Every year The Forks hosts exciting festivities for Canada Day, and this year has a special surprise with Winnipeg's first-ever drone show.

This year's theme is Find our North Star for Canada Day at The Forks and the celebration will end with a drone show finale that pairs ancestral celestial teachings with cutting-edge technology.

The show is called Acakos (Ah-cha-kos), which means "star" in Cree, and it has been created by the teachings of Elder Wildred Buck, a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and is known internationally as a star Knowledge Keeper.

Acakos will tell the story of the North Star, traditionally known as Kiwatin (kee-way-tin), meaning "the going home start," and Ikakacit (eh-kah-kah-chet), meaning "standing still," as the star is known for being the only one to remain stagnant in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere.

"It’s fitting that this Canada Day we incorporate Finding our North Star into the innovative and exciting experience we’re building for people here at The Forks," says Sara Stasiuk, CEO of The Forks North Portage. "As Buck suggests in his teachings, we all share one sky and, in that spirit, we seek to bring people together here at The Forks, while acknowledging the rich history of this exact place where Indigenous people have been meeting for over 6,000 years."

Festivities will run from noon until 10:30 p.m. at the Forks. Visitors will find activities throughout The Forks 52-acre site: a Forks Market stage programmed in partnership with Manitoba Music, family activities at the CN Stage, workshops, tours, picnic tables, food trucks, and a huge soccer tournament. Official programming begins at 12 p.m. and runs all day, culminating in the drone show at 10:30 p.m.

The well-known city landmark tends to look at how they can be inclusive and diverse, representing Winnipeg's culture, and this year they plan on diving deeper into that established quality.

"We asked our communities what we could do to make this year as diverse, representative, and welcoming as we could," says Clare MacKay, CCO of The Forks North Portage. "We heard through our two most recent Probe Research-led public surveys and our continued Indigenous-led roundtable discussions that the addition of a celebratory ending to the day was top of the list, followed by more music and family activities."

The Forks team has been working with Jade Haper, the Creative Director for Canada Day at The Forks, to oversee the creative process of the event.

"My collaboration with The Forks this Canada Day was prompted by their initiative to reimagine their celebrations and embracing change," says Harper. "As Indigenous peoples, we often find ourselves balancing two worlds, especially when it comes to celebrating a nation with a colonial history. This year will serve as a continuation of people coming together at this historical gathering place to celebrate, share, and learn."

Everyone is invited to participate in the day and all programming is free of charge. Folks are encouraged to get to the site via active transportation to avoid traffic congestion on and off the site. Bike Valet Winnipeg will be set up on-site to look after your bicycles.

Visit The Forks' social media to get updates on what type of festivities will be seen at the Finding our North Star Canada Day celebration.