How B.C. marked Canada Day 2022 — in pictures

British Columbians marked Canada Day this year in various ways, including with a street parade, after pandemic restrictions lifted.

For many newcomers to the province, it was their first ever July 1 here. Others celebrated a country they’ve called home for decades.

It was the province’s first Canada Day in more than two years without major pandemic-related restrictions on large gatherings.

But the national holiday, commemorated every year on July 1, has also been reimagined in recent years to recognize the Indigenous peoples whose land was taken to form the country.

The statutory holiday remains for many a painful reminder of the country’s colonial history, and its ongoing impacts. Last year, some Canada Day organizers toned down their celebrations — after what are believed to be more than 200 potential unmarked graves were identified at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

To many immigrants and refugees, especially those fleeing war, the country also represents a new home and an opportunity to live in peace.

‘A dream of mine for ten years’

One of those is Olga Kravchenko. She came to B.C. from Ukraine two weeks ago with her family of 10, and said she wants to stay here permanently.

Her Canadian sister-in-law Alina Nedbailo, who waited a decade to reunite her family, said in an interview it was “like a dream” to finally have her relatives here, safe.

“It’s been a dream of mine for ten years,” she said, “but I knew I could not make it happen by myself. 

“I’m very grateful to all the people who just united to make this happen.”

In a statement Friday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said Canada Day is a chance to “reflect” on the country’s past and future, and to “build a better Canada that works for everyone,” he said.

“At our best, Canada is a place where we take care of our neighbours,” Horgan added, “no matter who they are or how much money they have in their pocket.”

Two women are sitting. One of them is in focus, and has red streaked blonde hair. The woman out of focus is wearing blue and has blonde hair.
Alina Nedbailo is pictured with her relative Olga Kravchenko. The pair recently fled Ukraine and arrived in North Vancouver 2 weeks ago. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
A woman with red-streaked blonde hair grabs a slice of watermelon off a kitchen counter. A girl in a black Levi's T-shirt looks at her. The counter also has a pair of scissors and a knife.
Alina Nedbailo prepares watermelon with her niece Zlata, 9. The family wants to settle in Canada permanently. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
A group of Asian seniors stand around a cake. A woman in a yellow dress in the centre attempts to cut a cake, assisted by a woman with a mask around her chin.
Seniors celebrate Canada Day at PICS Society, a seniors assisted living centre in Surrey. Saroj Sood, who is seen cutting the cake, said she never regretted coming to Canada decades ago. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
A group of South Asian seniors sit at various tables with Canada flags on them. Most of them are wearing facemasks. Canada flags are also draped across the wall in the background.
Some of the seniors at PICS Society have celebrated Canada Day over 50 times. Sood said she got ‘whatever she dreamed of’ in B.C. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
Two women are laughing as they hold Canada flags. One of them is holding a pinwheel with various countries' flags.
At Canada Place in downtown Vancouver, the mood was celebratory on a sunny day in B.C.’s biggest city. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
Two women with white hats are among a street parade with people behind them in the medium distance. Both women are wearing large-brimmed white hats with a Canada flag on it. The woman on the left is wearing an orange jacket, and has sunglasses and a white facemask on. The woman on the right has a green patterned shirt, and has sunglasses and a blue facemask on.
Numerous people came down to Canada Place, with street vendors and Maple Leaf merchandise on display. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
An aerial shot of people crossing a sidewalk. Most of them are wearing red in celebration of Canada Day. A person on the right has a hat with a Maple Leaf on it, and a man in the centre has a tiny Canada flag sticking out of his backpack.
July 1, 2022 is the date that marks Canada’s 155th anniversary of confederacy. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
A large group of people, most of whom are wearing red to commemorate Canada Day. In focus are a family of three hijabi women. They all have red hijabs, and one of them is pushing a purple pushcart.
It was the first Canada Day without major pandemic-related gathering restrictions in B.C. for over two years. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
A woman in an orange dress holds a sign that reads 'No Pride in Genocide', with a hashtag 'Idle No More'. The sign has an upturned fist with a feather in it. The woman is flanked by numerous people at a parade.
For some, Canada Day is a painful reminder of the ongoing impact of Canada’s formation through colonization and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

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