The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is having an impact on festivals and events in Vancouver and causing many to be cancelled or postponed.
REOPENING PLANS ANNOUNCED
Good news! Since May 19th, 2020, Stage 2 of the BC Government’s restart plan has been going into effect. Parks have reopened for day-use and soon for overnight camping too. Restaurants, museums and a variety of other businesses are now also slowly starting to reopen. Even most city playgrounds can be used again!
For further details about the plans to re-open some closed businesses starting in mid-May click BC Restart Plan.
As of May 29th, 2020, some of the latest places to announce they have reopened or will be soon include the Britannia Mine Museum, Sea to Sky Gondola, Bill Reid Gallery, Clip ‘n Climb Vancouver and Vancouver Mysteries, among others. To learn about other venues that have resumed operations, click Open and Reopening Vancouver Places.
See below for a list of coronavirus-related closures and cancellations, as well as general information about COVID-19 and its impact on Vancouver.
This article includes the following information:
BC Government Advisory | What You Can Do | Closed Vancouver Attractions | Cancelled Vancouver Events | Postponed Events | Closing Hotels | Closing Retail Businesses | Impacted Transportation | Other Information
COVID-19 Impact on Vancouver Events and Attractions
In this article you’ll find a bit of information about the coronavirus, and where to get more detailed information. We also list Vancouver events and attractions that have been cancelled or postponed to date because of COVID-19. Our list isn’t exhaustive, but it does include many of the events affected (and we will continue to update the list over time).
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.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has advised British Columbians not to travel abroad and asked organizers of events to cancel all gatherings involving over 50 people. All schools in BC have suspended classes from K-12 indefinitely and people are being advised to stay at home and not go out.
As of May 29th, 2020, the virus has infected 2,562 people in the province. Of these, an estimated 2170 people (or 84.7%) have already recovered and 164 people have died. There have also been over to 89,400 reported cases of the virus in Canada as a whole, which places our country in 14th place compared to the rest of the world (between Chile and China).
Various municipalities within Metro Vancouver have announced their own policies to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. These include ordering the closure of municipally-run facilities like recreation centres, theatres, gyms and skating rinks. Most cities have closed all their playgrounds and sports courts, but then started reopening them in May.
For information about specific initiatives at the local level, click any of the following:
Metro Vancouver Municipalities
- Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver and White Rock.
Fraser Valley Municipalities
Sea to Sky Municipalities
For up-to-date information about the virus and health alerts in the Lower Mainland, see the following websites:
- Vancouver Coastal Health
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Government of Canada
The Provincial Government has also created a self-assessment tool for people wanting to see, based on their personal conditions, if they should take extra precautions. 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.
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.
Closed Vancouver Attractions Due to COVID-19
As of late May, Lower Mainland venues that closed, at least temporarily, are listed below. In many cases, they 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 may already have re-opened. For the most up-to-date status of specific places, see official venue websites.)
- Abbotsford Flea Market – a market on Sundays at Abbotsford Exhibition Park has been closed until further notice.
- Alice Lake – the campground, children’s play area and gate to the day-use area at the park are closed. (Note: As of mid-May the park has REOPENED for day-use. If all goes well, camping will be permitted again beginning in June.)
- Alouette Lake – as of April 3rd the beach was closed, as was all access to Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Note: As of mid-May the park has REOPENED for day-use and as of the beginning of June the camprgounds are open too.)
- Apex Adventure Plex – the trampoline park in Richmond has closed until further notice (as likely are most if not all other Lower Mainland Trampoline Parks).
- Aquabus – the mini ferry company that provides service throughout the False Creek region halted operations temporarily. As of May 22nd, however, it has started back up again.
- Arts Club Theatre – the company’s Goldcorp Stage, Granville Island Stage and Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage venues have all suspended operations.
- Baden Powell Trail – the portions of the trail that runs through Lynn Canyon Park and up Quarry Rock have been temporarily closed to the public.
- Barnston Island Regional Park – the park on the small rural island on the Fraser River between Pitt Meadows and Surrey is closed until further notice. People are asked to take the ferry to the island only for essential travel.
- BC Place Stadium – all events at the facility have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
- BC Sports Hall of Fame – the sports museum at BC Place is closed until further notice.
- Bear Creek Miniature Train – the train at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park is temporarily closed.
- Beaty Biodiversity Museum – the biological-themed museum at UBC is closed indefinitely.
- Bill Reid Gallery – the art gallery featuring works by BC’s most famous First Nations artist as well as other carvers and Indigenous artists was closed to the public, but is open again as of June 6th.
