Image: City of Victoria

Canada’s 153rd birthday will look a whole lot different this year.

The City of Victoria has officially cancelled its annual Canada Day celebrations on Tuesday due to risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Lisa Helps confirmed the news during her daily media address. The news follows Saturday’s announcement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that no large-scale events will be occurring this summer.

“Realistically, we will not be having those big events where people gather together this summer,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a news conference on April 18.

Helps said the decision comes as a big disappointment to her as it does for many others but she would look at supporting people in hosting smaller block parties.

Many cities across the country are looking at celebrating Canada Day in a virtual way

The federal government officially canned its annual Canada Day celebrations last Friday, opting to instead take the party online.

Canadian Heritage is planning a virtual show that will see Canadians tune in remotely to performances and other programming on July 1st.

“For Canada Day 2020, we are working with Canadian artists and artisans to put together a virtual program, reflecting our diversity and values, and showcasing the immense talent our country has to offer,” Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, wrote in a statement.