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Canada Day 2020 goes virtual across B.C.

British Columbians go online to celebrate Canada Day
There was no traditional sea of red and white this Canada Day. Many of the celebratory hotspots, usually packed with hundreds of revellers, eerily quiet and subdued. As Grace Ke reports, with people urged to celebrate safely and indoors, many cities offered creative virtual alternatives.

Canada Day across B.C. will look different this year due to COVID-19.

Vancouver is usually home to one of Canada’s largest celebrations at Jack Poole Plaza but this year that event is joining the federal government’s national celebration online.

The PNE is hosting a drive-thru celebration and parade.

The parade will be a reverse parade this year, where families are encouraged to wear red and white and decorate their cars to drive along the parade route, instead of crowding along the route and watching various floats and marchers go by.

Read more: Playland to reopen July 10, PNE to be drive-thru

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In Richmond, the annual Steveston Salmon Festival is going digital.

It started at 9:45 a.m. and continues all the way to virtual fireworks at 10 p.m.

In Coquitlam, the festivities started at noon.

In Port Moody, the huge Golden Spike Days Festival has been cancelled but there are a number of virtual events.

Surrey’s Canada Day virtual celebration will be hosted by Hockey Hall of Fame member Hayley Wickenheiser. Those celebrations started at 10:30 this morning.

Delta is also hosting a number of events.

In Victoria, events get underway at 7 p.m.

White Rock festivities also get underway at 7 p.m.

2020 Canada Day in the Okanagan
2020 Canada Day in the Okanagan

In the interior, Armstrong/Spallumcheen held a COVID-19 car rally from 10 a.m. to noon.

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Penticton’s Virtual Canada Day will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Peachland will be holding a virtual Epi Canadian race of two, five or 10 kilometres.

Cities across B.C. are asking residents to join a sing-along of O Canada at 7 p.m.

Read more: 2020 Canada Day ‘unlike any other’ as celebrations move online, cancelled amid COVID-19

The national Canada Day celebration evening show will get underway at 5 p.m. PT. Numerous performances from singers such as Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and the Sheepdogs will be capped off with a virtual fireworks display.

In opposition to the day, a Cancel Canada Day march in downtown Vancouver is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

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Event organizers, led by the group Idle No More, say they will not celebrate the ongoing genocide within Canada against Indigenous people.

The rally begins outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at 3 p.m. PT. The march through downtown starts at 5 p.m. PT.

Organizers are asking demonstrators to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing.