O Canada! Not sure what to do on our nation’s birthday? Don’t know where to bring the children for a festive red- and white-filled day? There are plenty of activities taking place in Greater Vancouver on Canada Day, including musical performances, gourmet offerings, colourful parades, and more.
Here are five events to check out around town on our country’s 149th birthday.
Canada Day at Canada Place, 999 Canada Place
Presented by the Port of Vancouver, this iconic and popular event is the biggest Canada Day celebration outside of Ottawa. Expect a full day of fun festivities (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) suitable for the entire brood. Highlights include musical performances, a citizenship ceremony, multicultural talent performances, an Expo ’86 pavilion, street hockey, the evening Canada Day parade (7:00 p.m.), and much more. As for the grand finale, a fireworks show will take place at 10:30 p.m. at the Burrard Inlet to cap off the country's 149th birthday.
Yoga at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, 1000–7899 Templeton Station Road, Richmond
For the health enthusiasts, celebrate Canada Day by doing yoga with 400 other participants at Richmond’s newest shopping destination. Known as the Lolë White Tour, guests are invited to join this global wellness movement that begins at 9 a.m. Yogis will be dressed in white from head to toe, as a symbol of peace. Other activities on site (noon to 8:30 p.m.) include performances by local jazz artists and the Vancouver Orchestral Club symphony. Kids’ games and face painting will be available for the young ones, and the outlet stores will be offering discounts of up to 70 percent—so the shopaholics can enjoy themselves, too. Tickets ($15) for the event can be purchased online, with a portion of proceeds going toward the Red Cross Canada in support of the Fort McMurray fire relief fund.
Canada Day on Granville Island, 1661 Duranleau Street
A family-friendly celebration will take place all day at Granville Island on Canada Day. Organizers state that there will be “something to experience around every corner, with the street transformed into a sea of red, white, and fun.” You know it’s going to be a good day when things become colour-coordinated in public spaces. Enjoy festivities that range from a Canada Day parade and an official Canada Day ceremony to TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival concerts and mesmerizing street performances. For the foodies, be sure to check out eateries that offer Canada Day specials, including a Lobster Man cookout at The Lobster Man (1807 Mast Tower Road), and a special Canada Day donut at Lee’s Donuts (1689 Johnston Street). The only thing you’ll have to worry about is if you have red and white clothing to match our country’s colours.
Steveston Salmon Festival, Steveston, Richmond
Just a short 30-minute drive away from downtown Vancouver is Steveston Village—a quaint community with lots to explore. It will be hosting its 71st annual Steveston Salmon Festival, which is also known as “Canada’s biggest little birthday party since 1945”. On average, over 70,000 people attend this celebration that begins at 6:30 a.m. Start your day off with a pancake breakfast, followed by a citizenship ceremony, and then enjoy the festival's iconic Canada Day parade (10 a.m.) that will include floats, marching bands, vintage vehicles, and more. Other highlights include a Japanese cultural exhibit, a car show, an arts and craft fair, a horticulture display, martial arts demonstrations, and a food fair. The main attraction is Steveston's famous salmon barbecue—over 1,200 pounds of wild salmon filets will be grilled over open fire pits ($15 per plate).
Canada Day at Waterfront Park, 200 West Esplanade, North Vancouver
The North Shore is hosting a free Canada Day celebration (noon to 4 p.m.) at Waterfront Park, suitable for guests of all ages. Come prepared in your red and white themed outfits to complement the free maple leaf tattoos and mini Canadian flags as you watch performers like Mazacote, The Dynamics, Lions Gate Chorus, and many others on stage. The children—and perhaps adults too—will be delighted to see an onsite balloon artist, hoop dancer, and clown entertainer. Other attractions include an artisan craft market, gourmet food trucks, rock climbing, an inflatable park, mini golf, and more. Even though the festivities will see a high-volume of attendance, organizers have ensured to make it a zero-waste event, so park-goers can continue to enjoy this public space in the future. To sum it up: throw away your garbage and recycle (as you should always).