- Bloedel Conservatory – the large indoor garden at Queen Elizabeth Park is closed until further notice.
- Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park – similar to most other provincial parks in BC, the facilities at this popular Fraser Valley spot closed in early April. (Note: As of mid-May the park has REOPENED.)
- Britannia Mine – the same as all Parks Canada National Historic Sites across Canada, the copper mine museum just south of Squamish ceased operations on March 18th. As of June 1st, however, all its exhibits are once again OPEN.
- Britannia Heritage Shipyards – the heritage buildings are closed until further notice.
- Burnaby Art Gallery – the art gallery at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby has been closed since March 18th.
- Burnaby Village Museum – the outdoor historical attraction is closed until further notice.
- Canada Place – the Vancouver landmark itself isn’t closed, but the facility is certainly being affected. Cruise ships aren’t allowed to dock until October at the earliest, no events are taking place at the convention facilities, and the FlyOver Canada attraction is closed temporarily.
- Capilano River Hatchery – a fish hatchery at the Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver.
- Capilano Suspension Bridge – the park in North Vancouver is temporarily closed.
- Castle Fun Park – the adventure park with mini golf, bumper cars, bowling and other fun activities is closed until further notice.
- Cates Park – the waterfront park in North Vancouver has remained open to the public, but its main parking lot was closed to prevent too many people from going there. As of the end of May, the main parking lot continues to be closed (but will hopefully reopen soon).
- Christ Church Cathedral – the Anglican cathedral on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver is closed to the public and not conducting any public services (which is the same as other places of worship throughout the Lower Mainland). They are, however, offering services online via live streaming.
- Chuck E Cheese – the popular restaurant/arcade in Langley is closed indefinitely. They are still offering take-out and delivery options.
- Cineplex Movie Theatres – all Cineplex movie theatres have closed until further notice.
- Clip ‘n Climb – the wall-climbing facility in Richmond closed for a number of weeks. As of May 19th, however, it is OPEN once again.
- Cloverdale Flea Market – a large market at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey on Sundays. The event is now closed indefinitely.
- Cultus Lake – the entire park was temporarily closed (as have been facilities at all BC Parks). As of mid-May, however, the park has REOPENED for day-use. Camping is also permitted as of the beginning of June.
- Cultus Lake Adventure Park – the Fraser Valley attraction normally opens in June. Except for its mini golf facilities, the place won’t likely open until July in 2020.
- Cultus Lake Waterpark – the same as the adventure park across the street, the water slides don’t plan to open this summer until at least July (so one month later than usual). Other Lower Mainland Water Slides have also been similarly impacted.
- Cypress Mountain – the West Vancouver ski hill announced on March 15th that it would be ceasing operations at the end of the day until further notice.
- Darts Hill Garden Park – on March 21st the Surrey garden announced that would be closed indefinitely. There is a chance it will reopen for garden strolls on Fridays and Saturdays in June, but details are to be confirmed.
- Deep Cove – as of late March the trails up to Quarry Rock have been closed to the public, and the parking lots at Panorama and Deep Cove parks have been closed since April 4th. Since around April 10th, 2020, roads accessing the area have also been closed to visitor traffic. Until further notice, only locals can use Deep Cove Road, Gallant Avenue and Panorama Drive (which means no vehicle access to the village for non-residents of the area, although you can still park along parts of Deep Cove Road and then walk to the village).
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden – the garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood is closed indefinitely.
- English Bay Beach – the beach itself is still open to the public, but as of April 9th Beach Drive (which runs along English Bay to Sunset Beach) is closed to eastbound traffic. Parking lots have also been closed at English Bay Beach.
- Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – the world-famous hotel has temporarily closed its doors.
- False Creek Ferries – the miniature passenger boats temporarily suspended services. As of May 22nd, however, they are operating once again.
- Firehall Arts Centre – the performance centre in East Vancouver has halted productions until further notice.
- FlyOver Canada – the multi-dimensional flying experience has been closed until further notice.
- Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours – the local company that offers guided walking tours around downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park has ceased operations until conditions improve. Hopefully it will be able to start back up again in July, but details are to be confirmed.
- Fort Langley – the National Historic Site in the Fraser Valley has been closed to the public since March 18th. It is scheduled to reopen to the public, however, on June 8th.
- Gateway Theatre – the community theatre in Richmond cancelled its From Alaska production scheduled for April 16th to April 25th. As of the end of May, no other productions have since taken place.
- Glades Garden Park – a park in Surrey that’s famous for rhododendrons and only open a few days per year. The venue’s annual Mother’s Day event has also been cancelled for 2020.
