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Labour Day at Swangard Stadium

Chilliwack Concert at Swangard Stadium

Local unions host a free Labour Day event at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby with kids’ games, a beer garden and a concert featuring a major band each year.

To the best of our knowledge the Labour Day event at Swangard Stadium didn’t take place in 2017 (and hasn’t since then either). That being said, there have been events at Holland Park in Surrey and Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford. See the Canadian Labour Congress website for details.

Union Labour Day Event

Hosted by CUPE BC, the USW, the BC Federation of Labour and the BCGEU, the event was open to the public in 2016 and the concert that year was with the popular Canadian group 54-40.

When and Where

In 2016 the annual Labour Day Event took place on Monday, September 5th, from 11 am to 3 pm at Swangard Stadium at 3883 Imperial Street in Burnaby.

About the Event

Labour Day is an annual holiday that originated years ago from the labour union movement to celebrate workers, so it only makes sense that local labour unions put on an event to celebrate the day, which they do with the Labour Day Event at Swangard Stadium.

From 11 am until 3 pm on the Labour Day Monday hundreds of unionized workers, their families and anyone that wants showed up at Swangard Stadium for four hours of fun with their friends and families. Many brought picnics and lots bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. If it rained, many also brought their umbrellas.

Chilliwack at BC Federation Concert

At the event there were games with prizes for children, different unions and other organizations had informational booths, and for some of the time there was a concert. In 2015 the music was with the band Chilliwack and in 2016 it was with 54.40.

54.40 is a Canadian band that originated in Tsawwassen and grew to fame in the 1980s. Some of 54.40‘s most famous songs include “Baby Ran,” “I Go Blind,” “Lies to Me,” “Ocean Pearl” and “She La.” Original band members Neil Osborne (on vocals and guitar) and Brad Merritt (on bass) are still with the band, as is Matt Johnson who’s been the drummer since the mid-1980s. As expected, lots of unionized workers who grew up in the 1980s were at the 2016 event!

Free Events in September

The annual Labour Day Event is hosted by CUPE BC (the Canadian Union of Public Employees), the USW (the United Steelworkers Union), the BC Federation of Labour and the BCGEU (BC Government Employees Union), among other unions and labour councils. Together they represent many tens of thousands of unionized workers in the Lower Mainland, although only a tiny percentage of that number actually turns out for the event, but still quite a few.

Crowds at Swangard Stadium Concert

Event Advice

The stadium is in the southwestern corner of Burnaby’s Central Park which is a beautiful forested park with walking trails, Pitch and Putt Golf, a couple of ponds, an outdoor pool and a giant kids’ playground. If the weather was good we recommended people arrive at the Labour Day Event either early or late and explore the park if they hadn’t been there before. It’s a great park, and a large one.

Whether you’re in a union or not, if you happened to be near Central Park, the weather was good and you like free outdoor concerts, especially if it’s with a band like 54-40, then this event was definitely worth checking out.

Other Information

For a list of other events on the September Long Weekend, click Labour Day in Metro Vancouver.