Vancouver hosts several fireworks events including at New Year’s, Canada Day, Halloween and the English Bay fireworks competitions in July.
Fireworks in the Lower Mainland
Attracting hundreds of thousands of people, Vancouver’s various fireworks events are all first-rate and highly recommended.
See below for information on Vancouver’s Canada Day, Honda Celebration of Light, BC Day, Halloween, New Year’s Eve and Cloverdale Rodeo fireworks events.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Vancouver
Up until 2018, some of the Lower Mainland’s finest fireworks displays each year have been set off from a barge in Burrard Inlet just off Canada Place on New Year’s Eve at 12 am. Starting on December 31st in 2022, the event was going to take place in False Creek.
The fireworks at Canada Place didn’t happen in 2019. The event took a one-year break and planned to return on December 31st, 2020, but at a new location – at False Creek near Science World. Because of COVID-19, however, that event got cancelled, as did the festivities in 2021. The plan was going to be for the fireworks to take place at the new venue on December 31st in 2022. That event also got cancelled, however. Hopefully it will be possible in 2023.
In past years, on New Year’s Eve, tens of thousands of people turned out for the show and accompanying entertainment around Canada Place, the Vancouver Convention Centre and along the waterfront in Coal Harbour. Smaller numbers of people also watched from the southeast shore of Stanley Park and from across the water in North Vancouver.
Vancouver’s New Year’s Eve fireworks used to be short but impressive, lasting for around a dozen minutes. Live music and other entertainment also took place in the plaza outside Canada Place in the evening.
We’re sad that the event didn’t happen on December 31st in 2019, or in 2020, 2021 or 2022. Whether it happens in 2023, or some other year in the future, is to be determined. Hopefully it will!
For more information, see New Year’s Eve Fireworks at False Creek.
Canada Day Fireworks
One of Vancouver’s largest rounds of fireworks each year takes place on Canada Day at various venues around the Lower Mainland.
The main pyrotechnics on July 1st used to from a barge in the water just off Canada Place. Like on New Year’s Eve in past years, the entire region around Canada Place has been a zoo of people, free concerts and other entertainment during the day.
Because of the COVID-19 virus, the fireworks event at Canada Place was cancelled for 2020 and 2021. The July 1st fireworks display at Canada Place didn’t happen in 2022 either due to rising costs. In 2023 the organizers of the event announced that the fireworks were permanently cancelled. Fireworks do, however, still take place in other communities in the Lower Mainland.
For more information about the Canada Day celebrations in downtown Vancouver, click Canada Day at Canada Place.
In addition to the pyrotechnics at Canada Place, fireworks also occur most years at the exact same time on the North Shore off Dundarave as part of West Vancouver’s Canada Day celebrations. Other fireworks venues include Abbotsford, Surrey, White Rock, Burnaby, Coquitlam‘s Lafarge Park and Whistler. These pyrotechnic events didn’t happen in 2020 or 2021, however, although some municipalities offered online activities instead.
Details about Canada Day celebrations in 2023 are to be confirmed.
For more information on Canada Day fireworks and other festivities throughout the Lower Mainland on July 1st, click Canada Day Fireworks.
Celebration of Light Fireworks
Vancouver’s biggest and most famous fireworks event is the Celebration of Light international fireworks competition that takes place in English Bay.
The Celebration of Light is a three-day event that happens on the last two Saturdays and last Wednesday in July or beginning of August in the lead-up to the BC Day Long Weekend.
Countries competing on each of the three days in 2019 were India, Canada and Croatia. Unfortunately, both the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled due to COVID-19. The festival returned in 2022 and featured Japan, Canada and Spain on July 23rd, 27th and 30th.
In 2023 the fireworks competition takes place on July 22nd, 26th and 29th. Competing countries this year are Australia, Mexico and The Philippines.
The fireworks start at 10 pm each night. There is also live music and family-friendly activities all afternoon and evening. Each of the three nights’ sets of pyrotechnic displays lasts for close to 25 minutes most years. During the shows people can listen to accompanying music by tuning their radios to CFMI Rock 101 FM.
For more information on this world-famous three-day pyrotechnics event, click Honda Celebration of Light.
For the Honda Celebration of Light’s official website visit hondacelebrationoflight.com.
BC Day Fireworks
The Celebration of Light takes place in the lead up to the BC Day Long Weekend, but it’s not the only fireworks that take place close to BC’s first-Monday-of-August statutory holiday.
White Rock usually has its own fireworks that weekend during its White Rock Sea Festival. In 2022 the festival ran from July 29th to 31st. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
Municipal government-hosted events with Halloween fireworks usually take place in Maple Ridge and Richmond each year, and also sometimes in and Anmore (although not in recent years). Smaller less formal events happen of course in other places too.
Celebrate the Night is a Halloween-themed community festival and fireworks night in Maple Ridge. In years when there isn’t a pandemic, it takes place at Memorial Peace Park on the last Sunday in October. The event returned to more normal programming in 2021 although on Friday, October 22nd, rather than a Sunday. It was the only major Halloween fireworks event in Metro Vancouver that year. In 2022 the event happened on Friday, October 21st.
Halloween fireworks also usually take place in October in Richmond at Minoru Park at 7191 Granville Avenue (in years when there isn’t a pandemic). The show is on October 31st and free family-friendly activities take place from around 6:30 until 8:45 pm. Click Richmond Halloween Fireworks for more information.
Halloween fireworks also usually happen in the tiny community of Anmore on Halloween night at Spirit Park at 2697 Sunnyside Road. The community hasn’t had them since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, including not in 2022. Hopefully they will return in a future year.
Cloverdale Rodeo Fireworks
The Cloverdale Rodeo is a large rodeo and country fair that takes place in Surrey on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the May Long Weekend each year.
At the rodeo there are amusement rides, rodeo competitions, evening concerts, a parade and various other family-friendly cowboy-themed activities. On the first night of the rodeo, on the Friday, there are also normally fireworks at around 9:30 pm.
In 2020 the Cloverdale Rodeo was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The rodeo was cancelled in 2021 and 2022 as well. Fortunately, the event returns in 2023 from May 19th until the 22nd. This year, however, it doesn’t appear that there are any fireworks. Maybe next year.
Click Cloverdale Rodeo for more information about the event.
For information about other major events in the Lower Mainland, including the above ones involving fireworks, see our Festivals & Events Calendar.
Other articles that may be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s Calendar of Events
- Best Places for Children
- Vancouver on a Budget
- The Lower Mainland at New Year’s Eve, Canada Day and Halloween