Happy Canada Day!

In honour of this year’s celebrations, we have a list of the various and fun family-friendly events taking place throughout Vancouver Island.


An impressive lineup of multicultural programming, local performers, and family-friendly activities is on the agenda for Canada Day in downtown Victoria, concluding with spectacular fireworks taking place over Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

One of the main goals of this year’s festivities is to create the “Largest Living Flag” in the country for a second year in a row. The ever-popular Coastal Capital Living Flag will take place once again on the Legistlature Lawns with 2,000 free red and white t-shirts available. Last year, Victoria won the honour of having a record-breaking number of 5,000 participants. Can Victoria accomplish this feat again? You can help!

Sponsored activity tents and a wide variety of local food vendors will be hanging out on Belleville Street with lots of interactive fun for the family! This year will feature an expanded Kids Zone including face painting, a bouncy castle, balloon twisters, and more. Coast Capital Savings is the returning presenting sponsor for Canada Day Victoria.

An exciting new addition to the celebrations this year is the Coast Capital Savings Youth Band. Thanks to a social media campaign that started on June 5 this year, local youth bands and musicians were able to apply to win the opportunity to perform a set of music on the Main Stage for an audience in the thousands! Be sure to check them out!

This year’s Main Stage lineup of performances will take place on the iconic Legislature Lawns with local and noteworthy performances, including:

  • Carmanah
  • Olivier Couture
  • Band of Rascals
  • Batuque Axé
  • Paint the Town Red
  • Addie Elliott
  • DJ Goadman of the One’s and Two’s
  • The Lekwungen Dancers
  • Wong Sheung Kung-Fu Club’s traditional Lion Dance
  • Uminary Taiko
  • Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate Agartu Ali
  • The Sooke Community Choir

Cap off the evening with fireworks and you’ve got a Canada Day worth celebrating!

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 11am to 10pm

Location: Various venues, downtown Victoria

Official website: https://www.canadadayvictoria.ca/

Cost: free.


Esquimalt’s Gorge Canada Day Picnic is an annual tradition for families living in or near the Esquimalt and Saanich areas! Join in the fun along the Gorge Waterway with a pancake breakfast, a family parade, Strawberry Tea, classic cars, kids’ activities, Canada Day market, live stage entertainment, and more!

From 9am to 4pm there will be the Gorge on Art. This popular showcase of local artists returns to the Gorge Waterway this year. You can meet the artists and also watch them work with a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, and ceramics. You could discover a one-of-a-kind gift or souvenir!

A full schedule of the goings-on at this Canada Day celebration is available at the official website.

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 8:30am to 4pm

Location: Gorge Waterway Park and Kosapsom Park, Esquimalt

Contact: District of Saanich

Telephone: 250-475-1775

Official website: http://www.gorgecanadaday.ca

Cost: free.


Join in the festivities at Maffeo Sutton Park in downtown Nanaimo! Here is the schedule so you can plan out the activities you really want to have fun with:

11am-12pm – Opening Ceremonies and Celebration of Flags

12-12:45pm – Little Crow

12:50 – 1:35pm – Moonshine Mollys

1:45 -2:30pm – Wunderbread

2:45 – 3:30 pm – Wunderbread

Cultural Showcase Stage – Experience a variety of entertainment on the cultural stage from various local clubs and cultural organizations from the Cultural Showcase Stage! Here is a schedule of performances to anticipate:

12:15 – 12:30pm – Aloha Nanaimo Hula

12:35 – 12:50pm – Amalgam -Eighters

12:55 – 1:10pm – Ballroom Latin Line Dance

1:15 – 1:30pm – Flamenco Dance

1:35 – 2:05pm – Aunti Bobbi

2:10 – 2:25pm – Arti Dance School

2:30 – 2:45pm – Scottish Dance

2:50 – 3:10pm – Chinese Dancers

Free family activities will be taking place also! Enjoy face painting, crafts, games, bouncy castles, kayaking, balloon animals, and the interactive booths from 11am to 3:30pm.

Parking at Maffeo Sutton is limited to handicap parking only. Please use these FREE locations instead:

  • Bastion Street Parkade
  • Harbour Front Parkade
  • Port of Nanaimo Centre Parkade
  • Wallace & Wentworth Parking Lot

You can also park on-street for 2 hours at a time.

The buses are running on Canada Day and a bike rack is available at Maffeo Sutton Park.

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 11am to 3:30pm

Location: Maffeo Sutton Park, 100 Comox Road, downtown Nanaimo

Contact: Nanaimo Parks & Recreation

Telephone: 250-756-5200

E-mail: parksandrecreation@nanaimo.ca

Official website: https://www.facebook.com/events/1722745744476623/

Cost: free.

