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"Cancel a new target for culture"? Renaming a Canadian Day event in Winnipeg creates controversy

Jenny Motokark, running for mayor in the October elections, said, "I love my country unconditionally, so I celebrate Canada's birthday. I lit a storm of fire

Dancing Gabe Langlois celebrates during Canada Day celebrations at the Forks in Winnipeg on Tuesday July 1, 2014.
Dancing Gabe Blancgrois celebrates Canada Day at Winnipeg Forks on Tuesday, January 1, 2014.Photo: File Photo

The decision to rename the Canadian Day celebrations in Winnipeg split and split them. I dragged it. He ran for the October mayoral election in the capital of Manitoba, leading to a debate about whether it constitutes a "cancellation culture."

It's time for cities across Canada to come up with ways to celebrate the anniversary of the Union, while respecting the process of reconciliation.

Each year, Canada Day celebrations are held at the historic sites, event centers and greenery of Forks at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in downtown Winnipeg. However, the celebration is a little different this year.

"We are rethinking Canada Day. It's a new day and includes a reflexive, inclusive and fun day for everyone to get together," the Forks website said. Event notifications at.

Changes are split between parts of the city.

When Jenny Motokark, running for mayor in the October mayoral election, posted on social media, "I love my country unconditionally, so I'm celebrating Canada's birthday." I lit a big fire. (The repulsion was fast and ferocious, and one of the more extreme reactions called her "dog whistle politics.")

July 1st Day, I will proudly celebrate Canada's birthday because I love my country unconditionally. I know it was canceled recently, so I don't think Forks can do that.
PS-I am currently accepting invitations to all actual Canadian Day parties.#canadaday

— Jenny Motkaluk (@JennyMotkaluk)June 20, 2022

According to news reports, the celebration is called "New Day", "Indigenous Music, Dance, Holy Fire Healing Space", Food Trucks and Picnic Spots, "Family-friendly Multicultural Entertainment," Includes indigenous games, choke and bubble stations, and oral history tours with indigenous elders.

Motokark, who was contacted by phone on Thursday, said he was "really upset" when he heard about the change. She said Canada Day is a way to celebrate the country and "celebrate our responsibility to make the country even better in the future."

"Canada is my home. Canada is your home. And Canada is the only thing that connects us all. We are all Canadians," Motkaluk said. "And for me, canceling Canada Day was a very divisive act, and I think Canadians need to look at what unites us more than ever."

For her, the problem isn't that this year's programming is different, for example without fireworks. "It's about the fact that they felt we couldn't call Canada Day anymore," Motokark said.

For the Winipeggers, the change was disruptive, said Lana Bohari, a former leader of the Liberal Party of Manitoba and a candidate for mayor. Still, Bohari said, "I can't wait to take my family."

"I value this decision in the light of these conversations we have, in the light of what the indigenous community has experienced, in the light of unmarked graves. These words we are talking about reconciliation, "said Bohari.

Last Canadian day, thousands of people around Winnipeg and Manitoba celebrate survivors of housing schools wearing orange T-shirts instead of the traditional Canadian red and white. I participated in the event.

"I think it's a difficult decision. You know, it's hard to change. It's hard to heal. It's hard to get together as a community, and it's going to be hard." Said Bohari.

Another mayoral candidate, Don Woodstock, described this decision as "Cancelled Culture BS." This is a recurring sentiment by Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People's Party of Canada, who described Canada Day as a "new goal for cancel culture."

"The majority of people who are part of Cancel Culture BS are not working. They live away from their parents and government and don't care about me, you, or Winnipeg at all. "Woodstock said. release.

In an interview, Woodstock agreed that the colonial system had alienated indigenous peoples.

But try canceling Canada Day because of that fact and telling me and others that you shouldn't celebrate Canada Day. No Man

Don Woodstock

"But you shouldn't cancel Canada Day because of that fact and celebrate Canada Day to me or anyone else. No, man, "said Woodstock.

He said he hopes the event will continue to be called Canada Day, but he wants to incorporate more of Canada's history.

"After all, we are still in better shape than in Russia," Woodstock said.

Forks did not respond to the National Post's request for interviews or comments on the Canadian Day change. However, Winnipeg Sun reported that Forks had consulted with the indigenous community to change the way Canada Day was celebrated.

"We are aware of the anger and wounds that the indigenous communities are feeling and that they have a role to play in the healing process," said Sarasta Shiuk, CEO of the Forks North Portage Partnership. Says.

Canada Day, admitting that the festive atmosphere clashes with reconciliation, after the discovery of possible tombs for indigenous children who died in housing schools in other Canadian cities Working on how to celebrate.

In 2021, just a few weeks after the first possible major announcement of the tomb at Kamloops, Victoria canceled the celebration of Canada Day.

This year in Kamloops, the city said, "Canada Day will change forever," and will work with Tk'emlúpste Sekhépemc to "ensure that the true history of Canada is incorporated." I am saying. Edmonton still hosts Canada Day events, but the city describes the day as "giving time to sadness, learning, remorse, understanding the truth, and moving forward towards reconciliation." increase.

In Vancouver, the annual Canadian Day celebration at Vancouver Harbor points to a "new direction", with a new theme and name of Canada Together, similar to Winnipeg. Similarly, for security and cost reasons, the port canceled the fireworks.

"This year's theme is to'weave the structure of the country', the intent of a day to respect, gather, celebrate, learn and share Canada's diversity. Was chosen to set. It is stated in the event notification.

Winnipeg councilor and mayoral candidate Scott Gillingham said he intends to visit this event and other events in the city.

"Unfortunately, the discussions, especially online, are very polarized. As a result, Canada Day is the day we get together and the reconciliation focuses on unity. It's really far from, "says Gillingham.

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