For every parkrun around the world, there is an opportunity to host an additional special parkrun event one day a year. For our friends all the way over in Canada, their special day is this Friday 1 July for Canada Day. To celebrate and mark the annual occasion, many parkruns hold a Canada Day parkrun event. We speak to some parkrunners about what the day means to them.
As the Government of Canada’s website explains, this special day is an occasion where, “Canadians across the country and around the world show their pride in their history, culture and achievements.”
If you are present in any Canadian city on 1 July, you’d likely find yourself part of the crowd enjoying parades, waving the Canadian flag and singing the national anthem, ‘O Canada’.
Canada Day parkrun events have been going since 2017, even if it doesn’t land on a Saturday! This year 1 July is a Friday, so it is a rare occasion where it’s possible to do two parkruns on consecutive days in Canada.
Lawrence Bromley, ED at Downsview parkrun, is originally from the UK. He tells us about why he enjoys parkrun and how Canada Day is a great opportunity for new travellers.
“When I moved to Canada I didn’t know anyone and parkrun helped me to make friends.”
He goes on to say, “I would recommend parkrun to anyone that comes to Canada – it is a great way to meet new people.”
Lawrence explained the importance of Canada Day and why it is a great opportunity to make new friends, “There is a massive attendance for parkrun on Canada Day. Everyone has the day off work, even the shops are closed so it gives the opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate.”
Moussette parkrun has been active since September 2021 and this will be their first Canada Day parkrun.
Dominique Kenney, the ED at Moussette parkrun, shared his excitement for the event and what it means for the community, “Participants will get the opportunity to see the wonderful view of Ottawa and its Parliament Hill when participating.”
“At the event there is a mixture of French and English speakers which gives everyone the opportunity to learn and speak each others’ first language.”
The benefits don’t stop there he explained, “We encourage people to do their own thing whether it is walking, running or jogging which makes it more inclusive for everyone rather than making it a competition and furthermore, everyone encourages each other.”
Dominique also shared how he first experienced parkrun, “My cousin and his wife discovered parkrun during their stay in Victoria BC (Clover Point parkrun) and from hearing about it from them, we really liked the idea. So my wife, Martyne and I went on to participate and volunteered from time to time at Orleans parkrun and thought afterwards that we should start our own!” From his experiences at parkrun he remarked, “Each parkrun is unique and has its own unique charm.”
Near Toronto, Whitby parkrun will be taking part. Aneez Kanji, originally from the UK, leads the event team and started Whitby parkrun in 2017. He shared his perspective:
“Canada day offers everyone to come together and it gives them the opportunity to dress up in white and red. It is nice to contribute something back to the community.
The event kicks off the days’ festivities, where families will go and enjoy their own celebration by having BBQS and getting involved in activities.”
We hope you have gained a good appreciation for how important Canada Day is to Canadian parkrunners. It is an ideal way to mix and mingle with other Canadians and celebrate the day together! In the UK, our special parkrun day is on Christmas Day, which is on a Sunday this year!
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