In addition, the Nanaimo Golf Club will be host to the Doctors of Rock ‘n Roll as part of their own Canada Day festivities! Events will take place all day long including the Canadian Mixed Grill, which will be held from 5 to 8pm. Enjoy live music and dancing from 7 to 10 pm. Reservations are recommended for this event.

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 8am to 10pm

Location: Nanaimo Golf Club, 2800 Highland Boulevard, Nanaimo

Contact: Nanaimo Golf Club

Telephone: 250-758-2451 ext. 723

E-mail: fb@nanaimogolfclub.ca

Official website: http://www.nanaimogolfclub.ca/Dining_Events/Special_Dining_Events.aspx

Cost: various.


Whether you’re visiting Parksville or live here, there’s lots of cool things to do, including a grand finale of fireworks!

Two special events will be taking place on this day: one, the Parkville Legion’s celebrations, and two, the many activities you can find at the Parksville Community Park.

At the Legion hall, there will be hamburgers and hot dogs served after the parade. Cost will be via donation. You can also grab a slice of Canada Day cake for dessert!

A dunk tank will be available on site. Special guests, Legion members, the Parksville Legion President, and Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre will all be participating. Kids can enjoy having their faces painted and playing several games.

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 12pm

Location: Royal Canadian Legion #49, 146 Hirst Avenue West, Parksville

Contact: Royal Canadian Legion (Parksville) Mt Arrowsmith Branch #49

Telephone: 250-248-5633

The festivities at the Parksville Community Park are among the largest to look forward to on Vancouver Island! The day will kick off with a Shriner’s Pancake Breakfast from 7am to 10am. A parade will take place afterwards at 10am along Pioneer Crescent to the Parksville Community & Conference Centre and conclude at 12pm. Many family-focused activities and entertainment will take place at noon with live entertainment performing all day. There will be food trucks, concessions, artisan booths, fun rides for the kids, and lots more. The grand finale fireworks at 10:15pm, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, is a fabulous way to conclude the event!

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 7am to 10:15pm

Location: Parksville Community Park, 141 East Island Highway, Parksville

Contact: Parksville Chamber of Commerce

Telephone: 250-248-3613

E-mail: info@parksvillechamber.com

Official website: https://www.facebook.com/CanadaDayinParksville/

Cost: free.


Downtown Qualicum will be thriving with Canada Day activities! Start the day off with a pancake breakfast at the Legion on 180 Veterans Way, which takes place from 8:30am to 11:30am. Be sure to grab a seat for the Parade from the Civic Centre on Jones Street which starts at 11am! It will head down Second Avenue from there, concluding at Veterans Way.

From 12 to 1pm stick around for the open ceremonies and a cake cutting at the Veterans Way Stage—a great opportunity to grab yourself some free cake! Food and refreshments will be available at the Legion Garden beside the stage from 11:30am until 9pm.

Live music will be playing all day and night! Come and dance, sing, and enjoy the following performances:

10am-12pm – Buskers at Spirit Square

1pm-1:30pm – Ginger & Blonde – Andrea Smith & Bev Finch (1st set)

1:30-2pm – Qualicum Beach Pipe Band

2-2:30pm – Ginger & Blonde (2nd set)

2:30-3:30pm – Rainbow Stew Cloggers

3:30-6:30pm – Backporch Banjo (Bluegrass) in the Legion Garden

Stick around for the evening music and street dance until 10pm:

6:30-7:15pm – Bruce Feltham & Friends

7:30-10pm – The Timebenders

There will be fun activities for the kids, too! From 12:30 until 4pm you can find a dunk tank, candy floss, popcorn, artists on the street, face painting, pony rides, games, bubbles, and street chalk—all happening on Veterans Way!

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 8:30am to 10pm

Location: Qualicum Beach Legion, 180 Veterans Way, Qualicum

Contact: Qualicum Beach Legion

Telephone: 250-752-9632

E-mail: info@legion76.ca

Official website: http://legion76.ca/index.html

Cost: free.


Those enjoying their time visiting the Comox Valley or who live there can enjoy festivities all day long this year!

Check out the schedule which is chock full of activities (may be subject to change):