- Golden Ears Provincial Park – as of March 20th all campgrounds at the park were closed, and as of April 3rd the entire park was shut down including all roads, trails and beaches. (Note: As of mid-May the park has REOPENED for day-use. As of June 1st, campsites have reopened too.)
- 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.
- Granville Island – as of April 17th the Granville Island Public Market is still open for essential grocery shopping, as are some of the other stores in the neighbourhood. Theatres like Vancouver TheatreSports and the Arts Club’s Granville Island Stage, however, are closed. Retail shops have been starting to reopen as of the third week in May.
- Grouse Mountain – the ski resort announced in mid-March that it was suspending operations until further notice. The hope was that it would still be able to reopen for at least a bit in April, but in the end that was not possible.
- Guilt & Co. – the popular live music venue at #1 Alexander Street in Gastown is closed indefinitely.
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery – the National Historic Site in Steveston Village closed temporarily as of March 18th (as have all Parks Canada sites across the country).
- Havana Theatre – the tiny theatre at the back of the Havana Restaurant is closed until further notice. The restaurant itself, meanwhile, was closed for dine-in service but open for take-out and delivery throughout the spring. As of May 21st, the restaurant has reopened for sit-down service, but the theatre remains closed.
- House of Comedy – the live comedy club in New Westminster closed for a few weeks but REOPENED as of mid-May (but with limited capacity).
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – the space centre and planetarium in Vanier Park are closed until further notice.
- Kilby Historic Site – the historic farm in Harrison Mills in the Fraser Valley has ceased operations temporarily, as has nearby Kilby Provincial Park.
- Lighthouse Park – to limit the number of people visiting, the parking lot at this popular West Vancouver spot was closed for a number of weeks, but has now reopened.
- London Heritage Farm – buildings at the historic site in Richmond are closed until further notice. The park itself likely remains open.
- Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve – the walking and cycling trails in the North Vancouver park remain open as of the May Long Weekend, but parking lots in the area have been closed. This affects access to Rice Lake and the Seymour Demonstration Forest.
- Lynn Canyon Park – the main trail and suspension bridge in the park are closed until further notice.
- Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – the trails at the North Shore park remain open to the public, but, since April 10th, parking lots in the area are closed.
- Maan Farms – the farm and family-friendly attraction in Abbotsford is closed until further notice. The place is, however, offering curbside pick-up for both food products and wine.
- Mackin House Museum – the historic house is closed until further notice.
- Maplewood Farm – the North Vancouver hobby farm is closed until further notice.
- Maritime Museum – the historic museum in Vanier Park is closed until further notice.
- Mt. Seymour – the North Shore ski hill is now closed for the rest of the 2019/20 season.
- Museum of Anthropology – the museum at UBC that features many West Coast First Nations artifacts is closed until further notice.
- Museum of Vancouver – the history museum in Vanier Park is closed until further notice. (Note: The venue is considering the possibility of reopening in late May or beginning of June, although the exact timing is to be confirmed.)
- Nikkei Place and Cultural Centre – events at the Japanese-Canadian community centre have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. The centre itself was also closed temporarily, as was its museum. The venue REOPENS, however, as of June 2nd, 2020.
- Nitobe Memorial Garden – the Japanese garden at UBC is closed until further notice.
- Paintball Venues – paintball game centres throughout the Lower Mainland have ceased operations at least temporarily. This includes Delta Force Paintball in Maple Ridge, Richmond Indoor Paintball on Westminster Highway and Ambush Paintball in Surrey.
- Peace Arch Border – the border between USA and Canada is temporarily closed to non-essential travel and trade. Peace Arch Provincial Park is open, but not the border.
- Polygon Gallery – the art museum in North Vancouver is temporarily closed.
- Port Moody Winter Farmers Market – the weekly Sunday market was closed temporarily, but has since reopened. (OPEN again as of mid-April.)
- Porteau Cove – both the campground and entire park are closed to the public.
- Prospect Point – the restaurant and gift shop overlooking the Lions Gate Bridge in Stanley Park is closed until further notice.
- Quarry Rock in Deep Cove – the hiking trails up to the rock are closed until further notice.
- Reifel Bird Sanctuary – the nature and bird sanctuary in Delta is closed until further notice.
- 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.
- Rocky Mountaineer – the local passenger train company has suspended operations until at least July 31st.
- Roedde House Museum – the historic museum is closed until further notice.
- Rogers Arena – the hockey arena and entertainment venue has either postponed or cancelled all upcoming events.
- Sasquatch Mountain – the ski resort near Harrison Hot Springs ended its 2019/20 season early.
