Canada Day festivities gaining steam

Duane Hicks

Plans for Canada Day celebrations in Fort Frances keep getting better as more and more people with new ideas come forward.
Organizing committee member Dawn Booth said she was pleasantly surprised to see plenty of new faces at their meeting Monday evening, and that the list of activities expected to place at Pither’s Point on July 1 continues to grow.
“A lot of people showed up for our meeting,” she noted. “It was probably the best meeting I’ve ever sat in on in the 12 years I’ve been on ‘Fun in the Sun.’
“We had about 10 new people coming out, so that is awesome in itself,” she added. “They all have great ideas and are working on different things.
“We’re very, very happy. It looks like this is going to be a great year,” enthused Booth, noting the committee also has agreed to drop the old “Fun in the Sun” moniker and go forward as a body focusing solely on Canada Day.
While some of the details still are being sorted out, Booth said the parade definitely is going ahead—and local groups and businesses are asked to come aboard.
“We do want to encourage as many businesses and groups out there to participate in the parade,” she remarked.
“It can be simply walking with the parade or with an elaborate float, whatever—we just want anybody and everybody to participate.”
The theme for the parade, and the entire July 1 celebration, is “Canada Rocks Fort Frances.”
“We just want to encourage everybody to show their Canadian pride,” Booth explained.
Among the confirmed parade participants so far are the local Legion, who also will be holding a pancake breakfast prior to the parade, as well as a kiddies’ parade, and Borderland Roller Derby, who also have been asked to do an activity at Pither’s Point or at least promote themselves.
In addition to the parade and fireworks, other Canada Day activities now include paintball, a horseshoe tournament (sponsored by the Legion and Labatts), Energy Fitness Centre’s 1K kids’ run, laser tag, a 50/50 Bingo, and bathtub races.
There also will be a beach volleyball tourney, organized by Sarah Gould and Amy Wilson-Hands.
Anyone wanting to get involved or sign up a team is urged to contact them at 274-2326 or 274-9045, respectively.
Some other new ideas being considered include a kids’ Olympics, karaoke contests (run by district songstress Sandra Allan) for both children and adults (followed by an open mic segment for people who just want to have fun), and then a band to play in the evening.
Booth said the committee also has been talking with Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship committee members, who may set up a booth at Pither’s Point on July 1 to promote this year’s tourney (July 18-24).
“The new person in charge of their kids’ activities [Lynda Richardson] came to our meeting, too, see we’re really hoping they’ll come on board and help us with that,” noted Booth.
“That will be a bonus for us,” she remarked.
Booth said organizers also are looking at bringing in LED balloons (balloons that light up at night) to sell, which will add some “colour and pizzazz” when the crowd gathers to watch the fireworks that night.
Meanwhile, the Riverside Foundation for Health Care will be selling its Canada Day cash lottery tickets (which will be drawn at 10 p.m.) and the Christian motorcycle club (who also will be in the parade) will have a tent to share information about themselves.
Booth said there also will be at least three food booths—and possibly more. Anyone else with a food booth (even just selling pop, chips, or ice cream) is encouraged to contact her to let her know they also want to set up at Pither’s Point on Canada Day.
“It’s big because the past couple years, we’ve only had one or none,” Booth said. “So we really want to stress there will be food available at the Point this year.
“We encourage everybody to come up there and have lunch.”
Yet another idea being considered is a market where people can sell arts and crafts.
Booth said organizers are going to try and contact more local groups in the near future, such as the Girl Guides (which are celebrating 100 years), the 908 Rainy Lake Air Cadet Squadron, and the Fort Frances Folk Festival.
She added there’s “a ready-made crowd” at Pither’s Point on Canada Day, and it’s the perfect place for groups to promote themselves.
As previously reported, there will no queen contest on Canada Day. However, a mini-king and mini-queen contest is slated for Tuesday, June 22 (see details elsewhere in this edition of the Times).
If any club, group, or organization would like to help organize an event or activity on Canada Day, or would like additional information, they are asked to attend the committee’s next meeting, which is slated for Monday, June 14 at 6 p.m. in the ’52 Canadians Arena meeting room.
They also can leave a message for Booth at 274-1843 or via e-mail at, or with Scott Turvey at 276-0800 or e-mail