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How is Canada Day celebrated in Vancouver?

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How is Canada Day celebrated in Vancouver?

Vancouver doesn't really shy away from showcasing its Canadian pride. We're serious! If you can't seem to find a way to celebrate Canada Day, boy, we've got news for you.

There are tons, and we mean tons, of exciting events and activities happening all over Vancouver on Canada Day, and we're here to tell you all about 'em.

Canada Day Celebrations in and around Vancouver

Canada Day in Vancouver is celebrated through a variety of events and activities that showcase the country's rich cultural heritage, such as fireworks, live music, boat parties, and many more.

Most of these events are held in popular locations like Canada Place, Whistler and Granville Island, among others.

1. Canada Together at Canada Place

Canada Together at Canada Place
(Image by Canada Place via https://www.canadaplace.ca/events/)

Website: https://www.canadaplace.ca/events/canada-together/

Where: 999 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3T4, Canada

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Oh, you’ve probably heard of this one already! Canada Together at Canada Place is a massive Canada Day bash in Vancouver. What’s cool is that it was planned in collaboration with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

There are nothing but fun, family-friendly activities and happenings here, and one of the major highlights is the countless live performances by various artists happening all day long.

Canada Together at Canada Place
(Image by the Georgia Straight via https://www.straight.com/)

As if that’s not enough, there’s an endless parade of food trucks lining up between Howe and Thurlow streets, a cool Kids’ Zone at Jack Poole Plaza, dance parties, and impressive displays of Indigenous carving and weaving by local artists. 

So you may be wondering, Aren’t there fireworks? Well, in the past, there were some dazzling fireworks at Canada Place, but in 2023, the organizers broke the bad news – fireworks are now permanently canceled. 

But, hey, with so much happening and all the excitement, you’ll be happily swept away and won’t even notice those missing fireworks (but if you really want ’em, keep reading; we’ve got something for you somewhere in this article).

2. Vancouver International Jazz Festival at Granville Island

Vancouver International Jazz Festival at Granville Island
(Image by Business in Vancouver via https://biv.com/)

Website: https://granvilleisland.com/event/canada-day-2023

Where: Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada

When: 9am to 4pm

Granville Island is a mere 11-minute drive from downtown – can’t miss it! Just spot the Granville Bridge and follow the signs; easy peasy.

Now, the big highlight here during Canada Day is the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. There are usually 10 bands taking the spotlight all throughout the festival, and they perform at different times and locations.

As you wander around Granville Island on Canada Day, you’ll also most likely encounter roving performers and talented buskers, adding to the lively atmosphere.

If you get hungry, don’t fret; Granville Island is home to many restaurants, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

3. Canada Day Yacht Party with Vancouver Boat Parties

Canada Day Yacht Party with Vancouver Boat Parties
(Image by CBC via https://www.cbc.ca/)

Website: https://www.vancouverboatparties.com

Where: 750 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, Canada

When: 9pm to 12pm

Here’s a unique way to celebrate Canada Day in Vancouver: a yacht party. Vancouver Boat Parties has something extraordinary for you—not one, but three special cruises to choose from.

If you’re not a morning person but still want to rock Canada Day, they’ve got the LatinXBrazilian Boat Party. It departs around 3:30 p.m. from 760 Pacific Boulevard on the Burrard Queen, and it has a fun South and Central American theme.

Canada Day Yacht Party with Vancouver Boat Parties 1
(Image by D70 via https://www.flickr.com/)

If you’re cool with staying up a tad late, once the Burrard Queen docks, it’s swiftly reloaded for the BollywoodXPunjabi Boat Party. This one has a red and white dress code, and it sails from False Creek into English Bay and around to the Inner Harbour.

Last but not least, we’ve got the grand finale—the Canada Day Yacht Party! Head to the Westin Bayshore Hotel around 9:00 p.m., and there you’ll board the magnificent M.V. Magic Spirit.

So what’s the deal with these yacht parties? well, drinking and dancing, of course! There’s also DJ music that lasts for a good three hours, so maybe it’s a good idea to bring your dancing shoes.

