Canada Day taking shape

Duane Hicks

While they still need to raise money and get volunteers, the “It’s EH Celebration” committee has been working hard to line up a new and exciting kind of birthday party for Canada on July 1.
Sandra Allan, entertainment planner for the committee, said activities are being planned to coincide with the dragon boat races being organized by NCDS here on July 1.
This means they’ll all take place along the riverfront, as opposed to Pither’s Point Park, where they’ve traditionally been held.
“It looks like it’s going to be a good celebration and a lot of fun,” enthused Allan, noting the idea is to have a “boardwalk atmosphere” or “street block party” along the La Verendrye Parkway (Front Street).
A Canada Day parade will take place there starting at noon on July 1. The theme will be “tropical,” meaning organizers want floats to be bright and fun.
“Because the dragon boats are so colourful, we were thinking ‘tropical’ would be a good theme to go with,” Allan reasoned.
Anyone wanting to enter a float can give her a call at 274-6115.
Meanwhile, “It’s EH Singing Competition” will take place at the Sorting Gap Marina area from 2-5 p.m. There will be three categories: ages four-12, 13-19, and 20-plus.
There will be cash prizes sponsored by Boston Pizza.
There also may be a
mini-king and queen contest that afternoon, or perhaps simply the winners will be announced at that time.
Distant Legacy will play from 5-7 p.m., followed by the Namakan River Trio from 7-8 p.m., who will be bringing along some jigging dancers.
Then from 8-10 p.m., The Poor Boys will take the stage. Larissa Desrosiers then will sing the national anthem at 10 p.m., just before the fireworks display begins.
Brian Harris will be providing the sound for all acts that day.
A variety of food booths also will be set up along the riverfront on July 1.
Leading up to Canada Day, there will be a fundraiser social on Friday, June 29 at La Place Rendez-Vous. It will run from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. and feature live music by Centre-Line.
There will be a 50/50 draw at the dance, as well as a raffle/auction for prizes donated by local businesses, with all proceeds go towards Canada Day celebrations.
Tickets cost $10 each, which are available now at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce (474 Scott St.)
Help needed
But Allan said the committee also needs volunteers to help with various tasks on Canada Day, such as setting up and taking down tents, garbage pick-up, etc.
She added it’s a perfect chance for high school students to earn their volunteer hours needed to graduate.
Those interested in volunteering can give her a call at 274-6115.
And while plans are coming together, Allan stressed the committee still needs money to make the celebration the success they’ve envisioned.
She said the committee has sent out letters to various local organizations, and is urging anyone who wants to sponsor the Canada Day celebrations to do so.
“We’ve been knocking on doors . . . we’ve had some businesses sponsor us already,” Allan noted.
“It’s been awesome, but we still have a long ways to go yet,” she admitted.
Any donation would be “wonderful,” added Allan, who mentioned the “It’s EH Celebration” committee has an account overseen by chartered accountant Maurice L. Fillion and Lynda Richardson.
Donations can be made out to “It’s EH Celebration Committee.”
Some Canada Day funding is still up in the air. And at least from the town’s point of view, there also has to be clarification between the “It’s EH Celebration” committee and the “Fun in the Sun” committee, which is not organizing any Canada Day events other than the fireworks.
The “It’s EH Celebration” committee has submitted a financial request to the town for $4,250 to pay for entertainment on June 29 and July 1.
The town already has budgeted a $5,000 grant for fireworks for the “Fun in the Sun” committee, and it also has made arrangements to ensure that committee’s activities would be covered under the town’s insurance policy.
As well, “Fun in the Sun” chair Randy Thoms had applied for a grant from “Celebrate Canada,” but there’s been no word as to whether the grant application was successful—only that applications are being reviewed and announcements will be made soon.
In a letter to council, Thoms said he had been told by “Celebrate Canada” that the grant applied for by “Fun in the Sun” could not be turned over to others for use.
If the “It’s EH Celebration” committee were to gain access to that funding, they would have to be members of “Fun in the Sun.”
The town is hoping to clear up the situation.
At Monday night’s council meeting, the Administration and Finance executive committee recommended that Canada Day celebrations should continue under one committee and not various groups working on individual initiatives.
The executive committee has asked Allan to attend their next meeting May 22 and try to work something out, Mayor Roy Avis confirmed yesterday afternoon.