Formerly called Community Day, West Vancouver’s Bridge Festival is a 2-day event with family-friendly activities and live music at Ambleside Park in June.
West Vancouver Community Day used to be an annual 1-day event. New for 2019, it has been renamed as the Bridge Festival and runs for two days.
Bridge Festival at Ambleside
West Vancouver‘s Community Day event has been taking place in the Ambleside neighbourhood on the first Saturday in June for many years. In 2019, with the new Bridge Festival, the activities happen on both Friday May 31st and Saturday June 1st. It’s a fun event at one of the Lower Mainland’s most popular oceanfront parks.
Ambleside Park is located just off Marine Drive southwest of the Park Royal shopping mall which itself is just a short distance from the north end of the Lions Gate Bridge. The park’s address is 1150 Marine Drive but its main access is via 13th Street which turns into the park and Argyle Avenue.
2019 Bridge Festival Hours
In 2019 the West Vancouver Bridge Festival runs from 4:00 until 9:30 pm on Friday, May 31st, and from 11:00 am until 9:30 pm on Saturday June 1st.
Bridge Festival Activities
West Vancouver Bridge Festival activities include live music, dance performances, food vendors, sports activities, a kids’ zone, community information booths, cultural pavilions and a cultural beach parade. In 2019 there is also an animated “Walkway of Nations” path.
In previous years, during the 1-day Community Day event, the parade started at about 10:00 am on the Saturday and went along Marine Drive from 13th Street to 17th Street, down 17th a block to Bellevue, and then along Bellevue back to 13th Street and the entrance to Ambleside Park. With the Bridge Festival, the parade is on June 1st at 1pm. It begins at John Lawson Park and makes its way to Ambleside Park and the festival grounds via Argyle Avenue.
In past years the parade was a fairly simple event with people from different community groups in costume giving out candy and things as they walked along the street. There were also a few bands, dance groups and other typical small-community-parade kinds of things.
Below is the schedule of activities for the 2019 Bridge Festival. (Note: details are subject to change.)
Friday May 31st
- 4:00 pm – Mariachi Los Dorados
- 5:45 pm – Kow Kanda
- 8:00 pm – Tanga
Saturday June 1st
- 1:00 pm – Cultural Beach Parade
- 4:00 pm – Amir Haghighi and Amy Stephen with the Taneen Ensemble
- 6:00 pm – Herbert Kwan
- 8:00 pm – The Starbirds
The WVYB Symphonic Band will also perform with the Sp’akwus Slulem (Eagle Song Dancers) and the West Vancouver Youth Band, with the exact time to be determined.
Getting to the Bridge Festival
Getting in and out of the Ambleside Park area can be a challenge during major events for a number of reasons. First, there is a fair bit of parking at the park itself, but on event days the area is usually closed to cars. Second, Ambleside Park is a popular place on a regular day and so it is particularly crazy when something special is happening.
Third, there has been a fair bit of construction going on close to the entrance to Ambleside Park in the spring of 2019 which has resulted in added congestion. Hopefully things will be better in time for the Bridge Festival (but likely not).
What does all of the above mean? It means use public transit if possible, or carpool, or ride your bike. If you need to drive, there’s lots of parking at Park Royal mall which is right close by (although parking there is “just for customers”), or get to West Vancouver early and look for street parking further west past Marine Drive and 18th Street.
If you go as far as Dundarave, which is over 3 km away, you’ll be able to get some good exercise walking back to Ambleside while enjoying one of Metro Vancouver’s finest walks along the waterfront.
For more details see the West Vancouver Bridge Festival website.
For major events on other days of the year, see Vancouver’s Festivals and Events Calendar.