http://www.armedforcesday.ca/

Good announcements last week for our communities including our Armed Forces personnel, that call this region home.  Armed Forces Day 2019 is shaping up to be one of the premier Armed Forces Day Celebrations, not only in our city but across Canada as well.  Colonel Mark Roberts together with Honorary Colonel’s George Burton, Hariett Madigan and Jake Lacourse, confirmed the festivities planned for June 12, 2019.  What has become the largest Armed Forces Day in the country is set with perhaps a few surprises, yet to come.

At press time last week, Colonel Roberts confirmed that both the Snowbirds and the CF-18 Demonstration team will be on hand for the June date.  Daytime programming will include ceremonies at the waterfront with many static displays provided by the various branches of our Canadian Armed Forces and Emergency Services.  Organizers expect close to five thousand school children and parents to descend upon the waterfront for the morning and early afternoon events.  For anyone who hasn’t been able to participate in previous Armed Forces Day celebrations, try and make it down to say thank you to all the members of both the Canadian/US Military and emergency Responders who call North Bay home.

Although the final schedule of events has not yet been announced, it is going to be a great day to watch the CF-18 Demonstration team and the Snowbirds perform at our waterfront.  Anytime you can see either one of these military displays it is a tremendous opportunity, but to have both preforming at one venue, its going to be great.  To put this type of event on, it takes hundreds of hours, many more volunteers and military personnel to pull this off.  Thanks to Colonel Roberts, Honorary Colonels Burton, Madigan and Lacourse, all the women and men of the military and the volunteers who make this happen.  Mark it in your calendar, you won’t want to miss it.

The second announcement made last week at the Chamber of Commerce was regarding the creation of a new community festival for the weekend immediately following Armed Forces Day.  What started out as a brief discussion from several organizations including Tourism North Bay, Creative Industries, DIA, Moose’s Cookhouse/The Station, Moose FM and The Chamber, evolved into a working group that hopes to start an annual event, surrounding Armed Forces Day.  The inaugural event hopes to re-capture community participation and involvement from all sectors.  The committee is hoping that the weekend will engage our community and will develop into a truly, community event with something for everyone.

As announced, it is hoped that the scheduled dates will see any groups that are interested in putting forth programming, will come forward with their idea’s and commitment to make this a grass roots festival.  Local vendors, entertainment, and programming will be encouraged to participate and be inclusive of all.  Looking forward to seeing how the community responds and becomes involved in what is hoped, to be an annual event surrounding the annual Armed Forces Day celebrations.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.