Celebrate the 152nd Canada Day
week long celebrations with us!
All events are open to the public, are FREE of charge
and mostly all take place rain or shine
June 21st - July 1st 2019
This year we are celebrating our nation’s maple leaf tartan. All of Canada’s provinces and territories have regional tartans. The first province to adopt one officially was Nova Scotia in 1955, and the most recent province was Ontario in 2000. We will be highlighting the tartans throughout the celebrations. The Canadian mosaic of tartans will proudly display throughout the Saint John area.
June 21 – National Indigenous Peoples’ Day
June 21st, 2019 will kick off our eleven days of celebration for our 152nd birthday. Each year our festivities are welcomed with a celebration that ushers in the summer season. Summer solstice has become an annual tradition crafted to honour the birth of a new season paired with our rich native history. We will welcome the day with a sunrise ceremony to officially begin National Indigenous Peoples Day. Working with the Provincial Tobique and St. Mary’s First Nation(s) groups we will highlight the indigenous arts+culture, including modern versions of traditional song, dance, drum, dress, handcrafts, and food.
June 21 – Summer Solstice
Featuring our province’s favourite bands, we’ll top it off with the largest pedestrian street party unique in the Maritimes, as the smiles from thousands that gather to enjoy the first official weekend of summer.
June 24 - St Jean-Baptiste Day
Célébrer le tartan à la feuille d'érable – is the symbol for our 2019 theme’s. Our bilingual status as a province deepens our connection to the francophone cultures of our region and our country, and this day becomes an opportunity for a culinary and musical delight to make the mouth water, and the ears sing! As Canada’s only officially bilingual province, we take great pride in our francophone heritage. This underscores the priority of integration over assimilation, and is truly the model of our great nation. As the seventh anniversary installment of the Poutinerie Challenge, the restauranteurs vie for the bragging rights and the coveted gravy boat trophy that sits proudly at the winning restaurant for all to see!
The top dish from 2018 remains a best-selling menu item, demonstrating how successful the competition has become at integrating these celebrations into our daily lives. All in attendance will enjoy a sample from each participating restaurant in Uptown Saint John to cast their online vote for their favourite as the virtual fourth judge of the panel of foodies from the city.
2019 we ask our collective of professional chefs to give their interpretation of a futuristic poutine – though we are stumped as to how to improve on this Canadian classic, we cannot wait to taste their creations!
June 25 – Seniors Tea
Our nation’s elders represent a unique perspective to inform and guide our decisions as we move forward as a generation. We pay homage to this tradition with our Seniors’ Tea. Tea is a very popular drink and we will be sharing the special blends developed over centuries as we have a cuppa with our community’s seniors in this time-honoured event that warms the heart - just like a good cuppa tea should!
June 26 –Saint John Idol
Saint John XVII has been a part of our celebrations for many years. The roster of songs will be exclusively Canadian hits that celebrate growth, looking forward, and pride in our national roots.
June 27 - Multiculturalism Day
Multiculturalism is a presence we aim to exalt each and every day; not merely paying lip service to a word, but to truly act in a manner that embraces the ability for a variety of cultures and creeds to unite as citizens of this great nation. The Saint John Newcomers Centre is our region's champion for reaching into the past, bringing it into the present, and moving into the future, with an array of cultural icons from first generation to First Nation Canadians. This is celebrated through tradition attire, food, dance, and traditions that together, form the cultural mosaic that is our community and its people.
June 27 – Rising Country Stars Guided by the Past
We will be celebrating the tartan of country music. All Canadian artists will be highlighted during this kickoff event.
June 30 - Canada Day Countdown
Countdown to Canada Day on the waterfront of Saint John is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated aspects of our annual festivities, this year we will be celebrating 15th annual Canada Day Countdown. Live music and activities; on the waterfront ignites with this unique, NYE-style countdown to July 1st, and it has become one of the signature events in the maritime music scene including fireworks at the stroke of midnight, welcoming Canada Day
Also featuring acts from across the country, this event welcomes over ten thousand to ring in Canada Day, NYE-style, in the most unique way to celebrate Canada in the world.
JULY 1: CANADA DAY!
Art in the Park & Charity Bingo
King’s Square comes alive at 8am with artisanship from a variety of mediums and genres, including local entertainment. You may also try your luck at the charity bingo from 11am - 3pm on Charlotte street; this year, the funds raised will be donated to Romero House (local food bank). Charity bingo is weather permitting.
Beach Volleyball Tournament
We enjoy the unique feature of a three-court beach volleyball court that sits on our waterfront, adjacent to our Boardwalk Stage. What better way to enjoy athleticism and team spirit as a part of who we are as Canadians than with this annual tournament?!
This event is always very well attended, and rounds out our roster to provide something for the arly birds of the day! The sought after trophy for the most Canadian Spirit is always a great event.
Saint John City Market
The City Market opens its doors at 9am with over 30 unique vendors for their indoor market as the nation’s oldest market. The Mayor and Deputy Market Clerk re-enact proceedings as they did back in the 1800’s; and will be handing out Canada Day souvenirs.
Canada Day People Parade
The celebrations have grown to such a magnitude that we shut down King Street and King’s Square – the busiest streets in Uptown Saint John and the only street of its kind in North America– to create a right of way for the Parade. Our traditional people parade always signifies the beginning of our day’s festivities, and we have expanded it to include bands and a few key vehicles. The Parade will have trolleys, antique cars, marching bands, and multicultural demonstrations. There will be dignitaries (Mayor & Council, Provincial Ministers and MLA’s, Member of Parliament – Wayne Long), Saint John Police Honour Guard, Canadian Military, Boys & Girls Club, Brownie and Girl Guide Troops, Boy Scouts of Canada, and members from various other local charities and organizations.
