Canada Day! Going Online.

There will be no fireworks, no live music and no big gatherings in Penticton this year on Canada Day, but the city has plans to take its celebration online.

In order to discourage large gatherings in light of COVID-19 restrictions, the city has put together a virtual Canada Day, featuring local children’s entertainers, popular musicians, and fun video submissions from across the region.

Headliners include music duo Aidan and Mandy, musician Beamer Wigley, magician Leif David, and dance and fitness instructor Ashley Dias. The show is expected to last 90 minutes, starting at 12 p.m. on July 1.

“Residents can expect a high-energy, entertaining show featuring some of your favourite local performers and musicians,” said sport and event project manager Carly Lewis. “Be prepared to move your body and sing along as we celebrate the best of our community!”

Residents are asked to contribute to the event by submitting a self-recorded one-minute video of them and their family singing our national anthem here. The video will be incorporated into a Community Song Project, to be revealed on the virtual Canada Day show.

As for evening entertainment, residents won’t be watching the typical annual fireworks show. The Penticton Lakeside Resort took over running the $25,000 fireworks show in January, but they confirm this year is not a go.

“We couldn’t move forward because it just encourages people to congregate,” said Penticton Lakeside Resort director of marketing Brannigan Mosses.

Aside from the COVID-19 restrictions, they were not sure they could raise the money needed.

“There is a significant amount of time required to fundraise for an event like that. With the shift in the economy, donations would be hard to come by … and honestly, we want to encourage donations to go to causes with a more immediate need,” Mosses explained.

She said they had already received two donations toward the fireworks fund before the pandemic hit, which have both been returned.

They hope to be back next year with the fireworks and do not have any plans to give up on the display.

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