Edmonton to host Canada Day fireworks, St. Albert cancels display

Edmonton will host fireworks this Canada Day while St. Albert has chosen to cancel its annual display previously held on the site of a former residential school.

Mayor Don Iveson announced on Twitter Saturday that the City of Edmonton would be hosting its annual fireworks display, which will also be streamed live online. July 1 this year has also been set as the date for Stage 3 of Alberta’s reopening plan, meaning almost all public health restrictions will be removed.

“We’re all looking forward to getting back to normal, but I encourage everyone to take precautions where they can on Canada Day,” Iveson tweeted, advising attendees to wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Last year, the city cancelled the annual fireworks display in light of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, St. Albert will not proceed with its annual display for this year. 

A Friday news release said the decision was made out of empathy for members of the community dealing with the intergenerational trauma of the residential school system.

The event usually takes place on Mission Hill, site of the former Youville Residential School.

“The City of St. Albert encourages residents to spend this Canada Day considering both the opportunities and freedoms afforded to many within our country as well as the tragic history that our nation’s story has been built upon,” Mayor Cathy Heron said in the release.

“With this in mind, we can reflect on our past while holding onto hope for an even better future for everyone.”

A clarification sent Saturday said the city was not asked to cancel or reschedule the fireworks or other Canada Day activities, but had scaled back plans due to the uncertainty of public health measures.

It said St. Albert had explored other locations for a fireworks display but could not find an appropriate one in time. The city is looking to host fireworks at another location later this summer or in the fall.

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