There were bike riders of all kinds representing the Jumping Slug Community Cyclery in the July 1 parade in 2019. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

There were bike riders of all kinds representing the Jumping Slug Community Cyclery in the July 1 parade in 2019. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Port Alberni’s Canada Day committee needs volunteers if July 1 event is to be successful

Committee wants parade to remain on Third Avenue, council suggests moving back to old location

Port Alberni’s Canada Day committee is working to host a parade and celebrations at Harbour Quay after a two-year pandemic hiatus, but they are still looking for more help from the community.

Members of the Port Alberni Folkfest Multicultural Society, which organizes the July 1 Canada Day parade in Port Alberni, were in city council chambers on Monday, April 25 to ask for some in-kind support from the city.

“The parade and festivities will be one of the first major public events in the city in the last two years as we emerge from the pandemic,” said Angie Blake, chair of the Canada Day committee. “Our group hopes to make it a special event of celebration, including adding the much-requested return of the fireworks display this year.”

Inflation has also led to some higher costs for this year’s parade, said Blake, and the San Group’s new remanufacturing facility on Stamp Avenue means the loss of the parade’s past marshalling area.

Blake asked the city on Monday for permission to use the Victoria Quay parking area and nearby streets as a marshalling area. She also asked the city to provide some “in-kind resources” towards the parade, including publicity, promotion and help with transport and setup on the day of the parade.

City council did not vote on these requests on Monday, but acting mayor Debbie Haggard and Coun. Cindy Solda both suggested moving the parade back to the Glenwood Centre to reduce costs and the need for parking. The parade was moved from the Glenwood Centre to Third Avenue in 2017 to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Blake said the Third Avenue location was selected because of its proximity to the fireworks and the activities at Harbour Quay.

“It’s just been a wonderful experience for people,” she said. “It was absolutely the best place for us.”

In 2018, the society sought support from the City of Port Alberni as it was on the verge of collapse due to a turnover of volunteers. Blake said they are in a better situation now, but are still facing “significant challenges” including the loss of several key volunteers. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions also made it difficult to recruit new volunteers.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the parade can contact Blake at 250-724-1997 or send a message through the committee’s page on the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce website (www.albernichamber.ca/directory/pafms-canada-day-parade-committee). The Port Alberni Canada Day Parade can also be found on Facebook.

Registration for parade entries and craft and food vendors is now open.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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