Calgary’s upcoming New Year’s Eve festivities sweetened by federal money

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    The City of Calgary has announced plans for beefed up New Year’s Eve festivities thanks to a federal cash injection.

    The Department of Canadian Heritage is contributing $110,000 to Calgary’s annual year-end shindig through the Canada 150 Fund.

    The goal of the program is to grow local, regional and national celebrations that contribute to building a sense of Canadian pride. It’s all part of the kick-off to Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary as a nation.

    Calgary was selected as one of 19 cities to receive the New Year’s funding, which the city said will add more activities to the indoor/outdoor event.

    That will include a family-friendly glow-in-the-dark dance party at the Municipal Building complete with crafts, a bouncy castle, stilt walkers, magicians and a kids’ countdown (at 9 p.m.).

    Olympic Plaza will host family skating, live ice carvings, fire spinning, an ice slide and creative light-based art installations.

    Local DJs will entertain the crowd from the main stage, as will live performances from Canadian rock bank 54.40 and Calgary’s Eve Hall and the Razors.

    The city said the annual fireworks display will launch a year of anniversary celebrations.

    “On Dec. 31, 1,000 lights will fill the Canadian sky from coast to coast, setting the tone for the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation,” Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly said.

    “This partnership will make our year-long celebration of Canada an exceptional series of events starting with New Year’s Eve,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

    In a press release, the city also suggested next year’s Canada Day celebrations “will be the biggest and best our city has seen.”