Canada’s set-up for a big year in 2017, celebrating ‘Canada 150’, the anniversary of the 1867 Confederation, and the point at which Canada was no longer just a collection of colonies, but a nation.
Events are already in motion across the nation – exhibitions, communal events, festivals, and showcases of local culture – and Niagara Falls has cultivated a schedule that makes it one of the top places to visit for Canada 150. On top of the usual festivities that mark the average Niagara Falls year, there’s already a program in place to celebrate what will be named Niagara 150 as well. It’s never been a better time to visit the town.
Visiting Niagara during Niagara 150 will enable you to participate in a huge variety of events and special occasions – some big and some small, some directly celebrating the sesquicentennial anniversary of the nation. Depending on when you’ll be in Niagara, here are some events, special dates and new developments you may want to put into your planner:
Niagara 150 Highlights
- Commemoration of the first parliament:
- Canadian Snowbirds performance:
- Cuvee Grand Tasting:
- Niagara Food and Wine Expo:
- Canada Day at the Falls:
- First Nations monument:
- Parks Canada Discovery Pass:
It’s not just the 150th that’s being marked this year. The year 2017 is also the 225th anniversary of the first parliament session for Upper Canada – the pre-confederation version of Ontario. Mark September 17 for this one and keep your ear to the ground, as there’s a special commemoration planned to mark the occasion in Niagara Falls.
Everyone loves a good air show, and the Canadian Forces 431 Air Demonstration Squadron – better known as the Canadian Snowbirds – are the undisputed best in the nation when it comes to death-defying stunts in full-throttle jets. On September 20 the Snowbirds will be performing their adrenaline-pumping aerial acrobatics for Niagara Falls as part of the MILAVIA Air Show.
The Cuvee Grand Tasting has quickly expanded in the past couple of years from a Brock University initiative to one of the flagship events of the Niagara wine season calendar. The 2017 Cuvee tasting will take place at the Scotiabank Convention Centre on March 24 – an all-day event with the best winemakers in the region presenting their latest vintages. Stick around for the official after-party as well.
People come to Niagara Falls for the attractions and landscape, but they come back for the food and wine. The 2017 expo will be at The Scotiabank Convention Centre across the weekend of April 21–23 and will feature premier tastings, life cooking demonstrations from top chefs and local celebrities and other live entertainment. It’s one of the flagship expos in the region for wine and food buffs for good reason.
With Canada Day on July 1, this is when everything culminates into the big bash of the year. The celebration is already locked in from June 30 until July 2, and the City of Niagara Falls is inviting all local businesses and anyone in town to get involved. The highlight will be the fireworks display – with the pyrotechnics already on its biggest and busiest yearly program to date, the fireworks for the Canada Day weekend are going to be hard to top.
A suite of new exhibitions and displays are planned to commemorate the sesquicentenary, but the First Nations monument is without doubt the most important. The circular First Nations Stone Hearth monument depicts a hearth and the sun surrounded by depictions of First Nations culture and iconography – a strong representation on togetherness and unity. The monument is currently being constructed in Thorold, south of St Catharines.
One special perk of the anniversary year worth remembering is that Parks Canada have made all national zones under their jurisdiction free to enter for the whole year. For Niagara, this means historical sites like Fort George, Butler’s Barracks, Mississauga Point Lighthouse and Bellevue House have all existing cover charges waived. Get your Discovery Pass through Parks Canada** and take full advantage of the unique offer.
This is only the very tip of the iceberg, of course. Niagara always has something on – free concerts at Queen Victoria Park, themed wine tasting weekends, and so on – and the Niagara150 celebration only adds to the event line-up.
Experience Niagara 150 at the Closest Hotel to Niagara Falls, the Marriott on the Falls hotel. View our: Niagara Falls Hotel Packages