Attracting up to 250,000 people during the day with numerous activities and live performances at Canada Place, it’s no wonder Vancouver’s celebration of Canada’s birthday is the largest outside Ottawa.
The 29th annual Canada Day at Canada Place on July 1st, promises a fun-filled day from 10 am to 6 pm for children and adults, and continue into the evening showcasing a colourful, diverse parade, and fireworks show.
This year, however, the event organized by Port of Vancouver, will also bring the 1980s back by commemorating the 30th anniversary of Canada Place, which opened as the Canadian Pavilion for Expo 86.
Guests will relive their Expo 86 memories, by exploring the Expo Pavilion (Ballrooms ABC, Vancouver Convention Centre East) which will feature memorabilia and imagery of that time, as well an arcade with old video games for the public to enjoy–fans of Pac Man and Pinball take note.
‘We started to plan for this year, realizing it was the 30th anniversary of this beautiful building [Canada Place] that was built originally for Expo 86, and so we thought “what a great way to celebrate [the exhibit’s anniversary] with some of the programming that we would have on site for Canada Day”,’ said Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Laurie Purdon, event organizer.
‘It was a very special time for Vancouver, a lot of people say [Expo 86] put our city on the international map and they have some many great memories . It’s a really fun way to remember what we all enjoyed back in ’86… It’s a time for
people that weren’t there, to have bit of that experience [too].’
Originally proposed under the name of Transpo 86, the city won the bid to host the international transportation exhibition in 1986, year also of Vancouver’s Centennial.
In 1983, Queen Elizabeth II and former prime minister, Pierre Trudeau initiated the first concrete pour on the construction site for what would become the Canadian Pavilion.
On May 2, 1986, former prime minister Brian Mulroney , Prince Charles and the Princess Diana inaugurated the Fair, where participated pavili0ns from 54 nations and organizations.
This special Canada Day edition will feature renowned international, national and local performers, including legendary Canadian DJ Red Robinson, at Hall A (Vancouver Convention Centre East), who will be reprising his presenter duties at Expo 86, in between multicultural performances and talent, sharing stories about his more remarkable moments and interviews with stars (including Elvis Presley and The Beatles) , during his 50-year career.
Among the musical guests, Grammy Award winner, Sheena Easton, who also played at Expo 86, will be back to co-headline the event taking the Main Stage at 3:30 pm, followed by Canadian country singer, Aaron Pritchet.
The electro-dance band Bear Mountain (BMTN), Rococode, Mo Kenney, Famous Players and many more will be also performing at the event.
As in every Canada Day celebration, a Citizenship Ceremony will take place at Hall A at 11 am, where 60 citizens will become Canadian.
In addition, other entertainment include the Pogo Stunt Team at Jack Poole Plaza, south of the cauldron, featuring championship pro athletes flying over 10 feet in the air on extreme pogo sticks throwing down flips and incredible tricks, a zone dedicated to the Canadian Forces, and hockey games.
Canada Day Parade & fireworks
The 7th Annual Canada Day Parade will kick off at 7 pm from Broughton & Georgia Streets with dispersal at Burrard and Pender Streets.
The patriotic festivities will close with a two barge simultaneous fireworks placed in Burrard Inlet, at 10.30 pm, viewable from various locations including Harbour Green Park, Coal Harbour , Stanley Park, Crab Park, West Vancouver Seawall, between Ambleside and Dundarave, North Vancouver, Lower Lonsdale Area. The fireworks cannot be seen from the English Bay or Spanish Banks.
A ticketed fireworks viewing zone will be open at Canada Place’s West Promenade — a family-friendly, licensed area. Free admission for children four and under.
For more information on Canada Day at Canada Place, schedules, performances’ lineup and street closures, visit canadaplace.ca.