More top typical venues include Vancouver’s Canada Place and Granville Island, West Vancouver’s John Lawson Park, Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium and Burnaby Village Museum, Surrey‘s Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, Coquitlam’s Lafarge Park, Fort Langley, Squamish, Whistler Village and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus, most in-person July 1st events were cancelled for 2020. A number of events, however, still happened (although in most cases just in “virtual” online formats). Details for Canada Day events in 2021 are to be confirmed, and may or may not still be run in an online format.
Canada Day Events in Greater Vancouver
Canada Day takes place on July 1st each year and throughout the Lower Mainland there are usually celebrations of all kinds including pancake breakfasts, parades, live entertainment and fireworks.
To learn about all Canada Day events and activities in Metro Vancouver, see below. For information about where to see fireworks, in years when they are allowed to take place, click July 1st Fireworks.
Below is the schedule of Canada Day events and locations for 2021 and in typical years. Click any of the links below to jump to a venue of interest, or scroll down to see all locations.
Abbotsford | Burnaby | Coquitlam | Fort Langley | Maple Ridge | Mission | New Westminster | North Vancouver | Port Moody | Squamish | Steveston Village| Surrey | West Vancouver | Whistler | White Rock
Canada Day at Canada Place
The area around Canada Place in downtown Vancouver is without a doubt one of the best (and busiest) places to be on July 1st. At least that’s the case most years, although not in 2020 due to the cancellation of the festivities there because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event at Canada Place claims to be the second largest Canada Day celebration on the planet, next only to those in Ottawa, Canada’s capital. There are live performances at Canada Place for much of the day, and thousands of people.
At the Canada Place celebrations, in addition to evening fireworks, there are usually free outdoor concerts. Bands in past years have included Aaron Pritchett and Sheena Easton, Vancouver’s own Barney Bentall and the Sam Roberts Band. For 2019, two Vancouver-based bands – Bitterly Divine and Blonde Diamond – performed, along with several other great artists.
The event was cancelled for 2020, and 2021 details are to be confirmed. That being said, there were still some Canada Day activities and extra decorations at the FlyOver Canada attraction at Canada Place in 2020. Also showing at the multi-dimensional theatre was the show FlyOver Iceland.
For details about what normally happens around Canada Place on July 1st, see our article about Canada Place on Canada Day.
For a list of events still taking place in the Lower Mainland this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, see our article about 2020 Virtual Canada Day Events.
Canada Day Vancouver Fireworks
In years when the fireworks do take place, best places to watch the fireworks at night on Canada Day are along the water in Coal Harbour, including Canada Place, around the Convention Centre, or from many places along the Coal Harbour seawall between the Convention Centre and the Vancouver-facing side of Stanley Park.
Views of the fireworks are also really good from North Vancouver, including from Lonsdale Quay, the pier by Shipbuilder’s Square and Waterfront Park.
Click July 1st Fireworks for more details.
Canada Day at Granville Island
The area around Canada Place isn’t the only neighbourhood within the City of Vancouver where you’ll find free things to see and do on July 1st. If you’re looking for a parade, Jazz concerts and fun family-friendly activities, then Granville Island is the place to be.
The Vancouver International Jazz Festival takes place during the week or so leading up to the July long weekend. Free Jazz concerts take place at Granville Island on various days during the festival, but especially so on July 1st itself. There are also street performers, craft activities and a parade.
Canada Day in Abbotsford
Abbotsford celebrates July 1st with a parade, outdoor concerts, festival activities and fireworks at Abbotsford Exhibition Park most years. The parade usually starts at 11:00 am, the festival runs from 1:00 until 10:00 pm, and the fireworks blast off at 10 o’clock.
In 2020 Abbotsford’s Canada Day celebrations were held virtually. This was due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Details for 2021 are to be determined.
Click Canada Day in Abbotsford for details.
Canada Day in Burnaby
Canada Day festivities in Burnaby usually take place at Burnaby Village Museum, Edmonds Community Centre and Swangard Stadium. All three events, however, were cancelled in 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Details for the 2021 festivities are to be confirmed.
