North Okanagan Canada Day Society has released its plan for virtual celebrations on Canada Day 2020. (Stock photo)

North Okanagan Canada Day celebrations going virtual amid pandemic

Fireworks have been cut from the list of expenses, to the tune of $25K in savings

July 1 will be different this year, but there will still be ways for North Okanagan residents to celebrate Canada’s birthday.

To help ensure social distancing amid COVID-19, the North Okanagan Canada Day Society has created a plan for virtual celebrations on Canada Day.

Having received a grant from Heritage Canada, the society says it does not need additional funding from the city to create the virtual event.

One big difference in this year’s events will be the absence of fireworks. However, that omission will save a considerable amount of money at a time when many are struggling financially.

“Everyone loves a good fireworks show,” said David Frost, the society’s president. “But this year, with so many people and business’s fighting for survival, it’s just not socially responsible.”

Canada Day fireworks typically cost the society around $25,000.

Instead, the society will be working on broadcasting O’Canada at 9 p.m. July 1.

Residents are encouraged to join in by heading outside and banging pots and pans—just like the shows of support for frontline workers during the pandemic.

Contests have been created to encourage participation, including a colouring contest and a bike/scooter/skateboard decorating contest. Kids who submit a photo of their decorated wheels will receive a goodie bag delivered to their door.

Businesses can also get involved. Order a decorating package from the society and received a starter pack delivered directly. The top five decorated businesses will receive a prize package for their efforts.

Other contests have been created for families and individuals, including decorating your home, vehicle or person. Residents can submit photos or a location for judging, and a prize package is in store for the top five in each of the three categories.

Photos can be sent to the society on Facebook. For help with getting decorations, contact the society at

The society has planned, funded and organized Canada Day events in the North Okanagan for the past five years.

READ MORE: Armstrong-Spallumcheen to celebrate Canada Day virtually

READ MORE: No fireworks for Canada Day in Vernon

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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