MP Karen Vecchio and MPP Jeff Yurek To Host Canada 150 Celebration This Weekend

September 6, 2017

By Laura Broadley, St. Thomas Times-Journal

The venue has changed but the party to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday is still a go.

High winds Monday night knocked down part of the Railway City Big Top where the event organized by Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio and MPP Jeff Yurek was supposed to be held.

As crews worked Monday to fix the tent, Vecchio and Yurek announced the party will be held at the Timken Centre.

“Safety is our key concern,” the pair said in an update on Facebook.

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the celebration of the community and the country, Vecchio said.

“We’re starting off the day with celebrating our veterans,” she said. “We’ve already received about 250 names of veterans that will be trying to attend that event that day. We’re honouring them and all that they’ve given to their country.”

After the veterans are honoured, citizens will have an opportunity to recommit to their life as Canadians at a reaffirmation ceremony.

“That’s where any person who is Canadian, whether they were born here or became a new Canadian, they can do their oath to Canada,” Vecchio said. “They are going to be doing the citizenship ceremony for anyone who was born in Canada or has become a immigrant, it’s for all of us to take together.”

An oath of community also will be held.

“It’s a really neat part that they’re putting in there,” Vecchio said.

The celebration will conclude with a presentation of Canada 150 awards to people nominated in 15 categories ranging from agriculture to first responders.

They include “super couples in our community, great businesses who have continued to give back to the community or individuals,” Vecchio said.

When she started to organize the event two years ago, the Canada 150 grants were only being given to major centres such as Ottawa and Toronto.

“Elgin-Middlesex-London is really, really important to us. Yes, there’s great things in Ottawa, great things in Montreal and all over the country, but we wanted to do something special here. And so, tacking on all the different things that happen on July 1st we’re doing this as part of the celebration,” Vecchio said.

The event is meant to give back to the community that gives so much every day, she said.

“It’s coming together as a community to celebrate our country. And I think the one thing I love, this is home, and I think so many people feel that way in this community, that this is home. So, celebrating Canada 150th together as we’re going through this next milestone, it’s about our community and about joining and bringing everyone together to celebrate what we do so well,” Vecchio said.