Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Canada D’eh Celebration

For many Albertans, summer kicks off well before  Canada Day, and even summer solstice. I mean, its Winter 3/4 of the year so we kind of have to take it when we can get it, right? At our lake we notice most people start their summers around May long weekend. Our dad has even gone water skiing on his birthday (May 29th… no thanks.) BUT there is something about Canada Day that just seems to make it the OFFICIAL start. Maybe because the weather finally starts to become somewhat predictably warm? Definitely because of the festivities. Whether you’re celebrating in the city and taking in the amazing fireworks at the legislature, boating out at your family cabin , or camping in the Rocky Mountains, we’ve got some quintessentially Canadian recipes and ideas to make this Canada Day the best one yet!



Burgers and Smokies tend to be the main focus of a barbecue, and for good reason. A) They’re relatively easy and budget friendly, and B) they’re a delicious summer classic.  If you’re looking to shake things up but not stray to far from the classic, give our Bunless Turkey burgers a go. These are great option for several reasons. For one, you get the classic burger, but skipping the bun makes them a litttttle healthier so you feel okay about indulging in dessert. And two (and most importantly!) skewered foods are honestly PERFECT for crowds.  We’ve used the skewered foods theme for several of our events (showers and the like) because people LOVE them. Skewered foods are easy to eat, because you can eat them with one had while the skewer does all the work of holding everything together, so you can hold onto your full plate or drink with the other hand.

Ribs are another barbecue classic, though better suited to small gatherings or at the very least a party with ample seating because, lets face it, they’re not exactly the easiest food to eat. My husband has perfected pork ribs over the past few years, and has given me the green light to share his method with you! This special method makes the most tender ribs. The meat literally falls off the bone!! (see below for recipe!)


No summer cook out is complete without the sides, and luckily for you, we’ve got a ton to choose from. For salads see our Mojito Watermelon Salad which screams summer, Southwestern Salad (made perfect with fresh corn on the cob!), our popular classic Best Ever Quinoa Salad, another fan favourite the Italian Inspired Chop Salad, and for a little carb boost our Orzo Aspargus Salad, and Panzanella Salad  For other salad options (YES, we have MORE!) simply search “salad” in the search of our home page.

A favourite non-salad option is our Avocado Feta dip, which pairs perfectly with Red and White O’ Canada Que Pasa Tortilla chips.

We’ve also whipped up a new recipe, which is a take on another barbecue classic: potato salad. This potato salad recipe (see below!) is actually our interpretation of an Earls favourite, Warm Potato Salad. This deluxe version of the traditional recipe includes corn, bacon, fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. It has quickly become a summer staple in our household.


Every year we share a new  dessert recipe specifically for Canada day, this years is Oatmeal Sandwhich Cookies with Maple Butter Cream (Recipe below in our Canada Day Menu!)! Desserts of years past include S’mores Squares (a make ahead , no- bake version of the classic, that are so incredibly easy to make  that your kiddos can help,  and perfect for those who wish to opt out of turning their oven in heat of the summer!) and Maple Bacon Donuts (really is there anything more Canadian than Maple and bacon?! Donuts are also so cute on a dessert table). If you’re looking to branch out of the Canadian theme (maybe you hate S’mores and/or Maple…. no judgement), whip up a batch of our Best Ever Chocolate Chip cookies and set up a DIY  ice cream sandwich bar. Kids and adults alike will love scooping out ice cream, sandwiching it between two super soft cookies and then rolling the edges in toppings like red and white sprinkles, M&Ms, Skor Bits or crushed peanut butter cups. Another ridiculously easy and quick idea is to Canada Day-ize our Monster Bark by using white chocolate and red candy!


Looking to serve up a signature cocktail? We’ve got you covered! Our Blueberry Lavender G&T , kiwi lime Agua Fresca, grapefruit Paloma’s, and ever popular fabulous Frosé are so fruity, fresh and perfect for summer.

Our Canada Day Menu:

Crowd Pleasing Pork Ribs

After trying this method of cooking your ribs, you won’t make them any other way again!  The super flavorful meat is so tender, it literally falls off the bone!

  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Onion pepper
  • Cayenne
  • White pepper
  • Cumin
  • Dijon Mustard OR olive oil for those who don’t like mustard
  • 1-2 cans of beer
  • Pork ribs (side or back will do!)
  • BBQ sauce of choice
  1. First you’ll want to mix all the spices for your rub. Unfortunately this is done more by feel and personal tastes than precise measurements but I can tell you what blend he uses- and truthfully that’s what’s most important, and not exact quantities. You probably wont use more than a half tablespoon of any one spice. The above list of spices is in order of most used to least. Adjust to your personal preferences and tastes.
  2. Cut the silver skin off the ribs, then rub with Dijon mustard. Finally, coat them in the rub. If you’re not into mustard, you can coat with olive oil instead!
  3. Place ribs into oven safe pan (size varies depending on amount of ribs!), and add beer until it’s about halfway up the ribs.
  4. Cover with tin foil and bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours.
  5. Remove from beer bath, coat with barbecue sauce and barbecue for a few minutes to finish!

Warm Potato Salad

Our take on the Earls favorite! Doubles really easily, and left overs are perfect for lunch!!

  • 5 medium/large red potatoes
  • 1 cup of corn (canned,fresh or thawed frozen corn will work)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 slices cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (+ more for garnish if desired)
  • 2 green onions diced (+ more for garnish if desired)
  • parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and cut potatoes into bite sized chunks, no need to peel!
  3. In a large mixing bow, combine potatoes garlic and corn. Coat well with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour into baking dish or onto baking sheet and bake until tender (about 30 minutes)
  5.  Meanwhile, mix the following ingredients for the dressing : Mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, green onion and fresh dill.
  6. Once potatoes are done, removed from oven and transfer to salad bowl. Add bacon and stir to combine, then add dressing. Sprinkle parmesan and extra dill and green onions if desired.
  7. Enjoy!


Oatmeal Sandwhich Cookies With Maple Buttercream filling

Last years S’more Squares were such a hit I was a little nervous about finding a recipe for this year. I was soo relieved to have so many requests for this recipe after posting a photo of the finished product in our instagram stories. We did a Maple syrup dessert a few years back but I just couldn’t resist when I saw these sandwhich cookies. Because what’s better than one super soft and chewy cookie? Two super soft and chewy cookies, glued together with icing! I also love that this recipe calls for just two tablespoons of maple syrup. Just enough to give it a hint of maple flavour without being over powering, and also to not break the bank. These cookies are the perfect way to round out your Canada BBQ, and satisfy your sweet tooth …. at least until late night s’mores!


For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  •  1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cup rolled oats

For the filling

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 Tbs real maple syrup
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment , cream butter and sugars until smooth.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined
  3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients, except rolled oats.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix to combine
  5. Add oats in by hand.
  6. Roll dough into equal sized balls and place on cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  8. Slightly flatten chilled dough balls and bake for 10-11 minutes. Do not over bake
  9. Meanwhile mix ingredients for filling.
  10. Allow cookies to chill completely, then match them with another cookie of similar size.
  11. Place a blob of icing in the bottom of one of the paired up cookies and then place the other on top (bottom to icing) to make a sandwich.
  12. Enjoy!


We hope you LOVED our Canada Day Menu! If you used any of our recipes, we’d love to see your finish product! Tag us on instagram at @rivercitysisters, or send us an e-mail at rivercitysisters@gmail.com. Happy Canada Day!


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