Abbotsford’s Canada Day celebration this year is moving to an online event. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Abbotsford’s Canada Day celebration this year is moving to an online event. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Abbotsford’s ‘virtual’ Canada Day event includes pet parade and entertainment

Month-long celebration also features cultural and family activities

The City of Abbotsford has announced a month-long 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.

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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.

The city is asking Abbotsford 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.

The city is also calling on all Abbotsford artists to create this year’s theme and artwork. Theme ideas and accompanied art can be submitted until June 15, and the community will vote on their favourite submission throughout July.

The winning submission will help shape next year’s Canada Day parade and family festival, while the art wordmark will be featured on all Canada Day marketing material, electronic community signs, and the T-shirts.

Submissions for the pet parade and theme contest can be submitted at abbotsford.ca/canadaday.

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