Memorial Park was full of patriotism and diversity yesterday, with the Canada Together flag-raising ceremony. 

The formal part of the event came through the colour guard ceremony with the Royal Canadian Legion, a performance of O Canada by Rri Bye, and several speeches from local dignitaries. Afterwards, the nation's flag was raised by a local family who had just become citizens in May.

Complimentary hotdogs accompanied by red and white cupcakes were handed out at the celebration of Canada’s birthday, served by the partnerships and events coordinator with the City, Brad Woods, who was proud to play an important role in the tradition.

(Photo by Alex Kozroski)

“Attendance is great, I think we're probably well over six hundred, probably getting close to seven, which is really nice and it's the perfect day we've got.”  

Mayor Al Bridal was impressed with the crowd on the sunny Canadian afternoon, which was estimated near 700 people. 

(Photo by Alex Kozroski)

“We had some good speeches from our MP, MLA, indigenous elders, and me.” stated Bridal. “The general sentiment with all the speeches is that we're so fortunate to live here in Canada and in Swift Current; it's a great place to live.” 

Rebecca Anderson, the CEO of tourism for the City of Swift Current was relieved the weather turned out so well for the event.  

“Mother Nature has blessed us with the most perfect day,” she stated. “All walks of life are here and that's really what we were going for this year. We named our event Canada together and that's what you see here.” 

(Photo by Alex Kozroski)

A tradition in Swift Current honours the newest Canadian citizens in the community by introducing them and telling their stories, before letting them raise the flag to the tune of God Save the King

"I think that it's really important to recognize newcomers as this group of people that are choosing to move here for that better life,” expressed Anderson. “A wonderful way to mark that occasion and welcome them to the community is by giving them the honour of raising that flag at our ceremony." 

Elder Barb Parchman represented the Lii Bufloo Métis Local #35 and spoke to the feelings surrounding the event from a Métis perspective. 

(Photo by Alex Kozroski)

“Canada Day comes with mixed emotions for me,” explained Parchman. “While I am grateful that my German, Scottish and Norwegian grandfathers could come and settle here and start a new life, I'm always cognizant that my native family lost land... We need to know the real truth of our history and from that basis then we all have a better understanding of how we can get along in the future.”