SUDBURY -- It won't be the Canada Day event people are used to, but Greater Sudbury will still celebrate Canada's birthday this year.

For the first time, Science North, the Sudbury Multicultural-Folk Arts Association, Greater Sudbury and Northern Lights Festival Boreal are joining forces to bring one virtual celebration on July 1st.

"If anything positive has come out of COVID, it's been people finding creative ways to still collaborate and get together and maintain connections and even celebrate," said Max Merrifield, the executive and artist director for Northern Lights Festival Boreal.

"In past years, multiple organizations across the community have had their own events that they host and this year has brought us a very special opportunity to be able to collaborate together and bring all that Sudbury has to offer through one event," said Lora Clausen, a senior scientist with Science North.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the community to celebrate together while being apart, it has created the chance for new partnerships, something that organizers hope will continue in years to come.

"We've had conversations where we have a whole day of celebrations for the families," said Bela Ravi, president of Sudbury Multicultural-Folk Arts Association. "So start at the arena, then they go to Science North, and then they enjoy the music, so that is what we're hoping for down the line."

The day will be split into two livestreams. Daytime entertainment will be from 2- 4 p.m. and evening entertainment from 6-8 p.m.

While Northern Lights Festival Boreal has joined for 2020, Merrifield said it might be a one-time thing for the organization.

"For us, Canada Day is usually a very busy time because our festival is the following weekend," said Merrifield. "So Canada Day is usually spent working in the office and we pop out for a second to see the fireworks and then pop back in and keep working.

"So I'm not sure if we're going to be able to stay involved in Canada Day on an ongoing basis, but I really think it's cool that the Multicultural Association, Science North and the city have got together on this."

On top of bringing organizations together, with the event being streamed online, organizers are hopeful to bring in even more people.

"There are a lot of people out there who cannot make it to these events and this is an opportunity to include everybody," said Ravi. "Maybe down the line we can have it in person and also have it online."

"We pride ourselves on being able to offer educational and entertaining experiences to our public and it's really important to still feature a joyous celebration," said Clausen. "We are together yet apart through this celebration and we are really excited to partner with all of the community groups and organizations to bring this to light."

The daytime entertainment will feature performances from Yes Theatre, Baladi National Dance Studio, India-Canada Association of Sudbury, Happiness is Dancing, Afro-Madness Drum Troupe, Northern Latin Flavour Dancers, Mini Bimaadiziwin Dance Troupe, Irish Heritage Club of Sudbury and the Chinese Community Dance Group -- the same groups who would traditionally preform at the arena.

There will also be science activities and arts and crafts featured online.

The evening entertainment will showcase a variety of Canadian artists including Patricia Cano and Jim Cuddy, as well as a song circle workshop.

Both events will be available on and CTV News Northern Ontario, Eastlink TV and social media.