Metro Vancouver’s largest Canada Day event usually happens downtown at and around Canada Place. The party includes fireworks, concerts, and loads of fun!
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there were no free Canada Day concerts or fireworks at Canada Place in 2020 or 2021. Things took place online and via Global BC last year.
In 2022 the Canada Day event returns with in-person concerts and celebrations. However, the event is different from what it was before the pandemic. There are no fireworks this year.
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CANADA DAY OUTSIDE THE ART GALLERY
In addition to all the activities taking place around Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre on July 1st in 2022, another free event happens just up the road outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival is a great event and it runs from July 1st to July 3rd. Be sure to check it out too!
Canada Day at Vancouver’s Canada Place
On Canada Day there are family-friendly activities by the waterfront all day, including at Canada Place and around the Convention Centre and Jack Poole Plaza.
In 2021 the event took place in an online format. In response to the discovered bodies of children at the site of a couple of Canadian residential schools, the theme for the broadcast was #CanadaTogether. There were performances by Spakwus Slolem and the Eagle Song Dancers, the bands 54•40 and Delhi 2 Dublin, and other artists.
In 2022 the event returns with in-person celebrations and is now named Canada Together. Activities are organized with local Indigenous communities and the theme is “Weaving together the fabric of a nation” this year.
The Canada Day celebrations at Canada Place are reputedly the largest July 1st celebrations in the country after Ottawa. In normal years, expect there to be tens if not hundreds of thousands of people at the festivities. Also expect great music and a festive atmosphere.
For information about Canada Day events at Canada Place and downtown Vancouver, see below. Or, for information on July 1st events throughout the region, click Lower Mainland Canada Day Celebrations. To learn about festivities elsewhere within the City of Vancouver, see our article about Granville Island on Canada Day.
Activities at Canada Place
To celebrate the country’s birthday, Canada Place hosts family-friendly activities from around 11 am until 6 pm on July 1st in 2022.
In previous years, the annual event concluded with a fireworks display later at night. Unfortunately, the fireworks didn’t happen in 2021 and are not returning in 2022 either.
In 2022 the Canada Together event features live performances throughout the day. The entertainment lineup includes Johnny Reid, The Boom Booms, Omega Mighty, Bitterly Divine, Tsatsu Stalqyu, Carsen Grey, Spakwus Slolem and the West Vancouver Youth Orchestra.
Food trucks are along Canada Place Way. There are also a few different zones at the event this year. The World Zone is at the north side of Canada Place with performances by Aché Brasil and Lazy Syrup Orchestra featuring Ashleigh Ball. The area also features exhibits and a variety of cultural demonstrations.
The Kids’ Zone in 2022 is located at Jack Poole Plaza, which is where the kid-friendly entertainers, mascot dance off and other activities take place. Lastly, Harbour Green Park is where you’ll find the Canadian Forces Zone, with interactive exhibits about the Canadian Army, Air Force and Navy.
In previous years, live entertainment took place on two stages during the Canada Place July 1st event.
The Main Stage is usually located in the plaza on Canada Place Way, so right out in front of Canada Place. The Youth Zone Stage, meanwhile, is typically at the north end of the promenade, so on the far other side of the giant building with the white sails.
Below is the schedule for 2022.
On the Main Stage
- 11:00 am – Indigenous Blessing and Welcome
- 11:45 am – Carsen Gray
- 12:35 pm – Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada
- 1:20 pm – Bitterly Divine
- 2:10 pm – Omega Mighty
- 3:00 pm – The Boom Booms
- 4:45 pm – Johnny Reid
On the World Stage
- 11:30 am – Zeelia
- 12:10 pm – United Filipino Canadian Associations in British Columbia
- 12:50 pm – Samba Fusion
- 1:35 pm – Tsatsu Stalqyu (Coastal Wolf Pack)
- 2:20 pm – Aché Brasil
- 3:15 pm – Alpha Yaya Diallo
- 4:15 pm – Lazy Syrup Orchestra w/ Ashleigh Ball
On the Kids’ Stage
- 11:30 am – Spakwus Slolem (Eagle Song Dancers) w/ the West Vancouver Youth Orchestra
- 12:25 pm – Mom Bop
- 1:20 pm – Grade School
- 2:15 pm – Perry Ehrlich’s ShowStoppers
- 3:15 pm – Rock n’ Beau Dance Party and Mascot Dance-Off
- 4:25 pm – Will’s Jams
In a typical year on July 1st, there are many other things to see and do for people of all ages between Canada Place and Jack Poole Plaza on the other side of the Convention Centre. There are street performers, for example, as well as lots of food trucks.
The Canada Day Parade
There was NO Canada Day Parade in downtown Vancouver in 2019, 2020 or 2021. The parade isn’t happening in 2022 either.
Up until 2017, the final year of the annual parade, the 60+-entry event used to begin at the corner of Georgia Street and Broughton, head east down Georgia, turn north along Burrard and finish at West Pender Street.
The Port of Metro Vancouver used to host the Canada Day Parade, but sadly not anymore.
TAIWANESE FESTIVAL IN VANCOUVER
On Canada Day in 2022 the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival takes place in Vancouver. Its dates are July 1st to 3rd. If you’re in the downtown area that weekend, be sure to check out this event!
The Canada Day Fireworks
Every year (except in 2020, 2021 and 2022) fireworks are launched starting at about 10:30 pm off a barge in Burrard Inlet a ways off Canada Place. The show typically lasts for about 20 minutes.
If the fireworks return in future years, the best places to watch are from the west and north ends of the promenade deck at Canada Place, as well as from anywhere along the seawall between Canada Place and the north side of the Vancouver Convention Centre. Of course, being best places, these areas are usually insanely crowded.
Other popular locations to watch the fireworks when they happen are along the waterfront in Coal Harbour, from the seawall in Stanley Park, or from Crab Park or even New Brighton Park along the water to the east of Canada Place. The Waterfront in North Vancouver is also an exceptional (and less crowded) place to watch from.
In addition, Vancouver Boat Parties hosts floating night club events on Canada Day. The cruises offer good views of the fireworks in years that they happen. In 2022, there are two cruises taking place, even though there aren’t any fireworks.
TIP: If you suffer from claustrophobia or you just don’t like crowds, don’t go anywhere near Canada Place or the Coal Harbour waterfront on Canada Day, especially in the evening.
OTHER FIREWORKS VENUES
Many other communities around the Lower Mainland also have evening fireworks most years including in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, New Westminster, West Vancouver and White Rock.
Click Lower Mainland Fireworks for information about other Canada Day fireworks venues.
For information about Vancouver’s biggest fireworks events of the year (which happen at the end of July), see our article about the Honda Celebration of Light.
For more information on activities downtown and around Canada Place on July 1st, see the official Canada Place website.
To learn about Vancouver’s other main July 1st festivities, see our article about Canada Day at Granville Island.
For more details on Canada Day events in other places, click Lower Mainland Canada Day Celebrations.
And for other festivals and major events in Metro Vancouver at different times of the year, see Vancouver’s Festivals and Events Calendar.