Canada Day festivities will once again be held at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park in Prince George on July 1.
The event has been organized and hosted by the Prince George Multicultural Heritage Society for the past 49 years, however, the event was cancelled for the past two summers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more than 30 of those years, the event has been organized by the society’s Coordinator, Marlies Greulich, who has been volunteering with the local Canada Day celebrations since 1976.
She says coming out of the pandemic the society struggled to put together the same event because it was facing a number of challenges including a loss of volunteers, a loss of connections with service providers, and increased costs.
“So, that is why this year we have asked for help and are extremely grateful for a few folks who have stepped up last minute to help our organization make this festival happen in just 5 weeks from now,” says Greulich.
With a plea to the community last week stating how close they were to canceling the planned celebrations, a number of people in the community came together to volunteer and provide their event planning and business experience and services to support the society in hosting this year's event.
This group of individuals includes Dave Mothus of Hell Yeah Prince George, Aimee Cassie of Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, Kyle Sampson of Kyle Sampson Productions Inc., Craig Briere of the Kodiaks Football Club and Prestige Hotels, and Dawna Varley of the Knights of Columbus Society and BC Day in the Park.
The board of Directors for the Multicultural Heritage Society approved the plans for the festival to move forward with the support of the volunteer group at its meeting on Tuesday night.
“We are proud of the work we have been able to accomplish under Marlies’ leadership for the past 30 years and beyond, however with the challenges we are facing, like many other organizations coming out of the pandemic, we are very grateful to receive a hand this year to help make this one of our biggest and best celebrations yet,” said president Patrick Pocha.
The Multicultural Heritage Society has funded past Canada Day celebrations with grants provided from city, provincial and federal government, and they have continued to receive this funding in 2022.
In the past, they have also sought corporate and local business sponsorship to cover the costs above and beyond what the grants covered.
“Our entire group is excited and keen to step up and help Marlies and the Multicultural Heritage Society in their time of need” said Sampson. “This event is so important, and each of us recognize and appreciate how challenging the past two years have been for so many, especially non-profits and societies like the Multicultural Heritage Society, and we just want to do our part to help them out this year to make sure they regain their contacts and re-engage the community in a positive way!”
The organizers are still seeking a number of sponsors to help make the event even more successful and those interested can contact CanadaDayPG@gmail.com for more information
The celebrations will kick off at 11 a.m. and run through 9 p.m. Friday, July 1 with a further schedule to come.