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Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Queen Elizabeth Theatre

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre is a performance venue in downtown Vancouver that hosts plays, concerts and other performing arts productions.



Vancouver Civic Theatres hosts a Family Day Open House on the Saturday of the Family Day Long Weekend in 2023. On Saturday, February 18th, free family-friendly activities happen at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. At the event there is art to admire, crafts to make, live music to enjoy, and other things to see and do.

Below is the schedule of events.

  • 10:00 am to 1:00 pm – Self Guided Tours and Craft Station Activities
  • 11:00 am to 11:30 am – VSO School of Music Astral Quartet
  • 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm – Guided Art Tour and Q&A with Artist Sylvan Hamburger

To learn more about the event click VCT Open House.


BC Family Day


In this article you’ll find the following information about the following topics:

Vancouver Civic Theatres | Queen Elizabeth Theatre’s Interior | Queen Elizabeth Plaza | Theatre Advice | Other Information |


The Queen E. Theatre

Located at 630 Hamilton Street in downtown Vancouver, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre was built in 1959 and named after the current monarch of both Canada and the UK. It was created as part of an international design competition and it became a model for many theatre houses across North America.

Since its start, the venue has hosted numerous symphony and opera performances. Today it is the home to Ballet British Columbia, Vancouver Ballet, Vancouver Opera, Broadway Across Canada’s Vancouver touring productions, and many other larger shows. Goh Ballet Nutcracker also performs here in December.


Vancouver Civic Theatres

As well as the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, there are three other venues included in the Vancouver Civic Theatres group of locations. The Annex is a cabaret-style theatre, the Orpheum is an elegant 90-year-old venue, and the Vancouver Playhouse is a cozy smaller theatre. The City of Vancouver owns and manages all of these venues.


Queen Elizabeth Theatre’s Interior

Inside the Queen Elizabeth people are often impressed with the majestically high ceiling, the comfy looking chairs, and the large balconies and stage. The place isn’t as fancy as the Orpheum, but it’s still pretty nice.

In the theatre there are four types of sections you can sit in. These include the orchestra which is the closest you can get to the stage. The mezzanine is still on the main floor but a little farther from the front. Third, there is the dress circle which is the overhang of the balcony that can also be quite close to the stage. And fourth, the balcony is the higher level that is fairly far from the stage, but still with reasonably good views.

As the theatre is pretty large, with over 2900 seats in it, sitting at the back of the balcony can make it challenging to see in detail what’s happening on stage. As they say though, there aren’t any really bad seats as there are no posts or other obstructions. Compared to some other large theatre venues around the world, balcony seats at the Queen E. are pretty good.


Interior of Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Inside the Queen E. Theatre


Queen Elizabeth Plaza

The plaza outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre is sometimes used for community events. The plaza’s official name is šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn which means “a place one is invited to” in the local Indigenous languages. When spoken, the name is pronounced more or less as “Hoot-awe-shen” or “Hoot-lacken”.

Over the years the outdoor area has been home to the Downtown Farmers Market, Harvest Haus Octoberfest event and the Vancouver Christmas Market. None of those events happen in the plaza any more, but other events sometimes still do. Sunset Cinema, for example, is a series of free outdoor movies that happens in the summer.


Exterior of Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Outside the Queen E. Plaza


Theatre Advice

Below are some tips and things that are helpful to know before attending a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

TIP #1: Everyone, including children and babies, has to have their own ticket and seat to an event.

TIP #2: Accessible seating is available throughout the orchestra and mezzanine. There are wheelchair-accessible washrooms on these levels as well. There are also specific parking spots that can be reserved ahead of time.

TIP #3: If you love musical theatre, consider signing up for Broadway Across Canada. With this subscription you are guaranteed seats to all of the amazing shows that tour across the country and stop in Vancouver.

TIP #4: If you like live theatre, local theatre groups you might like include those listed below. They don’t perform at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. They do though put on great shows at other nice venues.


Other Information

For more information about this venue and what’s coming to it, see the Queen Elizabeth Theatre website.

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