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Kim Macies Canada Day
Kim Macies Canada Day

Canada Day Celebrations in Ottawa: Past Event Organizer Kim Macies

By Sean Mitton, Canadian Expat Network
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Every Canadian should celebrate Canada Day in our nation's capital at least once in their life. It's a wonderful experience that brings together thousands of people in sharing our national heritage. Kim Macies has special memories not just about attending, but also in organizing the events, which she did from 2006-2008.

Macies is employed by the Department of Canadian Heritage and is on a leave of absence while her husband is stationed in Fort Bragg, NC. While in Canada, she worked closely with the National Capital Commission and was the Executive Producer for the Canada Day noon show.

Ottawa generally hosts 75,000 people at it's annual Canada Day celebration, as well as it being viewed by one million Canadians on TV. The event generally boosts Ottawa tourism by 30-40%. The budget for the event is approximately $1.3-1.5 million.

Preparation for the event generally starts 6 months in advance and involves approximately 60 departments, so communications and nurturing the interdepartmental relationships is important, Macies states. Additionally, there are 40-50 individuals in Protocol Communications, which includes information technology and the news departments.

Organizing an event of this magnitude does not come without its challenges as you can imagine. Macies shares that getting stage approvals, integrating regional anniversaries and managing competing interests, add to the complexity of the position. Then there's the general procession of events which need to happen on strict timelines to make sure the day runs smoothly.

Those issues are well worth the Canadian patriotism that is shown on our national birthday. Macies fondest memory occurred in '07 when the Canadian Snowbirds flew overhead on the last note of our National Anthem, which goes to show the level of detail incorporated in the planning. "People love what they do, as well as the adrenaline that comes from the celebrations", Macies states. That year Blue Rodeo was the featured band.

This year the Queen will be in attendance and it's been announced that the Bare Naked Ladies will be the featured band.

While Macies is not a part of the Ottawa event this year, she is organizing a Canada Day event in Dunn, NC as leader of CanSouth. She wishes everyone a Happy Canada Day!

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