I spoke with Lauren Thomas, the new events coordinator with the Town of Canmore, about this year’s virtual Canada Day celebrations.


Rob: How long have you been with the Town of Canmore?

Lauren: I started in March.

Rob:  You came on board as an events coordinator, right? When the pandemic hit and suddenly events became a lot more challenging. How’s it been weathering the storm with your new role?

Lauren: It’s been an interesting transition. There’s been a lot to learn about how to do an event with the current constraints, but at the same time it’s kind of nice because you’re learning a new skillset. Never stop learning!

Rob: Something a little different for Canada Day this year. Obviously we can’t do big group gatherings like a parade and that sort of thing, so a virtual Canada Day is coming up.

Lauren: Yeah, three different elements. We tried to create something that would still have an alignment to what a usual Canada Day looks like, but something that we can all do at home or within our little cohort within our block neighborhood.

The first one – we don’t have the parade, so we’re going to do a make your own parade at home with a LEGO challenge. What we want you to do is build us the most imaginative and creative parade floats out of LEGO blocks.

Rob: Open to kids, to families, a few different categories there?

Lauren: We have five in total. You register for that online and you submit your photos online as well, so everything will be done virtually.

Rob: Will there be a place for people to check out some of the Lego creations afterwards?

Lauren: We’ll be posting all of that on our Canada Day event page.

Rob: What can you tell us about the house decorating contest?

Lauren: We are getting everybody to make sure that their Christmas lights are working six months early, and any sort of additional red and white or any other décor you feel exemplifies your Canadian pride. Bring that out to the front yard, balconies, or your windows and decorate your house for Canada Day. It’s going to be judged, then we’ll show off all the winners.

Rob: I’m excited to be judging that one. Are there prizes available for the first two things that we’ve talked about?

Lauren: We do have prizes for the LEGO contest. Canadian Tire has graciously donated LEGO kits for all of the winners. If you haven’t got your LEGO yet, or if you think you need more, check out Hijinx and check out Canadian Tire. It’d be nice to support local. For both the LEGO contest and the house decorating, contest prizing will be Porch Photo sessions with a couple of our local photographers. Andrew Barron and Kristy Wolfe will be handling that for us.

(Note: Bring your completed LEGO contest registration page to Hijinx and received a free LEGO minifigure)

Rob: The final piece to Virtual Canada Day in Canmore is the front yard barbecue. What’s this all about?

Lauren: Barbecues are synonymous with Canada Day. We thought rather than doing it in your backyard, why don’t we have like a little bit of a block party, create a bit of community spirit and drag your barbecues out to the front yard? I think there would be a lot of fun that we could have within the block cohorts. Maybe there’s a musician who wants to play for everybody on their block. Or maybe a couple of family units want to get together and create a sidewalk challenge with all the houses where every house has a different challenge on the sidewalk in front of their homes, so that you can create those interactive moments within your community and still make it feel like a Canada Day. Even though we have to physically distance, it doesn’t mean we need to socially distance.

Rob: For details on registration for events and everything going on, where can people go?

Lauren: The Town of Canmore website, or you can check out our event page on Facebook as well. We have everything from our recipe cards and coloring pages for kids to put up in the windows to downloadable recipe cards, with barbecue sauces, brownies, chocolate cake and Mary John Borrowman’s favorite pancake recipe.

Rob: For the LEGO float challenge and for the house decorating contest, is there a deadline people need to register?

Lauren: Registration cuts off on June 26th.

Filed under: Canada Day, Canmore, Canmore Canada Day