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Moving forward together

December 31 2016 City of Vancouver Announces Canada 150+

"We have programmed a once-in-a-lifetime immersive experience that, at its heart, features the cultural traditions, art, music, and much more of our three host Nations, the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh," says Mayor Gregor Robertson.


Today we are announcing plans for a year-long civic celebration in 2017, to be known as Canada 150+. The name was chosen to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that Indigenous history here predates colonization.

As a designated City of Reconciliation, situated on the unceded traditional homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, Vancouver will dedicate events throughout 2017 to the theme of 'Moving Forward Together'.

Mayor Gregor Robertson: "Here at the City of Vancouver, we are very excited about the year-long activities the City has coordinated to help commemorate Canada's 150th, and want to encourage you to participate. We have programmed a once-in-a-lifetime immersive experience that, at its heart, features the cultural traditions, art, music, and much more of our three host nations, the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh."

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage: "The 150th anniversary of Confederation is a unique and powerful opportunity to build a better future for Canada. We are proud to support the City of Vancouver and the important work it is doing to bring British Columbians together, in the spirit of cooperation and partnership, to honour the rich history of Canada's Indigenous peoples and inspire action on reconciliation."

The title Canada 150+ is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls To Action, using Canada's sesquicentennial as a time for Indigenous recognition and celebration with all Vancouver residents, and as recommended by Vancouver's Council-appointed Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee.

Canada 150+ events

In addition to officially unveiling plans for Canada 150+ we are announcing three signature events for 2017 and presenting the Canada 150+ logo created by Musqueam artist Thomas Cannell.

The three signature events will include:

  • The Drum is Calling Festival (July 22 - 30) set to take place in Larwill Park
  • The Gathering of Canoes in July on Jericho Beach
  • Walk For Reconciliation on a date in September - route to be announced shortly

The nine-day Drum is Calling Festival will open with a performance by iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte Marie, and will include a performance by Country artist Crystal Shawanda who will also perform at the New Year's Eve launch announcement on the main stage. The curatorial team for the festival is led by Vancouver performing artist and cultural producer Margo Kane.

Further details about these and other appearances will be announced early in the new year.

Among the many other activities and installations as part of the 150+ Year, The Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS) is mounting a unique village of life-sized, aboriginal housing structures from an array of First Nations traditions on the site of the festival. Details and dates for this exhibit will be released in early 2017.

About Canada 150+

Canada 150+ will be an opportunity for Canada's many cultures—Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, urban aboriginal, and Métis communities, settlers, newcomers, and visitors — to learn, connect, and celebrate in an array of cultural activities and larger-scale festivities.

Canada 150+ will be a uniquely Vancouver commemoration of Canada's 150th anniversary, acknowledging an ancient past and looking toward a future where all communities, nations, and peoples are walking together as a society, stronger than ever before.

Financial support

We gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada.