The Forks is getting back to celebrating Canada Day on July 1 after taking a different approach a year ago, and it will include a unique way to cap off the night.
The festivities will conclude with a drone show at 10:30 p.m., featuring 100 drones flying 400 feet in the sky.
“Finding our North Star” is the theme of the day and the drone show has been curated around the teachings of Elder Wilfred Buck, who is a member of Opaskwayak Cree Nation.
The show, titled Acakos (meaning star in Cree), will tell the story of the North Star, traditionally known as Kiwatin, meaning the going-home star, and Ikakacit, meaning standing still. It’s the only star in the Northern Hemisphere that doesn’t move.
Chief Communities Officer with The Forks North Portage Clare MacKay says this year’s festivities came together after feedback from public consultation and surveys, as well as an Indigenous-led roundtable.
“We asked what elements would make it so that people wanted to come to the site more on Canada Day. And a celebratory element and additional music were at the top of the list for all of those who responded.”
The Forks is also working with Jade Harper to help with the creative process.
Programming will begin at noon and will include a Forks Market stage, family activities at the CN Stage, workshops, tours, picnic tables, food trucks, and a massive soccer tournament.
More details will be released on The Forks social media accounts throughout the month of June.
Last year’s events were titled “A New Day” which came after the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential school sites across the country, and MacKay says they are comfortable going back to Canada Day celebrations again.
“We went through an evolution last year of how we talk about it, how we celebrate it. We’re in the business of honouring what’s happening on our site,” MacKay said.
“It is Canada Day and we’re looking forward to celebrating it with everybody and everyone is welcome on that day.”