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Industry Update: Canada 150

By Selena Fragassi


Planning has been in the works for seven years to celebrate Canada 150, the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Canadian Federation. When it commences on July 1, a logo, commemorative currency and stamps, and a special series of murals across the country will be released as will the official flower, the Maple Leaf Tulip. From British Columbia to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia to Newfoundland, nearly every community will be taking part with a range of planned activities and parties. Here’s a look at how some Unique Venues members will be celebrating in style.

Carleton University (Ottawa, ON)

It’s a special year for Canada’s Capital University, which will be celebrating 75 years during Canada 150. To mark the occasion, the campus will become a hub of activity, not only for staff, faculty, and students, but also for visitors coming to Ottawa to take in the festivities. In fact, over the summer months, eight residence buildings will become the city’s largest hotel with more than 2,500 beds. One of the planned events includes a special exhibit called Carleton University: 75 Years of Impact, Imagination, and Innovation that features archival documents and photographs celebrating Carleton’s impact on Canada from 1942-2017. It begins on June 1 and runs through August 31. // (613) 520.2600

Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, BC)
VIU’s Milner Gardens and Woodland are an official part of the “Canada 150 Garden Experience.” The lush grounds were jury selected to be one of 150 gardens across the country included in a special Garden Route to showcase some of the finest ornamental horticulture the country has to offer. The designation was awarded by the Canadian Garden Council in collaboration with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. Milner Gardens & Woodland sits on 70 incredible acres on the edge of an oceanside bluff overlooking the Strait of Georgia. // (250) 740.6633

Kahanoff Conference Centre (Calgary, AB)

On July 6, more than 250 attendees will be welcomed to a special fete called “Celebrating You, the Community, and Canada” at this state-of-the-art conference centre. Every detail will feature a Canadian theme. Décor will include red and white balloon bouquets, tablecloths, and centerpieces. For refreshments, guests will enjoy a poutine bar and an assortment of Canadian-inspired appetizers (such as bacon-wrapped tenderloin, maple chicken kebabs, apple mesquite pork ribs, and cauliflower wings) as well as a Canada flag cake, beaver cupcakes, and Canadian beer and wine. Games will include balloon popping, bacon races and a can toss, and music will be a playlist full of Canadian artists. // (403) 206.4851

Pacific National Exhibition (Vancouver, BC)
Guests will be able to delight in a once-in-every-150-years fair to be held on the PNE grounds. Attractions include a Canada Showcase that will present a cultural mosaic of dynamic dancers, exhilarating music, and special guests, all showcasing Canadian talent. There’s also the Kaleidoscope on Parade that dives into a world of imagination, where the colours of Canada bloom. Those that wear red colors or bear an iconic maple leaf will receive reduced admission on opening weekend, August 19 and 20. // (604) 251.7787

Second City (Toronto, ON)
The famed comedy club will present a hilarious look at Canada 150 with the production, “Canada: The Thinking Man’s America.” The Second City Touring Company has combed through the archives for sketches created and performed by every generation of Canada’s greatest comedic talents, and pads the stage show with unforgettable cliches. Without a doubt, it will be the funniest sesquicentennial celebration. // (416) 343.0033

Olds College (Olds, AB)
On July 1, Olds College will be the site of a breathtaking fireworks display. The community will also be celebrating all day long with a parade, family barbecue, art show, movies, and more activities in the park. // (403) 556.8330

University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

To mark the important anniversary, there will be a number of opportunities for UBC students, faculty, staff, alumni and the broader community to explore what Canada means to them, with a strong focus on the longer history of Indigenous people in the land. The planned events are meant to reflect upon the past, act in the present, and imagine the future. On June 21, the Museum of Anthropology will present a Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks. Also in the month there will be a book launch for “Reflections of Canada,” which compiles photographs and a series of essays by leading scholars, writers, and thought leaders. And on August 2, Opera Kelowna will present a memorable evening of music under the stars featuring some of Canada’s best talent at UBC’s Okanagan campus. // (604) 822.1060