Canada Day moves away from Victoria Park this year

Dave Stewart
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FILE PHOTO. A large crowd at Victoria Park in Charlottetown all day Monday to celebrate Canada Day.

There won’t be any party hats at Victoria Park on Canada Day this year.

The City of Charlottetown and P.E.I. 2014 Inc. have partnered up to spread the fun around the capital city, with Confederation Landing Park and the Charlottetown Event Grounds serving as the two major locations for the big 150th anniversary celebrations of Confederation.

A fireworks display that is being teased as the biggest in Canada this year will still be visible from Victoria Park, as well as from just about anywhere else on the waterfront.

The city had made Victoria Park the focal point for Canada Day celebrations the past two years.

Penny Walsh McGuire, executive director of P.E.I. 2014 Inc., said her group has been consulting with the city’s economic development and culture committee.

Walsh McGuire said with the big Canada Day concert at the event grounds and kicking off the Celebration Zone at Confederation Landing it only made sense to utilize areas where the crowds were going to be.

“We were very strategic in working with the city and our other partners,’’ Walsh McGuire said Tuesday, noting that both locations are within walking distance of each other. “We certainly want as many people to enjoy Canada Day.’’

Wayne Long, events development officer with the city who also sits on the 2014 board, said the idea is to make the events grander in scope. He noted that the new year’s celebration was moved from Victoria Park this past year to Great George Street.

“2014 came to us with a request to do the event in historic downtown Charlottetown where history lives and that’s where we did the activity. We worked with them to ensure the event was a higher scale and better for everyone,’’ Long said, noting the same process unfolded for Canada Day.

Mayor Clifford Lee says Canada Day celebrations will return to Victoria Park next year.

“Everything that took place in Victoria Park will be replicated on the waterfront. It will be a bigger event,’’ Lee said, adding that the partnership is better for the taxpayer because the city isn’t putting in anymore than the $50,000 it usually does. “2014 is helping us pay the bills.’’

Coun. Mitchell Tweel says he’s disappointed there are no Canada Day activities at Victoria Park this year.

Tweel said he lobbied two years ago to have most of the activities return to Victoria Park where they had been until Confederation Landing Park took over.

“I lobbied for a variety of reasons. There is a lot of open green space (at Victoria Park),’’ Tweel said. “It’s not as intrusive as the other venues are. It’s much easier for families to go down and relax and not be caught in that intensity. A lot of residents didn’t enjoy going down to Confederation Landing because it’s not the proper venue.’’

Tweel said the change shouldn’t have been made, even for one year.

“Personally, I’m disappointed.’’

Geographic location: Victoria Park, Charlottetown, Confederation Landing Park Canada Great George Street

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Recent comments

  • Mary Mac
    May 27, 2014 - 09:33

    OMGosh, stop your whinning and complaining and be THANK FULL you have a beautiful safe place to take in these activities with your children! If a little walk for a 11 year old, or too crowded for some or blah blah blah, like I said count your blessings and be thankful you have what you have, look at the rest of the world people........

  • Fiya werk
    May 27, 2014 - 08:58

    Great idea making the fireworks visible for everyone depending on where you want to go. Last year the fireworks were so far toward vic park that the Delta blocked most of the show if you were around confed landing. Now if they could just move the concerts back to confed landing.

  • Bman
    May 27, 2014 - 08:38

    This really sucks. The last two Canada Day events I took my kids because it was at the park, easy to get to, lots for the kids to do and lots of space. I wont be joining in this year. Too much work for families trying to get to the event. Where can you park? To difficult to get from one venue to anther. This is so typical of Charlottetown planning. Mitch, are you the only one at city hall that has any common sense?

  • Stan Hope
    May 27, 2014 - 08:01

    Isn't it great to live in a country where your biggest gripe is "where EXACTLY am I going to see the fireworks"... like they say pick your battles & for these folks this is serious stuff.

  • Stop Whining
    May 27, 2014 - 07:19

    stop complaining you bunch of whining babies.. the article clearly states "will still be visible from Victoria Park, as well as from just about anywhere else on the waterfront." so MORE people will be able to see it this year.. And to @bugfri you have an 11yr old to tag along, if an 11yr old can't walk and keep up then perhaps you need to worry about bigger things than seeing the fireworks

  • seems to me
    May 27, 2014 - 05:27

    I was so glad to see the venue back at Victoria Park for the past two years, where prior to going to confederation landing it had been for years and years, not just the prior 2! The biggest problem with being combined with the confederation landing, where the rest of the venue is? It is NOT meant to include families!! what part of that seems to be missing to you city council? keeping them separate meant that families could enjoy the park, lots of space and not deal with everyone who seems to equate Canada day to drinking into oblivion! which when you put everyone next to the bar scene and the entertainment is what you end up with!!! Brilliant!, just Brilliant!

  • voter
    May 27, 2014 - 05:08

    "event centre and waterfront" -- that should read------------- " PAVED OVER OIL TANK FARM "

    • How it is...
      May 27, 2014 - 09:01

      Coincidence that Clifford decides to make the mass gathering area directly across from two Murphy's restaurants? How long before he decides to give up the post as Mayor and move into federal politics at some level and needing financial backers with deep pockets? Classic case of "You scratch my back if I scratch yours".

  • Wendy
    May 27, 2014 - 00:47

    Moving everything fown to to Peaks Quey is totally awfull. Thousand all jambed in like sardines being bumped, joslelted about and or injured and for what. What about the physically challeneged, wheel chairs etc, how in the name of God do you the town of Charlottetown make this decision right. We drive in get a place to park, take our chairs and snacks and hit the park where you can found any place to sit with 360 DEGREE VIEW. WAKE UP CHARLOTTETOWN no other place trys to jambs thousands of people into 1 small area.

  • Wendy Grant
    May 27, 2014 - 00:16

    WHEN will the city of Charlottetown learn that down town is NOT a vantage point for Canada Day celebrations especially certain events and the highlight of the fire works. Do you not consider how hard it is to find a place to park let alone WALK to get their. What about people with disabilities. The PARK is the place to be as it in in most all of other capitol cities in Canada else where. You park go to the park, take a lawn chair sit and enjoy, how the hell hard is that to explain. WAKE UP CHARLOTTETOWN

  • bugfri
    May 26, 2014 - 22:08

    So if I cant see the fireworks from Victoria Park, then where. I have an eleven year old to tag along. Victoria Park was the best place. This just ruins it. I didn't go when it was held at the Confed Park and probably won't go if that is the case this year. Pity!

  • intobed
    May 26, 2014 - 21:43

    So where EXACTLY are the fireworks going to be set off? They will NOT be visible from "just about anywhere else on the waterfront."

  • S
    May 26, 2014 - 21:25

    Knock down the fences that surround the 'venue' - will open up way more space, and that way families can kind of chill in the less busy areas on the outskirts .