With less than two weeks until Canada Day celebrations in Airdrie and across the country, city officials have noted that they may adjust the Canada Day fireworks.

"Due to water main infrastructure issues discovered in Calgary, Airdrie remains under a fire ban. The City of Airdrie will continue to monitor this situation closely and make adjustments to the fireworks event if the fire ban is still in effect for July 1," The City website stated.

Previously, Airdrie city officials said they were starting conversations on how the current water situation will impact events.

"We don’t have anything to comment on this yet, but we will in the coming days," an official said previously.

Airdrie and Calgary remain under water restrictions and a fire ban. Genesis Place pool and aquatics facilities will remain closed until and including July 1. 

"Ice-arena activities resumed over the weekend. The water used to maintain the City’s ice arenas is being supplied from sources outside the Calgary water main break impacted region via a water truck," officials added.

Under level four water restrictions, all outdoor water use is temporarily banned, and indoor water conservation is strongly encouraged. Under level four water restrictions, residents cannot:

  • Water lawns, gardens, trees, shrubs and flowers by any method other than rain water.
  • Wash down any outdoor surfaces, including exterior building surfaces, windows, sidewalks, driveways, or walkways of any sort unless your business requires them to for health and safety reasons.
  • Wash cars on driveways or streets.
  • Fill outdoor decorative features, fountains, pools, or hot tubs.
  • Use potable water for construction purposes such as grading, compaction, or dust control.

No boil water advisories are in effect within the City of Airdrie, and water remains safe to drink.

"To ensure we share the water currently available, we are asking Airdrie residents to immediately restrict indoor water use by taking the following voluntary actions:"

  • Use dishwasher and washing machine only when required and with full loads.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Limit showers to five minutes or less and keep baths shallow.
  • Scrape plates clean rather than rinsing food off.
  • Turn off humidifiers and ice machines, delay washing vehicles,
  • Businesses using large volumes of non-essential water, such as laundromats and car washes, are asked to reduce water use.
  • Businesses that use water to deliver a life-sustaining product or service for people and animals are exempt. Other exemptions include businesses using water to meet health code standards, such as health centres and restaurants.

Under a fire ban, effective immediately:

  • All existing fire permits are suspended
  • No residential fire pits
  • No campground fire pits
  • No solid-fueled barbeque appliances where the primary source of fuel consists of charcoal, briquettes, or wood
  • No new fire permits will be issued until conditions improve.

Prohibited activities include:

  • Any burning without a valid fire permit
  • Residential firepits/ wood campfires
  • Incinerator Fires
  • Consumer fireworks are not permitted
  • Exploding targets, Model rockets
  • Display fireworks and pyrotechnic special effects

Exemptions include:

  • Natural gas and propane fire pits that are CSA-approved or ULC-certified.
  • Natural gas, propane or electric stoves, barbecues, and smokers that are CSA-approved or ULC-certified.
  • Catalytic or infrared style heaters that are CSA approved or UL certified; and
  • Approved fires contained in industrial facilities or sites (energy, forestry or agricultural.
  • Acceptable burning barrel for farm use only.

"The fire ban will remain in effect until repairs to the broken water main pipe in Calgary are made and normal water consumption can resume," The City stated on June 6. 

However, thus far, there appears to be no change to other marquee events for Monday, July 1. The day will begin at 8 a.m. at Airdrie City Hall, where a free Canada Day breakfast hosted by the Kin Club of Airdrie will take place till 10 a.m.

"There will be a 50/50 raffle, and donations will be welcomed as this is a fundraiser for community non-profits. The breakfast is available for the first 1,500 parade-goers." the city said.

The Canada Day Parade will occur in downtown Airdrie from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by various other events until 4 p.m.

"Don’t rush off after the parade! Stroll through Downtown and discover our local businesses' exciting offerings and celebrations," The City added. 

Airdrie's inaugural Multicultural festival, Airdrie CultureFest, will be held from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Nose Creek Park, hosted by the Airdrie CultureFest Committee.

"Airdrie CultureFest is the city’s first multicultural community festival showcasing and celebrating Airdronians from all walks of life. Enjoy live music and performances, beer gardens, delicious food, and cultural activities, and experience Airdrie’s vibrantly diverse communities. Bring your flag and celebrate what makes Airdrie an amazing place to live - you!"

