Your Local Canada Day Celebrations Guide for Barrie, Innisfil, and Orillia
by Emily Bednarz
Cities across Canada are preparing for a momentous point in Canada’s history; this year marks the 150th (or “sesquicentennial”) anniversary of Confederation, and Canada Day organizers for Barrie, Innisfil, and Orillia are pulling out all the stops.
Barrie Canada Day Celebrations
Lindsay Babcock, who serves as the Community Events Programmer for the City of Barrie, offered some insights on what you need to know for this year’s Canada Day celebrations in Barrie.
Barrie’s Canada Day celebrations will run from 1pm-9pm on July 1st in Heritage Park, where you will find:
- A Family Fun Zone, including inflatables, carnival games, free face painting, and a live educational animal display
- Entertainment on the Promenade Days stage, which runs from 4pm-10pm
- A “Fire and Glow” performance by Scarlet Black from Dispatch Talent at 8:30pm
- On-stage family entertainment, including a francophone folk duo, an indigenous dance group, a drumming and storytelling performance, and: the Celtic Canadian rock band, Mudmen.
- Canada-themed light show performance
Barrie will close out the evening with a special guest performance of “Oh Canada!” before the fireworks display over Kempenfelt Bay at 10pm
The big highlight in honour of Canada’s 150th says Babcock, is the Snowbirds show on Wednesday, June 28th. “The city is excited to welcome this rare and exciting spectacle, which is hosted in partnership with Georgian International and Canadian Forces Base Borden.” After Canada Day, “Barrie will transform all summer long into a celebration of Canada with video projection, interactive sculpture, and multi-media works by nationally recognized Canadian artists.”
All City of Barrie Canada Day programming is free and open to everyone.
Innisfil Canada Day Celebrations
Wendy Ricciardi, Liam Squires, and Erin Scutcimarri of Innisfil’s Idealab & Library offered Look Local a glimpse into this year’s amazing festivities.
The day begins at the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library on Saturday July 1 from 1pm-4pm. Attractions in the daytime include:
- An “O, Canada” performance by local dancers from Miss Jennie’s Performing Arts Studio
- The unveiling of Innisfil’s “Canada 150 Mosaic Mural,” made with tiles painted by various schools, community groups, and members of the public
- An Innisfil fire truck on site, where children can use hoses to spray targets
- Activities for children offered by Innisfil’s Library
- Performances from “Flying Ryan,” a magician/entertainer from Magical Duda Entertainment
- Musical entertainment provided by The Fitzees
- A dunk tank, food trucks, and chalk art
Participating Vendors and Community Groups such as the IACHC, Innisfil Historical Society, Municipal Services, and local artisans and crafters.
The festivities then shift to Innisfil Beach Park, from 7:30pm-10pm, which features:
- Cupcakes with Council
- Musical entertainment from The Carl Rundown Band
- A Fire Sculpture
- Canada Day Fireworks
All Innisfil Canada Day celebrations are free for all ages.
Orillia Canada Day Celebrations
Jennifer Allen, who works with the Orillia Canada Day Committee, provided Look Local with a breakdown of Orillia’s exciting Canada Day events.
Festivities begin in the late afternoon of June 30th and include:
- A street dance in the Terry Fox Circle at Couchiching Park
- A performance by local band Dr. Krane (7pm-11pm)
- A laser light show
- Early beer garden and vendor setup
- The festivities continue on July 1st at Couchiching Park and will feature:
- A pancake breakfast shortly after the children’s “Wheely Great Parade” around the Terry Fox Circle
- The volunteer-run Children’s Village (11am-5pm)
- Opening Ceremonies at 1pm, which will include a re-enactment with Sir John A. Macdonald and demonstrations by local Aboriginal groups
- A “Heritage Tent” packed with 150 years-worth of Orillia memorabilia, including the Tudhope Car
- A parade through downtown Orillia, a midway and silent auction, and complimentary cake (2pm)
- Artisan and craft stalls
- Fireworks after dusk
The Orillia 150 Committee has events running throughout the summer to honour the big anniversary. Be sure to check out the Streets Alive “150 Maple Masterpieces” that will line downtown’s streets, “The Spirit of Mariposa” exhibition at the Orillia Art and History Museum, and the Canada Flag Mosaic that will be revealed later this summer.
Although Orillia’s Canada Day celebration is free to attend, guests are highly encouraged to donate $2 for a button, as your donations fund next year’s celebrations!