City Signature Events
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Military Officers march at the 2016 Dieppe Raid Service

City of Windsor Signature Events

Celebrating2017 City of Windsor Signature Events will be inclusive, immersive, interactive and energizing – can’t-miss events offering unforgettable experiences all year long.

Upcoming Signature Events

Bright Lights Windsor

When we look back on our favourite memories of the season, there’s always lights …

... twinkling colours revealing the joy in everyone’s eyes. Creating those memories was the reason we bundled up and headed out together. There’s a place for that in Windsor, a spectacular backdrop of thousands of lights and stunning displays, a wonderland to share with family and friends: Bright Lights Windsor at Jackson Park.
Create memories that will last a lifetime.
 

December 8, 2017 to January 7, 2018
6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Jackson Park
125 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor

Opening Lighting Ceremony: December 8, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Your free experience includes:

  • Giant illuminated tree in the Queen Elizabeth II Sunken Gardens
  • Thousands of lights and a host of iconic holiday characters throughout the park
  • Special light shows on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides and festive performances on Fridays and Saturdays

#myWindsor2017 Photo Campaign

November 16, 2017 to December 15, 2017
Online and/or email submissions requested

Share your photos using #myWindsor2017 or with celebrating2017@citywindsor.ca. Each week, we'll highlight photos on our website and Facebook page. The best will be included in the Museum Windsor collection, becoming a permanent part of our City's history. All photos will be sealed in a time capsule to be opened in 2042 as part of the City's 150th anniversary celebrations. Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2017.


Willistead Manor 2017 Holiday Tours

Sundays, December 3, 10 and 17, 2017. Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Willistead Manor, 1899 Niagara Street

Public holiday tours of Willistead Manor will be available on three consecutive Sundays this December. The manor is all decked out in its holiday finest courtesy of the Friends of Willistead with a group of 70+ volunteers. The 36-room mansion that sits within the 15-acre Willistead Park was built in 1906 and was briefly the home of Edward Chandler Walker and his wife, Mary. This year's holiday tours run from Noon to 5:00 p.m. with the Silver Bells bell ringers performing from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 17, 2017. To guarantee a complete tour, the final tour begins at 4:30 p.m. on Sundays. Admission rates are $5.75 for adults, $4.75 for students and seniors, and $2.25 for children 12 years old and under. Visit www.willistead.ca for more on the manor.


Interfaith Service and Closing of the "W" Time Capsule

Sunday, December 31, 2017. 3:00 p.m.
All Saints' Church in City Hall Square
 
125 years of worship and thanksgiving. Join in this celebration of Windsor's rich religious heritage and diverse wealth of faith and cultures. A wide cross section of ethnic and faith groups will be represented in an inspiring presentation of music, dance and prayer. The ceremony will include a city-wide bell ringing and Harmony Ribbons from the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County. Following this service, the "W" Time Capsule will be closed up at 4:00 p.m. in the lobby of City Hall. Reception at All Saints' Church to follow the closing of the time capsule.

Stories of Sandwich 

November 16, 2017 to December 15, 2017
Online, manual and/or email submissions requested
 

Sandwich Town is getting a grand new entrance as the City of Windsor moves forward with the creation and installation of an arch over Sandwich Street at the eastern entrance to one of Windsor's most historic neighbourhoods. The project will include 14 Stories of Sandwich on plaques at the limestone bases of the arch. The City's Cultural Affairs and Planning Departments are seeking story submissions that tell of the historic events, people, architecture and sites located within Sandwich Town. This is an opportunity to be a part of history in a meaningful way. Visit the Stories of Sandwich page for more information and to submit your stories. Deadline to submit is Friday, December 15, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.


Past Signature Events  

Poetry at the Manor - Vol. 5

Held: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at Willistead Manor

Windsor's Poet Laureate, Marty Gervais was joined by guest poets laureate from across Canada - including Laurence Hutchman (North York, Ontario), Kim Fahner (Sudbury, Ontario), John B. Lee (Brantford and Norfolk County, Ontario), Deirdre Kessler (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island), and Tom Cull (London, Ontario) - for the fifth instalment of this fam-favourite annual literary event in Windsor. The event also featured a special reading from the 'Group of Seven Poets', reading from their Celebrating2017 Signature Project publication "Because We Have All Lived Here."


