Canada Day event expected to bring 25,000 people to Lions Park

On June 2, organizers of Brantford’s Canada Day celebration met with Mayor Chris Friel and held a media conference to unveil the festivities planned for Canada’s 147th birthday. Brantford Parks and Recreation hosts the event annually, with help from Brantford Police, Brantford Transit and Sanderson Centre.

This is a collaboration that Lori-Dawn Cavin of Brantford Parks and Recreation calls, “a labor of love for the entire city.” The day will include vendors and entertainment suitable for the entire family, complete with an unforgettable firework show to top off the day.

Among the performers are Crisis What Crisis, a SuperTramp cover band; Harlan Pepper, Spoons and headliner David Wilcox. There will also be a stage for children, including appearances from Dora the Explorer, One More Direction and Applejack.

One More Direction performing on stage at Canada Day 2013 (photo by Nathanael Lewis).
One More Direction performing on stage at Canada Day 2013 (photo by Nathanael Lewis).


Main Stage Schedule:

12:00 P.M. Dan McCauley

1:00 P.M. The New X Statix

2:20 P.M. Harvest Moon

3:50 P.M. Opening Ceremonies

4:15 P.M. Harlan Pepper and Tom Wilson

5:30 P.M. Spoons

7:00 P.M. Crisis What Crisis

9:00 P.M. David Wilcox

10:30 P.M. Firworks


Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to peruse the aisles of the outdoor marketplace, sponsored by RogersTV, which will include a multitude of vendors selling everything from art to eco-friendly products.

Cavin estimates that the festival is valued around $200,000, though sponsors, grants and festival fees cover the majority of the expenses. The City of Brantford provides a contribution of $40,000 to pay for city services and fireworks. The fireworks are predicted to be the highlight of the night, and Cavin says that at $15,000 for a 15- minute display, “it’s the best bang for your buck.” She continues, “Not everyone in the community may like David Wilcox, and not everyone in the community has small kids where they would appreciate Dora the Explorer on the kids stage, but fireworks are something that everyone enjoys.”

Another interesting aspect of the festival is the Citizenship Ceremony that preludes the day’s events. Last year, 32 immigrants from Brantford and surrounding areas became Canadian Citizens during the ceremony, and onlookers are also welcomed to recite a reaffirmation oath. Cavin states that, “Everything is planned around the citizenship ceremony, because that’s the heart and soul of what Canada Day is.”

To ensure accessibility to the event, free shuttle buses will be operating from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and will resume after the festivities end at 11 p.m. There will be two buses operating from City Hall and Lynden Park Mall.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this free festival. This is only one of the many community events held in Brantford, but it is definitely one of the largest.

Cavin notes that, “Community events just bring people together, and it helps to celebrate diversity and different cultures, and that’s especially what Canada Day does.”

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