Fundraising started to make Canada Day go off with a bang

Fundraising is underway for the annual Canada Day fireworks show in Penticton.

Fireworks light up the sky over Okanagan Lake during the Canada Day celebration last year.

Fireworks light up the sky over Okanagan Lake during the Canada Day celebration last year.

Fundraising is underway for the annual Canada Day fireworks show, and the Downtown Penticton Association is hoping everyone will pitch in to make it a great show.

The DPA, in partnership with Penticton Rotary and the city, are arranging for this year’s show.

“The city’s festival committee asked us and we were delighted to take it on,” said Kerri Milton, DPA executive director. “The fireworks are a really important part of Canada Day.”

Milton said she’s also excited by the added potential of having the Rotary Ribfest going on in the park, which will add to the thousands of fireworks watchers that traditionally line viewpoints around the southern end of Okanagan Lake.

The DPA has taken responsibility for raising the money needed for the fireworks, according to Milton, while Rotary has connected with a pyrotechnician and the owner of a barge that will serve as a launching platform.

In past years, the cost of putting on the fireworks show has been in the $10,000 to $15,000 range. To get there, the DPA is accepting donations through a button on their website at www.downtownpenticton.org. Contributors can also call or make their donation in person at the DPA office, 3-212 Main St.

The City of Penticton was the first contributor, with a donation of $1,500 to get the ball rolling.

The DPA is also looking for business sponsorships as well as personal donations. If your business is interested in becoming a Friend of Fireworks-Canada Day they will make sure your logo is put onto the printed material and your business featured on their social media sites.

For more than two decades, the fireworks at Okanagan Lake were sponsored by the Lakeside Resort, along with financial contributions from the Penticton business community. But last August, the Lakeside’s general manager David Prystay announced the resort would no longer be putting on the show, due to Okanagan Lake Park, the traditional staging area for the fireworks, being booked for the Rotary Ribfest.

Prystay said he hasn’t been approached yet about contributing to this year’s Canada Day fireworks, but did confirm that the Lakeside will be sponsoring the New Year’s Eve fireworks as usual.