Saskatoon celebrates Canada Day with riverbank party

A happy child shows off her new face paint during Canada Day celebrations at Rotary Park in Saskatoon. (Jeremy Warren/CBC - image credit)
A happy child shows off her new face paint during Canada Day celebrations at Rotary Park in Saskatoon. (Jeremy Warren/CBC - image credit)

Both sides of the river in downtown Saskatoon were packed with people celebrating Canada's 157th birthday on Monday.

People descended on River Landing and Rotary Park for Canada Day celebrations throughout the day to check out live entertainment, cultural performances, food trucks and kids' activities. The birthday ends with fireworks launched from the Broadway Bridge on Monday evening.

John and Anne Stephenson moved to Saskatoon from Australia in 1968 for John's job at the University of Saskatchewan. They raised three kids here and became Canadian citizens in 2000.

John and Anne Stephenson moved to Saskatoon from Australia in 1968. They became Canadian citizens in 2000.
John and Anne Stephenson moved to Saskatoon from Australia in 1968. They became Canadian citizens in 2000.

John and Anne Stephenson moved to Saskatoon from Australia in 1968. They became Canadian citizens in 2000. (Jeremy Warren/CBC)

"The city has treated us very well," Anne said on Sunday as the couple headed to the food trucks. "What we've grown to love is that there are lots of overlapping networks in Saskatoon. And so I see people I know or recognize anytime I walk down the street, pretty much. The city has grown a lot, but that can still happen."

Kids in Canada gear hanging out by the food trucks on the Traffic Bridge in Saskatoon on July 1.
Kids in Canada gear hanging out by the food trucks on the Traffic Bridge in Saskatoon on July 1.

Kids in Canada gear hanging out by the food trucks on the Traffic Bridge in Saskatoon on July 1. (Jeremy Warren/CBC)

John Laverdure and his family are newer Saskatchewan residents. They moved from Ontario last year and live in Warman.

"This is our first Canada Day here for us and we decided to come and check it out for the little one and yeah, and have a good day of just activities and fun," Laverdure said.

Rob Laverdure brought his family to Rotary Park in Saskatoon on Canada Day. They moved from Ontario last fall.
Rob Laverdure brought his family to Rotary Park in Saskatoon on Canada Day. They moved from Ontario last fall.

Rob Laverdure brought his family to Rotary Park in Saskatoon on Canada Day. They moved from Ontario last fall. (Jeremy Warren/CBC)

Ebtisam Elsheikhe, owner of Nile River Food and Handcrafts, set up her store's booth at Rotary Park on Monday. All the proceeds from sales are going to her family back in Sudan.

"I'm going to send it to them because the situation is very bad in Sudan right now and I want to help my brother. I have three brothers over there and I want to help them get out of Sudan," Elsheikh said.

Ebtisam Elsheikhe, owner of Nile River Food and Handcrafts, set up a booth at Rotary Park on Canada Day to raise funds for family and friends in Sudan. S
Ebtisam Elsheikhe, owner of Nile River Food and Handcrafts, set up a booth at Rotary Park on Canada Day to raise funds for family and friends in Sudan. S

Ebtisam Elsheikhe, owner of Nile River Food and Handcrafts, set up a booth at Rotary Park on Canada Day to raise funds for family and friends in Sudan. S (Jeremy Warren/CBC)

She came to Canada with her husband and children in 2006. She said it's tough to watch the humanitarian disaster unfold from afar. One brother and one sister have died in recent months, she said.

"They are really struggling and it is a tough situation right now. There is no food," Elsheikh said. "And that is why I'm trying to help my family get here right now."