Take a walk on the wild side at Parks Day festivities across B.C., this year celebrating the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada - which in 1911 became the first government organization of its kind anywhere in the world - as well as the 100th birthday of B.C.'s first provincial park.
In Vancouver, you'll be treated to yet another day of great free music in Stanley Park, including performances by Somali-Canadian superstar K'naan, Rolling Stone cover contest finalists the Sheepdogs, and rising Kelowna star Kate Morgan, and can also catch snowboarding Olympic gold medalist Maelle Ricker.
Between sets, you can pick up tips on hiking, surfing, climbing, fishing, geocaching, and more from outdoor pros, then tuck into an official centennial cake.
Feel like skipping town? Join Parks Day festivities in any number of B.C.'s provincial and national parks, including a tasty Salmon Day complete with an iron chef cook-off at Fort St. James National Historic Site, guided tours of Glacier National Park, wilderness survival at Fort Langley, and free admission - and more birthday cake - at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.
"It's incredible when you think that a hundred years ago, it was loggers and farmers and miners who made up the parliament, and they said, 'We really need an organization that is responsible for our history and our natural heritage,'" says Andrew Campbell, vice president of experiences at Parks Canada. "And I think that's something that we can be proud of as Canadians.
"But this is more than just a celebration of Parks Canada. It's a celebration of our natural and historic places - and those things mean a lot to Canadians."
Parks Day events are happening across British Columbia Saturday, and admission to all provincial and national parks is free. For details, visit Parks Canada at pc.gc.ca, BC Parks at bcparks. ca, and Parks Day at parksday.ca.
Special to The Globe and Mail