THUNDER BAY - One of the biggest celebrations in the city of Thunder Bay will be even bigger this year, as the city, along with the nation, prepares to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
On Tuesday, the city unveiled its plans for the annual Canada Day festivities at Marina Park. This year will include many well-known favourites, including activities for kids, food vendors, and of course a fireworks show to cap off the day.
But there will also be some new and exciting additions to highlight Canada’s 150th anniversary, including a travelling science exhibit and a Juno-nominated music group.
“On the main stage, we have 2017 Juno nominee Ten Strings and A Goatskin,” said Ash Young, cultural development and events supervisor with the city of Thunder Bay.
“Other highlights throughout the park, we have a teaching lodge by the Blue Sky Healing Centre, and also we have the Innovation 150 Power of Ideas tour making a stop here, which is a huge highlight this year.”
Other performances will include singer-songwriter, Nick Sherman, and local favourites, Rock Steady. Young said it is really exciting to have a Ten Strings and A Goatskin, the Prince Edward Island bilingual acoustic trio, who were nominated for the 2017 best traditional roots album of the year.
“We wanted to have a bilingual component to the main stage this year,” he said. “It turns out they had an exciting year this year with their Juno nomination. It’s going to be a great act and people are going to have a lot of fun singing and dancing along with those guys.”
The Power of Ideas Exhibit hosted by Perimeter Institute is travelling from coast to coast as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary. Along with Science North, the exhibit will offer science displays about the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful microscope, and the world’s largest telescope, Event Horizon.
“This is to get kids excited about science and make them think about deeper questions about our wonderful world,” said Greg Dick, director of educational outreach at Perimeter Institute.
“We feel so honoured to be able to travel across this country as part of 150th in general and the fact that we can be here in Thunder Bay for Canada Day just makes it extra special,” Dick continued. “We want to be part of the celebration. There will be more than 20,000 people down at the waterfront and to be part of that with families and engaging kids, we are super excited.”
The day will also include demonstrations by community groups including Ultimate Gymnastics' Try-It-Zone, Eclectic Skateboard Shop’s 4th Birthday Bash, Mackinley’s Delusions, arts and crafts workshops, and a demonstration by the Peng You Taijiquan Association.
Young said the Canada Day celebration at Marina Park is one of the biggest events of the year for the city that usually draws more than 20,000 people. With it being Canada’s 150th anniversary, he expects that number could be even higher.
“We are expecting a little higher than normal, but it should be around the 20,000 range, 25,000 tops,” he said.
And with such large crowds, Thunder Bay Police are reminding people to obey all traffic and parking signs, watch for pedestrians, take advantage of shuttle services from Intercity Shopping Centre, and exercise extra caution when using any fireworks at home.
“One of the things we always have some concerns about is child safety,” said Acting Sgt. Gordon Snyder with the Thunder Bay Police Service. “There is going to be a lot of children down at Marina Park and thousands of people and kids dart away really easily. Just reminding parents they keep their kids close at hand so they don’t dart away.”
The festivities begin at 5 p.m. and conclude at 11 p.m. with a fireworks display that will include a 15-minute finale of red and white.