4. Canada Day at John Lawson Park

Canada Day at John Lawson Park
(Image by John Lawson Park via https://www.westvancouver.ca/)

Website: https://westvancouver.ca

Where: 17th St, West Vancouver, BC V7V 3T3, Canada

When: 2pm to 9pm

18 minutes away from downtown is John Lawson Park, where a bunch of events take place during Canada Day. Okay, so there’s live music and entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening, and a kids’ zone for the little ones.

Here’s what makes this celebration extra special – it kicks off with a heartwarming citizenship ceremony where forty people officially become proud Canadians.

We honestly thought this was a pretty awesome way to kick off the festivities, as it showcases the diversity and inclusivity of Canada. After that, you’re pretty much free to roam around the park and buy snacks from the various food trucks.

Once the citizenship ceremony and live music wraps up, you’re free to set up a picnic wherever you please anywhere within the park’s open lawn.

5. Canada Day in Whistler

Canada Day in Whistler
(Image by Tourism Whistler via https://www.whistler.com/)

Website: https://www.whistler.ca/

Where: 4295 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, Canada

When: 11am to 4pm

Canada Day in Whistler is an eventful one, let us tell ya. At 8 a.m. on Mountain Square, there’s community yoga hosted by Lululemon, where there are limited mats available for use (although it’s wise to bring your own).

After that, proceed to the Whistler Olympic Plaza for a well-deserved pancake breakfast ($8 for adults, $5 for children) hosted by the Whistler Rotary Club. 

From here, it’s just non-stop activities such as live street entertainment, summer bobsleigh, and the People’s Parade in the village.

Canada Day in Whistler
(Image by Tourism Whistler via https://www.whistler.com/)

You can also visit the Whistler Farmers Market and fill your shopping bag with fresh, local produce. And if you’re feeling lazy (hey, no judgment), hit the plaza for locally grown coffee, pizza, crepes, and many more.

Oh, you think we’re done? At 6:30 p.m, the main concert kicks off with special performances from awesome bands and DJs. 

There’s also free or by-donation museums on Canada Day in Whistler, which includes the Whistler Museum and the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre.

6. Canada Day at The Shipyards

Canada Day at The Shipyards
(Image by the Shipyards District via https://theshipyardsdistrict.ca/)

Website: https://theshipyardsdistrict.ca/

Where: 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver. BC V7M 3K1, Canada

When: 11:30am to 4:30pm

Chances are, you’ve heard of Lonsdale Quay (row 616, Lonsdale Quay Guide), right? Well, if not, we’re here to tell you to catch a ferry at Waterfront Station and sail across the Burrard Inlet to North Vancouver.

The event runs from noon till 4 p.m., and you’ll dig live entertainment from a bunch of talented North Vancouver artists. Oh, and guess what? There’s also a patio beer garden where you can score ice-cold beers, ciders, seltzers, and wine.

Ready for the other festivities? Kids will love the face painting and the splash park, a retro video dance party is going down in the pipe shop, and food trucks, as far as the eyes can see, all day in Food Truck Lane.

7. Canada Day at Kitsilano Showboat

Canada Day at Kitsilano Showboat
(Image by CTV News via https://bc.ctvnews.ca/)

Website: https://kitsilanoshowboat.com/

Where: 2300 Cornwall Avenue, Vancouver, BC

When: 7pm to 9pm

Canada Day at Kitsilano Showboat is truly ideal for families as it features a lot, and we mean a lot, of child-friendly activities. The celebration kicks off to a crafty start with art activities all throughout the afternoon at the top of the bleachers.

Canada Day at Kitsilano Showboat 1
(Image by Agaumont via https://www.flickr.com/)

Next up is a diverse lineup featuring puppet shows, story time, and interactive performances – And here’s a sweet treat to top it off: stick around till 4:50 p.m., ’cause that’s when they start dishing out the Canada Day cupcakes.

At 7 p.m., get ready to groove with the South Van Big Band – a Showboat favorite! These guys are the real deal, covering a wide range of musical styles, from blues and Latin jazz to funk, swing, and bebop.

