WEEKENDER: Happy Canada Day! Our roundup of (free!) events to celebrate the nation’s birthday
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WEEKENDER: Happy Canada Day! Our roundup of (free!) events to celebrate the nation’s birthday

This colourful and family-friendly Canadian tradition put on by the RCMP is known internationally as the Musical Ride. Thirty-two riders and horses perform in the Musical Ride where they execute a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drill choreographed to music. Lay out a blanket or bring a lawn chair and enjoy the show! Wednesday, June 26 to Sunday, June 30. RCMP Stables at the Canadian Police College, St. Laurent Blvd. 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., rain or shine. Although admission and parking are free, donation boxes will be set up. www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Courtesy of NCC.

Changing the Guard Ceremony, Canada’s Snowbirds aerobatic show, Carly Rae Jepson, Metric, Chris Hadfield, and a grand finale fireworks are only some of the spectacular highlights from Canada’s biggest annual birthday celebration. Show your Canadian pride by wearing red and white – you’ll blend right in with the crowds! Monday, July 1. Events beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding with fireworks at 10 p.m. (weather permitting). Free OC Transpo rides all day. Lawns of Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park, Jacques Cartier Park, and on the closed streets of downtown. www.canadaday.gc.ca 

The National Arts Centre (NAC) is graciously opening their doors on Canada Day for a full day of family-friendly concerts and activities. A special evening concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. with the fabulous NAC Orchestra that will be joined by multi JUNO and Gemini Award nominated singer-songwriter Sarah Slean. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that. Slean, a self-described “fiercely proud Canadian,” released a double-album entitled Land & Sea in September of 2011.  Monday, July 1. Seating is first come first serve. NAC, 53 Elgin St. www.nac-cna.ca

With crowds of over 30,000, this large community event celebrating Canada Day will definitely not disappoint. From yoga to laser tag there is something for everyone to enjoy. Among the performers this year are JUNO-award winning rock band Trooper, Ashley Crnic, and the Holy Trinity Rhythm and Blues Band. Monday, July 1. Walter Baker Park, off Terry Fox Dr. Activities starting at 9 a.m. with live entertainment starting at 11 a.m., and fireworks to conclude the day at 10 p.m. www.canadadayinkanata.com 


~ Jessica Nasrallah