July 1st…Canada Day…this is one of the biggest days Canadians celebrate each year.  Fireworks, parades, music concerts, barbeques, picnics, festivals, this is the day as families and communities we gather together and celebrate.

This year our celebration will look a bit different as many cities are moving their celebrations online into a virtual format.  Canadian Heritage is promoting not 1 but 2 virtual online celebrations for July 1st.  The daytime show “Canada Day Across the Country” will offer a 1-hour virtual tour of celebrations across the country.  The evening show “Canada Day Together” is a 2-hour special, virtual edition of our annual iconic celebration that will include performances by great Canadian artists

Check out more details at:

Online Celebrations in Canada

While you are there, check out the different interactive activity packs that explore history, arts & culture, culinary and outdoor activities.  Make a traditional Canadian dish for the family meal, quiz your friends on Canadian history, train like a Canadian Olympic and Paralympic or create your own Coat of Arms with the kids.

Many communities are joining in and creating their own virtual celebrations as well.  Some communities are listed here or you can check with your local community

Celebrations Across the Country

 

Because of the pandemic, schools everywhere are closing, sending students home for an uncertain future — and in most cases, it’s unclear if studies will resume at all this academic year. Of course, most institutions are falling back to some form of online instruction, but if you’re a parent looking for a way to keep your kids engaged academically during this very challenging time, there are many tools you can try.

 

Audiobooks aren’t just for long commutes. Listen to your favourite audiobooks wherever you are by downloading the FREE Audible app – whether you’re in the car, on a run or even doing the ironing!

Audible has made a selection of Audible Originals free for the listening:

 

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

An Act of God

Evil Eye

Feeding the Dragon

The Half Life of Marie Curie

Proof of Love

Sakinas Restaurant

…And there’s FREE content specifically for your kids, too.

https://stories.audible.com/discovery

Perhaps the worst part of the pandemic for many of us is the isolation that comes from social distancing. We’re working from home, not seeing friends in the evening, and generally trying to “air gap” ourselves to stay healthy. One way to stay connected despite the quarantines is using these free videoconferencing and video chat tools that have been around for years, but you might have had little reason to try. (Some have paid versions when being used for business/corporate accounts.)

Face Time: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/facetime/id1110145091?mt=8

WhatsApp: https://www.whatsapp.com/

Skype: https://www.skype.com/en/

Marco Polo: https://www.marcopolo.me/

Messenger: https://www.messenger.com/

Zoom: https://zoom.us/

Google Hangouts Meet: https://gsuite.google.com/products/meet/

Have you ever felt the urge to take a trip back in time and relive the games of the eighties and nineties?  Well, now you can!! Head to the Internet Archive to play thousands of MS-DOS games that have been saved from oblivion. Games include action, strategy, adventure titles and more.

Software Library of FREE MS-DOS Games

Getting started is pretty simple but here is a more in-depth guide to play these games on your laptop or PC provided by CNET.

Best Games For Your Work From Home Laptop

Now that we’re all spending a lot more time at home, there’s a lot more time to play video games. The only problem? Games are expensive. Rather than empty your wallet on video games at retail prices, you might want to grab some free games — there are always a few around. These games are all available for PC, and some are also available on PS4, Xbox and even the Switch and mobile platforms.

 

World War Z (limited time offer): https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/world-war-z/home

Figment (limited time offer): https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/figment/home

Tormentor X Punisher (limited time offer): https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/tormentor-x-punisher/home

Drawful 2 (limited time offer): https://store.steampowered.com/app/442070/Drawful_2/

Child of Light (limited time offer): https://register.ubisoft.com/child-of-light/en-US

Fortnite: Battle Royale: https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/home

Apex Legends: https://www.cnet.com/news/apex-legends-a-beginners-guide-to-the-latest-battle-royale-game/

Call of Duty Warzone: https://www.cnet.com/news/call-of-duty-warzone-quad-mode-cheaters-banned-and-everything-else-you-need-to-know/

League of Legends: https://play.euw.leagueoflegends.com/en_GB

Star Wars: The Old Republic: http://www.starwarstheoldrepublic.com/

27 more Free games from GOG: https://www.gog.com/partner/stay_at_home

Why spend cold, hard cash buying books and magazines — which you generally only read once and then don’t need to see ever again — when there’s a really good chance you can borrow them from the library instead — without actually having to go to the library. It might sound weird to check out digital media from the library, but many local libraries have modernized a lot since the days of card catalogs and microfiche readers. Exactly what you can check out from your local library depends on, well, what your local library offers. Nonetheless, here’s how to get started:

Borrow eBooks from your library:

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-get-free-e-books-from-your-public-library/

Borrow free digital magazines from your library:

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-check-out-free-digital-magazines-from-your-library/

And once you’ve explored what your library has to offer, there’s no need to stop there, because you can find a wealth of resources for getting your hands-on free eBooks online.

Check out: 10 Ways to download and read books online for free – https://www.cnet.com/how-to/10-ways-to-download-and-read-books-online-for-free-library/

 

Authorama: http://authorama.com/

 

Project Gutenberg: http://authorama.com/

 

Libri Vox: https://librivox.org/

 

Many Books: https://manybooks.net/

 

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/welcome

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/

 

Digilibraries: https://digilibraries.com/

 

BookLending: https://www.booklending.com/

There’s nothing like streaming video to help you weather the storm. And while Netflix, HBO, Hulu and all the rest cost a pretty penny, these free video streaming services are absolutely free. Just bring a working broadband plan and a tolerance for commercials — and you should be golden.

 

Cackle: https://www.crackle.com/movies

 

IMDb TV: https://www.imdb.com/tv/

 

Hoopla: https://www.hoopladigital.com/

 

Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/moviesandfilms?&sort=-downloads&and%5B%5D=collection%3A%22feature_films%22

 

Kanopy: https://www.kanopy.com/

 

Plex: https://www.plex.tv/

 

Pluto TV: https://www.pluto.tv/live-tv/awesomenesstv

 

The Roku Channel: https://therokuchannel.roku.com/enguard/en-ca

 

Tubi TV: https://tubitv.com/

 

Vudo: https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/movieslist?AVAILABLE_FOR_FREE=Yes&cid=partner&scid=linkshare

 

Amazon: Amazon has made a library of kids’ TV shows free for all users. These shows are usually reserved for Amazon Prime customers, but now anyone can watch for free.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/storefront?contentType=merch&contentId=freeforall&ascsubtag=ag%3A01370410-2067-4f73-b202-bf5ee97e2dfa%7Cvg%3A___VIEW_GUID___%7Cst%3Adtp&tag=cnet-buy-button-20#nav-top