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Drive-thru pancakes and history: How Port Coquitlam aims to celebrate Canada Day 2021

City calls for the day to be a time of reflection, with educational resources to encourage residents to learn about Canada’s history and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous communities — plus art, music and food
Canada Day in 2018 featured cake cutting and community gatherings. For the second year, Port Coquitlam is curtailing big public events for Canada Day due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Port Coquitlam will continue with the annual Canada Day tradition this year, but will avoid big public gatherings due to COVID-19 and the local First Nation will have a prominent place in the proceedings.

The decision to continue with the annual event comes as some activists have been reported in the media as seeking the cancellation of Canada Day and the city of Victoria has scrapped its celebration and asked residents to “reflect on what it means to be Canadian.”

Reflection will also be an important theme of Port Coquitlam’s Canada Day celebration as a news release acknowledges, "Canada Day this year will be a time of reflection for many.”

“To acknowledge the Indigenous people who have lived in this area for time immemorial, the city will be providing educational resources at to encourage local residents and families to learn about Canada’s history and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous communities,” the statement adds.

As well, there will be video messages from both kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation Chief Ed Hall and Mayor Brad West. 

In previous years, there have been fireworks, live music and cake-cutting.

However, this year’s PoCo Canada Day will still be recognizable for the blend of celebration, the arts, music and food.

Traditional events will be mostly online or drive-thru as the city moves to provide a variety of ways to celebrate. However, some small art and farmers’ market events will be held in Lions’ Park and Leigh Square.

This year’s plans include the annual firefighters’ salmon barbecue and the popular Lions Club pancake breakfast — but they’ll be drive thru and operate on a first-come-first-served basis.

There will also be art demonstrations and an online movie, according to a press release.

According to the city, the following activities will take place on July 1.

  • A selection of pre-recorded videos on demand, including messages from Mayor West and from Chief Hall, a performance by local favourites Hickelstock, and 'O Canada' performed by the Tri-City School of Music.
  • Lions Club drive-through pancake breakfast at Riverside secondary from 8 to 11 a.m. (first-come, first-served).
  • Port Coquitlam firefighters’ annual salmon barbecue drive-through at Firehall #1 at 1725 Broadway St. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (first-come, first-served).
  • Lions Park Artists-in-Residence art-making demonstrations, celebrating the social connections between trees, at Lions Park from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Art Focus Association’s "Visions and Vistas" online movie, with scenes highlighting the city’s beauty and featuring over 80 art pieces.
  • Port Coquitlam Farmers Market from 3 to 7 p.m. in Leigh Square, including special Canada Day offerings.

The city’s website will also promote community organizations that are typically part of the Castle Park Canada Day celebrations.

Residents will also be encouraged to explore Port Coquitlam’s parks and outdoor spaces. 

The city is also working closely with the Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association, area businesses and Farmers Market vendors to plan special promotions, including supplies and take-out picnics that can be enjoyed in the park, according to the release.

Port Coquitlam’s 2021 Canada Day activities have been generously supported by Canadian Heritage.

For more information, you can visit the city of Port Coquitlam's Canada Day page.