Canada Day’s annual fireworks on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, will be replaced with “virtual fireworks” and digital shows as part of the government’s lockdown response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Wednesday marks Canada’s 153rd birthday. Canada’s constitution came into effect on July 1, 1867, establishing the Dominion of Canada and laying out the country’s governmental structure.

The government of Canada is offering a virtual celebration via computers and mobile devices in lieu of canceled public events. The digital substitute activities were developed by Canadian Heritage, a ministry of the federal government.

Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne, and Sarah McLachlan will join the streamed celebration.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, issued a statement regarding Canada Day celebrations and COVID-19. She advised:

Right now, it is our actions, and our actions only, that will reduce the spread. While COVID-19 is still active in our communities, I want to remind Canadians to celebrate Canada Day safely.

To limit the spread of the virus, Canada’s iconic capital celebration has gone virtual. Fireworks are a staple in any Canada Day celebration and on July 1, at 10 pm local time, you can enjoy Canada Day fireworks on your mobile device or computer. If you have a smartphone or tablet, point it to the night sky to begin a 3-minute 3D firework display. For more information on how to celebrate Canada Day 2020, visit Canadian Heritage’s webpage.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a state-run news media operation, linked 2020’s Canada Day to “a growing conversation about systemic racism in our society”:

Canadians are finding new ways to celebrate Canada Day as they mark the national holiday under unprecedented circumstances.

Canada Day 2020 takes place amid both a global pandemic and a growing conversation about systemic racism in society.

Large celebrations like the annual pomp and pageantry on Parliament Hill are being replaced with backyard barbecues and digital events to keep crowds from gathering.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered on Parliament Hill and proceeded to move through Ottawa’s downtown area as part of a Black Lives Matter event on June 5, billed by organizers and news media as a march for “racial justice.”

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.


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