The Burnaby Village event usually runs from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm and is both educational and fun, especially for families and children.
Smaller and fairly simple kid-friendly celebrations also usually take place at Edmonds Community Centre at 7433 Edmonds Street between 11:00 am and 2:30 pm.
In years when the event doesn’t get cancelled, at Swangard Stadium free concerts begin shortly after 6 o’clock and the fireworks start at dusk.
See Canada Day in Burnaby for more details on activities at each venue.
Canada Day in Coquitlam
Coquitlam’s Canada Day festivities usually take place at Lafarge Lake not far from the Lafarge Lake – Douglas SkyTrain Station from 12:00 until about 10:30 pm. In 2020 these celebrations took place virtually due to COVID-19. Details for 2021 are to be confirmed.
In years when it does take place, the free family-friendly celebrations in Coquitlam include food trucks, community information booths, outdoor concerts and evening fireworks.
Click Coquitlam on Canada Day for more information about the event.
For a list of events still taking place this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, see our article about 2020 Virtual Canada Day Events.
Canada Day in Fort Langley
In years not affected by a global pandemic, Fort Langley celebrates Canada Day at the historic fort with family-friendly activities. The nearby BC Farm Machinery & Agricultural Museum and Langley Centennial Museum are also usually open on July 1st. The two museums usually host the town’s main Canada Day festivities in the street outside.
In 2020 Fort Langley live-streamed its Canada Day festivities. A number of musicians were scheduled to perform including award-winning singer Jim Byrnes. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
Click Canada Day at Fort Langley for details.
Canada Day in Maple Ridge
July 1st celebrations at the Memorial Peace Park usually run from 12:00 in the afternoon until 6:00 in the evening.
Things to enjoy at the free event usually include the farmers market, pony rides, community barbecue, live music, a Canada Day Flyover and family-friendly games.
In 2020 the celebrations took place online. Performers included Aaron Pritchett, Asi-Somos, Ava Schreiber, the Maple Ridge Dance Circle and the Paul Tavai-Latta Polynesian Dancers.
Also on July 1st in 2020, Maple Ridge planned a live Canada Day Convoy where 10 or so police cars, fire engines and ambulances drove around the city with their lights flashing in the afternoon.
Canada Day in Mission
Canada Day festivities usually take place in Mission from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm at Fraser River Heritage Park on July 1st. Activities there typically include a pancake breakfast, yoga, live music, dog agility demonstrations and all kinds of other fun things.
In years when the live event does take place, at 8:30 pm admission to Mission Raceway Park is free. That’s where the fireworks take place starting at 10:00 pm.
Mission’s 2020 Canada Day celebrations were moved online. Due to COVID-19, no in-person celebrations took place. Details are to be determined for the town’s 2021 celebrations.
Click Canada Day in Mission for more information about what usually happens on July 1st.
Canada Day in New Westminster
New Westminster usually has a few different events taking place on July 1st. All 2020 Canada Day events in the city were cancelled though. This was due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus and the province’s ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. That being said, the community still celebrated with a number of online activities. Details are to be confirmed for New Westminster’s 2021 Canada Day festivities.
In years when live celebrations aren’t cancelled due to global pandemics, the New Westminster Multicultural Festival is put on by the New Westminster Philippine Festival Society. Free family-friendly activities happen at Pier Park between 2:00 and 10:00 pm.
Separate from the New Westminster Multicultural Festival, the official New Westminster Canada Day celebrations usually happen at Queens Park. Crafts, live music and family-friendly activities typically run from 11:30 until 2:30 pm. This didn’t happen though in 2020 because of the coronavirus.
Another annual event takes place on Canada Day most years at Westminster Quay – the Hyack Festival’s market and evening fireworks. Entertainment usually starts at 2:00 pm and the pyrotechnics blast off at 10 o’clock.
New Westminster’s online 2020 Canada Day events were pretty simple compared to some places, but they were still fun, and something is still happening, which is more than in some other communities. Activities in 2020 included the singing of O Canada from people’s homes at 7:00 pm, the submitting of Canada Day-themed photos and the painting of rocks to put on display.
