On Canada Day, one Red Deerian sees the entire world in her city.
Tami Murdoch has performed at the Red Deer Canada Day celebrations for the past 35 years. The dancer said the event has grown both in numbers and diversity after her Scandinavian Sunday performance.
“There were Ukrainians, Germans and us (Fanatullen Folk Society) and Indigenous community,” she said referring to what the Canada Day entertainment looked like three decades ago.
“Now I see the world,” she said with a chuckle.
For Murdoch, Canada Day brings pride for the country’s diverse culture and “how we’re so accepting,” she said Sunday.
Red Deer resident Sara Munro, who has been participating in Canada Day celebrations at Bower Ponds for three years, shares the sentiment.
She said the event brings culture to the city from its 10 international food booths and the various cultural performances that keeps the crowd entertained all day.
“It showcases what Canada is,” said Munro Sunday, adding she enjoys celebrating Canada’s birthday with friends and family.
Munro explained it’s a day to keep the provincial and political differences aside and celebrate being Canadians as a country.
“In social studies we were taught Canada is a patchwork quilt of culture and diversity and we seem to have forgotten that and I think we need to remember it again.”
Red Deer resident Amanda McGuffin has lived in Ontario, Alberta and B.C., but she enjoys the Red Deer Canada Day celebrations the most.
“This is home to me,” she explained.
“It’s a day to be Canadian – we welcome everyone, from every culture, we welcome them with open arms – make Canada your home, and that’s the Canadian spirit,” added McGuffin.
Coryna Bartsch, a central Alberta resident, usually celebrates Canada Day in Drumheller. But this year, that changed to Red Deer.
Bartsch said she enjoyed the venue that offers water activities, the trails and the crowd.
As a Canadian, Bartsch takes the issues in the country seriously. She pointed to some of the bigger challenges ahead of the country such as trade and pipelines and vouched to vote to see the change she would like for her country.