10 ways to celebrate Canada Day in Winnipeg for 2019
Baby we’ve got fireworks, block parties, and events tailor-made for waving the maple leaf
Canada’s birthday is coming up fast, meaning a long weekend awaits, while Monday, July 1 will be a day for festivities, fireworks and fun times.
It’s been 152 years since confederation, and while we could offer you 152 ways to celebrate in Winnipeg, we’re going with the standard 10 because the only thing Canadians on the Internet love more than seeing " thee rise with glowing hearts" is a list!
Osborne Village Canada Day Street Party – The city’s largest-and longest-running street festival annually brings over 70,000 peeps to the Village for the long weekend (June 30, noon to 11 p.m.; July 1, noon to 10:30 p.m.). People gather for all manner of merriment – including vendors of the shopping (#sidewalksales), culinary and food truck variety; live performances ranging from rock to pop to drag; a family fun zone; and people watching from the numerous restaurant patios.
Plus, there's the near-legendary Great Canadian Pet Parade, which features a category for Most Patriotic Pet. The parade is not just open to cats and dogs, but ferrets too! (Just imagine a ferret waving a little Canada flag… can you picture it? What a saucy little bandit!)
And yes, it’s FREE!
2. Canada Day at Assiniboine Park – On July 1, Winnipeg’s verdant masterpiece, Assiniboine Park, is hosting a full afternoon (11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) of activities that your family will relish. On top of the usual super-fun suspects like bouncy castles and face painting, they are really pulling out the all stops for little ones. This includes a giant inflatable water slide, a motion zone obstacle course, human foosball (needless to say, 360-degree spins are for sure out) and a mighty fine lineup of live performances on the Lyric Theatre stage. Plus, if you thought the Toronto Raptors were all that, wait until your kids see real raptors (the flying kind!), as the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre will be on hand with a bird of prey exhibit. #OspreyAllDay #WeLovePascaleSiakam
There will be beer gardens for adults, food trucks to suit all tastes, the zoo is still open (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) with FREE admission for kids under five, while within the atrium in the Pavilion you can take a virtual tour of The Leaf, which is currently under construction.
Admissions are $14, while kids under five are FREE.
3. Oak Hammock Marsh – Birds aren’t the only things that regularly flock to this stunning nature reserve just north of the city. Anytime you get a chance to hit the marsh, you should do so, as Oak Hammock takes birding and budding young minds to the next level with countless activates like paddling the marshlands in giant voyageur canoes, dipnetting (DYK: the prairies are home to tiny shrimp?), and the Bird in Hand Canadian Signature Experience (which will see you holding a tiny songbird in your hand before releasing it into the wild – all in the name of ornithology). During Canada Day (10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Oak Hammock will also feature horse-drawn wagon rides throughout the marsh, guided canoe adventures, face painting, and a whole lot of birthday cake (which is being served up at 2 p.m.).
Activities are just $6 for non-members.
4. Canadian Museum for Human Rights – Canada’s most awe-inspiring museum is also one of the best places to celebrate its birthday. Admissions is $5 for the whole day (we should also note here that you can find the Museum on the $10), while at 11 a.m. they will be hosting a FREE outdoor concert in the Moe Levy Amphitheatre featuring the Prairie Voices choir.
5. Sinclair Park Community Centre – Sinclair Park is kicking it old school with a little bit of everything for your fam jam. They’ll have face painting, cotton candy, snow cones, bouncy castles and balloon animals for kids, while the gym will stage Nerf Wars – which puts Fortnite to shame. There will also be Tae Kwon Do demonstrations, performances from Roes Pointe Dance and an arm wrestling tourney to boot!
You can also expect live bands and plenty of food courtesy of an outdoor barbecue and the onsite canteen, while it all ends with fireworks at 10:45 p.m.
A craft sale starts right at 10 a.m. with all other activities starting at 1 p.m. Admission (which includes all the games) is $5.
