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Canada Day - Free Press Article, July 1994
from the free press, july 2nd, 1994.

Now That's a Party!
By Brad Oswald

What started as a modest celebration of the nations birthday has taken Rick and Gary Boittiaux to dizzying heights - both literally and figuratively.

Seven years ago, the brothers and their families held a Canada Day gathering for neighbors and relatives in Gary's back yard. Every year since, the event has grown. Yesterday morning, Gary found himself atop a 10 meter high scaffold, preparing a $5000 fireworks extravaganza at R.B. Russell School for an expected crowd of more than 3,000 neighborhood residents.

"Hey, this really is the greatest country in the world. We just like to help people remember that," he said after descending from his precarious perch back to solid ground. "It takes a lot of time, but it's fun. We don't think of it as work. It's all fun, except maybe for climbing up there. That makes me dizzy."

The Boittiaux-Bueno-Rochon families and friends of Winnipeg celebration has become something of an institution in the city's north end. As it graduated from Gary's back yard to a vacant corner lot, outgrew that and then moved to the school ground, the event as turned into a first-class party for area residents, complete with live entertainment, free food, and undoubtedly the most ambitious, privately organized collection of rockets, pinwheels and sparklers in the city. "we couldn't do this without all our sponsors, " said rick offering a long list of suppliers who have donated everything from popsicles to sound equipment to charcoal for the barbecues.

"Basically, any kid who comes by will get fed", he said.

Rick said his event is as much a celebration of the family's Winnipeg roots as it is the country's birthday. "Part of this is because our families are north-enders and proud of it", he said, "this is our way of giving back to the community."

Gary said the brothers - who took the federal-government certification course for fireworks supervisors - spend all their free time in making the next years pyrotechnical performance even bigger. "its a bit of a competition between brothers," said Gary. "i try to come up with a show to knock his socks off, and he tries to come up with one to knock off mine." Added Rick, "This year we were competing with Pink Floyd, so we really wanted to do a bang-up job." The rock group Pink Floyd played to more than 40,000 fans last night at the Winnipeg Stadium.
  — Written by Karen L. on Sunday, July 1st 2012.
Karen L. is an unregistered visitor.
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