Open Streets Windsor: Ontario 150 Celebration

First Nations Performers in RegaliaHeld: Sunday, September 17, 2017

Open Streets are unique events, held in over 100 cities in North America that temporarily close roadways to vehicular traffic, allowing people of all ages and abilities to use them for healthy and fun physical activities (e.g. walking, cycling, yoga).

Open Streets Windsor encourages active transportation, physical activity and community-building initiatives, while also providing a chance for local businesses and organizations to participate on the route. The Ontario150 Celebration of Open Streets Windsor will include an immersive Ontario150 Hub. This event is made possible through generous funding from the Ontario 150 Community Celebration Program, through the Government of Ontario


SESQUI Exhibition

Held: July 7 to 11, 2017 at Windsor's waterfront

About SESQUI: SESQUI is a new and inspiring way to see and experience Canada: an immersive journey into the heart, soul and future of this great country. Powered by cutting-edge technology, SESQUI’s specially designed, red mobile dome offers a viewing of the 360˚ film HORIZON – a film marking Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.  Featuring hundreds of performers from across the country, HORIZON is a sensory and emotional experience that celebrates the people, landscapes, and freedoms that make Canada home. HORIZON shows us Canada in ways it has never been seen before.

Details of the SESQUI Exhibition in Windsor: It’s free!!  SESQUI will only be visiting 7 Ontario cities.  Experience HORIZON in Windsor from July 7th to 11th. Look for the big red dome on Windsor’s Waterfront; North of Riverside Drive and at the foot of Goyeau Street (Municipal Lot 16/CN Train Waterfront Lot). The show runs every half-hour, from Noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Monday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Showings are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on the SESQUI Exhibition in Windsor, visit www.sesqui.ca/windsor.
 
Volunteers needed for the SESQUI Exhibition: Experience the excitement and discipline of a travelling road show first hand!  We need volunteers to join the SESQUI pro tour team. SESQUI offers a limited number of positions for volunteer ushers and operational assistants. A commitment of at least two 4-hour shifts is preferred, but not mandatory. Volunteer perks include: SESQUI Volunteer Training session on Thursday, July 6th at 7 p.m. on site; exclusive preview screening of the film; tour briefing by the Tour director; technology briefing from SESQUI specialists; commemorative SESQUI tour t-shirt (to be worn during all shifts); an end-of-tour social; and a thank-letter suitable for framing, resumes, or memory albums. Being part of a highly technical road tour showcasing cutting-edge cinematic technology proudly MADE IN CANADA is an unforgettable experience! To volunteer for the SESQUI Exhibition in Windsor, please contact volunteers@sesqui.ca.


Canada150 - Canada Day - July 1, 2017

Police officer salutes the Canadian Flag in WindsorHeld: July 1, 2017

Our Canada Day celebrations included the annual Canada Day Citizenship Ceremony, where 40 new Canadians took the Oath of Citizenship in a ceremony at Adventure Bay Family Water Park presented by WFCU Credit Union; the unveiling of the Windsor125 Public Art Installations (funded by the Government of Canada's Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Grant) on the transformer casing wall at the Chimczuk Museum and the Art Gallery of Windsor; special admission at Adventure Bay; free admission at the museum and art gallery; and our traditional Canada Day Parade from Walkerville to Festival Plaza; and events, activities, cupcakes and entertainment at Festival Plaza.

Happy 150th Anniversary, Canada!


2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup (99th Edition)

MasterCard Memorial Cup LogoHeld: May 18 to 28, 2017

The City of Windsor partners with the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club to host the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup at the WFCU Centre. The event will feature the host Spitfires along with the champions of the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

This is the first time the prestigious national championship returns to the City of Windsor since 1981.

Parade for the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Winners - The Windsor Spitfires - to be held Wednesday, May 31, 2017. See the news release for details. 


Windsor125 - The City of Windsor's 125th Birthday Celebration

Mayor's Walk along the riverfrontHeld: Friday, May 19th, 2017 and Saturday, May 20th, 2017

Our birthday party commemorates the anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Windsor (April 14, 1892) through a vibrant festival of visual arts, music, theatre, dance, historical interpretation and storytelling, literary arts, film, food and more in and around Downtown Windsor. The event includes evening activities on both Friday and Saturday in Downtown Windsor: the University of Windsor's Night Flight pole vault event; the Annual Mayor’s Walk along the waterfront on Saturday morning; the Ceremony for the Raising of the Great Canadian Flag at the foot of Ouellette Avenue and Riverside Drive; a First Nations presentation; a reading of the City’s Act of Incorporation; readings from our Poet Laureate; entertainment stages; an artist/artisan market; a children’s arts and activities zone; community art activities; free admission at the Chimczuk Museum; and much more! This event is made possible through generous funding from Canadian Heritage's Building Communities Through Arts & Heritage grant from the Government of Canada.