8. Canada Day at Fort Langley

Canada Day at Fort Langley
(Image by Parks Canada via https://parks.canada.ca/)

Website: https://langleyevents.ca/

Where: 23433 Mavis Ave, Langley Twp, BC V1M 2R5, Canada

When: 10am to 5pm

For all you history buffs out there, Canada Day at Fort Langley (row 621, fort langley) is perhaps the spot you’re looking for to spend this holiday. Loads of free activities await at the BC Farm Museum, Heritage CNR Station, and the Fort Langley Historic Site.

At the BC Farm Museum, there’s a petting zoo, a scavenger hunt, balloon and face painting stations, and many other family-friendly activities. 

Canada Day at Fort Langley
(Image by the BC Farm Museum via https://bcfma.com/)

They’ve also got log lathe, blacksmithing, and washing machine demos to give visitors the opportunity to learn about historical rural practices.

The Heritage CNR Station, on the other hand, is where you can plant sweet peas or grab planting kits to take home. And don’t miss checking out the vintage 1947 passenger car and the telegraph office straight from the 1920s.

Canada Day at Fort Langley
(Image by the Langley Heritage Society via https://www.langleyheritage.ca/)

And of course, the Fort Langley Historic Site. where the celebration starts with a bang at 10:00 a.m. with the Citizenship Ceremony. 

There’s also lively Metis jigging, and you can try your luck at gold panning, and groove to awesome live performances.

9. Canada Day in Burnaby

Canada Day in Burnaby
(Image by the City of Burnaby via https://www.burnaby.ca/)

Website: https://www.burnaby.ca/recreation-and-arts/events/canada-day

Where: 7433 Edmonds Street, Burnaby, Canada

When: 11am to 4:30pm

Canada Day in Burnaby usually starts around 11 a.m., and the large festivities happen at Civic Square, Central Boulevard, and Central Park. The best part? It’s all free!

At Civic Square and Central Park, you’ll find various free concerts, demonstrations, games, and interactive displays, and here’s our promise to you earlier: a fireworks display!

On Central Boulevard, you’ll find roving entertainers and pop up musicians. And don’t miss the family area in Civic Square, with a dedicated stage just for the little ones.

Canada Day in Burnaby
(Image by Burnaby Now via https://www.burnabynow.com/)

Don’t overlook Edmonds Plaza and Park—it’s another fantastic spot to celebrate Canada Day in Burnaby! It might be small and simple, but it packs a punch with plenty of fun activities.

From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., they’ve got it all: arts and crafts, fun games, live entertainment, and even traditional dance performances.

10. Canada Day at the White Rock Waterfront

Canada Day at the White Rock Waterfront

Website: https://explorewhiterock.com/canadadaybythebay/

Where: 15300 Marine Dr, White Rock, BC V4B 1C7, Canada

When: 12pm to 10pm

Canada Day at the White Rock Waterfront, also known as Canada Day by the Bay, is celebrated at West Beach Memorial Park. Following a pancake breakfast, the White Rock RCMP will lead a community walk along the promenade.

The journey leads to Memorial Plaza, where a welcoming ceremony celebrating all things Canadian takes place at noon. It’s a day filled with community spirit and a whole lotta Canadian pride—how cool is that?

Canada Day at the White Rock Waterfront
(Image by the City of White Rock via https://www.whiterockcity.ca/)

The Memorial Park Mainstage will also be buzzing with music and performances all day long. But wait, there’s more – stroll along the White Rock Promenade, and you’ll find local artisans, community groups, and vendors showcasing their goodies.

And, guess what, we’ve got another fireworks display lighting up the night sky! You see, didn’t we tell you that we had something for you somewhere in this article.


Well, there you go. Now you know where to head off to during Canada Day! See, what did we tell you? There are plenty of places to join in on the celebration

Now, if you’re curious as to where else you can experience the same energy and celebration, check out our article on Vancouver Festivals to discover even more exciting events happening throughout the year.

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