UPDATED June 29: The photo contest has been postponed out of respect for residential school victims, and a new date has not been announced. Orange ribbons will be placed around Huntsville in solidarity with Indigenous communities.

No bangs, but plenty of snaps: the Town of Huntsville will celebrate Canada Day not with fireworks, but a pandemic-safe photo contest. 

“We’re looking for people to wear as much red and white as possible,” says Huntsville Director of Community Services Simone Babineau. “Make it as theme-y, and fun, and creative as people want to get.”

Residents can take photos wearing red and white or enjoying the great outdoors for the Canadian Spirit Photo Contest. First place in the contest nets the winner $500 in vouchers for Downtown Huntsville businesses, with $300 for second place and $200 for third.

The contest takes the place of Huntsville’s Canada Day community events. The Town normally runs an in-person fireworks show and cupcake giveaway, suspended because of COVID-19. Babineau says this year’s online celebration will be better than last year’s.

“We know how to do this now, so I think people are going to be in a situation where they’re going to have a lot of fun with it,” she says.

With the pandemic starting to wind down, Babineau says she hopes next year will see the return of regular in-person events.

“We’re looking forward to that next year, we’re hoping we can go back to a little bit of normalcy, back to what people love to do on Canada Day,” says Babineau. “The team will come up with something that is going to be worthy of celebrating, for sure.”

The contest runs from June 28 to July 2. Photos can be submitted to the MyHuntsville website.