City adjusts traditional Canada Day festivities, encourages virtual celebrations instead

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Following public health guidelines and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Sault Ste. Marie has made the difficult decision to cancel its traditional outdoor Canada Day events, including its fireworks display. 
Locally, citizens are asked to decorate houses, doors, windows and yards with all things Canada. Photos can be submitted to the City’s Facebook page using #SaultCelebratesCanadaDay. The City hopes to revisit its July 1 Canada Day fireworks display as part of its annual Culture Days celebration in the fall.
“We know our annual Canada Day event is one that many look forward to, but the health and safety of our citizens continues to be our top priority,” says Malcolm White, CAO, City of Sault Ste. Marie. “While we might not be able to gather together to celebrate, we can still enjoy Canada Day connected as a community.”
“Although disheartening, it is necessary in order to continue to maintain public health and safety measures,” says Brent Lamming, Director of Community Services. “We hope people participate in decorating their homes and Canadians enjoy virtual celebrations being broadcast on the Department of Canadian Heritage web and social media sites to celebrate our great country.” 
Each year, the City's Canada Day festivities and fireworks draw crowds of up to 10,000 people to Sault Ste. Marie’s downtown and waterfront. At this time, the province’s emergency order is still in place, which prevents gatherings of more than 10 people. 
As a border community, the City is also asking citizens not to congregate on the downtown waterfront boardwalk to view the fireworks display celebrating Independence Day on July 4. Citizens are encouraged to find alternative locations to view the fireworks from a safe physical distance. 
“We continue to take guidance from the Province of Ontario. These types of events create a challenge for attendees to maintain a two-meter distance from each other,” adds White. “Enhanced security measures will be in place on July 1 and July 4 to avoid large crowds from gathering. We ask all residents to do what is best for our community and follow the advice of our public health officials.”
The City of Sault Ste. Marie is one of many municipalities across the Country to have cancelled their Canada Day festivities as a health and safety precaution. For the latest updates on city services and facilities affected by COVID-19 visit  The City thanks citizens for their cooperation during this time.
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