The (fireworks) show will go on: St. James BIZ fills Canada Day gap left by Assiniboine Park
BIZ will shoot off fireworks June 30 near Bourkevale Community Centre
The St. James Village Business Improvement Zone says families disappointed that Assiniboine Park's Canada Day festivities will not feature fireworks this year can get their fill the evening before.
Fireworks will take place near Bourkevale Community Centre on Ferry Road at 11 p.m. on June 30, said St. James BIZ executive director Jennifer Mathieson.
"We've been working really hard with Archangel [Fireworks] to pull it together really quickly," she said.
While there are usually Canada Day fireworks at Assiniboine Park, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy changed its plans earlier this year due to the new Diversity Gardens project being too close to the usual fireworks spot, said spokesperson Laura Curtis.
"Unfortunately there is no other location within the Park that we are able to safely launch fireworks from so we will not be incorporating them in our event this year."
Local businesses staying open late
So Mathieson said the St. James BIZ decided to step in to fill that gap.
"We had a little bit of money left over in our budget and we were receiving comments on the various St. James BIZ message boards and social media and from the community, disappointed in losing their fireworks show."
She said the show will be on Saturday because the BIZ could not get fireworks technicians for Sunday.
"Also because a lot of our businesses are not open on the Sunday, so they would not be there to service any patrons who are interested in taking in the show."
Local businesses are helping out by staying open late and providing chairs and tables for people to sit at to watch the fireworks, said Mathieson.
People can also view them from Bourkevale's grounds, although some will be taped off for safety reasons.
The money for the fireworks was actually earmarked for another event the BIZ planned to do called Car Night. However, delays with the permitting process for that event meant it was pushed back until next year.
In the meantime, if this year's fireworks event is successful, the BIZ will consider doing fireworks again next year.
"We would love to hear back from the community," Mathieson said. "If it's received really well, it's definitely something we could look at doing every year."