12 Festive Light Displays for the 2018 Holiday Season

With less than a month until Christmas, Metro Vancouver is ablaze with lights as people and places put up light displays all around. Some of the brightest and most festive displays are now open or opening soon to the public, here’s a list of light displays to enjoy the twinkle of the Holiday Season:

Aurora Winter Festival

Aurora Winter Festival – downtown Vancouver’s newest addition to the Holidays, guests can explore the beautifully illuminated mystical worlds of Aurora Festival, at Concord Pacific Place until December 30th, 2018, 4-10pm. Once you’ve explored the mystical worlds’ lights, hit the Tube Park, strap on your ice skates to glide along the Frozen River, ride the Ferris Wheel, listen to Stories with Santa, shop the market, eat and drink in the Entertainment Tent. Admission (online): Adult $19.99, Family: $59.99 (2 adult/3 children)

Bright Nights, Stanley Park Christmas Train– Millions of lights twinkle throughout the plaza and Miniature Train. Ride the train, watch the dozens of festive displays as you stroll around the plaza sipping a hot cocoa, from November 29, 2018 to January 5, 2019 opening hours vary for Matinee and Night Trains. – Matinee Train tickets are $6 for all ages, Night Train tickets are $12(Adults) or $8(Children/Seniors). Admission to Bright Nights Train Plaza only, is by donation (proceeds to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund)

Canyon Lights

Canyon Lights Winter Festival at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park runs until January 27th, 2019 (closed Christmas Day) 11am-9pm. Thousands of lights spread throughout the Park, the bridge, Treetops Adventures, with 8 of the tallest living Christmas Tree. – All-day Adult park admission is $46.95, or $14.95 children, includes the holiday activities, crafts and entertainment begin at 4pm each day.

Chanukah in the City – Join the Jewish Community and celebrate the 8 Days of the Chanukah Festival Of Lights with music, latkes, hot cocoa, doughnuts and entertainment as the Silber Family Agam Menorah, Canada’s tallest, lights up the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza  on December 6th, 2018 at 5pm

Christmas at Canada Place – Port Metro Vancouver presents the annual Christmas at Canada Place holiday event, from December 7th, 2018 to January 3rd, 2019. Make your way along The Canadian Trail (west promenade) to see the Canada’s North light display at the North Point of Canada Place, keep your eye out for the historic Woodward’s department store holiday windows, take in the Christmas fun at Fly Over Canada and don’t forget to look up to the Canada Place Sails of Lights. – Free Admission

Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden run December 1st, 2018 to January 6th, 2019 gates open at 4:30pm. Over a million lights turn the botanical gardens into twinkling winter wonderland.  Carolers, dancing gnomes and the popular Dancing Lights show (on the half hour) make this one of the city’s most popular Christmas Light displays – Adult Admission $18.50 (in advance) or $20(at gate)

Glow Langley brings the warmth of the season indoors to Milner Village Garden Centre in Langley, until January 19, 2019, from 4-10pm daily. Themed “Glow Around the World” explore the Christmas Light Gardens, find Food Trucks & Bars, shop the Craft Market and more, November 23rd to December 30th, 2017 – Admission online – Adults: $22.99, Family: $69.99 (2 adults/3children)

Seven Swans at Burnaby Village Heritage Christmas

Heritage Christmas presented by Concord Pacific at Burnaby Village Museum – Celebrate a Heritage Christmas with the Holiday traditions of a century ago at Burnaby Village. Explore the illuminated Village looking for clues on the 12 Days of Christmas scavenger hunt, November 25th 2017 until January 4th, 2019 – Free Admission / Carousel Rides $2.65

Lights at Lafarge – Until January 20, 2019, Coquitlam’s Winter Light Festival brings back Metro Vancouver’s largest free Christmas light display, Town Centre Park is illuminated with hundreds of thousands of lights, with roving performers, hot chocolate & cookies, a Holiday Market and of course Santa are all just steps from Lafarge Lake – Douglas Skytrain Station – Free Admission

Lights of Hope

Lights of Hope at St Paul’s Hospital – 100,000 bulbs illuminate St Paul’s Lights of Hope, on Burrard Street, in the West End helping to raise much needed funds for the hospital. The 2018 Lights Of Hope support the St Paul’s Hospital Foundation and the thousands of British Columbians who make use of the hospital throughout the year. Stroll past, admire the lights, look for the sponsor’s stars, and, perhaps, make a donation of your own – Free Admission

