The Canadian flag will be flying bigger and bolder in some particularly fun-loving communities across Canada this July 1st.
In four provincial capitals, the national capital, and other communities stretched coast to coast, enthusiastic Canadians will be creating ‘Living Flags’, comprised of individuals sporting red or white t-shirts and forming the Canadian flag. This sesquicentennial year, this flag event has grown to include eight communities from coast to coast with anticipated participation of 20,000 Canadians and their guests from around the world.
Victoria, B.C., where the Living Flag has been created on the Legislative Lawns since July 1st, 2006, is looking to rally 5000 flag-wavers. But 730 kilometers east, Calgary is ramping up for a flag of even more epic proportions: 7000 participants. Always ready to go toe-to-toe with any other city in the country in terms of the size of its flag, Winnipeg is looking to do something different this year, by extracting the red maple leaf of the flag and taking it to the landmark corner of Portage & Main. In its first year of creating the Living Flag, Winnipeg shared ‘a photo finish’ with Victoria in 2011 when both communities claimed a win with 3300 participants in each flag. That has been the national record to date, even though Winnipeg did go on to having their flag pictured on a Canadian stamp in 2013!
‘We have enjoyed great rivalries with Victoria and Calgary in years past by placing our Living Flag in three different locations within our downtown core’, explains Downtown Winnipeg BIZ boss Stefano Grande, ‘but this year we are really excited to be moving our location to the true centre of Canada, the intersection of Portage & Main. This will be THE urban experience of our sesqui-centennial year and we don’t expect others to out-do us.’
The original flag-waving organizer in Victoria, Ken Kelly, agrees with his colleague, at least in its uniqueness. ‘We have had small and large communities across the country join the fun since 2011 and each has its own style. This year, our Prairie partners are taking the technical aspects of creating a Living Flag to the next logical level. No guessing, no figuring out angles and lengths by lots of volunteers, Brandon and Winnipeg are respectively employing surveying and GPS skills and the generosity of local firms while Regina, Saskatchewan is using the GPS skills of their provincial civil service to ensure the exactitude of their flag’.
‘No matter what community in the country the Living Flag will be flown this July 1st, I believe all participants will share an unabashed love of country and community and the enjoyment of being part of something ‘big’!’, says flag-waver Ken Kelly.
The City of Charlottetown is so excited to be part of the national Living Flag initiative! The ‘living flag’ is comprised of individuals wearing red or white shirts to form the Canadian flag.
Join us at 11:30 a.m. in Victoria Park on Saturday, July 1 to participate, along with members of HMCS Queen Charlotte and HMCS Charlottetown. Anyone interested in taking part is encouraged to wear a white or red shirt. The first 400 people to arrive will receive a free Canada 150 commemorative t-shirt. An aerial photo will be shared by the City of Charlottetown afterward.
This Canada Day, join the nation and be part of the Living Flag in a community near you!