EDITORIAL: That was one heck of a party, Port Alberni

The July 1 weekend was one of the busiest and most fun in a decade…

Well done, Port Alberni!

The July 1 weekend was one of the busiest and most fun in a decade, and everyone who worked to put it together and participate in it should take a pat on the back.

The Canada Day parade committee, Folk Fest, Tri-Conic Challenge and city Parks and Rec department all worked together to put on one large party at Harbour Quay throughout July 1, and thousands of smiling faces should tell them all it was a success.

Away from the Quay, the Funtastic Alberni Slowpitch Tournament hosted 80 teams—nearly 1,000 people—for their annual sporting party and two-day music festival, so the other side of the city was hopping all weekend as well.

Port Alberni really was the place to be for the holiday.

This year more than any, Canada Day was complex in its makeup: while many multi-generational Canadians celebrated the sesquicentennial of Confederation, many Indigenous Peoples looked upon the holiday as a recognition to 150 years of colonialism and repression of the original inhabitants of the country.

At the national celebration in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the different feelings toward Canada Day and said he was hopeful that talks of reconciliation could move forward.

In Port Alberni, Tseshaht First Nation Chief councillor Cynthia Dick also spoke from a First Nations perspective, and publicly thanked two local businesses for their respect surrounding the Canada Day weekend.

We applaud the party to say farewell to the first 150 years, and look forward to the hopefulness that the next 150 can bring. We can only hope that it’s respectful, progressive and brings the type of change our Indigenous Peoples are asking for, while at the same time welcoming newcomers into the fold.

— Alberni Valley News