Canada Day celebrations attracted residents to the Vanderhoof Community Museum this July 1, 2013 and celebrators were not disappointed.
Mayor Gerry Thiessen was at the event and spoke about appreciating the freedom that Canada offers to everyone. He told a story about a conversation with a cab driver and how hard the driver worked on his own personal journey to becoming a Canadian.
Just as Thiessen was telling everyone to “enjoy the freedom” a train flew past and blew its horn. There could have been no clearer image of Canada at no more perfect of a time. The trains that cross our country connect us and once helped build the identity of our nation.
Many vendors were set up at the event with cotton candy and burgers for everyone. A local woodcarver, Mike Craig, was selling homemade wooden decorations.
The Apple Chors choir band got everyone on their feet singing the national anthem. Their performance was followed by the Good News Band, the Sinkut Mountain Boys and Sheeba Belly Dancers.
Before any of the events at the museum began, many residents participated in the Mary John Senior Legacy walk from the Saik’uz Reserve convenience store to the Vanderhoof museum. There was an Aboriginal welcome message along with singing, drums and storytelling.
Back at the museum, the residents relaxed and tried to hide in the shade on the scorching Canada day. The kids enjoyed the barrel train, face painting, crafts and games. As well as the annual scavenger hunt. Historically themed, the hunt had participants racing through the old buildings searching for the specific items on their list.
All the celebrations came to a close at 5 p.m. when the museum closed. Many residents drove to Fort St. James for the fireworks at 11 p.m.
Canada Day is a celebration of the enactment of the British North America Act in 1867. From 1879 to 1982 Canada Day was officially known as Dominion Day in reference to the Dominion of Canada in the BNA Act.
When it was finally changed, many people protested that Canadians were losing their connections to the past but celebrations have continued and every year Canadians take a moment to remember and appreciate their country.