County planning regional July 1 bash

Richard Froese
South Peace News
A regional event to celebrate Canada Day on the nation’s 150th birthday next year is being planned by the county and town.

At its regular meeting Nov. 23, Big Lakes County council supported an application by staff to the 2017 Celebrate Canada program for funding, the day after the application deadline.

“The funding, if approved, would go towards a partnership with the Town of High Prairie to help host a regional Canada Day celebration for Canada’s 150th anniversary,” says a report from Suzanne Allan, director of community services.

However, the event concerned councillors, considering other Canada Day events on July 1 in the region.

“If it’s held on the same day, you’re going to split the crowds and it could affect attendance in other communities,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.

The proposed budget for the celebratioin is $49,861. The grant application is for $42,561.

Town of High Prairie town council has committed $5,000 and the county has allocated $1,000, with $1,300 of in-kind revenue, which includes estimated time of volunteer service and rental of facilities.

“The county has already been in contact with the town and other organizations,” Allan says.
“For the event, Big Lakes County has recently consulted with local First Nations, organizations and museums to help plan traditional and cultural entertainment.”

The celebration is dependent on grant funding. The county would help organize an afternoon and evening of various cultural activities. Events might include protocol ceremonies, family and children’s activities, local musical entertainment, dancing an environmentally-friendly farmer’s market, multi-lingual historical information displays, an outdoor showing of a 1967 movie, and fireworks.

Costs have already been given to the county to stage activities such as jigging, and an Aboriginal handgames tournament.

Allan says the county will continue to consult other organizations, businesses, First Nations and Metis organizations.

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