Rising costs force some communities to rethink Canada Day parades

Peter Jeffery has held his local Canada Day Parade in East Hants, Nova Scotia, for 25 years, but says rising costs and declining community support have held back the event this year.

The parade generally goes from Elmsdale to Enfield, Nova Scotia, where the festivities continue at the Lions Club, said Jeffery, president of the district chapter.

« The parade itself takes a lot of planning and comes at a pretty high cost, » Jeffery said. « It evolved over the years to what we had until just before COVID. »

Jeffery said financial support has been dwindling for years and fewer volunteers have stepped up to help organize and run the event.

Jeffery said fireworks are the Lions Club’s biggest expense on Canada Day, at about $4,000. (Enfield, Elmsdale & District Lions Club/Facebook)

« It ended with just us trying to put things together, » he said, adding that federal government funding hadn’t increased because the costs of the celebrations – from fireworks to insurance – had increased considerably.

A new requirement for federal funding to ensure the event will take place prompted Jeffery to end the event last fall, he said.

Other towns, villages in the same place

Jeffrey is not alone. Several cities and towns say rising costs and funding issues are forcing them to rethink their parades.

In Montreal, there will be no Canada Day parade for the third consecutive year. Canada Day celebrations will take place with events at the Old Port.

In Strathcona County, Alberta, the Sherwood Park and District Chamber of Commerce announced in May that the Canada Day Parade would not take place due to rising costs for physical infrastructure, insurance and security obligations.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority will not hold a parade or fireworks, citing « increasing costs for safety and security, and across the events industry, » adding that instead, she would focus on other events.

Banff, Alberta has made the decision to replace its parade with a day of activities and performances.

Some take a new approach

Last year, many cities chose to cancel Canada Day events after unmarked graves were discovered at the sites of former residential schools. As most events resume this year, some cities, such as Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, Ontario, have chosen to observe Canada Day with cultural programming rather than celebratory events such as parades and bonfires. artifice.

Halifax has partnered with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Center and local artists to host « Kana’ta-HFX Canada Day 2022, » which the city says will honor the Indigenous community. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo will host its Canada Day Parade.

Jeffery said he hopes to get the Elmsdale-Enfield parade running again next year.

« We don’t want to see this event die, » he said.

He said planning for next year’s event should begin in August to secure funding from the federal government.


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