Canada Day in the Columbia Valley

Two fireworks, a parade, and events all day long to celebrate Canada’s birthday

If you are lucky enough to be in the Columbia Valley this Canada Day, there will be plenty to entertain you the whole day through.

The day’s celebration kicks off at 12:01 a.m., with the annual Kinsmen fireworks. Chris Van Mulligen, incoming president of the Kinsmen Club of the Windermere Valley and chair of the fireworks committee, says the annual cost to put on the show is $9,000, raised from generous business and individual donations.

Mr. Van Mulligen recommends watching the fireworks from James Chabot beach for the best view.

After the fireworks, grab some shut-eye because you’re going to want to have energy for a full day of fun. Head up to Panorama Mountain resort for $1 pancake breakfast in the Great Hall at 10 a.m. If you want to stay the day at Panorama, they will have kids activities and camps running throughout the weekend, and cake on the Great Hall patio at 12 p.m. Burn N’ Mahn Dueling Pianos, is on at 9 p.m. at the T-Bar & grill, $10 entry at the door. For more information on Panorama events, visit

The annual Canada Day parade happens at 11 a.m. on Invermere’s main street. Coordinator Laurie Meadows says they have had less parade entrants sign up this year than usual, but she suspects many will show up on the day of the parade to register. If you would like to enter a float, show up at Pothole Park at 10 a.m. to register.

Ms. Meadows enjoys watching the enthusiasm of the people that do participate and the crowds that enjoy the parade. She estimates last year, there were between 3,000 and 5,000 parade attendees.

“The streets were packed, from the storefronts right to the curb,” she recalls.

A few reminders for parade participants and viewers, Ms. Meadows adds: all handouts must be hand delivered, not thrown, for safety reasons. And viewers are asked to please stay off the streets.

After the parade, walk down to Kinsmen Beach, where the Mountain Mosaic Festival of the ARTS runs from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Main stage entertainment, including Leslie Gotfrit, a community dance caller, Kitchen Party and Small Town Dirtbags, and Oh Canada sung by Emma Kade at 12:30 on the nose. Festival entertainment includes a mosaic art tent, food vendors, face painting, children’s activities, and the always-hilarious boat float event.

“It is the best free family event to celebrate Canada Day in the Valley,” says Jami Scheffer, Pynelogs executive director and gallery manager.

Or hop in the car and head to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, where the party goes from 12-4 p.m. with live music on the new Poolside shop deck. There will be face painting, Base Camp fun including mini golf, lawn games, volleyball and more. Canada Day cake will be cut at 1 p.m.

“Canada Day is fun for the entire family,” says Nancy Heatherington, marketing director. “There is so much going on for the kids, including hula hoop workshops, Ruby the clown doing balloon animals (and more). We are offering everything for everyone.”

Be sure to get out to Fairmont in time for the Canada Day celebrations wrap up: light and fire performer at 10 p.m., with fireworks at 10:30 p.m.

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