Vancouver city council votes in support of downtown New Year's Eve party

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      Vancouver city council has voted unanimously in support of a motion of notice proposing a New Year’s Eve celebration for the downtown core.

      Several councillors spoke in favour of the idea.

      Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal said that there has been talk of a “lively” New Year’s event for the downtown core for two years. And Non-Partisan Association councillor Elizabeth Ball argued that the 2010 Winter Olympics demonstrated that people can “party together responsibly.”

      The provincial government has hosted a “family friendly” New Year’s Eve celebration at Robson Square since 2009, though that event has always ended before midnight.

      The motion was put forward by NPA councillor George Affleck and seconded by Ball.

      Having passed, city staff will contact the provincial government and explore possibilities for collaborations on the proposed event. They will then report back to Vancouver city council on “options and opportunities, including potential partners…and potential risks to hold a safe and friendly celebration on New Year’s Eve in downtown Vancouver.”

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      James Symonds

      Mar 12, 2013 at 12:44pm

      Until such time as the attitudes & behaviours of far too many of the Lower Mainland's residents dramatically changes to adopt respect & consideration for all others (which shows no signs of occurring anytime soon & likely not in our lifetimes), there should be NO PUBLICLY SANCTIONED OUTDOOR CROWD GATHERING EVENTS what so ever! TOTAL BAN - PERIOD! Moonbeam is shining brightly once again - Seemingly most of Vision's visions are SHEER IDIOCY!

      Eugene M

      Mar 12, 2013 at 1:10pm

      FYI James, the two councillors who put this motion forward and seconded it are both NPA, not Vision, councillors. The motion was also supported unanimously by the entire council, including the Green Party councillor. It's really nice of you to share your partisan vitriol though, keep it up!
      Regarding the actual content of this article, I think it's great that a fantastic city like Vancouver is finally coming back to a NYE cultural event idea. Almost every other major city does it, and I remember quite enjoying them and watching the fireworks when they still happened here. Should also be a great opportunity to showcase local talent and build a positive sense of community. Kudos to all of council.

      Travis Lupick

      Mar 12, 2013 at 1:14pm

      @Eugene M, I updated the article to include information on councillors' party affiliations.


      Mar 12, 2013 at 2:14pm

      What could possibly go wrong? People here are so calm and well behaved.

      Abby House

      Mar 12, 2013 at 4:54pm

      Love the photo. Would not attend an outdoor, large crowd event pretty much anywhere but hey that's just me.


      Mar 12, 2013 at 5:14pm

      Hmmm. A street "festival" in the bar-studded heart of the Granville Party Ghetto on the partiest night of the year...

      Good luck with the "safe and friendly." I guess a stabbing or two or a beer bottle to the skull here and there can't really outweigh the juicy opportunity for Telus and Kokanee and other festival-funding corporations to encrust the street with logos and advertising and booths offering phone plans and credit card sign-ups.


      Mar 12, 2013 at 9:21pm

      I produced the ill-fated First Night 2000 Celebration in Vancouver and learned lots of lessons. If you look back at the front page of the Vancouver Sun on Jan 1, 2000, the fireworks photo was a result of our efforts with nary a mention or any credit. First, for New Year's eve to be successful there must be political will. That fateful year, in fear of Y2K, the police and Mayor Owen warned people NOT to come downtown. Bad move for us. Luckily Vancouver was the last time zone in Canada to hit midnight and anyone watching TV that day would have seen that the Y2K disaster was averted as cities around the world celebrated the year 2000. Second, the weather has to be good and Vancouver's rain does not auger well for a Dec 31 celebration. Snow is good. Rain is not. Third, the possibility of attracting corporate sponsors is low since many corporate workers do not want to work on New Year's Eve. Would you? Thus, sponsorship tends not to be a priority since corporate decision makers would rather be celebrating at home, or with family and friends somewhere, not working a booth at a cold, damp Downtown event. While a New Year's Eve celebration is a good idea, there are many forces working against it, including the clique-y nature of Vancouver audiences. Good luck though.


      Mar 12, 2013 at 9:33pm

      I think it's ridiculous Vancouver doesn't have one. Edmonton and Calgary have one for goodness sakes!!! Toronto and niagara have been having them for years and they are awesome celebrations, lots of fun, safe (with the odd drunk guy getting arrested), great bands and a great way to end (and begin) the year. I don't see how it would be much different from our fireworks competition in the summer to be frank. Also, I get the Stanley cup debacle but as I recall 6 years ago the Edmonton (Oilers) fans looked awful stupid during their playoff run too and they celebrate NY!! I've been to TO and Niagara's celebrations and it was nothing BUT fun.

      Emily Cat

      Mar 13, 2013 at 8:47am

      Well said Eugene M


      Mar 13, 2013 at 8:50am

      Gotta facepalm at people like James Symonds....
      Labeling Canadians like were the worst people on the planet meanwhile wars and soccer riots that kill tons of people are happening. Cool Story James, no one cares about you.