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With Canada Day just a few weeks away, your July 1 plans should be settled. If you’re the bold person in your circle to offer to host for the evening, but you’re not sure where to begin, here are some ideas to ensure your party is one your friends will still be talking about next year.

Go outside. While BBQ parties might seem cliché, they’re cliché for a reason. With the weather being less than reliable this spring, everyone wants to be outside as much as possible in the summer. Plan to be outside so everyone can bask in the sun and warm weather while it lasts.  Of course, have an indoor option available as a backup plan if the worst happens and the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Provide the right decor and music. If you’re throwing an adults-only party and looking to class it up, you can stick to simple red and white plates, napkins and decorations. If kids are involved, it’ll be a lot more fun to let loose on the Canadian cliché’s and include maple leafs, beavers, flannel, and anything else that makes non-Canadians think of Canada. The playlist should also be Canadian, so a mix of Drake, Rush, Neil Young, Bieber, Celine Dion and Arcade Fire will keep everyone happy. 

Consider fireworks. If you have the space in your yard to do it, there’s nothing like a backyard fireworks display to get your friends and neighbours excited. You can easily buy them around town leading up to the big day—just make sure you know how to properly and safely use them. There’s nothing sadder than getting everyone hyped up for fireworks just to have them whimper and fail when you try to use them. 

Canadianize the food and drink options. Just like the decor, if you’re going to go all out and celebrate all things Canada, make sure the food and drinks provided are on theme as well. Nothing says Canada more than poutine, ketchup chips, maple syrup, Tim Horton’s doughnuts, butter tarts and Canadian bacon. Consider setting up a poutine bar so your friends can top their poutine with whatever they prefer, and set up bowls of ketchup chips on every table. For drinks, be sure to have an option of Canadian beers available, and of course, a build-your-own Caesar bar.

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