Built in time for the 2010 Olympics, the Vancouver Convention Centre is the impressive modern glass building at the Vancouver waterfront next to Canada Place.
Major events at the Vancouver Convention Centre include the Vancouver International Auto Show, Vancouver International Wine Festival, Art Vancouver, TED Conference and Fully Charged Live. In November there is the Circle Craft Market. Between mid to late November and December 24th, there is also the Vancouver Christmas Market (which takes place in Jack Poole Plaza, so not actually inside the building). In February there is FAN EXPO Vancouver. So many amazing events happen at the convention centre throughout the year!
Vancouver’s Convention Centre
The Vancouver Convention Centre building offers over 66,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. It also has a 6-acre green (i.e., grass) roof, and a walking and cycling path all the way around its waterfront perimeter.
You don’t have to attend a conference to enjoy the Vancouver Convention Centre and its facilities, or at least not from the outside. The bike and walking trail right outside connects with the seawall in Stanley Park through Coal Harbour. Head in the other direction and you can walk around Canada Place. Either way, the views you’ll encounter are some of Vancouver’s best.
Outside the west side of the Convention Centre is the Olympic Cauldron which is a legacy souvenir from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. What’s better about the Olympic Cauldron now is that you can go right up to it – in 2010 it was behind a fence.
Just outside the Convention Centre is the Harbour Air Seaplane terminal where seaplanes take off regularly for Victoria and other nearby destinations. And just down the street, in front of Canada Place, is one of the main stops and ticket centres for the Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus and other tour bus companies.
Where is the Vancouver Convention Centre
The convention centre’s address is 1055 Canada Place. It’s at the Vancouver waterfront between the foot of Thurlow Street and Burrard Street. On the building’s western side is Jack Poole Plaza (where the Vancouver Olympic Cauldron from the 2010 Olympic Games is located). On the building’s eastern side, about a block away, is Canada Place (which is also part of the convention centre). About a 5-minute walk away is Waterfront Station.
More About the Convention Centre
The Vancouver Convention Centre is actually comprised of two buildings which are about a block apart. In between them is a body of water where Cruise Ships sometimes park.
The newer convention centre building was built for the 2010 Olympic games. It’s the large modern structure with the walls of glass. When people think of the Vancouver Convention Centre this is the building that people think about.
The other building is Canada Place which is the building with a roof that looks like white sails on a giant ship. It was built for the 1986 world fair, or Expo 86. Both of these buildings make up the Vancouver Convention Centre and different events take place at each venue.
It can be a bit confusing knowing in which building different events take place. The newer venue is sometimes referred to as Convention Centre “West” and the Canada Place venue as “East”.
To learn about the newer building and the convention centre in general, continue reading. To learn just about the other building, see our article about Canada Place.
Events at the Convention Centre
The Convention Centre is a popular venue for large events. Some of the ones that take place regularly are the following:
- Vancouver International Wine Festival – while this festival has events at multiple locations, the biggest ones are the tasting events at the Convention Centre. The festival takes place in the spring, sometime between February and May.
- The Wellness Show – a large health and wellness show in February.
- Vancouver International Auto Show – the largest trade show held at the Convention Centre, explore all the latest advances in vehicle technology. This event takes place in March.
- TED Conference – the biggest annual TED event takes place in Vancouver each April with a star-studded lineup of speakers and various workshops to enjoy.
- Art Vancouver – a large art fair in the spring where you can admire and buy art in May.
- Planted Expo – a large vegan edible and lifestyle exhibition and consumer trade show in early summer.
- Vancouver Fall Home Show – a home improvement exhibition with every kind of product you’d need to renovate your home. Takes place in late October.
- Circle Craft Market – a Christmas market held in mid-November with hundreds of vendors and tens of thousands of attendees most years.
- Vancouver International Universities Fair – a consumer trade show for prospective post-secondary students wanting to learn about Canadian and International universities in the spring.
In addition to the above, a new event as of 2023 is Fully Charged Live. It’s a home energy and electric vehicle show in September.
The above events happen in the newer West Building at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Below are examples of events that happen at the Canada Place part of the Convention Centre.
Events at Canada Place
The following events all take place at the Convention Centre as well, but in the Canada Place building. It’s separate from the Convention Centre “West” building but still part of the same complex.
- Vancouver Fan Expo – the biggest event of its kind in Vancouver, Fan Expo celebrates all things fandom whether that’s comics, anime, gaming and more. It’s held in February each year.
- Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show – an annual exhibition about all things travel and fun outdoor activities, there are elements of a trade show combined with informative presentations. This takes place in March.
- BC Bike Show – this event takes place in conjunction with the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show, you can go to both of them at the same price. The Bike Show gives you the chance to test out some of the latest models, meet professional bikers and more.
Being in the heart of downtown, there is no shortage of great places to eat and drink near the Vancouver Convention Centre. Some of the best places to get a bite to eat include the following:
- Mahony & Sons – located on the outer deck corner of the Vancouver Convention Centre, facing Canada Place and the North Shore mountains.
- Cactus Club – one of Vancouver’s most popular restaurants located next to the Olympic Cauldron by the Convention Centre.
- Miku Restaurant – a block from the Convention Centre at the start of Howe Street just past Canada Place.
- Tap & Barrel – a pub-style restaurant with an outdoor patio at the northwest corner of the convention centre.
To learn more about the venue see the Vancouver Convention Centre website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Canada Place
- Coal Harbour Seawall
- Vancouver Restaurants
- Downtown Vancouver Hotels
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- City of Vancouver
- BC Place Stadium
- Rogers Arena
- Vancouver Theatre Venues