For the first time since 2014, one of the community’s favourite events will be back: Canada Day at Petrie Island.
In 2015, the Greater Orléans Canada Day celebrations moved from Petrie Island to Navan. In 2016, the group that ran the event for 11 years decided to “call it a day”.
The Kiwanis Club of Orléans will tackle the event for 2017, making sure the event runs for Canada’s 150th birthday.
“The group that did it before did an awesome job, and I think they created a lot of good will and an appetite for a private community event,” said Kiwanis Club president Harley Bloom.
He said a number of Kiwanis Club members were previously involved in the Petrie Island celebrations, and knew the community was disappointed it wasn’t running anymore — so “it was pretty much a no-brainer” to run it.
Co-chairs Zybina Richards and Loretta Chow will take the lead on this year’s event.
The group discussed running the event last year, but they found out about the cancellation too late in the year to be able to put on an event, so they focused efforts on relaunching the celebrations in 2017.
The event will be similar to prior Canada Days held at Petrie Island, with family events opening at 11 a.m. and celebrations running through to 10 p.m. fireworks.
Bloom said the fireworks will be the best anyone’s ever seen at Petrie Island, and will come with an estimated bill of $10,000.
“With the 150 birthday, we’re working on probably the most spectacular fireworks display that Orléans has ever seen,” he said.
They also plan to announce an entertainment lineup and headline act, and plan to bring back the favourite elements of past Canada Day events.
Organizers have already met with various community members and associations to see how different groups can get involved to make the event a success.
They also want to create a heritage village, where different cultural groups who have come to Canada can set up displays and put on stage presentations.
Kids will get passports and be able to go through each of the displays and get a stamp from each one to get a prize.
“It’s a chance to learn a little bit more about who came to Canada, when they came to Canada, why they came to Canada,” Bloom said.
They want to have 10 groups involved, and a couple have already confirmed.
Between now and July 1, the group will also be fundraising in order to put on the event and fireworks. There will be a GoFundMe set up, and a trivia fundraiser at the end of April.