Canada Day in Rossland was a little different this year with the day’s festivities taking place outside Rossland Museum instead of at Pioneer Park, but tradition was upheld with the annual hike up Mt. Roberts.
Hikers met at the museum at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and then carpooled to the trailhead to begin their trek. It was a grueling climb — over steep rocks and loose shale — and not every hiker made it to the top. But for those who did (at least for those who made it by 10:30 a.m.) the reward was watching the Canadian flag being hoisted high, after which, according to Mayor Kathy Moore, “the whole group sort of spontaneously burst into song,” with the singing of O Canada.
Moore says she’s done the climb up Mt. Roberts several times, but this is the first time she’s been part of the Canada Day hike. “It is a strenuous hike, but very rewarding when you get to the top,” she said.
Back at the Rossland Museum, family friendly activities kicked off at noon with music and a barbeque, and face painting, crafts, and carnival games for the kids. Sonja Janischewski says her two daughters Ava and Mackenzie Echle (ages three and four) “really enjoyed being out and looking at all the equipment the city brought in,” equipment like loaders and graders.
The day was marred only by an accident that befell Richie Mann of the Golden City Fiddlers. While setting up, Mann tripped over a cord and injured his ribs. An ambulance arrived shortly after to take him to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, where he recovered from his injuries. He was released on Friday.
The show went on with Mann’s grandson Gabe leading the Golden City Fiddlers. Afterward the Gold Fever Follies sang a bilingual rendition of the national anthem and performed a teaser from their summer show and then Molly Jamin, age 13, led the official singing of O Canada.
Mayor Moore presented the Canada Day cake, cutting slices for everyone, and the day finished with music from the Foggy Goggly Boys.
Museum director Joelle Hodgins and museum assistant Sandra Balentine worked over the winter to organize the event at its new location. Balentine estimates at least 300 people attended.
“It seems like everyone had a lot of fun, and there were a lot of families out,” she said.