Skip to content

Volunteers pitch a new Canada Day event for Gibsons

Council has yet to make a decision regarding the proposal
Winegarden Park in Gibsons

Could a Canada Day event return to the Town of Gibsons this summer? A group of volunteers hopes to do just that. 

At the March 19 committee of the whole meeting in council chambers, Conchita Harding and Pastor Matt Rowan of the Christ the King Church proposed a free community dinner to celebrate Canada Day this summer. Harding organized the Sea Cavalcade for a quarter of a century, and Rowan was involved in the free dinner hosted during Sea Cavalcade. When she read in the newspaper that there was no event planned for Canada Day in Gibsons this year, Harding and her co-organizers put together a proposal. 

Along with the help of the Christian Life Assembly Church and Christ the King Church, Harding and Rowan are proposing a pig roast and barbeque on the evening of July 1. In her presentation, Harding said all are invited and she hopes people will come dressed in their culture

The group requested a $10,000 contribution from the Town of Gibsons to put toward the costs of the event. They also request the use of the area below the School Board building as well as Winegarden Park from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in order to start cooking early. Harding said the churches are willing to do the cooking. The free meal would be like a big family picnic in Winegarden Park from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m, and there may be some entertainment. Attendees would be asked to donate non-perishable food to the food bank. Since the event would be in the evening, it wouldn’t compete with events planned in Sechelt and other communities on the Coast, Harding said. 

They acknowledged the budget is tight and their proposal is late. The organizers said they would notify the RCMP, the ambulance service and transit, and could arrange a shuttle bus from the high school if needed. They would also notify businesses in the area. 

Councillors asked about the budget, with Mayor Silas White commenting that he thought it was a lower ask based on a previous discussion. “I will state right off … we would have to radically change our budget, which is far down the line in the works, in order to even come up with anywhere near this amount of money,” White said, adding that it would have to happen quickly and would probably require a tax increase. 

Harding said they are looking for sponsors. Food is really expensive right now, she said. They’re estimating 1,200 to 1,500 people, but could tailor down. The estimated cost is approximately $8 per meal.

Coun. David Croal complimented Harding’s enthusiasm and recommended she reach out to the organizer of the Thanksgiving and Christmas community dinners, and the culinary students at Elphinstone. 

This request, along with requests from other proposals for community festival funding, will be considered by council at the April 9 meeting.