- Sasquatch Lake Provincial Park – the park was closed since February due to road work needing to be done after a winter storm. The closure then got extended because of COVID-19. As of May 14th, however, the park reopened for day-use. Campgrounds at the park can also be used again as of the first day of June.
- Science World – the science museum at the eastern end of False Creek is closed over the school Spring Break season and will remain closed until further notice.
- Sea to Sky Gondola – Squamish’s famous attraction suspended their operations temporarily. This was especially unfortunate as they had only just re-opened after being closed since being vandalized last August. As of May 28th, however, the venue has REOPENED to the public.
- Shannon Falls Provincial Park – all facilities in the park near Squamish have been closed for a number of weeks. The place is OPEN again though as of June 1st, 2020.
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – the gallery in Whistler is closed indefinitely.
- Stanley Park – the park remains open, but its outdoor swimming pool, roads, parking lots and miniature train have all been closed until further notice.
- Stanley Park Train – the miniature train at Stanley Park is closed for the foreseeable future (including over the Easter holidays).
- Stave Falls – BC Hydro’s facility is temporarily closed.
- Stawamus Chief – the park in Squamish was closed. As of May 14th, however, it has reopened for picnic use and rock climbing. Some of its main hiking trails, including ones up to Peaks 1, 2 and 3, however, remain closed.
- Stewart Farm – the historical site in Elgin Heritage Park is closed until further notice.
- Taves Family Farm and Applebarn – this family-friendly farm in Abbotsford is closed until further notice (although they are offering curbside pick-up and doing a few other things).
- UBC Botanical Gardens – the garden at UBC is closed until further notice.
- Vancouver Aquarium – the aquarium in Stanley Park has temporarily closed to the public.
- Vancouver Art Gallery – the art gallery in downtown Vancouver is closed until further notice. As of early May, a tentative reopening date is on the last weekend in June, although exact details are to be confirmed.
- Vancouver Convention Centre – events have been cancelled at the Convention Centre until conditions improve. The place’s West Building is also designated as a hospital alternate care site.
- Vancouver Flea Market – a market of yard-sale-type collections that takes place on Saturdays and Sundays has closed until further notice.
- Vancouver Zoo – the zoo in Aldergrove has closed indefinitely.
- VanDusen Garden – the botanical garden WAS closed and all its events were cancelled until further notice. As of May 1st, however, the Garden is OPEN again but with extra precautionary measures in place.
- Watermania – the aquatic centre in Richmond is closed until further notice.
- West Vancouver Aquatic Centre – the District of West Vancouver’s website states that the Seniors’ Activity Centre, community centre weight rooms, spin studio, gymnastics gym and Aquatic Centre are all closed until further notice.
- Westcoast Sightseeing Tours – the tour bus company has stopped running until conditions improve.
- Whistler-Blackcomb – the ski resort owned by Vail Resorts announced on March 14th that it was suspending operations indefinitely. They had said there was still a tiny chance that they might re-open in the late spring, but that never happened.
Classes at all elementary, middle, and high schools as well as most Universities in BC have also been cancelled until further notice. Many universities such as SFU, UBC, Capilano, BCIT, UVIC, Douglas College, Langara College, TRU and Trinity Western University have transitioned to online learning instead of face-to-face classes.
Surrey, Burnaby, Squamish, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Mission, Langley, Coquitlam, Harrison Hot Springs, New Westminster, Whistler and North Vancouver have temporarily closed all recreation centres, pools, public playgrounds, skateparks, sport courts, ice arenas and libraries.
In addition to the above, numerous Vancouver Bars & Restaurants and Night Clubs also closed temporarily. Many restaurants served only take-out and delivery for a while. As of mid-May, many are starting to reopen for dine-in service too. Night clubs and bars, however, remain closed.
Most Lower Mainland Golf Clubs ceased operations initially (but then many later reopened). Canada-US Border crossings, including the Peace Arch Border Crossing, are now also closed to tourists and all non-essential and non-commercial trade-related travel.
Also in addition to the above, Lower Mainland Farmers Markets have also been impacted by the virus. Some closed initially, but as of May most are now operating (but with special precautionary measures in place).
Farmers markets that remain open have been allowing only food vendors (so no artisan products), making sure people practice safe physical distancing, and having shoppers pay using plastic as opposed to cash.
Note: the above is not a full list of venues closing, nor is the following 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.