Click Canada Day in New Westminster for further details about what’s happening this year, and for information about what normally happens where there isn’t a pandemic.
Canada Day in North Vancouver
In North Vancouver on July 1st there is usually a parade in the morning and a festival in the afternoon. The festival boasts bouncy castles, food trucks and free entertainment. It’s a great family-friendly community event.
The 2020 Canada Day Celebrations in North Vancouver still happened, but not in their usual formats or normal scale due to the novel coronavirus. That being said, more than almost any other community in the Lower Mainland, more was happening in-person in North Vancouver than pretty much anywhere in the entire region.
In 2020 North Vancouver hosted one of the most elaborate and sophisticated virtual Canada Day events in British Columbia. It was shorter than some, at just 90 minutes, but it featured top local musicians and the showcasing of some amazing scenery. The online production began at 1:00 pm and ran until 2:30. For more information click North Vancouver Virtual Canada Day Celebrations.
In addition to the online event in the afternoon, a drive-thru pancake breakfast and parade are also happening in North Vancouver. The Lions Club hosts a free breakfast every year, and they are doing it this year too (although in a format that allows for physical distancing). People who sign up to get their take-out pancakes are encouraged to decorate their cars and wear red and white.
Also happening in North Vancouver in 2020, Lonsdale Quay and the Shipyards District planned to host a number of musicians and activities. And these were live for people to go out and see (all while practicing social distancing of course)! The live entertainment was a treat!
To learn more about the pancake breakfast, online event and activities in the North Shore’s Lower Lonsdale area, click North Van July 1st Celebrations.
North Van Canada Day Parade
In years when there isn’t a pandemic, Canada Day celebrations on the North Shore usually begin with a parade starting at about 10:00 am. The parade route goes along 13th Street from Grand Boulevard before heading down 17th Street via Lonsdale Avenue to Mahon Park. The best place to view the procession is by 14th and Lonsdale, although this is also the most crowded.
In 2020, because of COVID-19, the annual parade was cancelled. As mentioned above, however, there was still a pancake breakfast planned, and people who attend that are encouraged to decorate their cars. So a “kind-of-parade” is still happening, just not the usual big one. Hopefully the parade will be able to return for 2021.
Canada Day at Waterfront Park
North Vancouver’s main Canada Day celebrations are usually an afternoon event, with family-friendly activities and entertainment on July 1st at Waterfront Park, which is just a short walk from the SeaBus terminal at Lonsdale Quay.
At the North Vancouver Canada Day celebrations, in years when they aren’t cancelled, there are kids’ activities, food vendors, dancers, live music, bagpipes and other performances by local Vancouver and North Shore talent.
If you plan to be on the North Shore in the afternoon on July 1st and want to celebrate Canada’s birthday, then Waterfront Park is the place to be!
Click North Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations for more information.
North Vancouver Canada Day Video
To give you an idea of what to expect at the Canada Day event at North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park in a typical year, check out the following video. It was filmed in 2019. Groups performing at the event (and appearing in the video) include the J.P. Fell Pipe Band and the Day Trippers (who are a Beatles tribute band).
Canada Day in Port Moody
(Note: Golden Spike Days, and so the City of Port Moody’s Canada Day celebrations, were cancelled in 2020 because of concerns about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.)
Canada Day celebrations at Rocky Point Park were going to be from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm on July 1st in 2020. Family-friendly activities were going to include an import car show, boat rides and live entertainment all day. Details are to be confirmed for 2021.
Port Moody’s Canada Day festivities are actually part of that community’s larger Golden Spike Days festival that takes place over four days during the July long weekend each year. Unfortunately, the entire event has been cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19. Hopefully it will happen again in 2021 as it’s a great event.
See our article about Port Moody’s Golden Spike Days for more information.
Canada Day in Squamish
Canada Day is usually celebrated in Squamish with a parade, community festival and live music. In some years (but not all) there have also been fireworks.
Due to a combination of budget cutbacks and health concerns about the coronavirus, July 1st celebrations in Squamish were cancelled for 2020. 2021 details are to be determined.
