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Remembrance Day in Vancouver

Remembrance Day in Vancouver

Commemorated on November 11th throughout Metro Vancouver, Remembrance Day is a day when Canadians remember past wars and the sacrifices made by veterans.

Below is information about Remembrance Day in general, as well as links to specific November 11th events in various communities around the Lower Mainland. Also in this article is a video showcasing many of the sights and scenes of Remembrance Day events from past recent years.


Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day Activities Icon

The first Remembrance Day was observed in 1919 across all British Commonwealth nations. It was called Armistice Day then to mark the armistice agreement that ended World War I. The solemn day has been commemorated ever since, with a two-minute silence held at precisely 11:00 am and a 21-gun salute.

As a national holiday, Remembrance Day isn’t a victory celebration, but rather a time to reflect about the horrors of war and the sacrifices made by the men and women who have fought for Canada and the defense of other countries.

In 2024 Remembrance Day occurs on Monday, November 11th. In a typical year, Ceremonies commemorating the day take place throughout the Lower Mainland. Of note, this year marks the 79th anniversary of D-Day and the invasion of Normandy by the Allies in World War II.

As a statutory holiday, schools, government offices and most businesses are closed on the day.


Looking for information about Remembrance Day events in different communities? Then check out our articles about services in the following places:

Burnaby | Coquitlam | Fort Langley | Maple RidgeNew Westminster | City of North Vancouver | District of North Vancouver (Cates Park) | Pitt MeadowsPort Coquitlam | Port Moody | Richmond | Surrey (Cloverdale) | Vancouver (Victory Square) | Vancouver (Stanley Park) | West Vancouver | Other Lower Mainland Locations


Remembrance Day in the Lower Mainland

On the morning of November 11th, Remembrance Day ceremonies take place across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Solemn memorial services also occur at cenotaphs and other locations throughout Canada and most British Commonwealth countries, as well as in other places in the world.

Probably the largest Remembrance Day event in the Lower Mainland is the one in downtown Vancouver at the Cenotaph in Victory Square. Other large ones take place in Surrey, Richmond and elsewhere. For more information on these and other event locations, see our article about Remembrance Day Ceremonies.


Vancouver Remembrance Day Parade
Remembrance Day Parade in Downtown Vancouver


Remembrance Day Video

Below is a video featuring scenes of Remembrance Day parades, ceremonies and other November 11th sights from around the Lower Mainland.

In order of appearance the video shows Remembrance Day scenes from Deep Cove and Victoria Park in North Vancouver, Marine Drive in West Vancouver and both City Hall and the Royal Westminster Regiment Armouries in New Westminster.

The video continues with scenes of the Fort Langley cemetery and both Blue Mountain Park and Veterans Way in Coquitlam. These are followed by photos of the cenotaphs at the Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge and Spirit Square in Pitt Meadows.

Other Remembrance Day scenes in the video include Veterans Park in Port Coquitlam, in front of the Arts Centre in Port Moody, outside City Hall in Richmond and at the Cloverdale cenotaph in Surrey.

Remembrance Day scenes within the City of Vancouver are of the Japanese-Canadian War Memorial in Stanley Park, at the cenotaph in Chinatown and at Victory Square. The video finishes with scenes of cadets and members of the Canadian Armed Forces marching down West Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver.

The video doesn’t include scenes of all Lower Mainland events on November 11th, but it does feature most of the main ones. Not included in the video are ceremonies in Burnaby, Delta and White Rock, as well as communities in the Fraser Valley, Squamish, Whistler and elsewhere. Large and small, there are Remembrance Day events in communities all across Canada.



What Happens at a Remembrance Day Ceremony

Remembrance Day ceremonies usually include a gathering at a park or cenotaph, a memorial service, and the laying of wreaths by veterans and dignitaries.

At most Remembrance Day events there is also a parade, a marching band, bagpipes played by men in kilts, and RCMP police officers, cadets and veterans all in their uniforms. There is also the singing of the national anthem – O Canada – the playing of a bugle, and sometimes a prayer. As November is one of Vancouver’s rainiest months, there are usually also lots of umbrellas.

To support veterans, people buy and wear poppies, which are plastic red flowers, and for which donation proceeds go to supporting veterans.

Traditionally, Canadians mark two minutes of silence at 11:00 am on November 11th each year to mark the end of World War I, and to remember sacrifices made in other wars since. Remembrance Day is a national holiday in Canada and a time when Canadians join together to remember those that have lost their lives in all wars.

For details about specific Remembrance Day events throughout Metro Vancouver, click Remembrance Day Ceremonies.

Lest we forget. …


Remembrance Day


Other Information

To learn more about Remembrance Day, see the Royal Canadian Legion‘s website.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: