The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is having an impact on festivals and events in Vancouver and causing many to be cancelled or postponed.
See below for a list of coronavirus-related closures and cancellations, as well as general information about COVID-19 and its impact on Vancouver. For a list of venues that are open, click Open and Reopening Vancouver Places.
This article includes the following information:
COVID-19 Impact on Vancouver Events and Attractions
In this article you’ll find information about the coronavirus, and where to get more detailed information. We also list Vancouver events and attractions that have been cancelled because of COVID-19. Our list isn’t exhaustive, but it does include many of the events and venues affected.
Now is a good time to stay close to home, wash your hands frequently and keep your hands away from your face. It’s also a time to continue to enjoy life, and do things, but to be extra cautious as well. Keep safe and be responsible!
COVID-19 Cases in Vancouver
As of June 21st, 2021, the virus has infected 147,131 people in this province (which is just 45 more than the previous day). Of these, 144,153 people (or 97.9%) have already recovered. 1,743 people (or 1.18% of those infected), however, have died.
There have also been 1,409,607 reported cases of the virus in Canada as a whole. On April 8th British Columbia had its highest number of new cases to date for a single day. It was 1,293! That wasn’t so long ago! And now we’re fairly consistently below 100!
Also as of June 21st, the Vancouver Coastal Health Region has had 35,361 cases (including just 12 in the previous 24 hours and 314 currently active cases). The Fraser Health Region, meanwhile, has had 85,592 (including just 16 since the previous day and 512 currently active cases). To date, 4,436,432 vaccine doses have been administered in British Columbia. Over 75% of eligible people have received their first dose.
The first of the two above regions includes the City of Vancouver, North Shore, Richmond, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky region and Whistler. The Vancouver Coastal Health Region serves approximately 1.25 million people.
The Fraser Health Region, meanwhile, is comprised of most other municipalities within the Lower Mainland including Delta, Burnaby, the Tri-Cities, Surrey and communities further east and in the Fraser Valley. It serves a population of about 1.8 million people.
On May 25th the provincial government announced that restaurants can once again offer dine-in service. Prior to this date, they were only allowed to offer takeout, delivery and outdoor patio service. Now though, they can serve parties of up to six people per table indoors!
As of June 15th, the second phase of BC’s Restart Plan is underway. Travel throughout the province is now permitted and gatherings of up to 50 people can take place indoors and outdoors.
For the most up-to-date details about current regulations click Province-Wide Restrictions Updates.
To learn more about the state of the pandemic and what the government is doing about COVID-19, visit the gov.bc.ca/covid19 website.
Cancelled Events Due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021
Below are events which normally take place in the winter and spring, but not in the early winter and spring of 2021.
Note: The following list is not an exhaustive list. Some festivals and events not in our list are likely also cancelled, or will become so. Also, some events that are “cancelled” in their usual in-person formats are still taking place, but now in online and digital formats.
Cancelled Events for 2021
Below is a list of events that have been cancelled in the summer of 2021.
- Bard on the Beach – there is no live Shakespearean theatre happening at Vanier Park in 2021. There will be online activities, but no major plays in the big tents.
- Celebration of Light – the fireworks festival in late July and early August has been cancelled for the second year in a row. Hopefully it can happen again in 2022.
- Pride Parade – the large LGBTQ event in August has been cancelled for the second year in a row. Some online activities, however, are still happening.
- Squamish Constellation Festival – the music festival in Squamish should have taken place in the summer, but now won’t until 2022.
- Squamish Logger Days – the lumberjack-themed sports festival in Squamish won’t be happening until the BC Day Long Weekend in 2022.
- Theatre Under the Stars – the outdoor musical theatre productions at Stanley Park have been cancelled for the second year in a row.
- Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival – the event isn’t happening in June this year. It’s possible, however, that they’ll try to run it later in the year. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.
- Vancouver Folk Fest – the music festival at Jericho Beach has NOT been cancelled. The live event has been cancelled. Online performances, however, will likely still take place.
