Canada Day goes virtual in Thunder Bay, while Canadian Lakehead Exhibition is cancelled

Canada Day is going online in Thunder Bay.

July 1st celebrations and Live on the Waterfront programming will be delivered virtually in response to provincial government orders, and physical distancing mandates, the City of Thunder Bay announced in a written release Thursday.

Keeping public safety as the top priority, staff are working on innovative ways to deliver these events without encouraging the large-scale gatherings that would typically take place, said city officials.

“Our special events like Canada Day and Live on the Waterfront usually see our community coming together to celebrate and showcase culture on a grand scale,” stated Louisa Costanzo, the city’s supervisor of cultural development and events.

Performances, follow-along family friendly activities, and messages from dignitaries and sponsors are some of the possibilities being considered.

CLE organizers cancel 2020 fair

“While it will look different this year, the goal is to put together an exciting lineup of talent and activities that residents can watch and do safely from their homes,” said Costanzo.

Further details and a schedule of the events will be included in the annual City of Thunder Bay summer guide.

Changes to the Canada Day celebrations are part of a long list of cancellations and postponements of events, including fishing tournaments and fairs, all across northwestern Ontario.

As well, the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition (CLE), which would have celebrated its 130th anniversary and was scheduled for August 5–9, 2020, posted Wednesday on its Facebook page “Keeping everyone’s safety at the forefront, we have cancelled this year’s Family Fair.”

Limited marina operations begin May 15

The City of Thunder Bay also announced that beginning May 15, the marina will open with limited operations which are allowed under current provincial emergency orders.

While fuel services will be available daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m, boaters will only be allowed in the marina to dock their craft and do maintenance work, officials stated.

Recreational boating is currently prohibited and activities such as sitting in a boat to relax or socialize is not permitted.

Golfing still prohibited but course maintenance ongoing

Basic maintenance has been happening through the spring at Chapples Golf Course and Strathcona Golf Course.

Officials said staffing levels are being increased, but the courses remain closed as golfing is still prohibited under the provincial orders.

City staff said “once emergency orders restricting operations have been lifted by the Province, we will be in a better position to open the Marina for recreational boaters, and open the Golf Courses to the public.”

However, all operations must be in accordance with any remaining restrictions on gathering sizes, physical distancing, and shared amenities and comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions of public health officials, especially with respect to cleaning and disinfecting.

Decisions on programs and services are made on a daily basis, officials said, adding that the most up-to-date list of service changes and information can be found online at

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