Cancelled Vancouver Events Due to COVID-19 in 2020
Lower Mainland festivals and events listed below have been cancelled for 2020 as a result of concerns about the coronavirus. In brackets () are the dates that the events were originally scheduled to occur. In most cases, we expect the events to take place again in 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 format are still taking place, but now in online and digital formats. These include events like the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Friday Night Live in North Vancouver and various others.
As of late May, 2020, the following events have been cancelled:
- 420 Vancouver – a festival celebrating marijuana and pot culture at Sunset Beach (April 20th, 2020).
- 5K Foam Fest – an obstacle course-style running race in Surrey. It was scheduled for May 30th, 2020, but now won’t be happening until May 29th in 2021.
- Abbotsford International Airshow – the official announcement about the cancellation of Western Canada’s largest airshow was on May 4th (for the event originally scheduled to happen on August 7th to 9th, 2020).
- Abbotsford Tulip Festival – the fields of flowers won’t be open to the public in April and May as originally planned. Flower lovers will now have to wait until 2021!
- Anything Goes – the 1934 musical about people on an ocean liner at Highlands United Church in North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village (March 18th to 22nd, 2020).
- Arts Alive Festival – Langley’s annual arts festival (August 15th, 2020).
- Bard on the Beach – on April 6th Vancouver’s world-famous Shakespearean theatre company announced that it was cancelling its entire 2020 season (from June 10th until September 26th).
- Big Picnic – a free Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival event at Queen Elizabeth Park (April 11th, 2020).
- Bike the Night – the annual evening cycling event is taking a “hiatus” in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak (September).
- BMO Vancouver Marathon – a major international running race in Vancouver (May 3rd, 2020).
- Brewski Fest – a free event involving samples of beer for ski ticket holders at Cypress Mountain (March 21st, 2020).
- Bridge Festival – a 2-day festival in West Vancouver at Ambleside Park (June 5th & 6th, 2020).
- Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival – a two-day festival held in Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park (August 7th & 8th, 2020).
- Burnaby Farmers Market – the weekly Saturday event wasn’t operating for a few weeks, but is again now. (OPEN again as of mid-April.)
- Canada Day – July 1st events in most if not all Lower Mainland communities have been cancelled. Port Moody was the first Canada Day event to be cancelled. Others include ones in Burnaby, Steveston Village and West Vancouver, among others. The annual event at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver has also been suspended (which means no Canada Day Fireworks this year in Coal Harbour). Surrey’s Canada Day celebrations will take the form of a virtual event instead of the usual live one in Cloverdale.
- Canada Day Fireworks – July 1st pyrotechnic displays have been cancelled throughout the Lower Mainland.
- Cannery Farmers Markets – the twice-a-month winter farmers market at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery has cancelled the remainder of its 2019/20 season.
- Cap Crusher – the grueling running race through the trails at Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver has been cancelled (March 14th, 2020).
- Caribbean Days in North Vancouver – a festival celebrating Caribbean food, music and culture (July 25th & 26th, 2020).
- Celebration of Light Fireworks Festival – the annual fireworks competition in English Bay was cancelled on April 20th. It is just one of several Metro Vancouver Fireworks Events to be affected so far this year. (July 25th, July 29th and August 1st, 2020).
- CelticFest at the Vancouver Art Gallery – the festive Irish-themed event that was scheduled for March 15th has been cancelled.
- Cherry Jam Concert – free live entertainment outside the Burrard Street SkyTrain Station as part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (April 2nd & 3rd, 2020).
- Chilliwack Tulip Festival – the largest flower festival in Western Canada won’t be celebrating its 14th year of operations this year. It announced on April 3rd that it won’t be happening again until 2021.
- Cinco de Mayo – as bars and night clubs are closed, and restaurants that are still operating cannot provide sit-down service, most if not all public events celebrating the Mexican holiday won’t be taking place this year.
- CityFest – the youth event at North Vancouver’s Shipyards has been cancelled, although some activities will still be taking place online.)
- Cloverdale Rodeo – the event was officially cancelled on April 10th (May 15th to 18th, 2020).
- Commercial Drive Car Free Day – the massive event that attracts tens of thousands of people in protest of car culture was cancelled on April 13th. Online activities though will likely take place this year instead (July 12th, 2020).
- Denman Street Car Free Day – the annual pedestrians-only street party won’t be happening now (except for online) until 2021 (June 20th, 2020).
- Easter – the cultural and religious holiday itself hasn’t been cancelled, but most Easter-related events have been. As a result of the virus, there won’t be any public egg hunts, appearances by the Easter Bunny or Easter Sunday Brunches at restaurants. The only egg hunts taking place will be ones in people’s private homes, and the only Easter church services will likely be ones conducted online.
