix isn’t missing out on the party (no Drake as far as we know though). There are events happening in several locations across the city but the BIG ONE is going down at Nathan Philips Square. They’ll have four stages going with some incredible acts throughout the night. You can expect the Barenaked Ladies, folk bands, Indigenous performers and even the New Canadian Global Orchestra. Looks like music for every taste.
Calgary’s celebration kicks off at 9:00am with a petting zoo and the formation of a living Canadian flag. Yeah, grab one of the 1,500 red or white T-shirts available and become one with the flag. Then that night, check out a whole host of Canadian talent, including Juno-Award-winning duo Tegan and Sara.
Edmonton has a ton of events happening across the city, from a celebration at City Hall to an elephant birthday at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. After a day of cupcakes and free kids’ art workshops, watch the fireworks over the Saskatchewan river. Sarah McLachlan will also be performing a special Canada 150 concert (but you need tickets for that one).
Over on the west coast, things get even crazier with multi-day celebrations. Vancouver’s Canada Day is a two-day event covering July 1st and 2nd. Hit Canada Place for a pancake breakfast, kids activities and a special citizenship ceremony welcoming 150 new Canadians (you can also reaffirm your oath to Canada). There will also be five stages featuring live music by Sam Roberts’ Band, FEFE, Emerson Drive and other Canadian artists.
And finally, Victoria, with it’s 11-day celebration. These guys started partying on June 21st and they’re not stopping until Canada Day. Tegan and Sara will be hitting up the celebration’s main stage on June 30th before heading over to Calgary. Then on July 1st enjoy a night of Canadian rock featuring the Arkells. Is there a better way to get pumped for an epic fireworks show? Probably not.
All these celebrations include fireworks, as does pretty much every city’s Canada Day festivities. So get out there, Canada, and celebrate your country. Happy 150!