Symbolic Windsor City Council Meeting - Heritage Re-enactment

Mackenzie Hall Cultural CentreHeld: Wednesday May 17, 2017, 7:00pm
City Council Chambers
 
Assent was given to the Incorporation of the City of Windsor on April 14, 1892. Join Windsor’s City Council and their special guests for a light-hearted look at what council may have looked like 125 years ago.
Buckle-up, this will be a hootin’ hollerin’ good time. Attendees are invited to embrace the 125-year-old theme. Costumes and ol’ time lingo appreciated. Huzzah!

Opening the City of Windsor's Centennial "W" Time Capsule (1992)

Stylised WHeld Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 10:30 a.m.
Chimczuk Museum
 
As part of the City of Windsor's Celebrating2017 events, we will open the time capsule, which was filled and sealed in 1992, on Canada's 125th Anniversary. Be there this year when the contents are revealed. The capsule was designed by Windsor Factory Supply and Aldon Sheet Metal and was on display in the lobby of Windsor City Hall for many years. The "W" will also be displayed as part of the Museum Windsor exhibit "Windsor in 1867 and 1967 - A Sesquicentennial Exhibit".

Ongoing Signature Events 

Canadian Celebration Tulips

Canada150 Red and White TulipsDisplayed throughout 2017
Displayed at Jackson Park, Dieppe Gardens, Coventry Gardens, and more
The Canada 150 tulip, the official tulip of Canada’s 150th anniversary, bears a striking resemblance to our maple leaf flag. The National Commission has partnered with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Home Hardware (exclusive retailer of this special tulip bulb) and Communities in Bloom for distribution of the Canada 150 tulip. These tulips were planted in 2016 and will bloom this year in the City of Windsor’s Jackson Park, Dieppe Gardens and Coventry Gardens (to name a few locations).

Military Anniversaries and Important Dates

City of Windsor and Canada Wreath at the Cenotaph
Each year, the City of Windsor works with local military organizations to showcase important anniversary dates that mark moments in history when Canadians fought for freedom. In 2017, some of the important anniversary dates include the 75th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid (typically recognized on August 19th); the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge (typically recognized on August 9th); and the annual Remembrance Day Service on November 11th at the Cenotaph at City Hall Square, which provides an opportunity for the community to gather together to remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of Canadians all across the Nation.
On August 12th, 2017, the Windsor Veterans Memorial Services Committee will hold a memorial service to honour the soldiers from WWI at 11:00 a.m. at the WWI Monument at the corner of Ypres and Hall.

A Group Of Seven - Windsor 125 Poet Laureate Project

Old black and white photograph of Willistead Manor's Gate HouseThroughout 2017
Dates / Times / Locations TBD
City of Windsor Poet Laureate Marty Gervais has a mandate to write about the City’s past through poetry. He has gathered a group of poets from the community to write about our local heritage. Calling themselves A Group of Seven, these poets will each have the mission of writing poems about our heritage, celebrating the women and men, places and events that tell our story.
The goal is to place the poems in public places and on the Windsor Culture Map, and – eventually – to publish the poems in a volume through Black Moss Press. Readings will be scheduled throughout the year to unveil the poems.

Museum Windsor - Special Temporary Exhibits

Chief Tecumseh Wood SculptureWindsor 125 and Canada 150
The Museum Windsor team will be interpreting and presenting our history all year long with several unique exhibits - both permanent and temporary - on display at both the François Baby House, and the Chimczuk Museum. The Signature Exhibit, “Windsor in 1867 and 1967 – a Sesquicentennial Exhibit” that will open sometime in June of 2017.

While the François Baby House will continue to present the exhibits "Windsor and the War of 1812" and "Windsor's French Roots", the Chimczuk Museum will offer "Fakes & Forgeries - Yesterday and Today" (January 24-May 28, 2017), "Road to Freedom and the Civil War" (February 2-April 1, 2017), and "The Windsor Spitfires in Jerseys" (February 18-April 1, 2017). For additional information on the museum and its upcoming exhibits, visit www.museumwindsor.ca.

Stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.