The City of Kimberley will not be hosting traditional Canada Day celebrations this year. The annual event usually involves a party in the Platzl, with Canada Day cake and live music.
Under current provincial COVID-19 protocols, permitted activities include outdoor personal gatherings of up to 50 people, indoor personal gatherings of up to five people, outdoor organized gatherings of up to 50 people, and indoor organized gatherings of up to 50 people with a COVID-19 safety plan.
Depending on COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations vaccination rates, B.C. may move to the third phase of the provincial restart plan, which may happen as soon as July 1, which requires 70 per cent of the population 18 years of age and older to be vaccinated.
Other cities in B.C., such as Victoria and Penticton, have foregone Canada Day events entirely, following the recent discovery of unmarked graves of 215 Indigenous children at the site of a former residential school near Kamloops.
Mayor Don McCormick says that there was just too much uncertainty over what kind of activity will actually be allowed by July 1, and it left no time for planning.
“The province left July 1 as the date we’d be open enough to celebrate but they are not giving any hints of what will actually be allowed,” McCormick said.
“These events take time to plan, so our typical Canada Day celebration will be deferred to next year.”
McCormick says that the Kimberley Fire Department will be hosting a small, low key event in front of City Hall for anyone who wishes to drop by.
Also residents are reminded that if you are having Canada Day celebrations at home, the Southeast Fire Centre banned fireworks as of Friday, June 25 2021 due to drying conditions in the forecasted heat wave.
With a file from Trevor Crawley