Port Alberni celebrates Canada Day with in-person parade, festivities

David Wiwchar and Len Bodaly from Port Alberni Toy Run participate in the Canada Day parade on July 1, 2022. (ELENA RARDON/ Alberni Valley News)David Wiwchar and Len Bodaly from Port Alberni Toy Run participate in the Canada Day parade on July 1, 2022. (ELENA RARDON/ Alberni Valley News)
The Port Alberni Toy Run’s float in the 2022 Canada Day parade had a Christmas theme. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)The Port Alberni Toy Run’s float in the 2022 Canada Day parade had a Christmas theme. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Athletes from West Coast Combat Sports practice their moves during the 2022 Canada Day parade in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Athletes from West Coast Combat Sports practice their moves during the 2022 Canada Day parade in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
A Canada Day parade in Port Alberni wouldn’t be the same without entries from the Alberni Valley Vintage Tractor Club. (ELENA RARDON/ Alberni Valley News)A Canada Day parade in Port Alberni wouldn’t be the same without entries from the Alberni Valley Vintage Tractor Club. (ELENA RARDON/ Alberni Valley News)
A driver waves to the crowd from the 2022 Canada Day Parade on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON/ Alberni Valley News)A driver waves to the crowd from the 2022 Canada Day Parade on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON/ Alberni Valley News)
Youngsters wave from a parade float for Alberni Motorsports Park. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Youngsters wave from a parade float for Alberni Motorsports Park. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Vintage cars and big waves were par for the course during the Canada Day parade on Third Avenue, July 1, 2022. (ELENA RARDON/Alberni Valley News)
Children from Lisa's Busy Bees Childcare march in the 2022 Port Alberni Canada Day parade. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293 in Port Alberni wave to the crowd during the 2022 Canada Day parade. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293 march in the 2022 Port Alberni Canada Day parade. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Youngsters wave from the back of Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department's Engine 49 during the 2022 Canada Day parade in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
First responders pass out candy and freezies to the crowd during the Canada Day parade in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Richard Spencer of the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society, left, and City of Port Alberni Councillor Ron Paulson, right, wave to the crowd during the 2022 Canada Day parade. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
A volunteer hands out Canada Day flags before the start of the parade on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Kaitlyn and Emily wait for the start of the Canada Day parade on Port Alberni's Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Gunner, left, Lennox and Wilder Alexander get ready to watch the Canada Day parade on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. Gunner and Wilder, two-year-old twins, have never been to a parade before; they were born during the coronavirus pandemic, when events like parades were cancelled. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Chase Lott is enamoured with the goats at the Boots and Bridles 4-H petting farm at Harbour Quay during Canada Day celebrations. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Hupacasath First Nation Chief Councillor Brandy Lauder welcomes people at the July 1 celebrations to Hupacasath territory during opening ceremonies at Harbour Quay. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Callie Boe says 'peace!' as she waits in line for a creation from Sharky Balloons, July 1, 2022 at Harbour Quay in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A piper entertains the audience on the boardwalk at Harbour Quay before piping in the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 293 colour party to salute the Canadian flag on July 1, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter from 442 Squadron at 19 Wing Comox does a low pass up Alberni Inlet, past the Canada Day crowds at Harbour Quay, prior to opening ceremonies. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
There were many famlies in the Canada Day parade crowd wearing orange shirts to remember the Indigenous, Metis and Inuit children that never returned home from residential school. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A member of the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 293 colour party salutes the Canadian flag at Harbour Quay while visitors sing the Canadian national anthem in the background. (July 1, 2022) (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Crowds lining the Canada Day parade route were wearing red and white to celebrate the 155th birthday of Canada's confederation, and orange to remember the Indigenous, Metis and Inuit children who went to residential school and never returned. (July 1, 2022) (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Heritage vehicles from the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society brought excitement to the truck crowd at the July 1, 2022 parade in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni City Councillor Deb Haggard rides aboard one of the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society's vintage vehicles during the Canada Day parade on July 1, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni Canada Day parade marshal Angie Blake waves to the crowd on lower Third Avenue, July 1, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
The Alberni Valley Lions Club was back with their float in the Port Alberni Canada Day parade, July 1, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Bill Surry, AV Chamber of Commerce's 2021 Volunteer of the Year, waves from the Port Alberni Toy Run float during the Canada Day parade on July 1, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A young parade goer waves a Canadian flag at the floats passing by on Third Avenue in Port Alberni on July 1, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Hundreds of people lined Stamp and Third Avenues for the first Canada Day parade in Port Alberni since 2019.

“We can blame a lot on COVID,” Canada Day MC Mike Ruttan said during opening ceremonies from Harbour Quay.

Hupacasath Chief Councillor Brandy Lauder welcomed people to Hupacasath Territory, saying they have greeted people to their land for hundreds of years. Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns sent a message, as did Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne, both of which Ruttan read aloud. Their messages both talked about remembering the pre-colonial history of Canada while celebrating the 155th year since Confederation.

“On this day, we reflect on our colonial history and reaffirm our commitment to walking the path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples,” Osborne wrote.

Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions said while it was important for people to celebrate Canada Day, there are other factors that must be considered.

“Last year’s Canada Day looked very different. Most people celebrated in orange, and that was of course to remember the children who were lost and never brought home,” she said. “While I think we do have a lot to celebrate this year, and I’m glad we’re able to be here, I think it’s incredibly important that we don’t forget how we felt last year.

“There are many people in our community that have not been able to move forward…we know there are still a lot of (residential) schools that have been left unsearched, including the one locally. We have a lot of work to do. We have to make sure we remember the work that there is ahead of us as well. And that we move forward in a way that we continue to build a stronger community, working together with everyone at the table.”

A colour party from Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293 saluted the flag at the quay while a piper played the Canadian national anthem. The Alberni Valley Lions Club handed out cupcakes and watermelon, Adley Bruneau of Sharky Balloons entertained children with his balloon creations, the Boots and Bridles 4-H Club had a small petting farm near the playground, and vendors lined the quay throughout the day.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

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