- West Vancouver Bridge Festival – the community event at Ambleside Park normally happens in early June, but not in 2021.
- White Rock Sea Festival – the community festival normally happens on the August Long Weekend, but not in 2021 thanks to COVID-19.
Note: The above is just a preliminary list. We expect many more events to be cancelled. For exact details, see the websites of specific events.
Closed Vancouver Attractions Due to COVID-19
As of the beginning of May, 2021, Lower Mainland venues that have closed, at least temporarily, are listed below. In some cases, they may have since reopened.
(Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Many attractions and places of interest not in our list may also be closed. Also, listed venues may re-open at any time. In fact, some of the ones we have listed have likely already re-opened. For the most up-to-date status of specific places, see official venue websites.)
Closed Places in the City of Vancouver
The following are tourist attractions, entertainment venues and other places of interested within the City of Vancouver that have closed because of COVID-19.
Closed City of Vancouver Tourist Attractions
- OMNIMAX Theatre at Science World – the science museum is open, but the IMAX theatre is not.
- Vancouver Aquarium – the aquarium in Stanley Park reopened to the public on June 26th. It is closed again until further notice, however, as of September 7th, 2020.
- Vancouver Lookout – the attraction in Gastown has been closed since the spring. As of end of the summer, it has reopened for groups wanting to book the entire venue. People, however, can’t book individual tickets.
Closed City of Vancouver Entertainment Venues
- Arts Club Theatre – plays at the company’s Stanley Industrial Alliance, Granville Island and Goldcorp stages ceased operations in the spring and summer. Plays started back up again in the fall, but then shut down once more beginning on November 20th.
- BC Place Stadium – most events at the facility have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
- Guilt & Co. – the popular live music venue in Gastown reopened in June of last year, but due to new restrictions closed again. It hopes to reopen on May 26th.
- Rogers Arena – the hockey arena and entertainment venue has either postponed or cancelled all upcoming live in-person events.
- Vancouver Night Clubs – night clubs closed in the spring of 2020, reopened in the summer and then closed again in the fall. As of February, 2021, they remain closed and it is unclear when they will be allowed to resume operations.
Other Closed City of Vancouver Places of Interest
- Cruise Ships – since the spring of 2020, passenger cruise ships haven’t been allowed to operate in Canada. As of February, 2020, the ban is in effect until at least March of 2022.
- Prospect Point – this restaurant and gift shop overlooking the Lions Gate Bridge in Stanley Park temporarily closed in the spring. It reopened for a couple of months beginning on July 8th, but then closed again in early September.
- Rocky Mountaineer – the local passenger train company had initially suspended operations until at least the end of August. In late July, however, they cancelled the entire remainder of the 2020 season. Operations will hopefully be able to resume around July 2021.
- Westcoast Sightseeing – Vancouver’s big sightseeing bus company ceased operations in the spring, started back up in the summer and then “paused” once again in the fall. It hopes to start back up again in July 2021.
Closed Places on the North Shore
- Baden Powell Trail – the portions of the trail that run through Lynn Canyon Park and up Quarry Rock have been temporarily closed to the public.
- Capilano River Hatchery – a fish hatchery at the Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver. It was closed for most of the spring and summer, reopened in September, and then closed again in November.
- Lynn Canyon Park – the suspension bridge in the park is closed until further notice.
- MONOVA – the new Museum of North Vancouver was going to open in 2020, but now likely won’t welcome the public until the summer or fall of 2021.
- Quarry Rock in Deep Cove – the hiking trails up to the rock are closed until further notice.
Closed Places in Burnaby
- Grand Villa Casino and other Gateway Casinos locations – the Burnaby casino announced it is closed as of March 17th, 2020. Other venues operated by Gateway Casinos have also suspended operations. These include Starlight Casino in New Westminster, Cascades Casino in Langley, Chances Squamish, Chances Mission and Chances Abbotsford. As of January, 2021, it appears that its status has not changed.
Closed Places in Richmond & Delta
- Apex Adventure Plex – the large Richmond trampoline park suspended operations at the beginning of December in 2020.
