Feature Story                                                                                                               Thursday July 5, 2012


Baby, You're A Firework 

Chilliwack puts the "Canadian" in Canada Day  

Staff/Voice photos


A young couple steal a kiss in the grandstands during Canada Day celebrations on Sunday.

anada's getting on in age. One hundred and forty five to be precise. With the exception of a couple of liver spots, she looks as young and as vibrant as ever, and always just as beautiful as she wants to be.

On Sunday July 1, residents were treated to a huge lineup of great events during the daylong Envision Chilliwack Canada Day Celebrations put on by the Chilliwack Arts Council, and it could safely be said that it was the biggest and best Dominion bash yet.

Thousands of people came out to the new venue at the Landing Sports Centre on Corbould St. and every corner of the park and fields were buzzing with activities.

A breakfast of champs as put on by the pancake kings, the Mt Cheam Lions Club.

Prospera Centre had free ice skating and later gave away hockey sticks and pucks. There was tennis, soccer, baseball and roller derby. If you had energy left from all the sports, bounce castles were waiting in the wings.

The military had some of their hardware on display including a flat deck boat. There were agriculture displays, face painting and as well as arts and crafts booths and the Cultural Centre had its ceramics studio open to the public.

Tractorgrease Studio and 89.5 Hawk Radio had an entertainment stage setup featuring; Harma White, Jason Guill, the Lounge Hounds, GW Graham, Fanaticus, Tractorgrease Folk and Darkest of the Hillside Thickets to name a few acts.

Micelle Hamel sang a hearty rendition of the national anthem prior to ceremonies that had Mayor Sharon Gaetz and MP Chuck Strahl passing on greetings from the municipal and federal governments respectively.

Gaetz told how as a young girl they said grace before every meal but it wasn't until adulthood that she saw all that there was to be grateful for.

"You know we take for granted things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble like this, free to kick out the politicians if you don't like them. We have all of those freedoms that we enjoy."

"Look around us tonight," Gaetz said. "We have beautiful mountains, we have drinking water that's the fifth best in the world, we've got all kinds of friends and family and community, and that's what it's all about."

"So as you go about your festivities tonight, there are groups that have been arranged to come and entertain you tonight, I know that you feel thankful and that you feel blessed to live in British Columbia, the best province in Canada and Chilliwack, the best city in Canada."

MP Mark Strahl echoed those sentiments reiterating that Canada is the greatest country on earth and thanked those responsible for putting on the event.

"I want to thank all the volunteers who helped to put this on, the Arts Council, the City of Chilliwack and on behalf of the prime minister and the government of Canada, I want to wish you all a happy Canada Day, God Bless you all and God Bless Canada."

Rounding out the event was the firework show at Townsend Park.

There were different places to watch from and one popular spot was in front of Prospera Centre where there's a small hill, but most people ringed Townsend Park for the show.

The RCMP did an excellent job of moving vehicle and foot traffic along afterward so there were no real long lineups exiting Townsend.

See more photos below.

Sponsor Links

Chilliwack Community Arts Council www.chilliwackartscouncil.com

City of Chilliwack www.chilliwack.com

Chilliwack Cultural Centre www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca

Tractorgrease www.tractorgrease.com

The Progress www.theprogress.com

Prospera Centre www.prosperacentre.com

Truth Snow and Skate www.thetruthskate.com

89.5 The Hawk www.895thehawk.com

Leisure Recreation Group www.leisurerecgroup.com

Provincial Territorial Canada Day Committee

The Department of Canadian Heritage www.pch.gc.ca



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