Lights on the Lake brings the waterfront of Harrison Hot Springs Village alive with a Sasquatch-Themed light display, until January 13th 2019.  See what the Saquatch gets up to in the winter.  Check out the “Whoville” style Christmas trees and light displays will adorn the village, stay for storytelling time, or other entertainment. Visitors can also follow the Christmas Tree Trail to find other Christmas displays and have a Happy Harrison Holiday

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting – the 12th Annual Christmas Tree lighting takes place Friday November 30th at Robson Square. Four Christmas Trees up to a grand 76 feet tall will be shining over the centre of Vancouver throughout the Holidays.  Guests at the tree-lighting event can enjoy live entertainment and music from Side One and the Soul Gospel Choir plus free cookies and hot chocolate.

Five Canada Day 2018 Celebrations

Canada Day is upon us, after last year’s 150 celebrations it’s easy to think 2018 will be more subdued but there are still plenty of great ways to celebrate your Canadian Pride.

Canada Day Fireworks

Here’s a selection of celebrations from around Metro Vancouver:

Canada Day at Canada Place : The hub of Metro Vancouver’s celebrations starts with a citizenship ceremony at 10am then entertainment and activities begin at 11am. Canada Day wraps with a bang, as a fireworks show illuminates Burrard Inlet at 10:50pm.

Steveston Salmon Festival : Since 1945 the community of Steveston has celebrated Canada Day and the bounty of Steveston’s rich waters and farms. Beginning at 6:30am with a pancake breakfast with a 10am Canada Day Parade then entertainment, food and fun all through the day.

Canada Day At Canada Place

Surrey Canada Day : Amusement rides, food trucks, strawberry tea and headliners Serena Ryder and Brett Kissel bring something for all ages to Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre from 11am until a 10:30pm fireworks show.

Canada Day #onRobson Street : From Noon to 4pm, Robson Street sidewalks between Burrard and Denman will be filled with giveaways, promotions and treats from local merchants, plus entertainment and music from Krystal Dos Santos, Diamond Crew, DJ Static, Dueling Pianos and more.

Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum : Celebrate 1920s style at the historic village museum with multicultural entertainment, carousel rides, a parade, Red Serge RCMP, and roaming costumed characters.

This is just a few of the many Canada Celebrations happening this weekend, look in your neighbourhood for other events, plan your own celebrations with family and friends, or check out Jazz Festival, Vancouver Canadians Baseball, Vancouver Whitecaps.

Canada 150! Where to Celebrate Canada Day 2017

After a year long build up Canada 150 celebrations reach their peak this weekend.  With Canada Day, July 1st falling on Saturday there’s plenty of time to relax after your celebrations. Here’s a few of the events happening around Metro Vancouver this Canada Day.

Canada Day At Canada Place

Canada Day at Canada Place: 9:45am – 10pm July 1 / 8:30am – 6:30pm July 2 Canada Place, Jack Poole Plaza and Canada Place Way.
For Canada 150, Western Canada’s largest celebrations spread over two days, July 1 & 2, featuring the Canada Day parade, Citizenship Ceremony, Canadian Forces Displays, Kids Zones, Pancake Breakfast, five Concert Stages with Sam Roberts, FEFE, Emerson Drive, Hey Ocean!, Dragonette and more.

 

Canada Day Fireworks over Canada Place

Canada Day Fireworks: 10:30pm two barges; Coal Harbour off Canada Place and off shore of Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver
Ticketed viewing available on Canadian Trail at Canada Place, tickets $15 open from 8:30pm
Best free viewing locations; Coal Harbour, Vancouver Convention Centre, Stanley Park (near 9 o’clock gun), Crab Park or Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver.

Canada Day on Granville Island: All-Day Granville Island
Fun and festivities for the whole family fill Granville Island on Canada Day. First Nations performers, Buskers, Parade, Kayak demonstrations, Lobster Man Cook Out, Water Park & Picnic Areas, Kids Market activities, Artisan Markets, and Vancouver International Jazz Festival performances throughout the day.

North Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations: noon – 4pm Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
Artisan Craft Market, Food Trucks, Kids Play Area, and performances including Lions Gate Chorus, Axé Capoeira, Pro Arté, Mazacote, and many more.

North Vancouver Canada 150 Evening: 6:30pm – 10:30pm Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
Canada 150 event sponsored by Rotary Club of Lions Gate featuring a free concert with Dreams; Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band and Arrival; Abba Tribute Band plus Tom Lanvin & the Legendary Powder Blues Band. After, watch the Canada Day Fireworks

Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum: 11am – 4:30pm Burnaby Village Museum
A historic Canada Day deserves a day with history, experience how things were done in the 1920s with photo stops, RCMP Red Serge, entertainment from Coast Salish Singers and Dancers, Tian-Jin Temple Drummers, Kokomo African Heritage Ensemble, Acadamie Duello, and much more

Canada 150 at Queen’s Park: 11:30am – 3:30pm Queen’s Park, New Westminster
Art, music, demonstrations, displays and activities for the whole family at Queens Park. Plus evening Fireworks at 10pm on the Fraser River between River Market and Inn at the Quay.

Richmond Canada Day in Steveston: 10:00am – 10:30pm Steveston Village, Richmond
Combined with Steveston Salmon Festival, the village is packed with food trucks, entertainment and activities.  The Concert Stage features Wintersleep, Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Youngblood, DJ Seko, Watasun and more. Then Fireworks Show along the Steveston Waterfront at 10:15pm

Canada Day Surrey: 10am – 10:30pm Bill Reid Amphitheatre, Surrey.
Amusement Rides, Toddler Town & Kids Zone, Strawberry Tea, Demos, Sports Zone, plus day-long concerts stage featuring Chilliwack, Magic!, Hedley and many more wrapping up the day with Fireworks at 10:30pm

Sheena Easton plays Canada Day at Canada Place

CanadaDay16_IMG_6237Sheena Easton – Canada Place – July 1, 2016

Canada Day at Canada Place brings a massive crowd to participate in the family fun and take in the free entertainment.  This year, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the opening of Canada Place for Expo 86, the day had an 80s theme.  In 1986, Sheena Easton was one of the entertainers to grace the Expo 86 stage and she returned this year to co-headline Canada Day.

A large crowd gathered as the Scottish-born songstress took the stage. Under the hot afternoon sun, Ms Easton appeared onstage looking much younger than her self proclaimed 57 years.  While she may not have hit the airwaves in a few years, the charismatic singer hasn’t stopped performing and recording. The experience shows as she’s so comfortable and affable onstage the audience, young and old, were attentive throughout the hour-long show, in spite of the outdoor distractions.  Like me, many were fans from the 80s and we weren’t disappointed hearing all of her hits, like 9 to 5 (Morning Train), We’ve Got Tonight, Sugar Walls, Strut, U Got The Look, For Your Eyes Only as well as medley of Motown covers dueting with her backing singer Philip.  Her voice has matured a bit since the 80s, making for some slight adjustments to the arrangements in some of her early pop songs, but the richness in her voice fits with her seemingly natural affinity for R&B/Soul sounds.

Even if it has been 30 years between her Expo 86 visit and now, the time melted away for many in the audience as they sang along to Ms Easton’s hits.  A great way to reminisce about Expo 86 and celebrate Canada Day

 

O Canada! Where to Celebrate Canada Day

CanadaDay_IMG_4615

This Friday, don your red & white and get ready to celebrate Canada Day.  Whether you’re planning small family festivities or taking part in one of Canada’s largest celebration, Metro Vancouver has plenty of options to celebration Canada Day.

Here’s a few of the events happening around Metro Vancouver this Canada Day.

Canada Day at Canada Place: 10am – 6pm Canada Place, Jack Poole Plaza and Canada Place Way.
Western Canada’s largest celebrations feature the Canada Day parade, Citizenship Ceremony, Canadian Forces Displays, Expo 86 memorabilia, plus the Canada Day Concert with Aaron Pritchett, Sheena Easton, Barney Bentall, Bear Mountain, and more.

Canada Day Fireworks: 10:30pm two barges; Coal Harbour off Canada Place and off shore of Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver
Ticketed viewing available on Canadian Trail at Canada Place, tickets $15 open from 8:30pm
Best free viewing locations; Coal Harbour, Vancouver Convention Centre, Stanley Park (north east), Crab Park or Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver.

