Canada Day

Canada Day 2020 has moved to online in support of physical distancing guidelines.

This year, Canada Day will be celebrated through a video featuring local artists, musicians and appearances by Mayor Jaworsky and city council.

The Canada Day Community Celebration was made possible, in part by the Government of Canada‚Äôs Celebrate Canada program. 

On this page

  1. Watch the Community Celebration video
  2. Featured artists
  3. Artist in residence - "O Canada" community sound project
  4. Virtual fireworks

Watch the video


You can also watch the video directly on YouTube. 

Featured artists

Bashar Lulu Jabbour

Bashar Lulu Jabbour is an immigrant poet! He uses the mundane to give a glimpse of the complexities of leaving one home for another. Bashar is a storyteller, and his stories are deeply personal. His poetry has been featured at many festivals Canada including Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, Naked Heart, Latitudes Storytelling Festival, and Word on the Street, and he was an opening act for as Carlos Andres Gomez. He is the Artistic Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Poetry Slam and Lead Poetry Editor at Textile Magazine. Learn more about Bashar's work on his Facebook page.

Elsa Jayne

Elsa Jayne is a singer-songwriter, mother, and Anishinaabekwe from Kitchener, Ontario. A multi-instrumentalist and dynamic vocalist, her songs range from folk ballads to synth led anthems.
Her melodies and stories are woven with a sense of wonder and disarming truth. Lilting and soaring,
Elsa sings of her Indigenous identity, faith, family, and her personal musings. She addresses the joys
and grievances of life in her music with hope and peace. Elsa's career shines with the release of her self titled album, Elsa Jayne, her EP, Heart, and most recent release full-length album, All My RelationsListen to Elsa's music on her website.

Rufus John

Rufus is an award winning artist who is bringing a refreshing sound to Canadian R&B music. Along with being an artist Rufus is an entrepreneur, a graduated Child and Youth Worker and an Active Youth Mentor in his community. His music has undertones of Jazz, Funk, Soul and Hip Hop but everything he sings is sung with soul. Over the years Rufus has had the opportunity to work with award winning producers Markus Kane (Shania Twain, Serena Ryder), Slakah The Beat Child (Drake), Ian Smith, and has shared the stage with many Canadian Artist such as Jully Black, Tyler Shaw, Divine Brown, Classified, Son Real and many more. Listen to Rufus John's music on his website.

12 Mile Island

12 Mile Island is a Kitchener based indie rock band, made up of four friends with diverse musical backgrounds. Rooted in rock, but branching out into blues, pop, and even R&B, 12 Mile Island has been sharing stages around Southern Ontario with a spectrum of artist, from indie-alternative to punk-rocks bands, since April 2018. Whether they are blending the narrative lyrical characteristics of folk music with an indie rock sound, or putting a jazzy twist on the guitar harmonies of southern rock by switching out a guitar for a trumpet, 12 Mile Island has turned a collage of styles and influences into a new yet familiar sounds that appeals to a variety of listeners. Find out more about 12 Mile Island and their music on their website.

Artist in residence

The City of Waterloo's 202 Artists in Residence are Richard Burrows and Christa Mercey. Throughout the month of May, Burrows and Mercey worked with the community on an art project culminating in the final version of the "O Canada" national anthem. This project will premier in the Virtual Canada Day Community Celebration video.

Burrows and Mercey are continuing their project into July with a new community anthem entitled "We Are Waterloo". 

Watch the online tutorial videos on Create Waterloo's YouTube page.

Virtual fireworks

The City has partnered with Snap'd to host an augmented reality fireworks display! The show will be visible to those who download the free snapd HUB app onto your mobile device. You will be able to hold your device up and see the fireworks show through the screen and over top of your backyard or even in your living room.

Join us at 9:30 p.m. when Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield will lead the final countdown to our spectacular virtual fireworks display.

You can download the free app on a mobile device from the Google Play store or the App Store.


Remember: Residents are advised to limit physical fireworks celebrations on Canada Day. In the current climate of COVID-19 and to meet the Region of Waterloo Public Health restrictions fireworks will not be permitted to be set off in municipal, parks, sports fields, laneways or on school board property. For more information please visit the the Waterloo Fire Rescue Twitter account.