- Fireworks Events – a number of festivals which feature fireworks have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. These include the Cloverdale Rodeo, the Celebration of Light fireworks competition, and Canada Day celebrations throughout the Lower Mainland.
- Fort Langley May Days – a community festival with a parade in Fort Langley (May 18th, 2020).
- Friday Night Live – the live once-a-week entertainment in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley has been cancelled since March 13th, but the shows are now available on-line (so they can potentially now be seen and enjoyed by even more people).
- Food Truck Festivals – a number of food truck festivals will no doubt be impacted by the coronavirus. As of April 17th ones we know that have been cancelled include events at Willowbrook Mall in Langley and at Inlet Park in Port Moody, and the event at the Chilliwack Coliseum has been postponed until September 2020. Others will soon be affected too no doubt.
- FVDED in the Park – the popular music festival has been cancelled this year and will return in 2021 on July 9th and 10th.
- Gastown Grand Prix – the downtown Vancouver cycling race has been cancelled for 2020. It will next be taking place on July 14th, 2021. Other BC SuperWeek Vancouver Cycling Races have also been cancelled.
- Golden Spike Days – the organizers of the Port Moody event that takes place over Canada Day announced on March 24th that they would be cancelling the event for 2020. (June 27th to July 1st, 2020.)
- Harmony Arts Festival – a multi-day festival with art, live music, beer gardens and outdoor movies at the waterfront in West Vancouver (July 31st to August 9th, 2020).
- Harrison Festival of the Arts – the multi-day summer event at Harrison Hot Springs was cancelled on April 22nd (July 10th to 19th, 2020).
- Harrison Uncorked – the annual wine festival at Harrison Hot Springs won’t be taking place now until April 17th, 2021.
- Hats Off Day – a festival in Burnaby featuring live music, a parade and street performers (June 6th, 2020).
- Hometown Hockey – a hockey-themed event at North Vancouver’s Shipyards (March 14th & 15th, 2020).
- Hyack Parade and Uptown Street Fest – a community event in New Westminster (May 23rd, 2020).
- Indian Summer Festival – a series of art and music events with a South Asian theme. It was originally scheduled for July 9th to 19th. Instead of the live festival, it is now a “virtual” event running from May 16th until July 18th, 2020.
- Italian Day on the Drive – the street festival in mid-June was cancelled on April 24th. There is still hope that some kind of event or activities might still take place, possibly online. Details though are to be determined (June 14th, 2020).
- Japanese Powell Street Festival – a cultural festival in the Downtown East Side (August 1st & 2nd, 2020).
- Jazz in the Vine – a new series of live Jazz concerts taking place in Langley at a different winery once a month. The inaugural event was going to happen on March 19th, but it and the following events all got cancelled. The series won’t start back up again now until the spring of 2021.
- Khatsahlano – a street party on West 4th Avenue in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver (July 11th, 2020).
- KiteClash – the Canadian kiteboarding championships in Squamish (August 27th to 30th, 2020).
- Ladner May Days Festival – a festival featuring live music, a parade and amusement rides (May 22nd to 24th, 2020).
- Langley Ribfest – the free, fundraising BBQ event in Langley (August 2020).
- Lynn Valley Days – the North Vancouver community event and parade (June 13th, 2020).
- Main Street Car Free Day – the pedestrian street party was cancelled on April 13th. Organizers of the event hope to offer online activities though instead (June 21st, 2020).
- Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest – the annual community fair in Maple Ridge (July 25th & 26th, 2020).
- Mission Folk Music Festival – the 33rd edition of the event won’t be happening now until next year (July 24 to 26).
- Monster Jam – the monster truck event at the Pacific Coliseum at the PNE was originally just postponed, but, as of April 7th, has been completely cancelled for the year (March 14th to 15th, 2020).
- Mother’s Day Events – a number of events originally scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 10th, have been cancelled. Mother’s Day Brunch opportunities are also looking increasingly unlikely given that restaurants aren’t allowed to offer dine-in services.
- Norooz Fire Festival – a Persian New Year event at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park (March 17th, 2020).
- North Delta Family Day – a community parade and festival at the North Delta Community Park (June 14th, 2020).
- O Hanami – a Japanese cherry blossom season-themed event at Burnaby’s Nikkei Centre (April 3rd & 4th, 2020).
- Party for the Planet – Surrey’s Earth Day celebrations outside Surrey City Hall (April 18th, 2020).
- Philippine Days Festival – the annual 2-day cultural event at North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park has been cancelled. In its place, there is a series of online events happening at noon every day in June.
