Vancouver’s main New Year’s Eve celebrations used to happen around Canada Place and included free concerts and fireworks on December 31.
In years when it did take place, on New Year’s Eve around Vancouver’s downtown waterfront there were free evening activities, but also ticketed events.
NEW LOCATION & FIREWORKS STATUS!
The organizers of Vancouver’s annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks event took a year off in 2019. They did this to help make the celebration an even bigger and better event in 2020/21. The event was going to take place at a new location in 2020, at Concord Pacific Place in False Creek. Because of COVID-19, however, the event was postponed until December 31st of 2021. Unfortunately, that event got cancelled too as it did again in 2022.
See our article about NYE False Creek Fireworks in 2023 for more details.
NOTE: Although no fireworks take place at Canada Place or elsewhere in the City of Vancouver on December 31st in 2022, they are happening elsewhere. For details, see our articles about Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain.
New Year’s Eve in Vancouver
On December 31st for the past number of years, Canada Place has been the centre of Vancouver’s main New Year’s Eve celebrations. There have been 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 started at around 7:00 pm and ran until after midnight. On December 31st celebrations also included a short display of fireworks at the family-friendly hour of 9 o’clock, and then a full set of pyrotechnics starting at 12:00 am.
Because of the pandemic, there are no fireworks or major celebrations in downtown Vancouver in 2021. Hopefully they’ll be possible on December 31st in 2022.
2019 & 2020 Fireworks
There have usually been 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 took place at 9:00 pm. The main fireworks started at midnight though, and, despite only lasting for around 12 minutes, they were impressive and worth waiting up for!
December 31st, 2019, was the first time in a number of years that fireworks and massive New Year’s Eve celebrations didn’t take place around Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre. That’s because the event took a one-year hiatus. There were, however, celebrations in other parts of the Lower Mainland.
On December 31st in 2020, downtown Vancouver’s main end-of-year celebrations were supposed to take place in False Creek around Science World, Concord Pacific Place and BC Place Stadium. The event was going to be similar to New Year’s Eve celebrations in downtown Vancouver from past years, but with extra special fireworks and sceneries to admire. Unfortunately, the event didn’t take place due to the pandemic.
The event in False Creek got postponed until the following year, so December 31st, 2021. Unfortunately, again because of COVID-19 and government restrictions banning major events, the 2021 event was also cancelled. Whether the event can happen in 2022 is to be determined. Fingers crossed that it can!
For information about fireworks viewing venues from past years, click Vancouver New Year’s Eve Fireworks. For information about Vancouver’s main New Year’s Eve entertainment schedule and other celebration activities from 2018/19, see below.
Free Live Entertainment
At Vancouver’s New Year’s Eve celebrations in previous years there has been a free street party that ran from the plaza outside Canada Place and along the road to the Vancouver Convention Centre and Jack Poole Plaza. The street was lined with around 20 food trucks, two main stages and four or so Pop-Up Performance Zones. Music took place from a couple of stages.
102.7 The PEAK Stage
Most years the 102.7 The Peak Stage was the event’s main stage with free concerts located in the plaza in front of Canada Place. Bands that have played there in recent years included the following:
- 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
Jack Poole Plaza Stage
A second stage used to offer free DJ music and other entertainment in Jack Poole Plaza beginning at 7:00 pm. Scheduled local DJs for the night in 2018 included DJ Seko, Rico Uno, Kutcorners and DJ Marvel. Rico Uno and DJ Marvel played the previous year as well, as did DJ Goodspin and Fresh Cut. The stage was usually located in Jack Poole Plaza on the far side of the Vancouver Convention Centre.
In addition to the above two stages, the free New Year’s Eve celebrations from past years also included 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 also used to be a couple of ticketed event options to celebrate at and watch the fireworks from. See the following for details.
Indoor Celebration Pass
The Indoor Celebration Pass in 2019 cost around $69 per person and got ticket holders into the Vancouver Convention Centre and access to the Celebration Zone, family-friendly activities and a couple of dance rooms.
In 2019, 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.
The performance schedule for the December 31st event in 2019 was the following:
- 7:35 pm – The ShowStoppers
- 8:05 pm – Nearly Neil & The Solitary Band
- 9:00 pm – Family Fireworks
- 9:15 pm – Nearly Neil & The Solitary Band
- 10:15 pm – Shawn Austin
- 11:15 pm – The Tourist Company
- 12:00 am – Midnight Countdown Fireworks
- 12:10 pm – The Tourist Company
In previous years 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 was not be a separate Family Zone; instead, the Indoor Celebration Pass area included extra fun activities for kids.
Indoor VIP Experience
Tickets for the Indoor VIP Experience in 2019 cost about $178 per person, which is a fair bit more than the previous year’s ~$145 early bird price and ~$165 regular price (both of which included the online fees).
The Indoor VIP Experience took 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 included 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 had 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 (if it happens in 2021):
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