The Airdrie Pro Rodeo will continue (beginning June 28) from 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Airdrie Rodeo Grounds.

If the fireworks go ahead as previously planned, they will happen from 10:45 p.m. to 11:05 p.m. at the Chinook Winds Regional Park. The City hosts the fireworks, a 20-minute brilliant and dazzling artistic light performance to enjoy. 

mCanada Day fireworks can be seen from different vantage points around the city. (Graphic credit to The City of Airdrie)

Parking is limited. Available parking lots near the site are:

  • Rocky View Schools
  • W.H. Croxford High School 
  • Chinook Winds Regional Park

Vantage point locations are:

  • Windsong School
  • Coopers Crossing School
  • Living Springs Church
  • Daybreak Church

"The fireworks show is visible from multiple locations. Grab blankets, lawn chairs and refreshments to watch the show."

What are other towns and cities planning for Canada Day?

However, other localities that haven't been impacted by Calgary's water main break are planning for outdoor fireworks. The Town of Carstairs has scheduled fireworks for Canada Day evening. 

"Celebrate Canada Day fireworks at the Carstairs Community Golf Course. The fireworks display will be at dusk, usually around 9:30 pm," the town's website stated.

Those wanting the best seats are encouraged to head to the golf course a little earlier and grab a seat in the Ironwood Restaurant. The Town of Didsbury also has a full day of Canada Day events, beginning at 1 p.m. Canada Day fireworks are also slated to happen after dark.

"Join us on July 1 for Didsbury's Canada Day celebration! An inflatable obstacle course, games, crafts, treats (including a Canada Day cake!), and displays will be a go from 1 - 4 p.m. at the Museum and 'Moose Fence Park'! The Didsbury Aquatic Centre also hosts a free public swim from 1-5 pm. Then, after dark, the Didsbury Fire Department will put on a fantastic fireworks display," The town stated on its social media.

Calgary officials update on repairs

On Thursday afternoon, officials said that approximately 50 per cent of the cutting and removal of damaged pipe sections on the south Bearspaw water feeder main have been completed, and according to City of Calgary Infrastructure Services General Manager Michael Thompson, crews encountered challenges during the process.

Thompson underlined the complexity of the repair, saying the parts are not 'off the shelf'.

"Everything is custom fabricated, and this line was originally installed 49 years ago. The feeder main in this area is not all at the same elevation; it follows the train. When we exposed one of the hotspots, we found the damaged pipe was in a location which changes grade and the pipe is encased in a large concrete block," he said.

Approximately 50 per cent of the cutting and removal of damaged sections of pipe have been completed on the south Bearspaw water feeder main, and according to City of Calgary Infrastructure Services General Manager Michael Thompson, crews did find challenges during the process. (Photo credit to The City of Calgary)Approximately 50 per cent of the cutting and removal of damaged sections of pipe have been completed on the south Bearspaw water feeder main, and according to City of Calgary Infrastructure Services General Manager Michael Thompson, crews did find challenges during the process. (Photo credit to The City of Calgary)

This finding meant that crews could not remove the segment of the damaged pipe without risking damage to the adjacent pipe.

"Instead of cutting out the damaged section of pipe, we're going to structurally reinforce this segment of pipe," Thompson explained. "Prior to this discovery, a contingency plan had been developed for this scenario, and yesterday, we enacted this contingency plan. Until we've completed the removal stage, we continue to run the risk of finding something new and unexpected."

Mayor Jyoti Gondek had also cautioned residents about the July 5 timeline for repairs being completed, saying that this date is the most optimistic outcome.

"... A potential site may require a bit more repair than we had expected, or that water testing is going to take a little bit more time. I want you all to be prepared for these changes to the schedule as we continue to learn more about the progress that we're making," she said on Thursday morning.

An Alberta Emergency Alert advisory remains in place for Calgary, Airdrie, Strathmore, and Chestermere.

"... Supply levels remain in a critical state, affecting the city's ability to provide water to communities and ensure adequate water is available to support emergency fire suppression."

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