Preparations for St. Patrick’s Day are in full swing, but residents may be surprised with the tone of the event this year. The City of Ottawa has vowed to make the Irish holiday a more sombre, respectful occasion for 2016.
“Previously, St. Patrick’s Day has encouraged binge drinking, hooliganism, and violence,” says Donovan Chong, a senior official from the Department of Arts and Culture, “ This year we will instead commemorate the hard work that the Irish have done in Canada.”
This week’s event will be dramatically different from other St. Patrick’s Days. Most shockingly, all bars and restaurants will be closed for the day, in order to allow people to properly observe the holiday. The day will focus heavily on the history of Irish Canadians. Both Carleton and Ottawa Universities will feature guest lecturers all day, who will speak on issues ranging from immigration to cultural appropriation.
“These changes to St. Patrick’s Day may be unpopular to some, but I think future generations will look back on what we have done and be proud” Donovan asserts, “ I wish you a solemn, thoughtful St. Patrick’s Day.”