The annual Langley International Festival will not be held this year and will instead see popular elements of the festival blended into a new three-to-four-day Canada Day celebration. The decision comes after Langley’s International Festival Society assumed control of the Langley Canada Day Society.

International Festival, Canada Day merge

Canada Day event will expand to three or four days celebration

Two large summer events will become one this summer, with the Langley International Festival taking over organization of the annual Canada Day event.

After years of holding Canada Day celebrations, control of the volunteer-run Langley Canada Day Society has been assumed by Langley’s International Festival Society (LIFS). The annual multicultural celebration has taken place for the past 13 years. The announcement was made during a presentation to both Langley City and Langley Township councils at their Monday regular meetings.

“Canada is a vibrant, culturally diverse country and what better way to mark its birth than with a multicultural experience?” said LIFS president Bob Barrett in a press release.

“Our goal is to provide a fun, activity-filled celebration that focuses on children and families as we celebrate our nation and all it represents.”

At the moment, LIFS intends to continue running two separate non-profit societies to run both events. However, organizers have decided not to run this year’s International Festival, instead blending popular elements of the festival into a new three- to four-day Canada Day celebration in Langley.

“At this point, because it’s the first year, we want to be conservative,” LIFS vice president Tomas Reyes told Langley City council. “We know that that has some impact in the community, in the festival itself and in the vendors participating, but we decided that was the best choice.

“That doesn’t mean that the other festival will necessarily disappear, we want to see our ability to manage Canada Day first and see the outcome of this year.”

Council members expressed surprise at the decision, but were overall enthusiastic about the move, which may help address some of the financial hurdles faced by the previous Canada Day society.

“Two-day festivals get a higher priority with grant funding from organizations, different levels of government, than one-day events do,” said Councillor Teri James. “But in addition, if you can incorporate that international, multicultural component, then it puts you again in a higher queue than the other things.”

The International Festival usually draws a crowd of around 15,000, while the society estimates the Canada Day celebration will bring an opportunity to host upwards of 40,000 visitors. The event will move from its traditional home in McLeod Athletic Park to Willoughby Community Park, with support from the Langley Events Centre.

The Canada Day event was originally held at Langley Airport, until airport expansion prompted a move to McLeod Park.

Organizers plan to include popular elements from the International Festival into the Canada Day celebrations, and guests can expect to experience food, art, and entertainment from cultures around the world, alongside a Children’s Chalet and International Pavilion, as well as the games, rides, displays, and demonstrations traditionally found at the Canada Day celebration.

The society is currently looking for sponsors and volunteers to help ensure the Canada Day celebration is a success. As well, the Langley International Festival Society and Langley Canada Day Celebrations Society will host a special Multicultural Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Feb. 1. Community members are welcome and tickets are $60. More information is available online at www.internationalfestival.ca.

Just Posted

VIDEO: A damp May Day parade in Fort Langley

Despite poor weather, thousands attended 97th annual procession

Bradner hosts 100th annual May Day celebration

Parade and country fair take place in Abbotsford on Monday, May 20

United voice calls for more senior services in Aldergrove

‘The people here deserve more’ says founder of the local Seniors Resource Fair

Aldergrove’s water park opens to public at discounted rates

Though the pool remains closed, the Township has decided to charge a toonie for admission

Fraser Valley pup trained in Aldergrove co-stars in A Dog’s Journey

Film premiers this weekend, starting Friday in Canadian theatres

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopened after multi-vehicle crash east of Chilliwack

Westbound lanes near Herrling Island were closed for hours amid busy holiday weekend traffic

Police watchdog investigating motorcycle crash in Kamloops

A Kamloops Mountie had stopped the driver for speeding, but they raced off from the 0fficer

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Most Read