Ranjit Mann and his family are all set for Canada Day this July 1 — Canada’s big 150th birthday celebration. (submitted)

Ranjit Mann and his family are all set for Canada Day this July 1 — Canada’s big 150th birthday celebration. (submitted)

Cowichan Valley goes crazy for Canada Day

Where were you on Canada Day 2017?

The Cowichan Valley loves a good party, and Canada’s 150th birthday, coming up this Saturday and carrying through the long weekend, is a great reason to break out the fun.

From Mesachie Lake to Shawnigan and Chemainus, communities from one end of the Valley to the other have a whole host of special events planned to make the day a memorable one.

You can find everything from cake to dancing, games, parades, crafts, music and more. There’s something for folks of every age and every taste.

Browse through and decide where you’re going to tell people you were when they ask in the years to come what you did on Canada’s 150th birthday.

Mesachie Lake

At Mesachie Lake’s Hall and Skydome Ball Field, you can celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with Cowichan Lake Recreation on Friday, July 1. Festivities start at 6 p.m. and carry on to 8 p.m.

The fun is free of charge so come out and bring the whole family.

Look for music, dancing, games, arts and crafts, a concession, and birthday cake.

Honeymoon Bay

At Honeymoon Bay, Canada Day ceremonies will start promptly at 11 a.m. at the community hall, with the raising of the flag, singing of ‘O Canada’ and ‘God Save the Queen’, the Citizen of the Year Award, awarding of the Honeymoon Bay Society Student Bursary Award, and an address by Ian Morrison, Area F Director, an open mic for anyone wishing to speak on “What Canada Means to You”, and a prize draw.

Hotdogs, cake, coffee, tea and water will be served after ceremony. Everyone is welcome.

Youbou

11 a.m.-3 p.m. on July 1 there is the Youbou Community of Peace Canada Day Picnic at the church, located at 10648 Youbou Rd.

Town of Lake Cowichan

Saturday, July 1 at the Trans Canada Trail Kiosk (South Shore/Wellington Road)

11 a.m. is opening remarks

‘O Canada’ by Mary Egan

Arts Council introduction

11:15 Cutting the Cake

11:30 Arts Walk with several artisans

6:30 p.m. Music at Saywell Park (Summer Nights series)

Malahat

Canada Day at the Malahat Legion runs from 1-5 p.m.

Come down for cake, music, a meat draw and more. Kids are welcome. Sabrina Spenceley will be there to sing a few tunes.

The Loose Change Band, with Vicki Searle and The Boys, will also be on hand at the Malahat Legion that day.

Maple Bay

Celebrate Canada 150 in Maple Bay, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There’s a parade, awards and prizes, local artists, ice cream and cake, burgers and hot dogs, bouncy castle, displays and many more activities.

The annual parade musters at the dog park across from the old firehall at 9:30 a.m. for a 10:30 a.m. start.

Prize categories for this year’s annual Canada Day in Maple Bay parade (all around a “Canada 150” theme, of course) include:

Best Canada 150 float, Oldest Canadian, Youngest Canadian, Best Canada 150 Car or Truck, Canada 150 Top Dog (or pet), Best Canada 150 Boat, Best Canada 150 family, Best 1867 costume, Most regal Canadian, Most recycled Canadian and more, to be determined based on entrants. But, anything with a Canada 150 theme will have a good chance at a prize.

Festivities follow at the Rowing Club.

The Maple Bay Ocean Canoe Club will be giving free rides in their outrigger (in Maple Bay) on Canada Day. Adults will need to sign a waiver and wear a supplied PFD before they can let anyone go for a paddle.

CVAC Celebrates Canada Day at Maple Bay beach.

The PORTALS tent will be on the beach throughout the Canada Day festivities with information on what CVAC is all about, staffed by CVAC executive director Carmen Hildebrand.

CVAC member Laura Anderson and her ukulele band the UKULULU’s will be playing 11 a.m. -1 p.m. following the parade.

There are family-oriented activities planned with ice cream, hot dogs and burgers, bouncy castle and free cake and coffee.

REMINDER: The boat launch ramp in Maple Bay will be closed from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. during the Canada Day festivities. If you’re planning to launch your boat during those hours, please use the Crofton or Chemainus ramp.

Mill Bay

Celebrate Canada 150 with the Smiley Family Band on Saturday, July 1 from 8-11:55 p.m at Kerry Park Arena.

Tickets are on sale now at a cost of $20 per person.

Shawnigan Lake

The Shawnigan Lake Community Association is holding a Canada 150 celebration on Saturday, July 1.

9-11 a.m. there’s a pancake breakfast at the Malahat Legion Hall.

At 11 a.m. the parade assembles at Cairn Park near the Legion and heads out towards Shawnigan Lake village at 11:15, arriving at Elsie Miles Park in time for the Canada Day Carnival at the Park. The museum will be open.

At 1 p.m., there will be a ground breaking ceremony for the new pavilion.

At 1:30 p.m., everyone can enjoy some Canada 150 birthday cake.

