Canada Day weekend events bounce back post COVID


by Maureen Strickland

MANITOULIN—Canada Day activities are back across Manitoulin on July 1 and 2 with the promise of fun for kids of all ages.

On Canada Day proper, July 1, travelling from east to west, there are activities in Manitowaning, Little Current, Mindemoya, Providence Bay, Ice Lake, Gore Bay, Silver Water and Whitefish Falls.

The Township of Assiginack is celebrating Canada Day by renaming its marina in memory of the late OPP Constable Marc Hovingh at 11:30 am. The Bay Street Marina will be renamed River Road Marina as that was the name of the popular officer’s boat. Following that event is a barbecue at 12 noon at Manitowaning Beach, followed by cardboard boat races for kids and adults at 12:30 pm. The boat must be built entirely from cardboard and duct tape.  Decorations and crew costumes are encouraged.  For more information check the events section of the township webpage.

The very first event on Canada Day will happen at dawn when Mathieu Bonin steps into the water at Harbour View Marina, just outside of Little Current, to begin his marathon around the Island swim to raise awareness and financial support for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

The popular Sheguiandah First Nation Jiingtamok (powwow) was to have taken place this weekend but organizers have rescheduled it to a later date because of a community tragedy. Please watch for details on a new powwow date.

In Little Current proper, downtown front street transforms to a pedestrian mall from 10 am until 4 pm for the Canada Day Summer Fair, hosted by the Little Current Business Improvement Area.  There will be outdoor vendors, live music, cupcakes, bicycle decorating and parade and bouncy inflatables just to name a few of the possibilities. Check out the full page ad  on page 27 of  The Expositor for details.

Additionally, there is a yard and bake sale at the Manor on Robinson Street from 8 am – 1 pm followed by a community BBQ from 11 am to noon.

At 1 pm in Expositor Square there is a charity auction in support of Ukraine, with Island auctioneer Norm Morrell presiding. This event will be held at Little Current United Church hall in case of rain.

And finally, if you still have energy, the Little Current Legion is hosting a dance, the Born in the ‘90s Throwback party from 8 pm to 1 am.

In Whitefish Falls, the LaCloche Art Show and sale is back, opening on Saturday, July 2 and running daily from 11 am to 5 pm at the Whitefish Falls Community Centre until July 9.

Meanwhile in Mindemoya,  the Central Manitoulin Lions Club Homecoming Weekend starts on June 30 and activities continue until July 3. See supplement with this edition of the paper and the advertisement on page 29 for all the details including the Ribfest event and fireworks Saturday night. Homecoming Weekend continues through Sunday, July 3.

At the arena in Providence Bay the central Manitoulin Summer Market, with 60 vendors, is open from 2 pm – 6 pm on July 1 and on July 2, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Stick around Providence Bay for fireworks at 10 pm, down at the Harbour Centre. The boardwalk is the perfect viewing spot.

A highlight of western Manitoulin Canada Day celebrations is the return of the old-fashioned Ice Lake community picnic at the picnic grounds on Pleasant Valley Road. Bring a yummy dish to share at the large community potluck that starts at 12 noon sharp. Don’t forget a chair, dishes, cutlery and a cup. There will be games for the kids, races, prizes, bazaar and auction and a concession booth. The picnic winds down with a friendly game of pickup baseball. 

Onwards to Gore Bay where the first Gore Bay Street Market of the season takes place downtown on Meredith Street between Eleanor Street and the parking lot between 9 am and 12 noon. This part of the main street will be closed that day and on subsequent Fridays during the summer. 

The Gore Bay Legion has a full Canada Day schedule starting at 11 am with a kids’ parade, games and tattoos, then festivities move indoors at 1 pm for a pool tournament, porketta bingo, open mic and end with karaoke from 10 pm to 1 am.

The annual Gore Bay fireworks happens at dusk.

On Saturday July 2, celebrations continue with Canada Day events in South Baymouth and Silver Water.

Starting at 8 am in South Baymouth there is a giant yard sale, bake sale, BBQ lunch, parade and a fish fry at John Budd Park. In the evening, businesses are open and there is live entertainment. The day ends with a fireworks display at 10 pm. Best viewing is from the marina.

At the other end of the Island, in Silver Water, there will be a parade at noon on July 2 with the theme of ‘Circus.’ Games and treats start at 11:30 am at the Silver Water Community Hall.

There is something for everyone on Canada Day and throughout the first long weekend of the summer across Manitoulin Island.