After Mayor Don Iveson confirmed earlier this month Canada Day fireworks will go ahead this year, on Tuesday the City of Edmonton released further details.
In a message on Twitter, Iveson said fireworks will light up the sky over Edmonton’s river valley on July 1 at 11 p.m., as it has done for many years — with the exception of 2020, when all festivities were cancelled due to the pandemic.
The city said even as health restrictions start to ease, Edmontonians are asked to take precautions where possible this Canada Day.
This year’s fireworks display will include more high-level bursts so that people may view them from farther away, allowing spectators to stay physically distanced from others.
The fireworks will also be livestreamed for anyone who would rather watch from home.
“We want to remind everyone that voluntary mask wearing is a reasonable choice for some people and one others should respect,” the city said in a news release.
Anyone planning to take transit should be aware that as part of the Alberta government’s Stage 3 reopening plan, it will still be mandatory for masks to be worn in public vehicles like buses, LRT, taxis and ride shares like Uber.
More details on pedestrian access to the best viewing spots, road closures and more can be found on the city’s website.
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On Friday, Premier Jason Kenney announced that Alberta had reached its COVID-19 vaccination target to trigger Stage 3 of the “Open For Summer” plan.
As of June 17, 70.2 per cent of Albertans 12 and older had received at least one dose of vaccine, meaning Stage 3 would take effect two weeks later, on July 1.
Stage 3 lifts most of Alberta’s public health restrictions, including the ban on indoor social gatherings. The general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but the province said masking may still be required “in limited and specific settings.”
The City of St. Albert announced its Canada Day fireworks would not take place because of the location.
The event was planned for Mission Hill, which the city explained is the site of the former Youville Residential School.
“It is likely the site contains unmarked graves of former students and the city has determined that continuing to hold fireworks at this location is not appropriate,” a Saturday statement explained.
“This decision aligns with the city’s continued desire to work towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.”
The decision was made “to demonstrate empathy and respect for members of the community who have experienced, and who continue to experience, the devastating effects of intergenerational trauma because of the residential school system in Canada.”
The City of St. Albert said it, at no time, was asked to cancel or reschedule the fireworks; it was the city’s decision. Other scaled-down Canada Day activities are planned, however.
The city also said it tried to find other locations but wasn’t able to find a suitable spot in time for July 1.
“The city is continuing to look for a location to hold fireworks later this summer or in the fall.