Kelowna is bringing Canada Day celebrations back after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic.
And, while the return of the celebration is highly anticipated many will be thinking and respectfully pausing, to reflect on the discovery of Indigenous children’s graves found at residential school across the country last year.
“I think it is absolutely essential that we take a moment to reflect on what has been discovered in the past year,” said Mayor Colin Basran at the June 22, Canada Day announcement downtown Kelowna.
“I think that there still is a place for Canada Day, but I think that it is different, and it should be different.”
The city expects the celebration to draw a large crowd. To keep the day safe and fun, there will be extra security and police and Kelowna Transit will increase their service to the downtown core on July 1.
Festivals Kelowna said that they reached out to their Indigenous partners who stated that they needed more time to grieve before participating in Canada Day celebrations. Festivals said they will continue to be open to collaborations with their Indigenous community members.