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Family-friendly Canada Day: picnic, live music and fireworks

Barney Bentall headlines PoCo’s annual free event in Castle Park

Happy 155th Birthday, Canada!

The City of Port Coquitlam is inviting everyone to round up their family and friends and head to Castle Park on July 1 to join the lively gathering and participate in the 2022 Canada Day event.

“Canada Day has always been one of our signature events in Port Coquitlam,” says Mayor Brad West.

“We’re building on our successful May Days with another exciting day of quality entertainment, family activities and support for local businesses. We expect thousands to join us.”

As an unofficial launch into summer, spread your blanket or pop open your beach chair and enjoy a picnic in the park. The park’s wide-open spaces are as enticing as the 4,000-square-foot water playground, the city’s largest spray park, a cool zone for a refreshing splash.

A welcoming experience for all

This year’s event will open with a welcoming message and greetings from kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation Chief Ed Hall, Mayor Brad West, MP Ron McKinnon and MLA, Deputy Premier, Mike Farnworth.

Guided by a new trajectory in 2022 and beyond, Canada Day is an opportunity to gather with your community to strengthen the ties that bind Canadians and observe the wonderful cultural diversity that enriches society. It’s an occasion to reaffirm a commitment to equity and mutual respect—and continue along the path to a better future.

The city encourages residents and families to learn about Canada’s history by reflecting on the past and recognizing the contributions of Indigenous Communities and Peoples, just one of the ways Canadians can build toward true Reconciliation.

“We want to honour Canada’s Indigenous communities, which continue to shape who we are as a nation,” says Mayor West.

“We know more must be done, and we join others in calling upon the federal government to implement the remaining Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

Activity zone, food & drink

Flapjacks and fish kick off the event from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., where you can grab a bite in Lions Park at the Lions Club pancake breakfast. Hopefully, the salmon and trout are biting, too, for the kids’ fishing derby. Little anglers under ten can cast their line along the Coquitlam River. Catch a fish and win a prize! Catch-and-release applies.

Back in Castle Park, kids can also get creative at the painting table and chalkboard art table hosted by Art Focus, or they can be the canvas themselves with face painters from PoCo’s BIA. Stop by the City of Port Coquitlam Information Booth for family games and strike a pose with your posse in their photo booth.

Load up your picnic baskets with supplies, goodies and good eats from local businesses and Farmers’ Market vendors, plus onsite local food trucks, such as Salty’s Lobster Shack Express, with hits like lobster rolls and lobster grill cheese. Looking to try something new? Cazba Express is an excellent chance to indulge in some fine Persian dining. For dessert, indulge in cool treats from the Sweet Tooth Creamery, with lip-smacking hard scoop ice cream and ice cream sandwiches.

Quench your thirst at the beer garden with crafts from local brewers: Patina Brewing Co., Tinhouse Brewing Co., and Boardwalk Brewing, or bottled cocktails from PoCo’s Provincial Spirits.

Legendary tunes and transportation

Live entertainment kicks off at 3 p.m., featuring Amira Dance (belly dancing), Royal Academy (Bhangra dancing), and award-winning, Canadian-based, Rumba-Calzada, with their eclectic mix of Latin, Salsa, and Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Headlining is the multi-platinum selling and JUNO award-winning artist Barney Bentall, most known for his 1980’s/1990’s-era band, Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts. He will take the stage alongside his son, singer and musician Dustin Bentall, delivering his traditional country vibe.

Hot off the heels of Bentall’s April release of his newest album, Cosmic Dreamer, expect to hear his ever-broadening catalogue, along with rock classics like the 1988 hit single, Something to Live For. 

The day is capped off at dusk with a sky-dazzling pyro-musical grand finale.

Leave the car at home and take the shuttle, which departs approximately every 10 to 15 minutes from Port Coquitlam Station to Castle Park, between 2:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. 

“We encourage everyone to join the fun and this wonderful showcase of performers, artists, our community, and spectacular fireworks display,” says Mayor West. “Everything PoCo is known for: connecting and community.”

For more information, visit portcoquitlam.ca.