- London Heritage Farm – buildings at the historic site in Richmond are closed until further notice. The park itself remains open.
- River Rock Casino (and other Great Canadian locations) – the casino and hotel owned by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation announced that it was suspending operations at all its properties (which also include Hastings Racecourse, the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam, Chances Maple Ridge and Elements Casinos in Surrey and Chilliwack) as of March 15th, 2020. The locations were all still closed as of December 2020.
Closed Places in Surrey & White Rock
- Stewart Farm – the farmhouse in Elgin Heritage Park is temporarily closed, but guided outdoor tours are available as of the middle of the summer.
- Peace Arch Border – the border between USA and Canada is temporarily closed to non-essential travel and trade.
Closed Places Elsewhere in the Lower Mainland
- Paintball Venues – paintball game centres throughout the Lower Mainland temporarily ceased operations. While Ambush Paintball in Surrey has reopened, both Maple Ridge’s Delta Force Paintball and Richmond Indoor Paintball are closed as of early May 2021.
- Railway Museum of British Columbia – formerly called the West Coast Railway Heritage Park, the Squamish based attraction plans to reopen on July 1st in 2021.
- Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy – the comedy club in New Westminster had reopened in May (but with various safety measures in place including operating at a greatly reduced maximum capacity). It closed back down temporarily, however, and remains closed until further notice.
- Stave Falls – BC Hydro’s facility in Mission is temporarily closed.
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – the Indigenous museum and cultural centre in Whistler is closed until at least late May.
- Vancouver Paddlewheeler – the New Westminster-based boat tour company suspended operations until further notice as of December 30th, 2020.
- Whistler Blackcomb – after closing for a period of time in the spring of 2020, the ski resort reopened for a number of months (including for most of the 2020/21 ski season). Due to new government health orders, however, it is closed from March 30th until at least April 19th.
Note: The above is not a full list of venues closing, nor is the above a full list of festivals and events that have been cancelled. There are more, and no doubt more to come. We are updating the information over time and as best we can.
What You Can Do in a Vancouver Coronavirus World
There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the coronavirus. They include washing your hands thoroughly, not touching your face, staying 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people, not traveling abroad, heeding health authority advice and staying home if you feel unwell.
There are things you can do to help your community too. They include reaching out to friends and neighbours and offering to help with things, like grocery shopping, if needed. But don’t buy more than you need at the grocery store and pharmacy!
Beaches, parks, and Places in Nature are ideal places to hang out at, especially on days with good weather. Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Beach, Locarno Beach and English Bay Beach are all open, as are most parks in other municipalities.
As of the fall, a number of attractions now require that all visitors wear face masks. This includes the Vancouver Art Gallery, Science World, Roedde House and a few other places. Masks are also required for all passengers on BC Ferries, Harbour Air Seaplanes and Helijet. As of August 24th, masks are also required on TransLink public transit. Many other places also require masks including Starbucks coffee shops, FlyOver Canada, Superstore, IKEA stores and (as of October 5th) Vancity Credit Union branches).
Due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Vancouver-area attractions are increasing the thoroughness of their cleaning practices and taking extra precautions. Masks are required in many places and people are being reminded to wash their hands thoroughly, cover their mouths if they cough and stay home if they feel sick. Venues are also adding additional hand sanitizing stations around their facilities and increasing their cleaning efforts.
For information about the coronavirus, public health advisories and what you can do to protect yourself, see the following websites:
- Vancouver Coastal Health
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Government of Canada
For tourism-related organizations, a good resource and information about free training can be found at the go2hr.ca website.
The Provincial Government has also created a self-assessment tool for people wanting to see if they should take extra precautions based on their personal conditions. This can be found at covid19.thrive.health. People with symptoms related to COVID-19 are also encouraged to call 811 and to do so before visiting their local medical clinic.
If you want to get outside and enjoy the Lower Mainland, but don’t want to get too close to other people, then see our article about Vancouver Parks & Nature. And for a list of attractions that you can still visit, click Open Places in Vancouver.