Surrey Canada Day celebrates nation’s 149th

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider and a fireworks display cap off a full day of live performances and family-friendly fun

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider return to Surrey Canada Day after 10 years.

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider return to Surrey Canada Day after 10 years.

Cloverdale is centre stage for one of the biggest parties of the year – Surrey’s Canada Day celebrations.

The July 1 bash is the unofficial launch to summer.

The city is planning for crowds of 110,000 or more at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre (176 Street and 64 Avenue) to celebrate the nation’s 149th birthday.

Headliners Tom Cochrane and Red Rider and a spectacular fireworks display cap off a day of live performances and family-friendly fun, from midway rides and games, 100 exhibitors and an expanded kids’ play area.

There are two stages of free performances that get underway at 11 a.m. featuring live, local, B.C. and Canadian talent (gates open at 10 a.m.).

Opening ceremonies with Mayor Linda Hepner and Surrey City Council are at 1:30 p.m., featuring the Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band and Alexis Lynn singing O Canada.

This is the second time around for Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, who first rocked Surrey Canada Day in 2006. The band will take the stage at 9 p.m., after the traditional rousing rendition of “O Canada” by Mark Donnelly.

Tom Cochrane’s career spans 40 years. The native of Lynn Lake, Manitoba, has just released Back in the Game, his first album of new material in a decade.

The Canadian rocker has won eight Juno awards, plus an Order of Canada, and is an inductee in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame who’s known for such hits as “Life is a Highway,” “Big League,” “Boy Inside the Man,” “White Hot,” and Lunatic Fringe” with his band Red Rider.

Also on the mainstage is Michael Bernard Fitzgerald (MBF), a singer-songwriter from Calgary who is a prolific presence at festivals and stages across the continent (7:30 p.m.), The Dudes (6:30 p.m.),  DJ Flipout (between sets from 6:10 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.) and Heroes of Rock (5:30 p.m.).

First up on the mainstage is Matt Henry at 11 a.m., followed by Ginalina, Kristie McCracken, and the Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band, who will be performing at the opening ceremonies (1:30-2 p.m.; Alexis Lynn will be singing “O Canada”). Red and white cupcakes while supplies last.

In the afternoon, look for Jocelyn Pettit, Lainie McAuley and EnKarma with Vancity Bhangra.

New for 2016 is the Canada 150 stage – kicking off the countdown for next year’s national milestone – showcasing Canadian talent: Ava Carich, Metis Jiggers, the DRS B-Boy Crew, Alouest, Dirty Mike and the Boys, Pat Chessell and a Johnny Cash and June Carter tribute band.

Drop by the Science World booth for fun experiments, from flying rubber chickens to hair-raising electrical demonstrations.

Surrey Libraries presents Storyville, which includes stories, puppets and more.

There will be a sports zone, digital photo booth, food trucks, and an age-friendly tent for seniors.

Other highlights include a win the car contest sponsored by Honda Canada.

Amusement rides open at 10 a.m. and close at 10:15 p.m., when the fireworks begin.

For more information, visit

The Strawberry Tea

It’s a Canada Day tradition: The mayor and council serve tea and strawberry cake to seniors at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre, 6188 176 Street.

The popular event draws over 500 seniors, and features live entertainment and activities. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 1.

– Cloverdale Reporter