(Photo by @lady_manfa/Instagram)

2022 is looking a lot brighter, literally.

During today’s council meeting, the City of Victoria confirmed that this year’s Canada Day will be different but will include fireworks.

This year’s festivities will see several changes and will reflect the Lekwungen territory the events are taking place on, Mayor Lisa Helps said in a verbal update to council.

As of now, Canada Day plans for July 1st, will include a multicultural street festival downtown beginning at noon, a musical main stage entertainment at 4 p.m. at Ship Point and then fireworks in the evening.

Last year, festivities across the country, including Victoria, were nixed after the discovery of unmarked burial sites at a former Indian residential school in Kamloops.

The City of Victoria cancelled a scheduled one-hour television special for Canada Day in 2021 after the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers declined to participate, as they usually do, while they grieved the Kamloops discovery.

In recognition of the Lekwungen territory this year, the city are planning to blend Lekwungen music while the fireworks are taking place, rather than the usual national anthem.

While a formal invitation has yet to be sent, Helps said she would like to see Lekwungen dancers take part in the Canada Day fireworks as they’re going off.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and time it takes to organize, the living flag event that takes place on the legislature lawns has been cancelled. Other options are being looked at for ways the community can participate.

The City of Victoria chose to move the main stage celebrations from the grounds of legislature lawns to Ship Point because of anticipated protests.

This year will be the first time in-person Canada Day celebrations take place in Victoria since the pandemic began.

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