Official Opening Ceremonies
Following the People Parade, the flag raising ceremonies take place in front of City Hall. This is where the Mayor of Saint John will present MP Wayne Long with a Canadian flag and he will raise it to the tune of our national anthem. Once completed, the Parade is led by the Piper decked out in traditional piping tartan garb into the Market Square Atrium where the opening ceremonies take place. The festivities include opening remarks by local dignitaries, the largest Canadian flag cake in Atlantic Canada. Happy 152nd Birthday Canada!
We will enjoy a multitude of activities for the entire afternoon. Free children’s activities are offered throughout the day including face painting, cookie decorating, tattoos, flag making, crafts, pins, bounce rides, sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, cotton candy, popcorn, bubbles, and so much more! There will be something for all ages – free of charge all day long. The children’s activities are set up in King Square, City Market, Loyalist Plaza, Market Square and on the Boardwalk. The huge bounce rides that have become so popular are also setup in King’s Square, Loyalist Plaza, and on the Boardwalk. Bungee jumping in Loyalist Plaza is always a hit and we are bringing it back again this year. We will be adding a Photo Booth to the festivities this year with Canada tartan props from each Province. Family and friends can put on some garb and get their photo taken as a lasting memory of their Canada Day Celebrations in Saint John.
Fifth Annual Youth Arts Collaboration
This event reaches the youth of our community. Working with their teachers we will present them with 10”x10” cotton broadcloth to create their own collage and highlight what Canada means to them. Our sixth annual youth arts collaboration will invite students from all levels of public school districts - both Anglophone and Francophone. All entries will be prominently displayed throughout the Uptown and the winners artwork will be made into a quilt with the NB tartan tying it all together. It is an opportunity for our region's youth to engage in the arts as a means to appreciate the fundamental importance of being a citizen of this great nation. We are keen to be inspired by what these young minds deliver this year.
NB Museum FREE ADMISSION
The New Brunswick Museum will offer free admission and programming all day long to welcome everyone to enjoy a piece of our heritage. Experience stories about our rich history and natural environment, touring the Museum’s galleries and enjoying family activities. You will find fascinating fun facts about our region!
Loyalist House Tours FREE ADMISSION
One of the few surviving buildings of the Great Fire of 1877, the Loyalist House serves as a proud reminder of Saint John's British Loyalist heritage and tours will be conducted throughout the day.
FREE Historic Trolley Rides
Aquila Tours – a local tour operator –offers historic trolley rides throughout the Uptown area. Everyone enjoys a taste of our history and many will enjoy a leisurely ride full of historic facts about our great City.
Atlantic Skateboard Challenge
This year, Saint John will host the 11th annual Atlantic Canada Skateboard Challenge in our state of the art skate park. We have put out the challenge to all skateboarders in Atlantic Canada and we will stress the importance of safety gear and will ensure that all participants are properly equipment. There will be prizes and giveaways for the top boarder.
Daytime/Evening Entertainment – Starting at 11am all day and night long
Saint John is known as the hotbed of live music in the Maritimes and fans will be enjoying the sounds of local and Canadian performers (dancing, singing, magic, bands, etc.) will entertain the public from 11am through to the stroke of midnight.
BERNARD the Magician
Bernard’s ability to entertain both young and old alike has made him a popular and favourite performer in the greater Saint John area. He has been astonishing audiences for over 30 years, combining music with mind-blowing magic! Bernard’s high-energy show features comedy, drama, and interactive audience participation. He is the founder of the Magic Circle of Saint John, now in its 31st year of operation. Don’t miss the amazing magic of Bernard the Magician on Canada Day in Saint John! You won’t be disappointed!
The entertainment kicks off with our local dance troupe – Danceability – and their beauty of movement. They have been part of our festivities for many years and are always a crowd pleaser. Each year, they travel to New York to compete nationally and have received various awards. They will perform several numbers on Canada Day.
Saint John Chinese Cultural Association perform during the Opening Ceremonies featuring the Lion Dance. They also highlight various age groups with dance, singing and instrumental.
Performance by Saint Mary’s Band
Saint Mary’s Band is a community concert band committed to preserving the tradition of concert band music in the Greater Saint John area. Performing for their community and providing opportunities for local musicians to share their talents. They also are proud to promote concert band music in a 21-century society.
Water Street Dinner Theatre Performance
Our community boasts about our dinner theatres and performance artists. This year, we will welcome both troupes to the Boardwalk Stage to perform pieces from their current shows. They are always a delight with their talent and bright, colorful costumes.
Uptown Ghost Gallivant
Join ghost Daniel Keymore as he shares the stories of fellow ghosts that have been spotted over the years near Market Square, around the harbour, in the north of Union zone, at the Burial Grounds and in Trinity Church and the surrounding preservation district. Expect evidence of the ghosts to be spotted as you walk and you might even spot the ghost of Sir Wilfrid Laurier sailing in the Saint John Harbour.
Grand Fireworks Finale
Our fireworks display is always a much-anticipated event and we have created an already much-renowned tradition with this send off with the singing of our National Anthem. Fireworks will be light up the Saint John Harbour with many of unique fireworks exploding out of the water. It is incredible to watch and hear the people in aww of this showcase of light.