2009 HSBC Celebration of Light fireworks festival cancelled

The summer skies will be dark this year as Vancouver’s annual four-day fireworks extravaganza, the HSBC Celebration of Light, comes to an end. According to a HSBC media release, the not-for-profit Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society, which has operated the event in partnership with the City of Vancouver since 2001, was unable to find the $4 million in sponsorships required to fund the annual event.

The 18-year-old family event generated over $37 million each year for Vancouver, according to the media release. Past participating countries included the U.S., China, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, and South America.

While many—including Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson—will miss the fireworks, there are many who see the end of the celebration as positive, due to some of the problems it caused.

The festival contributed pollution, both from the fireworks themselves and the mountains of litter. Noise pollution from the festival scared wild and domestic animals while West End residents had to endure four nights of noise. Inadequate washroom facilities also meant the downtown alley ways would often end up smelling like urinals.

As well, the 350,000–400,000 spectators each night of the festival caused intense transit congestion that made trying to get around in affected areas a nightmare. Fights and other late-night shenanigans were also commonplace.




Jun 29, 2009 at 12:24pm

This is right decision! There are a lot of other entertainments around. People just do not want to go to see Celebration of Light without public drinking, smocking & noise,

Miranda Nelson

Jun 29, 2009 at 12:32pm

Hi mudo,

Just to clarify, the fireworks will be going ahead this year after all. On March 11, 2009, new sponsors were announced for the event. The details can be found in this story: <a href="http://www.straight.com/article-205332/new-sponsor-saves-celebration-lig... sponsorship saves Vancouver's Celebration of Light fireworks competition</a>


Jul 22, 2009 at 3:07am

yes i agree that there is alot of negativity that is lingked to the fireworks....however i also think that this event does bring in alot of revenue and depending on the vantage point u can hav a relaxing family fun night.....i do think that ppl with children should stay away from the main areas.for safety reasons..jericho n kits beaches r great as well as differnt parts of the park...brink ur family bring ur radio n enjoy


Jul 28, 2009 at 6:53pm

life has become no fun ! it is NOT supposed to be with out risk. get a grip people or subscribe to the no fun at all society why do y think they run the bulls|? why do we go to car races and be honest..


Jul 29, 2009 at 7:09pm

You people who think it's just about fun and revenue need to give your head a shake. So, according to you, it's okay to kill off the ocean life and wildlife, plus absolutely destroy the beaches with litter and other refuse, urinate all over city streets, apartment building walls and private property, make enough noise to shatter apartment windows and shatter the eardrums of your pet cat or dog... all for 20 minutes of fireworks. Hmm. Can we come over to your house and do the same to you?