With 2016 nearly behind us, Canadian municipalities, cultural groups and residents are now looking forward to celebrating the country’s 150th year in 2017.
In the Tri-Cities, a few activities and events are lined up to mark the year-long fete — including special Canada Day celebrations on July 1.
Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come:
On April 9, the Port Moody Heritage Society will host an event dedicated to a part of Canada’s history that was crucial in bringing the country to the world stage. A morning ceremony will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge — a campaign that was the turning point in the Great War and placed Canada as an elite force among the Allied forces. Afterward, guests can check out the Sopwith Camel replica plane, a hospital train display and hear from historians, among other activities.
EVERGREEN CULTURAL CENTRE
From May 20 to Aug. 20, Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre will present a collection of intersecting stories of the city and the country as told through art, artifacts and texts. The display will weave the city’s beginnings with the birth of Canada.
This Coquitlam theatrical group kicked off its 2016-’17 season at the Evergreen Cultural Centre with a Canadian-themed series called L’oh’L, featuring the work of Canadian playwrights. In October, it showed Bare Bear Bones by Michael Grant; next month, it presents Looking by Norm Foster; and in April comes Bingo, written by Daniel MacIvor.
ROCK & GEM CLUB
The country’s 150th year coincides with the golden anniversary of this group, which meets at the Kyle Centre in Port Moody. For its annual exhibit in October, the club plans a display of 150 Canadian rocks and minerals — a coast-to-coast project that will feature special stones and fossils from each province and territory.
This St. Johns Street venue will host a touring exhibit of Art in the Park from June 15 to July 16. The federally funded display by the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre and Parks Canada celebrates the natural and cultural heritage of Glacier National Park. Twelve artists — including Jeff Wilson, a regular at the Port Moody Arts Centre — were brought together for four days, in a rustic cabin setting, to explore the area. “It was an opportunity for them to fully immerse themselves in one of Canada’s most beautiful natural places,” PMAC gallery manager Janice Cotter said.
Last month, the Coquitlam Park Spark Team partnered with the 13th Eagle Mountain Guides and the 10th Coquitlam Beaver and Cub Scouts to plant 1,000 tulip bulbs at Blue Mountain Park. The city’s 150th Celebration Garden is one of 150 similar gardens to be planted across the nation for 2017 and will feature 500 White Hakuun tulips and 500 Red Impression tulips, which were donated by Vesey’s bulbs of PEI.
Port Coquitlam will partner with PoCo Heritage to present PoCo Stories: Journeys and Connections, which will celebrate the people and culture that helped shape the city. As well, the municipality is planning public art activations and carving demonstrations at May Day and Canada Day. There will also be a multicultural performance platform called the Celebrate Canada 150 Stage, on Canada Day.
The city has two initiatives lined up for Canada 150: to expand the activities at the Golden Spike Days Festival on Canada Day (including a special evening concert and, possibly, fireworks); and the Canada 150 Mosiac project (of which the finished piece will be installed on the side of the recreation complex, facing the courtyard).