Canada Day Collingwood: traditional Canada Day plans canceled in favor of We CANada project

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From: Collingwood Downtown Business Improvement Area

The Collingwood Downtown BIA has canceled its Canada Day entertainment and exhibits plans in an attempt to avoid celebrating during a time of mourning.

The BIA Board of Directors held an emergency meeting on the morning of June 29 to discuss plans for July 1 and the weekend of July 3-4.

Previous plans made for the end of this week included members of the Collingwood Circus Club offering walking entertainment on downtown sidewalks, Canada Flag installations in downtown gardens, and our traditional selfie stations.

July 1 is traditionally the time to reflect with pride and gratitude on this country we are so fortunate to call home. During the pandemic crisis, over the past 18 months we have seen countless displays of compassionate support, locally and nationally, that define and exemplify the best of Canadians.

The recent discovery of hundreds of anonymous children’s graves on the sites of former residential schools is a stark reminder of a tragic and shameful part of Canada’s past. The Collingwood Town Center BIA, in collaboration with the Town of Collingwood, is firmly committed to inclusion and diversity, and we know that there can be no progress without acknowledging the past.

We can and must collectively hold ourselves accountable for the actions of the past. We can use this awareness to move forward constructively by supporting and consulting with the communities that these past actions have done so badly. Together, we can become a downtown business community that leads by example and embraces the new learnings needed to recognize and celebrate all members of our community equally.

Presentation of the We CANada project We are Canadians and together we CAN do better.

On July 1, 2021, we invite our community to observe, reflect and share a recognition of the past. Our call is on all residents and visitors to take the time to recognize the truths of our collective history. We call to support those for whom the suffering and legacy of residential schools continues. We call on Collingwood to participate in actions that lead to reconciliation.

It is in this spirit that the BIA of Collingwood, in collaboration with the Town of Collingwood, presents the We CANada project. Downtown businesses are encouraged to display a poster distributed to BIA members and share in the space what they can do to make change.

We Canada is an invitation to contemplate our collective history and our cultural diversity. Together we CAN unite in this land we love and together we CAN act to build paths towards solidarity, shared understanding and reconciliation. We, Canada, challenge ourselves to take meaningful action, to be inclusive in our words and intentions, and to celebrate the strengths that unite us.

What can each of us do as individuals, as neighbors and as a community to bring about change? How can we build a system that recognizes our common history, honors tragically taken lives, and fuels our collective growth as a nation? Let’s share our intentions with each other.

On this Canada Day, may we all take a break to be kind, listen to the stories shared and be part of the journey for change.


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