6. Transcona Biz Canada Day – If your kid(s) are into it, chances are Transcona has it this Canada Day. From noon to 5 p.m. the Transcona Biz will be pulling out on the stops, including appearances from Captain America (who secretly always wanted to be a Canuck); Cinderella and Marshall from Paw Patrol; children’s entertainers; bouncy castles; huge games (like a six-foot long Battleship and a Jenga tower that will tower over your tots); face painting; cupcakes courtesy of Sweet C Bakery and fancy grilled cheese from the My Heart Melts food truck.
It all goes down at 135 Regent Avenue West.
7. Breweries – While we’re not going to officially state that drinking beer is your patriotic duty on Canada Day, it sure can be a fun part of it, particularly when you are doing so at one of our 15 fabulous local breweries. While most of our breweries have jaunty, sun-bathed patios that will welcome you with open arms, we should note a few (that we’ve seen thus far) will be doing special releases for number 152.
At Trans Canada Brewing Co., they’ll be releasing a special small batch called Confederation Ale No. 152 (starting on June 27) that literally links all the provinces and territories of Canada through its ingredients. This Canadian Pale Ale has hops from Quebec, BC and Manitoba; malts from Albert and Saskatchewan; honey from PEI; chamomile from Nova Scotia; yarrow from New Brunswick; yeast from Ontario; Newfoundland lavender and water from all three territories.
Sookram’s Brewing will be celebrating sours on Canada Day, with four being tapped right at noon on July 1. Chef Aron Epp will be onsite slingin’ a chicken wing pop-up ($6 for a ½ pound, $12 for a pound, with six flavours along with cauliflower “wings” too).
8. The Royal Canadian Mint – Surely you can expect the place that pumps out Canada’s coin currency to go all out on Canada Day! On July 1, The Mint, which is always on the money, is offering free self-guided tours of this worldly, high-tech facility (they produce millions of coins for more than 80 countries). There will be kid's entertainers, food trucks, Canada Day themed tokens, and more! It all goes down from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
9. St. Norbert Farmers’ Market – Perhaps the tastiest place in the city to experience Canada Day, the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market is always brimming with excellent local vendors. On July 1st, the Market will be open for family fun from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., while at dusk they’ll be setting off fireworks.
10. The Forks – Year after year, The Forks takes Canada Day to new heights with family friendly programming throughout the day followed by the city’s most spectacular fireworks display and concert at night.
The events start as early as noon, particularly for little ones, with several events happening on the Walkway on the Waterfront, including getting artsy with the ArtCity team, and the CaRaVaN Open Mic Stage at the Exchange District Waterbus Stop.
By 1 p.m., almost everywhere you look within The Forks’ expansive grounds there will be some sort of happening: The Plaza Skateboard Park will have demos, DJs and workshops lead by Sk8’s pro-riders; Parks Canada will have lacrosse demos on their grounds; and funk/soul band The Noble Thiefs will kick off the live music on the Canopy Stage at 1:30. The CN Stage & Field will have Stuntfest performances with Legacy Cheerleading (1-3 p.m.), followed by hip hop demos (3-5), then Salsa demos (5-7 p.m.) with the Salsa Sunday crew.
The Oodena Celebration Circle will be the site of Tribal Village from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., where you can experience a pow wow and Human Library, which is a shared oral history from local Indigenous elders.
The Plaza Parking lot will play host to pick-up ball hockey (1-11 p.m.), along with a pop-up market curated by Luckgirl. Of course, this being The Forks, there will also be no shortage of shopping opportunities in the Market too, while all the food kiosks and The Common (the indoor and outdoor bars where you can find 20 wines and 20 beers on tap) will be open throughout all the festivities.
Live music fans are in for a treat as there will be performances on all day long on the Canopy Stage, while The CN Stage headliners (sponsored by MB Live) will start at 7 p.m., culminating with a performance from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Eagle and Hawk, which will take us right into the fireworks.
You can learn more here on their official website.