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.