One Last Canada Day Hurrah at UWaterloo

Feds logo
Yvonn Yu
Communications Assistant
Thu, 06/27/2019 - 15:15

For the past 34 years, Canada Day celebrations have been held on campus near Columbia Lake. The event grew over the years, attracting as many as 60,000 people and featuring food trucks, activities, live music, and fireworks. 

Canada Day celebrations began in 1984, with former Feds employee Dean Nadon driving the idea to initiate celebrations at the University of Waterloo. With the help of countless student volunteers and the Grad Student Association, Feds ran the first ever Canada Day celebrations at Waterloo that year. It was a success, with 5,000 people in attendance.  

The event grew dramatically the following year as 25,000 people arrived on campus for Feds' second Canada Day celebration. There was a Beatles cover band, an attempt at the world largest Twister game (3,000 people tried to break the record!), tons of activities hosted by Feds clubs and societies, and even elephant rides. The budget for the fireworks in 1985 - $5,000 - was sponsored by the Federal Government.

The University of Waterloo assumed responsibility for Canada Day and took over the event in 2013. 

2019 will mark the final Canada Day celebration on campus as the University winds down its involvement with the event with fireworks only.

Both Feds and the University are looking at ways to create partnerships across the Kitchener-Waterloo community to provide Canada Day celebrations in the future. 

In lieu of the usual festivities on campus, there are still numerous local events that you can participate in to celebrate this holiday:

1. UWaterloo’s last fireworks display

You can still join your friends and family on Columbia Lake field for one last fireworks display! Columbia Road will be closed on Monday, July 1 at 6 p.m. and there will be free parking in all UWaterloo lots starting at 8 p.m. Bring some chairs and blankets and watch the sky light up at 10 p.m. If you have additional questions about this event, visit their FAQs [external link].

2. Canada Day in Downtown Kitchener

There will be tons of activities at Kitchener City Hall on Canada Day, including a free concert with Canadian artists such as The Recklaws, Emily Reid, Jessica Mitchell and Jessie T. This event will also feature food trucks and and a fireworks display. As part of the Downtown Kitchener celebrations, Kitchener Market will also have crafts and music. For more information, check out their website [external link].

3. Cambridge Canada Day Parade

If you live closer to Cambridge, they are hosting a Canada Day parade starting at 10 a.m. There will also be festivities at Riverside Park including a food truck alley and a fireworks display. For more information, visit their website [external link].