- PNE Events – events held on the grounds of the PNE (except maybe for the Hastings Park Farmers Market) have been cancelled or postponed. This includes Playland which now won’t be starting up until at least June (instead of in May as it does in normal years).
- Point Grey Fiesta – a community festival in Point Grey with a parade and amusement rides (June 18th to 20th, 2020).
- Port Moody Car Free Day – the same as similarly-themed street parties in Vancouver, this event won’t be happening as originally planned (August 23rd, 2020).
- Port Moody Ribfest – the fundraising event organized by the Rotary Club of Port Moody was going to take place on the weekend of July 17th to 19th this year. Now it’s not going to happen until July 16th to 18th in 2021.
- Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival – the Japanese festival at Gary Point Park (April 5th, 2020).
- River District Vancouver – due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, as of mid-March 2020, all up-coming events at the development’s neighbourhood centre have been cancelled until at least April 28th. Area playgrounds have also been closed.
- Rotary Ride for Rescue – a cycling and mountain biking fundraising race up Cypress Mountain that’s hosted by a West Vancouver Rotary Club and benefiting the North Shore Search & Rescue non-profit organization (June 13, 2020).
- Royal Canadian International Circus – under the big top at Lansdowne Centre in Richmond, at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey and at Concord Pacific Place in Vancouver (May 14th to June 7th, 2020).
- Sasquatch Days Festival – a festival with canoe races and cultural performances in Harrison Hot Springs (June 27th and 28th, 2020).
- Scandinavian Midsummer Festival – a Northern European cultural event at the Scandinavian Community Centre in Burnaby (June 20th to 21st, 2020).
- Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon – similar to various other Lower Mainland Running Races, the 21 km and 5 km races that normally happen in late June have been cancelled. In their place, however, is a virtual race that people can run on their own and for which medals and souvenir t-shirts will still be awarded (June 28th, 2020).
- Sakura Days Japan Fair – a Japanese-themed Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival event at VanDusen Garden (April 18th & 19th, 2020).
- Shen Yun – the Chinese performing arts production at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (March 13th to 22nd).
- The show has been postponed until April 6th to 11th, 2021. Current ticket holders will be offered a credit worth the value of their 2020 tickets towards the purchase of tickets to next year’s production.
- Sockeye Run Car Show – the fundraising event hosted by the local Lions Club in Steveston Village has been cancelled for 2020, and a number of other Lower Mainland Car Shows have also been either cancelled or postponed (June 14th, 2020).
- Squamish Constellation Festival – the music festival’s second annual event was cancelled in the spring (July 24th to 26th, 2020).
- Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival – the lumberjack-themed festival in Squamish on the BC Day Long Weekend (July 30th to August 3rd).
- Steveston Dragon Boat Racing – one of two major dragon boat races in Metro Vancouver (August 22nd, 2020).
- Steveston Salmon Festival – the community’s 75th festival celebrating Canada Day was cancelled in mid-April. As a result, people will have to wait until next year for the parade, salmon barbecue and other family-friendly activities (July 12th, 2020).
- Surrey’s Canada Day Celebrations – the annual event at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre in Cloverdale has been cancelled. In its place will be a virtual event instead (July 1st, 2020).
- Surrey Fusion Festival – the community event with live music, market vendors and multi-ethnic foods at Holland Park (July 25th & 26th, 2020).
- Surrey Greek Food Festival – the annual event won’t be happening in June in 2020 as originally planned. If conditions improve, however, they might try to hold a smaller event later in the year.
- Surrey International Children’s Festival – a 3-day event for kids and their families at Bear Creek Park (May 21st to 23rd, 2020).
- Surrey Vaisakhi Parade – a celebration of the Punjabi New Year in Surrey (April 25th, 2020).
- St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run – a running race around Stanley Park (March 14th, 2020).
- Symphony in the Park – the same as all other major City of Burnaby events scheduled between the spring and September 2020, the free concert at Deer Lake Park with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra won’t be happening this year (July 18th).
- Theatre Under the Stars – the musicals Hello Dolly and Beauty & the Beast scheduled to run in the summer in Stanley Park (July 4th until August 29th, 2020).
- Tour de Delta – the annual cycling races in Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen have been postponed until next year (July 10th-12th, 2020).
- Tour de White Rock – the cycling races and festival activities in White Rock have been postponed until July 2021. (July 18th & 19th, 2020).
- Tsawwassen Sun Festival – a community festival that features a softball tournament, parade, car show and family-friendly activities in Tsawwassen. (July 31st to August 3rd).
