Canada Day going virtual

This year’s Canada Day celebration is still on, but it will have a dramatically different look.

Regulations preventing more than 50 people from gathering in one location and requiring social distancing of at least two metres, established by the province to battle the COVID-19 virus, are preventing people from gathering in Victoria Square to listen to music or the Robb’s Centennial Complex to watch fireworks as they have traditionally done.

But that shouldn’t stop residents from celebrating as the Town of Amherst is offering a virtual Canada Day party on July 1, 2020. It can be watched Canada Day Eon Facebook or YouTube

It’s a day that will offer a family hour for kids, a wave for Canada Day swag event, musical performances and contests with a total of $1,000 in prizes up for grabs. Full details on the contests can be found on social media. Contest rules will be posted on the Town of Amherst’s Recreation Facebook page closer to the event

The virtual birthday bash kicks off at 10 a.m. with a Zumba Toning Workout via Zoom. This is followed an hour later with a Stretch and Flow Workout. The signup for the Zoom activity will be posted to the town’s recreation Facebook page shortly before the event.

At noon, the official opening will take place with greetings from the members of Amherst town council and the singing of O Canada. This will be followed at 1 p.m. with a Happy Birthday Canada video compilation.

The Canada Day Swag and Virtual Pet Parade will take place at 2 p.m. It will be followed an hour later by family hour, which will feature an interactive Canada Day A Cmagician show via Zoom and an Atlantic Cirque performance.

The music begins at 4 p.m. when Liz & Ben Dynamic Duo takes the virtual stage. They will be followed by the Christopher Brown Trio at 5 p.m. Second Toe will take the stage at 6 p.m. They will be followed at 7 p.m. by Big Fish.

A Disney World Virtual Fireworks Show will light up computers, tablets and cellphones at 8 p.m.

An hour later, residents are being asked to end the day’s birthday party by stepping outside and banging their pots and pans together in a noisemaking tribute to Canada’s birthday.

The virtual event is being assisted by a $3,200 grant from the Government of Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage.