What does it mean to be Canadian? Itís a question that can take thousands of words to explain and even more to hit all the right notes, but at the end of the day, itís a sensation thatís unique to each and every citizen.
But be it Tim Hortons, the CBC, Trevor Linden or Degrassi that you identify with most, the one thing that we can all agree on is that Canada Day is something worth celebrating.
And with that in mind, Whistler has plenty of activities to keep Canadians both young and old busy for the upcoming long weekend, ranging from free concerts to Village performers, a parade and fireworks.
The fun begins today (Thursday, June 28) with the Whistler street entertainment program providing face painting, balloon hats, circus performers and carnival games throughout the Village from noon to 7 p.m. If youíve got kids, or are just a kid at heart, take a stroll through the Village to let loose and have some fun. The street entertainment will run each day until Monday (July 2).
On Friday (June 29), things kick off in a big way when the Whistler Presents concert series makes its 2012 debut with Vancouver folk/alternative singer Dan Mangan performing in Whistler Olympic Plaza. Following the format of the 2011 shows, this yearís concert series will be free for all to attend and will take place in the evening. Mangan is a winner of the 2012 Juno Award for Best New Artist and was also nominated for Best Alternative Album.
On Saturday (June 30) fellow Juno-award winner Alex Cuba will perform in the plaza, this time bringing a distinct Latin-infused jazz pop to the crowd. Singing in both Spanish and English, Cuba is best known for his smooth world-music sound that wonít stop until heís got the crowd dancing in the streets.
Both Mangan and Cuba perform at 8:30 p.m. on their respective nights.
Finally, on Canada Day (Sunday, July 1), childrenís entertainer extraordinaire Fred Penner rolls into town to undoubtedly leave his mark on yet another generation of youth. Having played a role in pretty much every Canadian childhood in Western Canada, Pennerís family-friendly tunes have been a staple in many households for the past few decades.
Later in the day, Vancouver-based bluesman Jim Byrnes will help celebrate Canadaís 145th birthday in the plaza by doing what he knows best ó rocking out alongside blues trio, the Sojourners. Bringing a mix of soulful roots-rock with the subtle blues of the Sojourners, the group will keep the crowd entertained all evening.
Pennerís show at the plaza takes place at 2:30 p.m. while Byrnes hits the stage at 8:30 p.m.
If you thought that was the end of the line for Canada Day celebrations, keep reading because thereís more. Alongside the Village animation and free concerts, the Whistler Chamber of Commerceís annual Canada Day Parade is a highlight. The popular parade kicks off at noon on Canada Day at the Whistler Town Plaza.
Finally, what better way to conclude the night than by gathering amongst your fellow Canadians and watching people blow things up in a colourful and noisy fashion? For that, Whistlerís got the annual Canada Day fireworks show, which will light up the Village night sky at 10:15 p.m. The best viewing spot for the fireworks is at the base of Whistler Mountain in Skiersí Plaza. A second fireworks show will take place on July 4 in celebration of the U.S. Independence Day.