In years when it does happen, the parade takes place in the morning along the town’s main street. Then, after the opening ceremonies, there is a festival at Junction Park with live music and family-friendly activities. In 2019, and a number of other years in the past, in the evening, there has been more live music, a beer garden and fireworks at Brennan Park.
Click Canada Day in Squamish for more details about this community’s typical July 1st activities.
Steveston Village Salmon Festival
One of the best times to visit historic Steveston Village in Richmond is on Canada Day when the community attracts up to 70,000 people to its Salmon Festival. The event features a pancake breakfast, parade, Japanese cultural fair, craft fair, music concerts and a world famous salmon BBQ.
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 virus and concerns about public health, the event was not able to take place in 2020. Hopefully it will be able to return in 2021.
Check out the Steveston Salmon Festival for more information.
Canada Day in Surrey
In 2020 Surrey celebrated July 1st with a major online event. Family-friendly entertainment ran from 10:30 until 11:30 in the morning. From 6:00 until 9:00 at night Hayley Wickenheiser hosted the main event.
Headliner bands at the virtual event in the evening in 2020 included 54-40, Colin James and Bif Naked. Other performers included Ashley Pater, Calle Verde, the Wild Moccasins and various other local entertainers. Click Surrey on Canada Day for details.
Some of the largest Canada Day festivities in the Lower Mainland usually take place at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre in Surrey at 176th Street and 64th Avenue. As with most other top Canada Day festival venues, admission is free.
At least in years when there isn’t a pandemic, and unlike most other Canada Day events, at the Surrey event there are usually amusement rides. Tickets cost about $1.25 and each ride requires between one and six tickets. As the event was all online in 2020, obviously, there were no rides that year.
In addition to all the midway rides, games and food vendors, the Surrey Canada Day event also usually features live music concerts throughout the day, finishing with the star attraction at the end, just before the fireworks which start at about 10:15.
For more information about what happened with the city’s virtual event, and what the event normally looks like, check out Surrey Canada Day Festivities.
West Van Red & White Picnic
This event was cancelled for 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully it will be able to return next year in 2021.
In years when events aren’t cancelled due to global pandemics, West Vancouver hosts its Canada Day celebrations at John Lawson Park. The event runs from mid-afternoon until the end of the fireworks at night. At this community event participants are invited to bring their lawn chairs and picnic dinners and enjoy a variety of live entertainment performances.
While fireworks take off from a barge in the water off Canada Place in downtown Vancouver on July 1st most years, a similar barge on the water just off West Vancouver’s John Lawson Park is the site for a second series of pyrotechnics. Places to watch the North Shore event include the beaches at Ambleside, John Lawson Park and Dundarave.
For more information about what normally happens on July 1st in this community see our article about West Vancouver on Canada Day.
Canada Day in Whistler
Less than a two-hour drive from Vancouver, more fabulous Canada Day celebrations usually take place up at Whistler.
On July 1st most years there’s a pancake breakfast, parade and a free outdoor concert. Also in the afternoon there are art displays and live music throughout the village in the later part of the afternoon. Fireworks blast off from the top of the mountain at the end of the day.
The in-person Canada Day celebrations in Whistler were cancelled for 2020 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Whistler announced that the city will be running virtual celebrations on July 1st instead. Details for 2021 are to be determined.
For more information about Canada Day and other July long weekend events in this community in normal years, click Whistler on the Canada Day Weekend.
Canada Day in White Rock
Canada Day by the Bay usually happens on White Rock’s West Beach between 10:00 am and 10:30 pm. Activities there include a sandcastle-building competition, free concerts, family-friendly activities and fireworks.
White Rock’s Canada Day by the Bay celebrations were offered virtually for 2020, so not in-person as usual by the beach. Performing in the online event were the bands Ludic and Washboard Union. Access to the show was via YouTube and Facebook. Details for 2021 are to be determined.
Click White Rock on July 1st for more information.
For a list of events that celebrated the country’s 153rd birthday online in 2020, click Canada Day Virtual Events in 2020.
For other major events in the Lower Mainland at different times of the year, check out the Festivals and Events Calendar.
For details about the province’s next statutory holiday, click BC Day Long Weekend.