Queen City celebrates Canada Day without pandemic restrictions for first time in two years

The COVID-19 pandemic hindered Canada Day celebrations for the past two years. But on Saturday, the red and white was back in full force in Regina with events all around the city.

The legislative grounds hosted many for Canada’s 155th birthday. Residents attending the events on the grounds who spoke to CTV News said they were excited to be back celebrating with other Canadians.

“Just to see people from all different walks of life celebrating who they are in a country that’s welcome and opening; that’s what it means to be Canadian,” said one Regina resident.

Others at the park were new to Canada. Manish Paneva moved to Canada with his family from India just a week ago and are already celebrating their first Canada Day. He said Canada has been welcoming to his family.

“We’ve really enjoyed it here so far,” he said. “We’ve been [at the legislative grounds] all morning and we got to explore almost everything. [My daughter] doesn’t want to go home, so we’re just waiting for the fireworks.”

At Government House, Lt. Governor Russ Mirasty hosted his first Canada Day celebration in his role, which was delayed by the pandemic. The event promoted Regina’s multiculturalism with performances from Chinese lion dancers and Ukrainian dancers.

“It’s great to be able to bring people from diverse backgrounds together and think about what Canada means to them both individually and as a community,” he said.

Buffalo Day returned for its second year to Buffalo Meadows Park in north central Regina to honour first nation’s culture. Children painted buffalo on the street and a powwow was held.

Organizers said the new tradition is acknowledging Canada’s past and is one of the ways citizens can participate in reconciliation.

“It’s a celebration of our culture and it’s a showing of resiliency,” said Saskatchewan Treaty Commissioner Mary Musqua-Culbertson. “We should be having all people no matter race, religion or creed, coming to celebrate resiliency, celebrating and honouring first nations traditions and powwow.”