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Canada Day festivities laid out for Vernon, minus fireworks

The local society that puts on the event has been renamed, and has big plans for the future
Hundreds of people came out to Polson Park to celebrate Canada Day with a day of activities for all ages Saturday, July 1, 2023. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Canada Day festivities in Vernon this year will have a new VOICE.

The Vernon-Okanagan Inspired Community Events Society (VOICE) presented to council on their plans for Canada Day activities in Polson Park. The Society was formerly called the North Okanagan Canada Day Society.

“It is renamed to reflect our commitment to creating a variety of community-based experiences in the North Okanagan,” said Mayla Janzen of the VOICE Society.

Janzen stated that Canada Day this year will not have fireworks again due to climate change risks, but there will be numerous free-to-attend activities in the park.

“We will have our community art activities, a skate competition, car show, fruitfest, story walk and an Animatronic dinosaur,” Janzen said.

“We do try to make it more celebratory of the town, as we have tried harder to make it more approachable to all groups in our community as it has come to our attention that Canada Day can be something that is very hurtful for some members of our community,” Janzen added, after a question from Coun. Teresa Durning on how to brand the day as Canada’s birthday. “We are trying to make it approachable for everyone.”

There was talk by Janzen of potentially expanding the reach of the VOICE Society, to beyond just Canada Day events.

“Our next plan is Polson Park Palooza, which is funded in part by Vernon Tourism,” said Janzen. “We got enough funds to run two events this summer, which will encourage folks to come out to the park (Polson) and enjoy live music”

“Our first one is slated for June 14, we have a band coming called Carmanah.”

Janzen requested that the city of Vernon provides tables, chairs, parks employees, porta-potties and a waive of park rental fees for Canada Day.

Council approved the presentation, and administration will provide a report to council for the next meeting, May 27.

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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