156th Annual

Dominion Day Celebrations

Monday, July 1st, 2024

Parade, games, live theatre and music and dancing at the House Hotel Saloon!

Special Activities

Dominion Day 2024

PARADE

11:50am

Begins at the St. Saviour’s Church and finishes at the games clearing by the Chinatown Arch

Dominion Day 2024

Games

12:00pm

Games occur in consecutive order:

  • Broad Jump
  • Ladies’ Nail Driving
  • Funny Face
  • Men’s Hammer Toss
  • Ladies’ Egg & Spoon
  • Egg Toss
  • Greasy Pole Climb
  • Tug O’ War
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FESTIVITIES AT THE HOUSE HOTEL SALOON

7:00pm

Join us at the House Hotel Saloon for an evening of live music and dancing!

 

Theatre Royal

Dominion Day 2024

4:00PM

An hour of music, comedy, and fun for the entire family!
Tickets sold separately. Available at the Welcome Centre. Box office is open 1pm-2pm daily.

Theatre Admission Prices

General: $20.00
Seniors: $17.00
Youth (3-12): $10.00
Children 3 and under: FREE

REGULAR PROGRAMMING

Dominion Day 2024

Cameron & Ames Blacksmith Shop

All-Day

Experience a working 1870s Blacksmith Shop! Hear the anvil chorus and smell the sizzle of hot metal smoke. Handcrafted iron works are available for purchase.

Aboriginal Day1

Indigenous Cultural Session

All-Day

Dahooja, Weyt-kp, Hadih! Barkerville is located in the shared territory of seven nations: Lhtako, Nazko, Lhoosk’uz, Ulkatcho, ?Esdilagh, Xatśūll, Simpcw, and Lheidli. We invite you to learn our stories and our role in the gold rush.

Chinatown1

Chinese Cultural Sessions

All-Day

Want to learn more about the culture of the Chinese and the practices they brought with them to the Gold Rush? Learn about the Chinese tea culture, Tai chi and Tai chi Sword. Chinese music and performances, Chinese chess, herbal medicine the list goes on.  

Sentinel Printing Press

Cariboo Sentinel Newspaper Shop

All-Day

Founded in 1865, the Cariboo Sentinel newspaper runs for 10 years and reaches global circulation. Visit the print shop to purchase custom-made paper items and also see the editor setting type and operating an original platen press. 

Gold Panning2

Gold Panning Lesson

All-Day

Get a taste of the Barkerville Gold Rush. Take a step back in history and learn how to gold pan with the old gold miners at the Eldorado Gold Panning and Gift Shop. Pan for a sample of gold to take home. $15 per lesson.

Come into the gift shop and choose from a variety of items available for purchase. 

indigenous program

Morning drum circle

9:00am

Join us for a traditional Indigenous drum circle at the Gathering Place to start the day and honour the Original Peoples of this land. 15 minutes.

Edwards Windlass

Amazing Tales from the Gold Rush Trail

9:15am

A historical overview of British Columbia’s Gold Rush at the Barker Co. Shafthouse. A chronicle of the events and people who prospected their way to Williams Creek and how they followed the geological indicators to the fabulous riches of the Cariboo Gold Fields. 30 minutes.

Town Tours2

Guided Town Tour

10:00am

Absorb an in-depth understanding of the gold rush history, Barkerville, and the colourful characters of years past by attending one of our enlightening and entertaining town tours, hosted by Barkerville’s historical interpreters. The tour is highly recommended for first-time visitors. Tours begin in front of the Pavilion building and last approximately 70 minutes.

Dominion Day 2024

Chinese School Lessons at the Myatovic Cabin

11:30am

School is in session at the Chinese School house. Come and learn about the spoken Chinese language, Chinese calligraphy and how to do math on an abacus. 30 minutes.

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Archaeology in Barkerville

11am-3pm
 

Come speak with Barkerville’s archaeologist to learn about some of the interesting artifacts that we were found when foundation work was done under the Theatre Royal and their surprising conclusions.

Dominion Day 2024

Court Session at the Methodist Church

1:00pm

Learn about early justice in the Colony of British Columbia while our Gold Commissioners re-enact a famous court case from the Gold Rush Era.

Dominion Day 2024

Victorian School Lessons at the Doody House

1:15pm

Experience school like it was when Barkerville was thriving. All are welcome to attend this authentic classroom session. Line up at the schoolhouse doors when you hear the school teacher ringing the bell. Don’t be late, and kindly remove your hats before entering. 30 minutes.

Dominion Day 2024

Waterwheel Show

2:00pm

See deep shaft placer mining in this lively demonstration of 1870s technology using an authentic wooden Cornish Waterwheel. Learn about the importance and operation of the wheel in a comical and entertaining presentation that is fascinating for the whole family. 30 minutes.

Dominion Day 2024

Chinatown Tour

2:45pm

Explore one of Canada’s oldest Chinatowns. Find out more about the life of Chinese miners and merchants in Barkerville, and how their culture was maintained and adapted to the rugged land of the Cariboo. To join in on the tour, meet in front of the Lung Duck Tong restaurant. Approximately 60 minutes.

indigenous program

Evening drum circle

5:30pm

Join us for a traditional Indigenous drum circle at the Kelly Hall to finish off the day and honour the Original Peoples of this land. 15 minutes.


Barnard’s Express

Dominion Day 2024

 

Francis Jones Barnard’s B.X. Express freighting company shaped communication and travel to and from Barkerville and was the main cartage and passenger service on the Cariboo Waggon Road. Take a horse-drawn tour of Barkerville in an authentic stagecoach! 

Thursday – Monday

10AM – 5PM
Every half hour, last ride at 4:30

(Schedule subject to change)

Tickets

Purchased separately at Barnard’s Express

General (13-64): $12
Seniors (65+): $10
Youth (4-12): $8
Children (0-3) Free

 

 Dominion Day and the “New” Canadian Flag

Canada’s very first Dominion Day celebration was held in Barkerville as a fervent display of support for Canadian confederation three years before British Columbia joined in 1871.

Just past midnight on July 1, 1868, the Dominion of Canada’s first anniversary, Barkerville citizens launched their own version of a 21 gun salute. Cannons were in short supply, so black powder charges were detonated between stacked anvils, providing a loud and raucous start to Canada’s inaugural birthday party. A full slate of activities followed throughout the day and long into the evening, capped off with a fireworks display.

The very next year Cariboo’s “new” Canadian Flag, with its iconic beaver and wreath, was raised in the dead of night to the top of a newly constructed flagpole. The next day began with the now traditional anvil chorus and the ensuing celebrations were legendary.

Extensive historical research suggests that Barkerville began celebrating Dominion Day (Canada Day) eleven years before it was officially recognized.

In 2024, we celebrate much the same way, with games and an evening of entertainment, dancing and refreshments!