Rain or shine the party must go on. And so it did under threatening skies for the 2015 Canada Day celebrations in Cote Saint-Luc. And what a fun time it was.
We started off with the annual Citizenship Ceremony. Always a moving and emotional experience, expertly presided over by the compassionate Judge Barbara Seal, 38 new citizens from nine countries were sworn in. Smiles were ear to ear as these new Canadians, many of them young children, took the Oath of Citizenship, as did a few of us life-long Canadians as well. With a decorated Mountie by her side the judge welcomed all to the Canadian Family, stating, “You came here today as Permanent Residents but you leave as full Canadian Citizens,” to loud applause.
Mayor Anthony Housefather addressed the crowd and with great pride wishing them well in their new home and encouraging them all to soak in this magnificent country. Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, an immigration lawyer, recounted the voyage of his great-grandparents in coming to Canada from Eastern Europe in the early 20th Century.
Meanwhile families gathered in the covered area known as Confederation Annex for kid-friendly activities, food and exhibits. The stage was all set for the main performances. Global TV hosts Camille Ross, Jess Laventure and Elysia Bryan-Baynes emceed the evening and introduced Beatles cover band, Replay. They took to the stage and performed four incredible sets throughout the evening, wowing the crowd as if they were the real Fab Four. All the classic Beatles tunes were sung and the crowd, which grew in numbers throughout the evening, sang along.
Up next was The Incredible Boris, renowned hypnotist-comedian who invited up audience members to fall under his spell. Four participants remained “under” for the duration of his show including the giggling Councillor Dida Berku. Boris had them dancing the Congo-line, counting their “eleven fingers”, trying desperately to remember their own names, paddling down the Colorado River and over Niagara Falls, speaking foreign languages and many more zany antics that kept the audience laughing out loud.
Retiring Member of Parliament, Professor Irwin Cotler, was inducted onto Cote Saint-Luc’s Human Rights Walkway and Public Security Agent Johnny “Elvis” Champagne was congratulated on his 35 years of service to our community as his badge was officially retired and presented to him.
As always the festivities culminated in the traditional fireworks display, this year twinned with a spectacular laser light show.
Thanks go out to Recreation Director David Taveroff and his talented team for championing a sensational evening of fun and celebration along with the Public Works crews, Public Security agents and Station 9 police officers. Kudos as well to our talented Communications staff under Darryl Levine and many, many thanks to all of our die-hard volunteers, especially those from vCOP and EMS, who go above and beyond in helping our staff to create the best events and in keeping everyone safe. Special thanks to my co-chair of Canada Day 2015 in Cote Saint-Luc, the indefatigable Mike Cohen.
Happy 148th Birthday!
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