The day also includes a Rotary concession, games, inflatables, firehouse and more.

Chemainus

Celebrate Canada Day in Chemainus from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Waterwheel Park.

Chemainus’s Canada Day Celebrations are gearing up for another successful year. Waterwheel Park sets the stage for their annual family friendly event with a little something for everyone of all ages. Guest can enjoy a myriad of free activities and perks like tasty treats, a petting zoo, pony rides, a bouncy castle, games, live music and much more. All events take place between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. leaving lots of time to enjoy a day in the park dressed in red and white.

Chemainus Valley Museum Garage Sale

With a little of this and that the garage sale is the perfect place to find something special. There will be books galore both old and new. Come and try to win that quilt at the twice-yearly raffle — you cannot win without a ticket. Support the Museum in keeping Chemainus history alive.

There will be music by Tropic Mayhem, Community Band, and Bluegrass Fever.

Sway to the beat of a perfectly comprised mixture of vocals, guitar, bass, and drums while reminiscing to fun upbeat music that you won’t be able to get out of your head.

National Anthem

Reid Ellie will serenade the crowd with his a capella version of the national anthem.

What better way then to celebrate than with a piece of free cake? At noon after the National Anthem, enjoy the delicious flavours of the Canada Day Celebration Cake in front of the new expansion.

There’s also free ice cream as the 49th Parallel and Island Farms come together to make sure that everyone cools down with a creamy scoop.

Pony Rides &Petting Zoo – FREE

Whether you want to pet those cute barnyard animals or take a tour on the pony express, Tigerlily Farms provide wonderful hands-on experiences to share with the whole family.

Face Painting – FREE

If you like a little or a lot, they have everything to please. Show your pride with Canada flags and maple leaf body emblems, or you can really get into the spirit of family fun with their face painting artist.

Pins &Flags – FREE

Come with your Canada gear and celebrate, but don’t worry, if you forget it at home, they have you covered. Show your love of Canada and claim your free pins and flags before they are gone.

Hotdogs, Hamburgers &Fresh Pizza

Savoury and juicy; the Chemainus Legion #191 and Chemainus Valley Museum will be cooking and plan delicious lunches in the park. The Legion will be fundraising to ensure they can continue to support community events such as this one. These hotdogs and hamburgers are worth their weight in spare change. The Chemainus Valley Museum will also be offering hot dogs, so don’t worry — if one line is busy try the other. Impulse Pizza will be on site bringing their hot and delicious cheesy pizza.

Canada Day T-Shirts

Mr. Tee has some t-shirts they have printed up and will be ready for your Canada Day spirit. With a table onsite and close to the food, they will be able to offer everything you need to wear your Canada Day pride.

Kids Crafts – FREE

Mary Dolan from the Inspiration Station helps to foster children’s creativity through a variety of crafts.

Panning For Gold

Kids can spend their time rooting around in Silver Mine’s slew looking for precious stones and other goodies, then trade them in for a chocolate kiss.

The event is free due to the generosity of Chemainus BIA, Coastal Community Credit Union, Remax Debbie Simmonds, Beyond the Usual, and the Legion.

Duncan

Come on down to Centennial Park where the Island Savings Centre and Hiiye’yu Lelum (House of Friendship) Society are hosting a free family event to celebrate National Aboriginal Day and Canada’s 150th birthday.

There will be many family activities including face painting, animal balloons, imagination station, mini-golf, cake walk, and a watermelon eating contest. There will be a bouncy castle for the little ones and an obstacle course for the not-so-little ones. There will also be a selection of sports and activities from the ParticipACTION 150 Play List, which is a national program designed to encourage Canadians to sit less and move more (for more info please visit www.participaction.com). In addition to all these great activities there’s a free lunch, which you must register for at Grand Central upon arrival.

Also in downtown Duncan, on July 1 there will be a musical celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday in Charles Hoey Memorial Park on the MNP Stage.

There’s entertainment scheduled from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. starting with Zumba and showcasing musicians from across the country.

Enjoy Canada Day Cake at 4 p.m. at the centennial totem pole area in the park.

In the Train Station Parking Lot from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. there’s the DCFS Canada Cup Mixed 4 on 4 Ball Hockey Tournament.

There will be mixed teams consisting of six, and there will always be a female on the ‘ice’. The event is limited to 20 entries, with each guaranteed three games.

Note: there are no fireworks planned for Canada Day due to weather restrictions.

BC Forest Discovery Centre

Celebrate Canada Day at the BC Forest Discovery Centre July 1-3 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Admission is set at the special price of $5 and you can enjoy steam train rides, crafts, barbecue, tattoos and more.

This event is included in BCFDC memberships.

Ladysmith

Ladysmith is celebrating Canada 150 at Transfer Beach from 1-5 p.m. on July 1.

Listen for live music from Flawed Hearts and The Waiting Room, Eric Harper, Raymond Salgado, Gibby Nik, and Kendall Patrick.

There will be kids activities, lifeguards on duty, and, of course, a giant cake.