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Abbotsford celebrates Canada Day in a virtual way

Online activities include pet parade, performances and interactive play zones
Swing dancers performed at last year’s Canada Day parade in Abbotsford. This year’s celebration is all being done online. (Abbotsford News file photo)

The City of Abbotsford hosts a virtual Canada Day celebration in place of the parade that is held every July 1 along South Fraser Way and the family festival at Rotary Stadium.

Mayor Henry Braun said, although this year’s event will be different from the past, he said he is inspired by the “creative ways” the community has come together.

“Canada Day in Abbotsford is a special tradition, built through the support of our volunteers, local businesses and organizations.

This year will definitely look a little different as we adapt to the new normal for gatherings,” he said.

The city is working with local artists and community partners to put together an online program for residents and will continue to promote cultural diversity as well as arts and heritage in the community.

Community zones will feature videos and activities for the entire family. These include learning how to shoot hoops with pro-basketball players, reading Canadian stories with Abbotsford heroes, online fitness videos and scavenger hunts.

There will also be a “Virtual Mainstage” with a lineup of local artists coordinated by the Abbotsford Arts Council.

This year’s Canada Day parade will also look a little different, with Abbotsford’s first pet parade scheduled for July 1.

Entries are now closed for the parade, but the city asked residents to submit a short video clip or photo of their pets for the parade. There will be prizes for best dressed, most original pet, and crowd favourite.

All the fun takes place online at


Canada Day Drumming Zone

A nation-wide simultaneous drumming event takes place from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Abbotsford residents can join in the fun and register to be part of the epic celebration. The annual Canada Day Drumming Celebration is organized by the non-profit organization Legacy 150 Celebrations Society. They strive to deepen intercultural understanding, promote patriotism and enhance civic engagement through one of the world’s most ancient and widely adopted art forms – percussive arts. Visit for more information.

Virtual Pet Parade

All pets living in Abbotsford were invited to join the parade. Dogs, cats, snakes, cows, llamas: you name it! Residents submitted a video of their pet strutting its stuff or a photo showing its Canadian pride. Registration for pets closed on June 15 but you can check out the Virtual Pet Parade online on July 1 at

O Canada! sing-along

Join the City of Abbotsford for a community wide O’Canada Day sing-along at 7 p.m. on July 1. Whether you’re in your house, on the front lawn or at your backyard barbecue, join the community in singing the national anthem.

O Canada!

Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all of us command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,

The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Order of Abbotsford

The Order of Abbotsford is bestowed upon individuals who have given a particularly high level of long-term service and contribution to the city and have brought distinction to themselves and the city by outstanding achievements in a variety of areas. This year’s recipient is Gerda Fandrich. A video of the award ceremony will be available on the Abbotsford Canada Day website.

RELATED: Gerda Fandrich is recipient of 2020 Order of Abbotsford


Canada Day 2021 Theme and Artwork

The City of Abbotsford invited the community to participate in designing the theme and poster for 2021 Canada Day celebrations. Submissions are now in, and a review is underway to determine the top five. The top five will be shared online on July 1. You can vote for your favourite throughout the July. Visit starting July 1 to vote. The contest winner will be announced the first week of August on the City of Abbotsford’s website, social media channels and the Abbotsford News.

On the Prospera Community Stage

Check out performances by local artists in celebration of the talent and diversity our community holds. Visit from July 1 to 31 to view featured videos from:

• Tres Fou, electronic pop

• D Fretter, singer/songwriter

• Becca Hess, country

• Saint Soldier, hip-hop

• MRKT.WY, lo-fi hip-hop beats

• Harlequin Gold, indie pop

SuperDogs Show: CanaDogs

Join the President’s Choice SuperDogs as they race against time on their own version of the Trans-Canada Highway, play for their favourite NHL teams in an interactive challenge, test their knowledge in a special edition of Trivial Pursuit, and more. SuperDogs from across the country celebrate their home and native land in this heart- warming home-edition SuperDogs show, CanaDogs.

Happy 25th Birthday, Abbotsford

In honour of Abbotsford’s 25th birthday celebrations, local violinist Calvin Dyck and a professional string quintet have recorded a set of 14 variations of Happy Birthday, arranged by Peter Heidrich.

Fun for Everyone

Interactive play zones are back and better than ever. Don’t miss out on activities for all ages, videos and prizes from the City of Abbotsford zone partners. Online activities include:

• Prospera Credit Union Zone – activity sheets to challenge the brain, crafts to push your creativity and get a head start in learning financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

• Abbotsford Mission Recycling Zone – join Archway Community Services to learn about recycling, composting, and crafting using recyclable materials for you to do at home.

• Diversity Zone – the Gurmat Center showcases videos about the significance of turbans in Canada, and you can participate and learn from a fun game of “Turban Trivia.”

• Fraser Valley Bandits Zone – seminars feature plays from the Bandits’ 2020 roster, and enter the colouring contest to win Bandits prize packs.

• Jump Zone – two Abbotsford jump-rope team, RopeWorks and Skipping Sensations, will teach some new skills.

• Explore Abbotsford Zone – plan your stay-cation at Tourism Abbotsford, and visit vibrant farms and taste the flavours of the season.

• Recreation Zone – Abbotsford parks and recreation shows how to make a healthy fruit smoothie, and participate in the colouring contest to win prizes and learn a new dance with the Summer Camp team.

• Twisters Zone – learn to safely practise gymnastics at home.

• Aquatics Zone – learn to stay safe around water with the Abbotsford Aquatics team.

• the Dogwood Pacesetters Canine Sports Club – watch videos, see photos and learn about different sports you can do with your own dog.

• The Reach Zone – The Reach Gallery Museum presents art, history and culture with fun, community-building content.

• Fraser Valley Regional Library Zone – Canada Day stories and rhymes, and enjoy a festive recipe, book suggestions and activities.

• A Diverse Tapestry – a sneak peek of short readings from the new book “A Diverse Tapestry: The Founders and Builders of Abbotsford.”

• the Abbotsford Youth Commission Zone – learn to make Canada Day-themed cupcakes and crafts.

• Abbotsford Downtown Business Association Zone – come along on a virtual mural tour in the historic downtown.

• Abbotsford International Airshow – collection of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities, experiments and interactive media for all ages.

• Dance Zone – live dance class with Legacy Dance Productions.

• Columbia Bible College Zone – join mascot Boomer for a workout for all ages.

• APD Zone – Abbotsford Police storytellers read childhood favourite books, and activity sheets will help children learn more about our local heroes.

• Abbotsford Agrifair Zone – get creative and fun with the Agrifair colouring contest.

Abbotsford News Staff

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