Canada Day festivities are virtual this year.

Canada Day festivities are virtual this year.

COVID-19 reshapes Canada Day celebrations from big parties to online shows

The 53 bells of the Peace Tower will still ring today

OTTAWA — A different kind of Canada Day has dawned across the country, with large celebrations in many parts of the nation replaced with backyard barbecues and digital events due to COVID-19.

The pandemic has led to the cancellation of high-profile events like the annual pomp and pageantry on Parliament Hill in favour of online offerings to keep crowds from gathering.

Instead, the Ottawa shows will be streamed at midday and in the evening, followed by virtual fireworks as part of a buffet of digital activities Canadian Heritage has curated.

The 53 bells of the Peace Tower will still ring today, with two special recitals streamed live.

In other parts of the country, crowds may be able to gather for actual fireworks displays, including in Alberta.

On Tuesday, the province’s chief medical officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said that up to 200 people could gather for audience-type outdoor community events such as fireworks and festivals.

“Celebrate Canada Day safely,” she tweeted. “Wear a mask, wash your hands and stay (two metres) apart.”

Heading into Canada Day, the country had 103,918 reported cases of COVID-19, including 8,566 deaths, based on figures released Tuesday by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In his statement on Canada Day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touched on the various issues that have come to forefront because of the pandemic, such as the need to ensure “every senior has a safe place to live” after reports of appalling conditions in long-term care homes subject to outbreaks.

“The last few months have been difficult for all Canadians, but throughout this pandemic, we have been there for one another,” the statement says.

“We are neighbours helping neighbours, small businesses being there for their communities and their staff, Armed Forces answering the call to help protect our most vulnerable, and doctors and nurses keeping our families healthy. Because that’s what it means to be Canadian.”

He also says the country still can better itself, including having a Canada “where we say no to racism, injustice, and hate.”

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supporters gather during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop cafe in Mirror Alta, on Saturday May 8, 2021. The Whistle Stop was shut down by AHS for not complying with COVID-19 rules. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Police hand out tickets to dozens leaving anti-lockdown protest in Alberta

Hundreds gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta.

Oval Race track at Central Alberta Raceway. (Photo Submitted)
Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey delays opening after health restrictions expand

Central Alberta Raceways had originally planned to open for the season at the end of May

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Alberta leads the Prairie provinces in being the first to take COVID-19 vaccine bookings for pre-teens. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leads Prairie provinces in accepting COVID vaccine bookings for pre-teens

The province begins accepting appointments for kids as young as 12 starting today

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
File photo
Arrest made for armed robbery in Millet, Wetaskiwin RCMP continue to investigate

Wetaskiwin RCMP are investigating an armed robbery took place May 4, 2021 in Millet, Alta.

Dr. Karina Pillay, former mayor of Slave Lake, Alta., is shown at her medical clinic in Calgary on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
10 years later: Former Slave Lake mayor remembers wildfire that burned through town

Alberta announced in 2011 that an unknown arsonist had recklessly or deliberately ignited the forest fire

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

Most Read