Canada’s birthday bash on the beach

Parksville is home to one of the biggest Canada Day celebrations in the province; fun to be had in Qualicum Beach and Bowser too

ne of the biggest Canada Day celebrations on Vancouver Island is gearing up for Monday in Parksville and the local Rotary Club organizing it will use it to mark 100 years in the province.

The Rotary Club of Parksville is sticking with their winning formula with a few minor improvements said incoming Rotary president Raven Pruden.

One notable change will see the day’s activities open downtown, where the traditional Shriner’s pancake breakfast will be relocated from Community Park.

“That’s the biggest change, people can go downtown early for the parade and they don’t have to go up and down the hill into the park,” stage manager Megan Olsen previously explained.

The popular breakfast will run from 7:30 to 11 a.m. in the Coastal Community Credit Union parking lot, keeping cars out of Community Park which will be closed to traffic for the day.

The parade, expecting 100-plus entries, kicks off at 10 a.m. following its familiar route from Shelly Road, along Highway 19A and up Craig Street to city hall.

Activities start in the park at noon on the main stage in the big field with a celebration of Rotary’s 100 year’s of service, opening speeches and O Canada.

Pruden points out they will be looking for donations at the main entrance and any extra help they can get in general to help keep the big event running.

An acoustic showcase will ease people into the day’s music amid the park filled with vendors, children’s games, rides and family activities of all sorts.

Pruden emphasizes they have made a special effort to keep the fair activities cheaper this year to encourage families to come out and enjoy it.

At 4 p.m. Victoria’s folk/rock Archers will play for an hour, followed by the local Electric Kool-Aid and then Peak Performance runner up Jordan Klassen at 6 p.m. with his gentle folk stylings, followed by local favourites and Rod and Gun regulars Baby Jane at 7 p.m.

The big headliner this year is U4, who bill themselves as “Canada’s premier U2 tribute” and will bring a big show to Parksville’s big park starting at 8:30 p.m. and running through to the fireworks spectacular at about 10 p.m.

Anyone interested in volunteering, donating or getting involved in any way is encouraged to contact Olsen at or 250-937-0999 or Pruden at


The national birthday will also be celebrated at the Bowser Legion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Bowser festivities will include all the traditional family activities with entertainment, a barbecue, kids’ activities including face painting, cotton candy, hay rides by tractor, a fishing game and others, plus a growing classic car show and shine.

Tried last year for the first time, they had 30 cars and this year they already have 100 registered.

The Arrowsmith Pipe Band will play around 1:30 p.m. along with O Canada and the formal cup cake “cutting” a bit later, at 3 p.m.

Qualicum Beach

People will assemble in the old bus garage parking lot for Qualicum Beach’s Canada Day parade at 11:30 a.m.  Monday morning and march to the Legion around 11:45 a.m.

The ceremonies will officially kick off there at noon followed by entertainment by Bent Rhym, Sharon Lafferty’s Clog Dancers and The Arrowsmith Pipe Band.

There will be hamburgers, hot dogs and refreshments available. MLA Michelle Stillwell will cut the cake at 2:15 p.m.

Just Posted

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue logo on the back of a service vehicle. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville and Qualicum Beach provide letters of support for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue

ASAR asks for increase in funding, one-time capital grant and for RDN to buy out current facility

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read