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.
COVID-19 AND 2020
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Remembrance Day events didn’t happen as usual in 2020. In some cases they were cancelled, and in other cases they took place online. There were a few smaller live events, although not for the general public to just show up at and attend. The place to remember the day in 2020 was at home, either on one’s own or with members of one’s own household.
For more information about specific Remembrance Day ceremonies in typical years see our article about Lower Mainland Remembrance Day Events. For general information about Remembrance Day, the holiday, see below.
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 that have fought for Canada and the defense of other countries.
In 2020 Remembrance Day occurs on Wednesday, November 11th. In a typical year (when there isn’t the coronavirus), ceremonies commemorating the day take place throughout the Lower Mainland. Of note, this year marks the 76th anniversary of D-Day and the invasion of Normandy by the Allies in the Second World War.
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 Ridge | New Westminster | City of North Vancouver | District of North Vancouver (Cates Park) | Pitt Meadows | Port Coquitlam | Port Moody | Richmond | Surrey (Cloverdale) | Vancouver (Victory Square) | Vancouver (Stanley Park) | West Vancouver | Other Lower Mainland Locations
Remembrance Day in the Lower Mainland
In the morning on 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.
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.
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 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. …
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s November Calendar
- Free November Events
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- History & Culture in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Best Places in Autumn
- The Museum of Vancouver