June 16th – July 1st 2017
Canada's Oldest Incorporated City Celebrates Canada 150!
150 years ago, the visionaries now known as the fathers of confederation (representing what would become the first four provinces of Canada) rejoiced; their determination had culminated in the formation of the Dominion of Canada. July 1, 1867 began the official journey that would carry us from sea to sea, to become our home and native land today. As Canada's first incorporated city, predating the country itself, Saint John proudly boasts one of the largest celebrations in New Brunswick, celebrating both the pride of our unity and diversity as Canadians.
Arts + Culture serves as an incredible means of connection; creating the diverse tapestry of our nation. Throughout 2017, we hope to engage every community within the Canada's first city with a variety of participatory art forms. Sculpture, painting, music, video and photography from budding artists and supporting professionals, these multiple forms and genres will create an opportunity for one and all to devote their creativity to exploring what it means to be Canadian.
The Medium is the Message: Celebrating 150 in Art Form
Sculpture, painting, music, video, photography - we will be celebrating our nation with a variety of participatory art forms. From nurturing budding artists and supporting professionals, the multiple forms and genres will create an opportunity for one and all to devote their creativity to exploring what it means to be Canadian.
Of a Feather: Canada's National Bird
Wood is selected as the medium to celebrate our provinces' abundant forests. The new national bird, the grayjay, has been selected to commemorate 150, and acts as the foundation and conceptual origin for the theme of our artist in residency program of the process of creating a public art piece.
150 in Chalk
Chalkmaster Dave is a Toronto artists who has traveled the world over sharing his incredible talents in a unique medium. Over the course of sixteen days, the Yoda of Chalk will create 150 vignettes at feature locations throughout Uptown that celebrate who we are as Canadians. The ephemeral quality of chalk is a message that will be a focus of the project.
Worth a Thousand Words
We will be encouraging the public to participate in taking photos of their experiences during Canada Day Celebrations to share via social media. Themes will be encouraged to capture and reflect diversity, belonging, pride, reconciliation, youth, and the environment. 150 images taken over the course of the period will be printed and displayed in public spaces in the city core.
The Originals Arts Awards
Developing from Saint John's designation as a Cultural Capital of Canada in 2010, these immensely successful arts awards will be developed to celebrate our sesquicentennial. Categories will reflect the mandates of the celebrations for 150 in the arts, and acknowledge contributors through the arts for issues of diversity, belonging, ethno culturalism, youth, and environment. This will also be the official kickoff for the official Canada 150 Celebrations June 16 - July 1, and key components of the festivities will be unveiled in conjunction with the event. As it will be hosted in the heart of the festivities - the public community space of Market Square Atrium - this will be a keystone for launching the Canada 150 celebrations for Canada Day.
Father's Night - Fathers of Confederation
New Brunswick was one of the original provinces to rally in support of joining as a nation, and were among the first to sign, in 1867. One might imagine after building a nation during multiple conferences and years of effort,the Fathers of Confederation worked up quite an appetite. We will make merry as these men surely must have with a multi-course offering in honour of the Fathers of Confederation, to serve our own fathers on this day of celebration of them as well at Market Square!
Our nation's seniors represent the voices of a generation that has borne witness to an immense population. We pay homage to this important part of our community with our annual Senior's 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 should! Tickets available at the Seniors Resource Center and by calling 633-8781.
National Aboriginal Day
New Brunswick is comprised of fifteen indigenous Mi'kmaq and Maliseet bands across the province. As a major trading post for centuries, the land upon which the Canada Day festivities occur remains one of the few territories that no indigenous groups lay claim: it has perpetually been a space for all to gather. We will welcome a diverse array of arts and culture from each band to be shared throughout the day.
5th Annual Black Box Mixology Competition
Join us on the Market Square Boardwalk for the 5th Annual Black Box Mixology Competition at 12pm! All Market Square restaurants will compete to see who can create the signature Boardwalk beverage; to be sold at all Boardwalk restaurants. The winner will earn the title of the Boardwalk's Top Bartender and their drink will be featured in all Boardwalk restaurants for the whole summer!
Taste of the Boardwalk!
We really kick things into high gear with the official 5pm work whistle, announcing to those far and near that the weekend if here! Featuring live entertainment, a taste of the Boardwalk's summer menu and the largest pedestrian street party unique to the Maritimes; not to mention a Festival Fireworks display from the Coast Guard site that will light up the sky to shine almost as bright as the smiles from thousands that gather on the Boardwalk to welcome the first official weekend of summer!
St Jean-Baptiste Day
The soul food of the Great White North - poutine! Our
bi-lingual 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! the fifth installment of the Poutinerie Challenge cements it into an annual tradition. All in attendance will enjoy free poutine from participating restaurants in Uptown Saint John at 12pm!
Sax on the Boardwalk
Join us every Sunday at 12pm on the Boardwalk for live sax music featuring the sweet sounds of Canada's top saxophone artists!
Picnic in the Park
Fun for the whole family at beginning at 12pm! Enjoy Canada 150 activities and events all afternoon in the beautiful Rockwood Park!
Drive in Classics
Cap off the weekend with vintage black & white classic films screened on the Boardwalk at 8pm!
We are proud to be Home of the ECMA’s in 2017! Every Monday the Boardwalk stage will be alive with East Coast entertainment!
Our long-standing partnership with the Saint John Multiculturalism and Newcomers' Resource Centre and the YMCA has been a wonderful tradition to celebrate the cultural mosaic of our nation. This year's events will incorporate a feature of our Syrian newcomers to our region. The rich culture they bring to our community merits a celebration of its own, and we will share this in a variety of forms, including food, drink and performance art.
New Brunswick Talent Showcase
The incredible talents of our province are something we are proud to boast! Join us every Tuesday all summer long as the Boardwalk stage ignites with the skills and flair of New Brunswick's finest!
Saint John Idol XV
In the spirit of tradition, we are tickled to celebrate our fifteenth season! This event only continues to grow in popularity with each passing summer, and our fifteenth anniversary will blow them all out of the water! Performing hits from Canadian top 40 artists, our Idol hopefuls will sing their hearts out to make our nation proud.
Country Star Canadian Edition
Our contestants will perform hits from Canadian country stars, and will be decked out in their Canadian colours - to match the Boardwalk décor, of course!
Canada Day Countdown
Our time-honoured tradition celebrates its thirteenth season, and this year will be a banner year for the event. We are working on a line-up of renowned Canadian artists to join us to ring in Canada Day, NYE-style with a Pyrotechnics Show you'll never forget!
In 1867, at midnight on June 30th, the order was given to let the bells ring loose and the church towers across Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick to ring out. In all of the major centre the Queen's proclamation was read out followed by parades and celebrations. A 101-gun salute also shook the area around Ottawa in honour of the occasion. To likewise honour this, we will light up the sky with a fireworks display at the stroke of midnight to signify the arrival of our sesquicentennial.
Click HERE for the full Canada Day schedule!