London’s Trafalgar Square and New York’s Central Park won’t show any Canadian love on Canada Day this year — no real-life Mounties, no street hockey games, no performances by Canadian musicians. A lack of sponsorships has prompted organizers to cancel the annual celebrations just five years after Canada Day International — previously run by the government — was transferred to Rainmaker GBD, a Calgary business consulting firm.
Last year, July 1, I had one of the most powerful moments of my time here in the U.K. I was so disheartened when I heard that there will be nothing official going on this year.
Brades Thompson, Canadian ex-pat
Chad Molleken, who first organized the London celebration in 2009 but is no longer with the company, said the free events have attracted more than 600,000 people to date. They were so popular, he said, that they expanded to include New York City last year and were planned to reach Hong Kong this year. But those plans were put on hold when two major sponsors — telecommunications giant BlackBerry and Nexen, an Alberta oil and gas company — said they would not contribute to the program this year.
It’s disappointing that we can’t continue.
Chad Molleken, former organizer of Canada Day in London