Canada Day celebrations to go virtual July 1 amid COVID-19 pandemic

Heritage Canada is getting ready to let Canadians from coast to coast to coast participate in a virtual Canada Day celebration this July 1.

The official Canada Day celebration in Ottawa has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the heritage ministry, which oversees the event, said there would be a virtual component to it this year.

On Monday, the ministry unveiled a preview of ways Canadians at home and abroad can celebrate the nation's 153rd birthday from the safety of their own homes.

The first step is to RSVP to the virtual Canada Day 2020 event on Facebook.

The ministry also encourages Canadians to follow and watch their social media channels and website:

Canadian Heritage will also be releasing downloadable celebration kits online, starting June 15, so that all communities can participate online.

The national Canada Day festivities were scheduled to be held at Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa this year, after renovations to Centre Block forced officials to move the party off of Parliament Hill.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has said Canadian Heritage is working with Canadian artists and artisans to put together a virtual program, "reflecting our diversity and values, and showcasing the immense talent our country has to offer."