What’s happening in Mississauga on Canada Day 2023
MISSISSAUGA, June 26, 2023 – It was back in 2003 that local business owner and community volunteer John Bozzo first conceived of Port Credit’s Paint The Town Red Canada Day festival as a means to promote civic and national pride, and celebrate Canada’s multicultural diversity.
And although the fledgling event had the weight of the local BIA and many others behind it, he still wondered if anybody would attend.
“We didn’t even have security,” he chuckles. “We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off.”
It turned out, 30,000 people thronged Mississauga’s village by the lake!
And feting its 20th anniversary on July 1, this free All Ages, non-profit extravaganza now attracts about 50,000 people annually from across Mississauga, and beyond.
“The magical thing that happened was, we made the community become part of the festival – to separate our multicultural differences, which was so critical,” he adds. “You see it along the parade route, and with the children in the park.”
He cites an extra buzz this year – particularly with late, long-time Mayor Hazel McCallion featured on the cover of the festival magazine. Organizers credit “Hurricane Hazel” for her “unwavering support” of the festival. And in her honour, the parade – proceeding east down a closed down Lakeshore Road at 11 a.m. — has been renamed the Hazel McCallion Canada Day Parade.
“Hazel was a force of nature,” muses Bozzo, festival chair. “She led the parade (for many years). She never hesitated to have her picture taken with children, or to spend a second with people.”
In 2022, Paint The Town Red’s vice chair and event coordinator Diane Goldsmith was named Volunteer Of The Year at Mississauga Arts Council’s “Marty” Awards ceremony. Bozzo was honoured as Mississauga’s Citizen Of The Year for 2021. And in May, Paint The Town Red claimed a 2023 MARTY as Festival of the Year.
Port Credit Paint The Town Red and Hazel McCallion Canada Day Parade
To mark the 20th anniversary, this year’s parade and always popular fireworks exhibition will both be “a little bigger”.
Port Credit Memorial Park (40 Lakeshore Rd. E.) will be the site of a Popup Children’s Village from 1 to 6 p.m. (arts and crafts, Lego, stilt walkers, circus performers), an exciting lineup of rock bands, and the fireworks to top things off.
Main Stage entertainment will be headlined by the Canada Day All-Stars (led by local, multi Juno Award nominee Tom Barlow) at 9:40 p. m, They will be preceded by Jukebox Heroes (Foreigner tribute) at 8:15; Hotel California (Eagles tribute) at 6:45; and Pink Leather Jackets at 5:30.. Appearing earlier in the day will be M Dance Studio at 3 p.m., and Co-Lab Jazz Ensemble from Cawthra Park Secondary School at 4:15
“They’re brilliant,” he says of the latter act. “They’re just kids. We’re trying to highlight local entertainment (this year).”
Mississauga Celebration Square Canada Day fireworks and more
Elsewhere on Canada Day, Mississauga Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Dr., will feature a blowout bash from 4 to 10:30 p.m. with live music, food trucks, a wide range of activities, and a glittering fireworks exhibition to the backdrop of the city’s downtown.
On the Sauga Live Stage, a multicultural rock showcase kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with Juno-nominated Sony Music Canada recording artist Aqyila, and her TikTok viral summer vibes on songs like “Vibe For Me”. Next up is ascending pop/rocker MICO, known for tunes like “Bad Note”, “Lie Lie Lie”, and “Cut My Hair” (6:30). Ottawa-born songstress Jamie Fine hits stage at 7:45, previewing the single “Confessions” among other songs off her upcoming Universal Music Canada debut EP. And then at 9, sultry Moroccan/Canadian EDM/Pop singer Faouzia does material off her EP’s “Stripped”, and “Citizens”, headed up by the single “Tears Of Gold”.
Kids can enjoy a giant interactive mural, have their picture taken with their favourite Treehouse TV character, get their faces painted, check out the roaming entertainers. or play in the splash pad.
Streetsville Canada Day
Streetsville’s annual Canada Day celebration runs from 6 to 10:30 p.m. in the Village Square, 213 Queen St. S., at Main St., with free family activities including a cake cutting ceremony (7 p.m.), a Streetsville Pipes & Drums performance (9 p.m.), Flag Raising and O Canada (9:15), the band Canada Roxx covering homebrew hits from down through the years, and assorted activities and crafts.
Nearby, Memorial Park (335 Church St.) will have a Live DJ spinning favourites, beginning at 8:45 p.m., At 9:45, there will be a new Drone Show bringing together aviation and entertainment (as presented by the Toronto-based Illumin) and then, of course, a grandiose fireworks finale at 10.
And that is you Canada Day roundup for Mississauga. Happy Canada Day everyone!
by Mike Beggs