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Important Notice: Canada Day in Wilmot

We regret to inform the community that the beloved Canada Day in Wilmot community event, which has been organized and run by dedicated volunteers since 2017, has been commandeered by the municipal government of the Township of Wilmot without the consent of the original volunteer organizers and dedicated volunteers representing diverse heritages and age groups.

For the past seven years, this event has been a vibrant celebration of our nation’s and community’s diverse heritage, culture, and unity. It has brought families, friends, neighbours and visitors together in the welcoming spirit of acceptance, camaraderie and joy. The tireless efforts of hundreds of volunteers made this event a cherished tradition, and we are immensely grateful for their dedication.

However, it is with great disappointment that we announce that the municipal government has taken control of the Canada Day in Wilmot festivities, effectively expropriating the event from its grassroots origins. Despite the hard work and passion of our community volunteers, their voices were silenced and excluded from this decision-making process by the local government.

Change is a natural part of life, but some things that reflect our shared values and sense of belonging should remain steadfast. Canada Day in Wilmot was special for years because passionate volunteers, our neighbours, friends, and family members ran it. They put their heart and soul into it, which made it a lot of fun despite the hard work and sometimes long hours.

The municipal government of Wilmot’s tax-funded takeover of Canada Day festivities undermines the very essence of volunteer-driven events, diminishing the sense of ownership and pride that our community members once felt and that makes these local events truly special for all attendees.

Please remember their contributions and advocate for community-led events that truly reflect our shared spirit. By doing so, we can ensure that the heart of our remaining community events remains with those who care most.

We humbly extend our heartfelt gratitude to the numerous sponsors and vendors over the years, ranging from local mom-and-pop stores, farms, and manufacturers to national brands, who wholeheartedly believed in the event and its vision of unity.

It’s important that we also recognize the talented local artists, nationally acclaimed musicians and stunt performers, and highly skilled local fireworks technicians who entertained the crowds gathered in Wilmot who joined us from both near and far.

During the pandemic-induced virtual event, several of Canada’s top athletes and performers expressed their support and encouragement to Wilmot through personalized video messages. Notable names like Doug Gilmour, Jann Arden, and Hayley Wickenheiser were among those who contributed and wished to thank.

We express our appreciation to Angie Hill, a community builder and beloved radio host who held the esteemed position of the first Grand Marshal for Canada Day in Wilmot in 2017. Additionally, we recognize Brittlestar, known for creating humorous viral videos with a distinctly Canadian flavour. Furthermore, we extend our gratitude to Olympic boxer Mandy Bujold and Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Waterloo Region’s Medical Officer of Health, for their significant contributions to the event.

Canada Day in Wilmot volunteer organizers will forever be grateful for the guidance of Indigenous Elder Nina De Shane and Indigenous community educator Clarence Cachagee and to Crow Shield Lodge for leading the sunrise ceremonies.

Last but not least we extend our heartfelt appreciation to the thousands of annual attendees over the past seven years whose smiles and cheers of delight made it all worthwhile. Thank you all!

Canada Day in Wilmot


Canada Day in Wilmot is working with local Indigenous community leaders to help facilitate a shift, to enable true equity between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians. If we all participate in this process and build a greater understanding within ourselves, our communities, we will have great impact, and can continue to bring collective wellbeing to this land that sustains us all.

As Canadians strengthen ties with the First Peoples we acknowledge the Canada Day in Wilmot event is situated on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty signed with the Mississauga Nation.

The other longstanding Indigenous groups of this geographic region are the Attawandaran (Neutral), Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Metis people.

Every Moment Matters: Honouring Canada Day in Wilmot’s Forgotten Volunteers

New Dundee, Township of Wilmot, Ontario - April 17, 2024

Since its inception in 2017, Canada Day in Wilmot has been organized by an association of local volunteers representing diverse heritages and age groups.

Unfortunately, the current volunteers have been silenced, excluded from participation, and politically expelled as Wilmot Township's Council has commandeered this cherished family-friendly rural event. Nestled amidst rolling farmland, a once heartwarming symbol of unity has now succumbed to profit-driven bureaucracy which has overshadowed the true heart of Wilmot in both celebration and sustenance - its people and volunteers.

April 14-20, 2024 is National Volunteer Week (NVW). This annual observance serves as a dedicated time to express gratitude and appreciation for the invaluable contributions made by volunteers throughout Canada.

In keeping with the theme of National Volunteer Week, 'Every Moment Matters,' the Canada Day in Wilmot volunteer organizers have decided to put aside the discussion on how things came to this point, and instead focus on the hundreds of volunteers who have selflessly dedicated their time to create lasting memories for local families, particularly for children since 2017.

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can also use it or waste it. Once lost it can never come back.

Dear volunteers of Canada Day in Wilmot, despite recently feeling that your time and efforts have been dismissed we are forever grateful to you no matter the tasks you volunteered to assist with. We and many members of the community appreciate the sharing of your valuable time, skills, empathy, and creativity. We want to let you know that we see you and acknowledge how essential you are to our community's inclusivity, strength, and well-being within Canada.

We hope that your volunteer experience with Canada Day in Wilmot was a positive one, contributing to the forging of meaningful relationships while working together towards common goals, and fostering a strong sense of belonging.

As a past volunteer organizer recently wrote, ‘Canada Day is a day filled with diverse celebrations, commemorating a moment when several independent provinces initially joined together to form a unified nation. Beyond the festivities in the spirit of unity, we also remember those who paved the way while recognizing with humility past injustices that got us here.  If unity lies at the heart of Canada Day, then it becomes our duty to foster respect for all cultures that share this land.’

Please know that you exemplify the spirit of volunteerism in Canada and you’ve inspired positive change within our little corner of the world.

You made magic happen and no one can take that away from you.  THANK YOU!

Angie Hallman,

Lead Volunteer Co-organizer, Canada Day in Wilmot


Canada Day in Wilmot is a children-friendly family-focused not-for-profit single-day festival organized by a volunteer association of community members celebrating the shared values of this country and its diverse communities – friendship, integrity, hard work, compassion, respect, and inclusion.

The day is designed to foster these core values through fun, educational and entertaining family-friendly activities while supporting local businesses, artists and our community partners.

With community support, though public donations and corporate partners the committee endeavors to make this a self-sustaining annual event for many years to come.

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