Planning Canada’s 150th Birthday

A yearlong celebration is being planned by the Canada 150 Steering Committee in St. Paul. The celebration is not just for Canada Day, says committee member, Linda Sallstrom, and it’s not just for St. Paul.

The group may be based out of St. Paul, but they are assisting neighbouring communities host celebrations with the 150 theme throughout 2017 as well. “We’ve been meeting for over a year,” explains Sallstrom,  “the Canada 150 Steering Committee has taken on a number of projects, and we’re kind of over seeing the entire year of celebrations.” As Sallstrom explains it doesn’t have to be a celebration held on Canada Day or a big blow out, it can be a small get together with the theme of 150 and Canada to be involved.

If you have a group that makes quilts, you could do 150 patches to build a quilt, or a group of friends want to make 150 jars of jam. It can be that simple. Or you can go all out and host a community party. Most neighbouring communities are hosting Canada Day celebrations in 2017 and the committee is able to help promote those events. “Much of what we’ve done is reaching out to groups and organizations to let them know they can participate in any way that they can. If they want to do a big project, we’ll assist them with that and we’re even offering to assist them with applying for grant funding,” explains Sallstrom.

“The thought behind this came from the 1967 [celebrations]. There was 100, some estimate even 200, projects done for the centennial; for which St. Paul was named the Centennial Star,” Sallstrom explains no other community completed as many projects to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday as St. Paul did, in all the country.

There are three main events the committee is hosting in St. Paul; which include, the time capsule project, the gala and the school project.

There is a time capsule that was closed at the Centennial celebrations in 1967, it is to be sealed for 100 years. That capsule will not be opened at the 150 celebrations, rather another capsule will be sealed and dated for 50 years. At the Bi-Centennial Celebrations in 2067 both capsules will be opened.

The gala event will be a black tie affair, much like the gala which was held in 1967. “They’re hoping to draw back some of the people who were involved in the ’67 event,” explains Sallstrom.

The school project includes moving the New Hope School sign, many remember Mother Theresa visiting the school in 1982. The school is no longer in the location of the sign and the property is privately owned. The commitee has asked the Town to move the sign onto Town property so it does not need to be relocated again and an be enjoyed for many years as a reminder of the accomplishments of the Town. The Town has approved the moved, but are asking to work with the committee in finding a new home that suitable for the sign. One suggestion is Lagassee Park.

The Landing Pad was a Centennial Project, which means it is celebrating its 50th Birthday. The Town has committed to taking on the celebrations for the Landing Pad and have voted to create a Canada 150 working group, made up of Council members and some Town staff to tackle the celebrations.

“We’re pulling together a calendar so that we capture everything that’s going on, so we’re the information hub,” explains Sallstrom. The group has a Facebook page and is in the process of completing their website to compliment the page. The goal is to put all the events, big or small, on the calendar. That way if the public wants to attend the events or if a group wants to host one, the committee & public can reference the calendar to see what else is happening.