The last time the Wilberforce Red Cross Outpost Museum was able to host Canada Day in the museum’s front yard was in 2018. /Submitted

Canada Day festivities return to Wilberforce Red Cross Outpost Museum

By Grace Oborne
It’s been a few years since communities have gathered as one for the nation’s important holiday.
On Friday, July 1, Wilberforce Red Cross Outpost Museum will be hosting Canada Day celebrations for the first time since 2018.
In 2019, though Canada Day was still celebrated and hosted by the museum, their Canada Day activities were held at the local community centre due to their ongoing construction and renovations. Then, for the last two years, because of COVID-19, Canada Day has been put on pause.
Barbara Schofield is excited to return to regular programming for Canada day. She is on the board of directors for the Wilberforce Heritage Guild, which operates and manages the museum.
“We moved Canada Day down to the community centre, which is just down the road, because the building was at a point of renovations. For the most part, we usually have it the celebration in the front yard and the community centre is our place in case it rains,” Schofield said.

Now, Wilberforce will experience a little more normalcy as live entertainment and refreshments return to the museum’s front yard. The museum at 2314 Loop Road, will raise the Canadian flag at 11:30 a.m., live music entertainment, food, and desert such as sandwiches and cake, will follow.
“We’ll begin with our flag raising of the Canadian flag, while singing, ‘Oh Canada.’ We’ll have music entertainment for people to sing along with as well,” Schofield said. “Then, we’ll move into the backyard, which looks out on the bay in the middle of town, where we’ll have tents set up with refreshments, cake, ice cream and more.”
After nearly two years of having to isolate and maintain distance, individuals can come together with their communities to have fun and commemorate our nation.

Later this summer on August 15, the Wilberforce Red Cross Outpost will celebrate its 100th year anniversary of their 1922 opening as Ontario’s first Red Cross outpost hospital. A day of exciting activities is set to take place, such as their annual corn roast.
“Everybody is thrilled to be able to see one another face-to-face. Even when the board has meetings, if we’re in-person and everybody is vaccinated, we can take our masks off. So, this has been huge, as far as just getting back to doing things the way we used to do them. I’m thrilled too.”