Sechelt, BC – In light of the current and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the District of Sechelt has made the difficult decision to cancel the annual Sechelt Canada Day parade and festivities. Canada Day in Sechelt is the largest July 1st celebration on the Sunshine Coast, and the largest 1-day event in the municipality attracting 4,000-5,000 visitors. Given the need to physically distance, it is not feasible to host such an event this summer.
The decision to cancel the parade and festivities came after an announcement on Saturday, April 18th from BC provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. In her announcement, Dr. Henry stated large events and parades will not take place this summer in order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The District of Sechelt’s Canada Day Committee has already shifted their attention to finding ways to encourage a sense of community connection and celebration while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
“This was a difficult, but necessary decision to make,” Siobhan Smith, Arts, Culture and Communications Coordinator for the District of Sechelt, “however, the Canada Day Committee is still making plans for a different type of event that allows for social connections and community celebration while keeping a safe distance.”
“Community festivals and events showcase the best of Sechelt and they are a significant part of what makes Sechelt a vibrant place to live,” said Mayor Siegers. “The District of Sechelt will continue to support local arts, culture, and heritage, and we look forward to the day when large events can return, but for now we need to focus on protecting the health and safety of our residents.”
This popular annual event is organized in partnership with the Sechelt Downtown Business Association, the Sechelt Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, the Sechelt Fire Department, and the Sechelt Rotary Club, along with many other community organizations, small businesses, and volunteers. The event includes a parade, live music, beer gardens, a market of local vendors and free entertainment and children’s activities.