Vancouver’s main 2018 New Year’s Eve celebrations take place around Canada Place and include free concerts and fireworks on December 31.
The same as every year, on New Year’s Eve around Vancouver’s downtown waterfront there are free evening activities, but also ticketed events.
New Year’s Eve in Vancouver
On December 31, 2018, Canada Place is the centre of Vancouver’s main New Year’s Eve celebrations. There are free concerts in the plaza in front of Canada Place and food trucks, entertainment and thousands of people along the street out in front, on the promenade deck of Canada Place and both in and around the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Festivities most years start at 7:00 pm and run until after midnight. On December 31st celebrations also include a short display of fireworks at the family-friendly hour of 9 o’clock, and then a full set of pyrotechnics starting at midnight.
2018 & 2019 Fireworks
There are usually two sets of fireworks at Vancouver’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Especially suitable for folk with young families, a short 5-minute pyrotechnic display takes place at 9:00 pm. The main fireworks start at midnight though, and, despite only lasting for around 12 minutes, they are impressive and worth waiting up for!
For information on fireworks viewing venues, click Vancouver New Year’s Eve Fireworks. For information on Vancouver’s main New Year’s Eve entertainment schedule and other celebration activities, see below.
Free Live Entertainment
At Vancouver’s New Year’s Eve celebrations there is a free street party that runs from the plaza outside Canada Place and along the road to the Vancouver Convention Centre and Jack Poole Plaza. The street is lined with around 20 food trucks, two main stages and four Pop-Up Performance Zones.
Music takes place from a couple of stages including, in 2017, the following:
102.7 The PEAK Stage
Back for another year, the 102.7 the Peak Stage is the event’s main stage with free concerts located in the plaza in front of Canada Place. Scheduled performers for December 2017 are listed below.
- Good For Grapes – a folk band from Surrey
- The Tourist Company – a Vancouver-based alternative pop-rock band
- Peach Pit – a Vancouver group specializing in “chewed bubble-gum pop”
- Sam the Astronaut – an Indie-Pop band from Port Moody
Coast Capital Savings Stage
The Coast Capital Savings Stage is a second stage offering free DJ music and other entertainment. Scheduled local DJs for the night in 2017 included Fresh Cut, Rico Uno, DJ Marvel and DJ Goodspin. The stage is usually located in Jack Poole Plaza on the far side of the Vancouver Convention Centre, but 2008 details may vary.
In addition to the above two stages, the free New Year’s Eve celebrations also include a number of outdoor Pop-Up Performance Zones featuring fire dancing and spinning shows, Neon Robots, yo-yo demonstrations and other popular acts.
Indoor Premium Experience
In addition to the above free street party and music venues, there are also a couple of ticketed event options to celebrate at and watch the fireworks from. They include the following:
Indoor Celebration Pass
In 2018 the Indoor Celebration Pass cost between around $69 per person and gets ticket holders into the Vancouver Convention Centre and access to the Celebration Zone, family-friendly activities and a couple of dance rooms.
Last year the evening featured DJ music with DJ Flip-Out and the Decibel Collective. Also indoors, the JRfm Party Stage featured country music with DJ jaXon Hawks and live music with country-soul singer Shawn Austin and West Coast country musician Shylo Sharity.
Last year there was also a separate Indoor Family Zone where tickets cost $34 per person and activities included a “Kids Can Dance” party, noisemakers, face painting and hot chocolate. In 2018 there will not be a separate Family Zone; instead, the Indoor Celebration Pass area will include extra fun activities for kids.
Indoor VIP Experience
Tickets for the Indoor VIP Experience cost about $178 per person, which is a fair bit more than last year’s ~$145 early bird price and ~$165 regular price (both of which included the online fees).
The Indoor VIP Experience takes place in the ballroom of the Vancouver Convention Centre which features giant wall-to-ceiling windows that offer exceptional (and warm and dry) views of the fireworks. Other benefits of VIP passes include expedited admission, free coat check services, a midnight glass of champagne, and access to the VIP Lounge and buffet of appetizers.
At 9:00 pm and again at midnight, VIP participants have the option to either watch the pyrotechnics indoors in the warmth of the ballroom through the giant floor-to-ceiling windows, or from outside on the Pacific Terrace plaza.
Note: For comparison, tickets for the TRUE North Indoor Experience in 2016 started at about $106 for early bird tickets, $137 for general admission and up to about $238 for VIP tickets. 2016 performers included The Sheepdogs, Delhi 2 Dublin and the Humans.
New Year’s Video
The following video from 2015 shows what to expect at Concord’s NYE Vancouver event:
For more information on Vancouver’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, see Fireworks at Canada Place.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver on New Year’s Eve
- New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swims
- Vancouver’s December Calendar
- Vancouver’s January Calendar
- Best Christmas Activities
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar