Canada Day in Barrhaven cancelled due to COVID-19

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The annual Canada Day celebration at Clarke Fields in Barrhaven will not take place this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said Wednesday.

In a press release, Darrell Bartraw, President of Canada Day Barrhaven Inc., said organizers had to cancel the 40th annual Mattamy Homes Canada Day in Barrhaven celebration after the City announced a closure of all facilities and services through the end of June.

"Canada Day Barrhaven Inc. fully supports the decision of the City of Ottawa and after much thought about moving it to a later date in 2020 we have decided it would be impossible to get the infrastructure in place, a location booked without interfering with other local events and we cannot in good conscience ask businesses that have been closed for months for sponsorships, therefore we will be cancelling the event all together and look forward to 2021 to Celebrating our 40th Anniversary," Bartraw said.

The City of Ottawa has announced all municipal facilities and services will remain closed until June 30. The City is not issuing permits for any events or festivals during that time.

Mayor Jim Watson told CTV News Ottawa the decision meant the cancellation of Canada Day events was likely.

“My best advice is, certainly for the community groups, not to incur any or very few expenses because there is a likelihood that July 1 celebrations would not take place and you would be wasting a significant amount of resources and money," Watson said.

Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill are organized by the federal government, but there are many local events across the region as well.

Bartraw said Canadians should celebrate Canada Day this year in a different way.

"Celebrate this year's Canada Day while respecting isolation and physical distancing by flying our beautiful flag and having the whole of our community open your windows or step out on your balcony or porch and sing our national anthem together at a time to be determined," Bartraw said. "Perhaps we can make this a Canada-wide event."

Bartraw teased a possible free event in Barrhaven this fall, with details to be determined.