Canada Day was a vibrant and lively occasion, the communities of Winkler, Morden, and Altona embraced this patriotic holiday with their special celebrations.
"I have a heart for our country, and I love it when I see community celebrations, as long as everybody's safe. I love it," said Rose Kehler
In Winkler, the focus was on celebrating the diverse cultures that call the town home. The Canada Day & Culture Fest was a lively event featuring cultural and musical performances showcasing the community's rich heritage and diversity. Attendees could enjoy activities such as a car show, where vintage and modern cars were proudly displayed, and a petting zoo that brought joy to both children and adults.
"We are blessed to have a culturally diverse community, and there are so many things we can learn from each other. As a community, we should be proud of all the cultures represented. It’s an opportunity for community members to visit a number of cultures under one roof," said Nicole Enns, City of Winkler's Community Events Coordinator.
In Morden, the Lake Minnewasta Beach Blast offered a fun-filled day for families. Children could get their faces painted and embark on a thrilling Treasure Hunt. The sandcastle competition welcomed everyone to participate, and many individuals took their creations to the next level, resulting in shocking sand structures. The event also featured live performances, including the Seven Pines band and the captivating sounds of the North Wolf Ojibway Singers & Dancers.
"The best part of the evening is here at Morden's Beach Fest. I'm hoping to say a few words and meet a few people and, I wish I could be jumping in the lake myself... we're standing here on a beach, and it came from people fighting on beaches many years ago, and we should always remember that, but ultimately, we are so lucky, and we need to have strong gratitude for the country that we do live in," said newly elected Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar Branden Leslie.
The Canada Day Celebrations in Altona ensured everyone could participate in the festivities. The Altona Aquatic Centre offered free public swimming all day. The event also included free inflatables, cotton candy, glitter tattoos, and a petting zoo provided by the Prancing Pony. There was a free kiddie carnival for younger attendees with exciting games and activities.
Throughout the evening, lively songs from bands like Alterlimitz and BK & The Bad Habits filled the atmosphere, creating continuous cheers and applause from the crowd. The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display which lit up the night sky.
"One of the hugest changes that I've seen has been the change in the diversity of this region, and having opportunities like Culturefest to celebrate that this is a newfound strength, and recognize all the various peoples that have found their way to Southern Manitoba has fun," said Kevin Driedger, Liaison for Pembina Valley local immigration work.
These Canada Day celebrations in Winkler, Morden, and Altona display the country's spirit of unity, cultural diversity, and national pride on this special day.
Files by Robyn Wiebe, Ronny Guenther, and Daemon Parent.