Winnipeg's Canada Day celebrations are going to be extra special as we celebrate the big 150
You down with One-Fifty?
Yeah, you know me!
Whose down with One-Fifty?
All the city!
Canada Day, July 1st, is a double whammy this year, as the city and the country celebrate a milestone of 150 years since Confederation.
As our Naughty By Nature intro should indicate, this is going to be one all-day party you will not want to miss. So without further ado, here’s what’s going down on the big day in The Winnipeg.
Considering that The Forks has been a meeting place for over 6 millennia, 150 years seems like a rather quant little number. But that being said, we would dare say that this historic site has never housed a party quite as big as this.
To celebrate Canada 150, you can join thousands of people as they descend on the area to see entertainment from five stages, each of which will have bands and singer/songwriters playing throughout the day. It will all culminate on the Main Stage where the fireworks (which will be set off at 11 p.m.) will correspond with the performances.
On that Main Stage, you can catch headliners that include Whitehorse (9 p.m.), while the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will be performing at 10 p.m. (with special guest Faouzia joining at 10:40 p.m.) and playing right into the big show by world champion pyrotechnic company Archangel Fireworks.
The stage underneath the Canopy will be pumping from noon to 6 p.m., with headliner Slow Leaves starting at 5 p.m. The Port Stage will be rocking the waterfront from 1:30 p.m. to 11, with some great performers that include Scott Nolan (6 p.m.) and The Mariachi Ghost (wear flip flops, or risk them knocking your socks off at 7 p.m.). At the Plaza Skatepark there will be some serious shredding going on, with demos by SK8 Skates and Red Riding Media, all accompanied by live DJs, while the Oodena Celebration Circle will be the host of Sunrise Spirit Riders – a pow wow followed by storytelling and a human library from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For the full Forks Canada Day entertainment lineup click here.
Plus, you have all the other great things to do at The Forks, like meeting new people over beer flights and delicious food in The Common; taking insightful tours along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers with Splash Dash; renting a bicycle built for two to explore the area from Bee-2-Gether Bikes; and taking the kids to the Children’s Museum followed by playing on the Parks Canada splash pads in the Variety Heritage Adventure Playground.
And speaking of Parks Canada, they will also have a Pop-up Shop featuring exclusive Canada 150 merch set up right across from the Variety Heritage Adventure Park.
Canada Day in Transcona is an all-day affair, beginning with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. at the Transcona Legion (117 Regent Avenue East).
The main Transcona Canada Day Festival starts at noon at Transcona Centennial Square (135 Regent Avenue West). The day’s activities include a pipe band, a big Canada Day cake, and performances on the stage by Folklorama – which include East Indian and Ukrainian dancing and Indigenous drumming. There will also be a market where you can buy crafts from a variety of vendors.
Specifically, for the kids, there is the Casera Credit Union Big Game Zone, where you can play giant Jenga, Connect Four, Yahtzee and more, along with the NVR Construction Bouncer Zone that is replete with an obstacle course and Velcro wall. There will also be caricature artists, face painters and musicians.
It will all be capped off with fireworks by Archangel Fireworks for 20 minutes and 17 seconds to mark the occasion at 10:15 p.m. at Buhler Recreational Park.
The full day itinerary can be found here.
The Great Outdoors
Winnipeg’s two favourite wetlands/nature reserves, Oak Hammock Marsh and FortWhyte Alive are providing some woodsy experiences for Canada 150.
At FortWhyte, they are celebrating with guided bison hikes and paddling sessions out on the lakes in their large voyageur canoes (noon to 3 p.m.), while at Oak Hammock Marsh they will have horse-drawn wagon rides through the wetlands with storyteller Allan Webb, guided canoe adventures, a bunch of fun stuff for the kids like face painting and birthday cake, along with screening a selection of classic Canadian films. It all goes down from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
[Please note: this above Instagram post is from last year, so pay no attention to the dates and times mentioned]
Osborne Village Canada Day Street Celebration
One of Canada’s coolest neighbourhoods always brings its A-game when it comes to celebrating Canada Day. At this annual block party, Osborne Village is closed off to cars from River Avenue to McMillan Avenue, making room for over 70,000 people to mix, mingle, listen to live bands, shop, and enjoy the city’s largest patio-like experience for two-and-a-half days (it starts on June 30 at 6 p.m. and runs until July 2).
On Canada Day proper, the main stage festivities start at 11 a.m. with Indigenous drum groups, the marching of the flags from veterans, the cutting of a ginormous cake (whereby 400 pieces will be served), drag shows, cultural dances, a fashion show, and a fine selection of local and national bands. It’s all representative of the cultural mosaic that makes Canada such a great place to be.
For the kids and families there will be the Movie Night Under the Stars, the Skyzone Family Area, a petting zoo, pony tides, face painting and a giant hamster ball obstacle course. There will also be NBA basketball courts, a baseball dunk tank, food trucks, extended patios for the restaurants, and all manner of tasty treats.
Canad Inns Family Fun Day in Assiniboine Park
For Canada 150, Canad Inns is going to be staging their largest fireworks display yet, while all the annual family-fun will happen throughout the day in Winnipeg’s biggest park. It starts at 1 p.m. with live music on the Lyric Stage along with fun stuff for the little kiddies like bouncy castles, face painting, and other good stuff.
The official opening ceremonies take place at 3:30 p.m. (which includes free birthday cake) followed by live performances by bands including Pop Vegas, the Dust Rhinos, and the Danny Kramer Band. The massive fireworks display starts at 10:40 p.m.
And please note: Due to the large number of vehicles that will be out in the park during the day, Canad Inns is providing free transit into the park if you leave your vehicle at Canadian Mennonite University, Asper Jewish Community Campus, Seasons of Tuxedo, St. Paul’s High School or Shaftsbury High School.
Explore inside our museums
CMHR is offering $5 admission and children under seven get in free. Several Canadian-themed activities are planned, including Canadians in Conversation, an activity where you’re invited to share the one thing you would say to an important Canadian from our past. The Our Canada, My Story exhibit features the contemporary human rights experiences of seven Canadians and Haudenosaunee Hand-eye Coordination Game in the Indigenous Perspectives gallery. The Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir performs from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Moe Levy Amphitheatre.
Manitoba Museum is offering free admission to the museum galleries for any kids between the ages of 3 and 12 who are wearing red and white. There’s a also a Canada Day Scavenger Hunt inspired by animals featured on Canadian coins and a new Planetarium show called Chasing the Shadow, This Summer's Solar Eclipse. And you won’t want to miss the World’s Giant Dinosaurs exhibit while you’re there.
Be Part of a Living Flag
Last on this list but certainly not least is the opportunity to be part of the world’s largest living maple leaf. Downtown Winnipeg Biz’s annual living flag celebration and photo will take place this year right at Portage and Main, where people dressed in red can gather from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. to be part of this massive maple leaf.
For more details, click here.