Canada Day on Granville Island: 10am – 6pm Granville Island
Fun and festivities for the whole family fill Granville Island on Friday.  First Nations performers, Buskers, Parade, Kayak demonstrations, Water Park & Picnic Areas, Kids Market activities, Artisan Markets, and Vancouver International Jazz Festival performances throughout the day.

North Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations: noon – 4pm Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
Artisan Craft Market, Food Trucks, Kids Play Area, and performances including Lions Gate Chorus, Axé Capoeira, Pro Arté, Mazacote, and many more. 

Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum: 11am – 4:30pm Burnaby Village Museum
Spend Canada Day with history, experience how things were done in the 1920s with photo stops, RCMP Red Serge, entertainment from Japanese Taiko Drummers, Metro Vancouver Firefighters Band, Acadamie Duello, Parade and Cupcakes.

Canada Day at Queen’s Park: 11:30am – 3:30pm Queen’s Park, New Westminster
Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with performances, demonstrations, displays and activities for the whole family plus “pick a box” silent auction.

Canada Day Surrey: 10am – 10:30pm Bill Reid Amphitheatre, Surrey.
Amusement Rides, Toddler Town & Kids Zone, Stawberry Tea, Science World Demos, Sports Zone, plus day-long concerts stage headlined by Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, wrapping up the day with Fireworks at approximately 10:15pm

 

 

NYE Vancouver 2016

Fireworks_IMG_0183It’s been years since Vancouver has had public event to ring in the New Year. After an attempt last year was postponed due to budget constraints, 2016 marks the debut of NYE Vancouver, a free public event centred at Jack Poole Plaza.

Inspired by the annual Canada Day celebrations, Jack Poole Plaza, Canada Place Way and Canada Place concourses will be filled with revellers.

NYEVAN_2015-12-28 21.33.27Starting at 6pm, the Main Stage hosted by 102.9 The Peak will be featuring free family entertainment and concert performances all evening. The schedule for the Main Stage is:

6pm: DJ with MC Welcome
6:30: First Nations Welcome
6:35: DJ
7:30: Kin Fung Athletic Group
8pm: Peak Performance Winners: Bed of Stars
8:40: Vancouver Okinawa Taiko
9pm: Early Evening Fireworks
9:15: The Matinee
9:55: We Are The City
10:40: Dear Rouge
11:25: Current Swell
12am: Midnight Countdown Fireworks.

The short 9pm early evening fireworks, coinciding with the Eastern Time Zone’s midnight countdown, allows those with youngsters or anyone needing to get on their way to bed or another event.
The main event Midnight Countdown Fireworks last 11 minutes and closed up NYE Vancouver with a bang.  While the ticketed all-ages CF Pacific Centre Viewing Lounge is sold out, there’s great places around the Canada Place / Convention Centre waterfront for the public to view.

With a dry forecast, it’s looking like a perfect night to head out and enjoy some of the free family at NYE Vancouver. Hopefully we’ll see the start of a new Vancouver tradition.

Follow #NYEVan on social media to see what’s happening during the night! TwitterInstagram: @NYEVancouver and Facebook.com/NYEVancouver

Roam Expo 2015 inaugural show

This past weekend the inaugural Roam Winter Expo went off at Vancouver Convention Centre, bringing together Adventure, Travel and Fitness providers and enthusiasts to find out what’s new and upcoming for winter 2015.

Happening in conjunction with The Canadian Ski Patrol’s Vancouver, Winter Extreme New & Used Equipment Sale, Roam Expo invited visitors to take a break at the Oktoberfest Craft Beer Garden, shop for new gear from Helly Hansen, Hitcase or Destination Slope Outfitters, take in a fitness class with Good Life Fitness, Steve Nash Sports Clubs or Tight Club, get the kids warmed up for winter in the Burton Piglet Park, or see what the BC Ski Resorts, Tofino & Ucluelet adventurer providers and holiday companies have in store for winter 2015/16.  Speakers on the Adventure Travel Stage gave insight into top destinations, travel skills and more.

If you missed this first Roam Winter Expo, watch for it to return next year so you can keep up to date on what’s up with winter.