  • 33rd annual Kinsmen Club Pancake Breakfast. 7:30am to 11am on the corner of 5th and England Avenue.
  • Kids Bike Decorating Contest. Win some great prizes! Decorating goes from 8:30am to 10:30am. Meet up at Harmston Park.
  • 5th Street Mile Fun Run. 9am preceding the annual parade. Free registry. More info: https://www.cvrr.ca/5th-street-mile
  • Live performance by the Comox Valley Concert Band. Come and enjoy their music at the Sid Williams Theatre on 5th Street and Cliffe Avenue in the Civic Square (in front of the theatre). 9-10am.
  • “Imagine” Parade. New route is in place this year from Fitzgerald to the Lewis Centre. 10am.
  • Kids Zone, 11am to 4pm! Military glider and bomb disposal units; inflatables and fun at Simms Park; dunk booth (a fundraiser for the Comox Valley Child Development Association; a 4H petting zoo under the big top tent.
  • Adult Bevarage Garden. Open from 11am to 4pm in Lewis Park.
  • Live entertainment at the Lewis Park Stage. The open ceremonies for Canada Day are at 12pm, followed by a cake cutting at 12:30pm. Get a free slice of cake! The following schedule includes: Luzna (Latin dance rhythms), 12:30-1:30pm; Desmond Day Larson and Band, 1:40-3pm; Kids Bike Draw, 3-4pm.
  • Free event at the Courtenay and District Museum. Come between 12 and 4pm for free admission, balloons, prize drawings, children’s crafts, and a really cool new exhibit “Fabulous Fossils: A Walk Through Time”. The museum is in downtown Courtenay on 207 Fourth Street. For more information call 250-334-0686.
  • Outdoor Pool Free Swim. Open from 1:30pm to 4:30pm at Lewis Park. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  • Battle of the Bands. Applications for musicians ages 19 and under are being accepted now. The main event will take place at 1pm at the Simms Park Stage.
  • Tea Dance at the Native Sons Hall. Hosted by the Evergreen Club, with special guests Georgia Strait Big Band. 2 to 4pm.

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 7am to 4pm

Location: Various venues, Courtenay

Contact: City of Courtenay

Telephone: 250-334-4441

E-mail: info@courtenay.ca

Official website: http://www.courtenay.ca/EN/main/canada-day/events.html

Cost: free.

Campbell River:

Help Campbell River celebrate! The day’s lineup of events will be fun for all ages, including a pancake breakfast, barbecues, wood carving, a Dragon Boat race, a skateboard competition, the Quality Foods Kids Fest, live entertainment all day long, the Huck Fin Small Fry Fishing Derby, and of course the well-renowned parade. The evening’s festivities will be capped off with fireworks!

Full schedules are available for the following venues: Frank James Park in Willow Point, Sportsplex in Willow Point, and Downtown Campbell River.

For Frank James Park:

  • Pancake Breakfast – 8am to 10:30am
  • Music with Doug Folkins – 8am to 10am
  • Queen of Hearts: Tattoos for Kids – 11am to 12:30pm
  • Legion Pipe Band – 12pm
  • Canada Day Cake – 12:10pm
  • PWA Wrestlers at Willow Point Hall – 12:30pm to 2pm

For Sportsplex:

  • Mike McInnes Memorial Cup skateboard competition – 11am to 3pm

For Downtown Campbell River:

  • Huck Finn & Small Fry Fishing Adventure at Discovery Fishing Pier – 9am to 12pm
  • E&B Helicopter Rides at E&B Hanger (2595 North Island Highway) – 10am to 3pm
  • Canada Day Marketplace on Shopper’s Row – 10am to 6pm
  • Canada Day Marketplace at Ostler Park – 11am to Dusk
  • Quality Foods Kids Fest at the Community Centre – 10am to 2pm
  • Family fun activities on 11th Avenue – 11am to 2:30pm
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicle Display on Shopper’s Row (between 10th and 11th Avenue) – 10am to 2pm
  • Canada Crafts on Shopper’s Row (Art Gallery) – 11am to 2pm
  • Canada Day 150 Hockey Challenge on Shopper’s Row – 12pm to 2pm
  • Marine Harvest/Fire Fighter’s Salmon BBQ on Shopper’s Row – 12pm
  • Rotary Canada Day Parade – 3pm
  • Opening Ceremonies & Cake at Ostler Park with skydivers – 5:30pm
  • Quality Foods Festival of Lights at Ostler Park – 10:22pm

For the live entertainment, there are two main stages: the Eagle Stage at Ostler Park and the Spirit Square Canada Day Local All-Star Stage.

For Eagle Stage:

  • Jilli Martini – 1pm
  • Straight Jacket – 6pm
  • Retro Rock Revival – 7:20pm
  • Block Party – 8:45pm

For Spirit Square:

  • CR Dance Extreme – 11am
  • Nigel Nikolaisen – 11:20am
  • Kathy Mascia School of Dance – 12pm
  • David Gauci (1st set) – 12:20pm
  • Urban Dance Connections – 1pm
  • David Gauci (2nd set) – 1:20pm

Free transit is available all day until 7pm!

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time: 8am to 10:30pm

Location: Various venues, Campbell River

Contact: Carol Chapman

Telephone: 250-287-8221

E-mail: carolchapman11@yahoo.ca

Official website: http://www.campbellrivercanadaday.com/

Cost: free.

However and wherever you decide to celebrate, we hope you have a fantastic Canada Day!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.

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