Some controversy has arisen at a popular tourist attraction in Winnipeg. The Forks has been known as a meeting place for many locals with thousands coming out each year to celebrate at the site on Canada Day. Some Winnipeggers are upset after hearing that the corporation that manages the site, has decided to do away with the traditional Canada Day celebrations and fireworks. Instead, they are re-branding the day focused more on Indigenous and multicultural themed experiences. Winnipegger, Chuck Buhr says he is upset over the decision to leave the word ‘Canada’ out of the event, which has been renamed ‘A New Day.’ Following posts on social media, calling to boycott The Forks over this action, Buhr took it upon himself to ensure Canada Day is still celebrated at the historic site.
In a media release, The Forks says the re-branding was based on consultations with Indigenous Peoples, newcomers, and youth regarding what Canada Day could look like at The Forks.
“We are humbled and grateful for the honesty and vulnerability that was shared over the past few months as we explored how to move forward with July 1st at The Forks,” said Sara Stasiuk, CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership. “We acknowledge the anger and hurt Indigenous communities are feeling, and we know we have a role to play in the healing process. We’re beginning by listening to what we heard, and by offering a day that focuses on sharing space, telling stories, and building understanding. This is only a beginning, and something we will continue to build on with community support.”
While the site will not be hosting fireworks this year, the decision will be re-evaluated for 2023.