Canada Day in Tecumseh Park



A reflective, low-key Canada Day celebration is coming together at the last minute due to the efforts of Chatham-Kent-Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren and a number of community groups.

The two-hour long program focusing on Canada’s history, the Skirmish at the Forks, the role of First Nations and the Black community in the founding of Canada and the growth of Chatham will be held at Tecumseh Park.

The event is free and family oriented.

Van Kesteren said, “With no budget or organization in place, and less than three weeks to make it happen, a realistic and respectful plan had to be developed within those constraints which will provide interested citizens an opportunity to participate in a downtown Chatham Canada Day activity.

“I am so proud of how the municipal councillors, staff, Chatham-Kent Museum, Thames Art Gallery, Milner House, Downtown BIA, Chatham Legion Branch 642 pipe band and colour guard, Black Historical Society, Chatham-Kent Police, and so many others who have stepped up to make this happen – and the list will continue to grow”

Canada Day in Tecumseh Park will take place from 10 a.m. to noon. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 642 pipe and drum band will march from the cenotaph into the park for opening ceremonies. Local living historian Douglas Robinson will MC a historical program portraying Edward Hazel, an official of the British Indian Department who was a trusted friend of Chief Tecumseh and will give a dramatic telling of the Skirmish at the Forks of the Thames.

Historians from First Nations, the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society, and other community storytellers will join Robinson as they share the rich history that is Chatham-Kent on the Thames.

Following the presentations, everyone will be invited to enjoy a large Canada Day cake and visit the neighbouring museums and Cultural Centre.


To celebrate Canada’s birthday, the Chatham-Kent Museum, Milner Heritage House and the Thames Art Gallery will be open extended hours starting at 10 a.m. The Milner House will be celebrating Dominion Day with brewed iced tea as refreshment, and those visiting the C-K Museum for modern celebrations may make Canadian character crafts. The Thames Art Gallery will have an art craft for the children.

All activities and admissions are free to the public.

Branch 642 on Williams Street will be open during the day.

Residents can stay up to date on the event as it continues to grow via the “Canada Day in Tecumseh Park” Facebook page.


  1. My wife and I moved to Chatham from Priceville Ontario last year. Priceville has a population of, oh, maybe a hundred or so in the village proper. They have an annual Canada Day celebration which includes performances and fireworks. Not far from there is Owen Sound, a city about half the size of Chatham. Canada Day there has interesting events all over the city, and culminates in a fairly spectacular fireworks display which is paid for with donations collected at the waterfront park.

    I was expecting something pretty cool from Chatham, considering what much smaller communities can put forward. I mean, history is important, but… no concert? No soap box race, carnival or flugtag? Not a single miserable roman candle? Neighbours on all sides of us did better on Victoria Day.

    I suppose that those in charge of planning and fund management were unaware that there would be a Canada Day this year…?

  2. This is the first community of this size that I've ever seen have seemingly no care for community events. What happened between last year and now? RE: "" "A Chatham company has already stepped up to help with funding next year’s fireworks in Chatham. According to Smith, Scribendi has offered to match funds raised and the money will be put towards next year." What happened? Why do we keep hearing things like "“With no budget or organization in place, and less than three weeks to make it happen." Why isn't there any budget or organization? Are they not aware Canada Day happens every year? Why are much smaller and much poorer communities able to pull together fireworks and events for their communities and Chatham isn't?

  3. We all need to move… Where are our tax dollars going? Unacceptable. This is incredibly sad and the exact reason why people keep leaving. Honestly we all need to hold these politicians responsible for the mismanagement of this community.


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