Burns Lake’s annual Canada Day celebration will be scaled back this year due to budget constraints in the village’s recreation department and a lack of volunteers.
Randi Amendt, administrative assistant for the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, explained that most attractions such as the pancake breakfast, the opening ceremony, entertainment and vendor fair will remain. However, the parade has been cancelled.
The chamber was hoping that the Village of Burns Lake would be able to provide staff or volunteer support on Canada Day. However, the chamber was informed that the village’s recreation department would be unable to participate in any way this year due to budget constraints.
The Lakeside Multiplex will be closed on Canada Day, but the concession area could be opened if the chamber finds a volunteer group to run it.
In addition, the village’s director of public works has resigned, thus leaving the position vacant on Canada Day. According to chamber president Linda Uchacz, this means that there would be no one to take down the parade barricades in the same fashion that has occurred in past years.
“While the chamber is willing to provide as much manpower as possible, we simply cannot do this large event without support or without scaling the event back considerably,” says a letter written by Uchacz to the Burns Lake council.
Last year, the Canada Day committee consisted of the chamber, village staff, Lakes District Arts Council (LDAC) members, and other various volunteers. This year, the only people routinely showing up to and participating in meetings are chamber staff and a member of LDAC.
The fact that Canada Day falls on a long weekend this year has added an extra challenge to find volunteers as many residents will be busy.
The Canada Day celebration will be held at Spirit Square from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. People interested in volunteering should contact Randi Amendt at 250-692-3773.