Crowd Reaching
Photo by Jay Wallace - Island Images

Some might say that two days is too short a time to be reminiscing already… We don’t think so.

To help keep the July 1st memories alive, we’ve compiled a short list of Saturday’s iconic moments. Check out these glimpses of the Canada Day that was.

1 – The Crowd

Some might say Victoria got too excited, made a mess, and slowed down traffic, but the sheer size of the turnout on Saturday gave the evening an undeniably iconic status.

Official estimates put the crowd size at over 60,000. Chek News even went as high as 70,000. Regardless of the exact number, the astonishing sight of all those Victorians together on Canada Day will last long in the city’s collective memory.

Canada 150 Crowd
Photo credit: Allison Spargo

Victoria also beat out Winnipeg and Calgary for the largest living Canadian Flag. Although Winnipeg’s feat gained more traction on social media, Victoria had approximately 1700 more people involved. So, in our books, that’s Victoria 5004 – Winnipeg 3300 and one clear winner.

Image: Coast Capital Savings

2 – The Arkells brought a random fan on stage to play guitar… and he rocked.

Anyone in the Inner Harbour on Saturday night had their socks rocked off by The Arkells, but for one lucky fan named Justin, the party extended all the way up on stage.


Justin Guitar Arkells
Photo by Colin Smith Photography

Halfway through their second song, Arkells frontman Max Kerman asked the audience if any prospective guitar players knew the chords D, G, and E minor. Somehow, Justin managed to get himself picked.

Arkells with guest guitarist
Photo by Colin Smith Photography

Up on stage, the plaid-embroidered fan showed no sense of nerves, alternately strumming, singing, pulling off dance moves, and shouting out to the “Stampede Boys”. The result: an iconic moment for a young man and a crowd that loved every minute of it.

Up close Arkells w/ guitarist
Photo by Jay Wallace – Island Images
To see the moment as it happened, go to 2:09:00 of the Spirit of 150 Victoria Facebook Video below:

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3 – The Fireworks

Whether or not you braved the crowds down on the legislature lawn, the crown jewel of Saturday night has to be the fireworks. Over 60,000 people came together on Canada Day to watch the Inner Harbour light up red and white.

Victoria Buzz photographer Colin Smith snapped some great shots of the display:

Photo by Colin Smith Photography
Photo by Colin Smith Photography
Photo by Colin Smith Photography
Colin Smith Photography
To re-live the fireworks in their entirety, go to 3:10:00 of the Spirit of 150 Victoria Video below:

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4 – The Oh (DeColonize) Canada 150 Movement

As much fun as it was to celebrate Canada, it’s also important to understand the history of our nation and the devastating realities that colonization entailed. On Saturday afternoon, the Indigenous Solidarity Working GroupSocial Environmental Alliance – SEA, Social Environmental Alliance, and Idle No More came together to give First Nations voices a chance to be heard on the legislature lawn.

Photo by Alistair Ogden

Joined by several hundred other impassioned activists, the group marched from the BC Museum to the lawns at 4:00 pm, then amplified the voices of numerous speakers, including Elders and Chiefs.

Warhawks Drumming Group on the Legislature Lawn. Video by Michael Springwater.

The group marched in front of the stage, banging drums while one of the Canada 150 MC’s spoke over their traditional songs.

No direct confrontations were reported. But the group certainly made their voices heard.

For more information on the groups involved check out the Facebook Event Page.


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