- Uptown Live – the street party-style music festival in New Westminster was cancelled at the end of April. (July 18th, 2020)
- Urban Grind – an opportunity to climb to the top of the Vancouver Lookout on Tuesday afternoons in March (March 17th, 24th & 31st, 2020).
- Vancouver Bach Choir – on April 6th the choir announced that it was cancelling all remaining rehearsals in the 2019/2020 season as well as its end-of-season concert on May 10th at the Chan Centre at UBC.
- Vancouver Chamber Choir Concerts – concerts on March 30th, April 10th and May 8th are cancelled.
- Vancouver Children’s Festival – a week of activities for children at Granville Island (May 25 to 31, 2020). (Note: The festival is offering a free Kids Fest Pop Up series of online events and activities instead.)
- Vancouver Earth Day Parade – a small parade and environment-themed festival along Commercial Drive and at Grandview Park (April 18th, 2020).
- Vancouver Folk Music Festival – the three-day festival featuring folk music concerts at Jericho Beach (July 17-19, 2020).
- Vancouver Giants Games – as of March 23rd the Western Hockey League cancelled all remaining games in the 2019/20 season including the playoffs.
- Vancouver International Jazz Festival – a major music festival with both ticketed and free events (June 19th to July 1st, 2020).
- Vancouver Train Expo – the model train event at the PNE Forum won’t now be taking place until the first weekend in November in 2021.
- Vancouver Turkic Festival – a cultural event at the Shipyards in North Vancouver (May 31, 2020).
- Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir – the all-male choir had its Celtic concerts cancelled at the start of the shutdown of society due to COVID-19 in mid-March. The same as other Vancouver Choirs and Music Groups, the rest of its 2020 season’s live performances and practices have also been suspended.
- Vancouver Pride Festival & Parade – although in-person physical aspects of the festival won’t likely be taking place in 2020, some activities will still be taking place online.
- Vancouver Sun Run – a 10K running race around downtown Vancouver (April 19th, 2020).
- Vancouver TheatreSports – all shows at the comedy club are cancelled until further notice.
- Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade – an East Indian festival in South Vancouver that attracts as many as 200,000 people or more (April 18th, 2020).
- Walk In Her Shoes – a fundraising event for CARE to benefit women and children in the developing world (March 8th, 2020).
- Whistler GoFest – a celebration of nature and the outdoors in Whistler (May 15th to 18th, 2020).
- Whistler World Ski and Snowboard Festival – the week of competition and concerts is now officially cancelled (April 16th to 26th, 2020).
In addition to the above cancellations, many other events have been either postponed or temporarily suspended, including Spring Break camps and related activities. See below for a list of other events (some of which may eventually be completely cancelled for the year in the end).
Postponed & Suspended Events Due to the Virus
Below is a list of Lower Mainland events that have been postponed or suspended as of the beginning of May in 2020.
(Note: This is not an exhaustive list. We will have missed some. Also, some events that are initially postponed may still in the end get cancelled entirely and not take place again until 2021. See individual event websites for exact details.)
- All British Field Meet – the May 16th car show at VanDusen Botanical Garden has been postponed until a yet-to-be-determined date in the summer.
- All-British Vancouver-Whistler Run – on March 24th the British auto show at Whistler’s Creekside Village announced that, instead of its original scheduled date of May 17th, it would take place at a later date in the summer.
- Arts Club Theatre – the mid-March to mid-April production of Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave at the Stanley Theatre has been postponed until later in the season (or maybe even next season). All other Arts Club productions have also been postponed, except for A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline which has been cancelled.
- BC Lions – the first football game of the season at BC Place Stadium was scheduled to take place on June 5th. In early April, however, the CFL announced that the season has been postponed until at least July (but maybe for longer).
- Bike to Work Week – the event was going to happen during the week of May 25th to 31st but has now been postponed until September (with the new dates to be determined).
- Billie Eilish – this concert at Roger’s Arena has been postponed. (Originally on April 11th, 2020.)
- Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – the once-a-week Tuesday evening drumming event at Stanley Park’s Third Beach is on hold until further notice.
- Celine Dion – her Courage World Tour concert at Rogers Arena (April 17th & 18th, 2020).
- Chan Centre Events – upcoming events at UBC’s Chan Centre have been either postponed or cancelled.
- Haney Farmers Market – the weekly Saturday market in Maple Ridge was scheduled to open for the season on May 9th. It likely won’t be starting up now until later in the summer. It is, however, offering online sales available for pick up via their new Food Hub program.
- Jazz Vespers – churches in Vancouver, Surrey, the North Shore and another places put on Jazz concerts each month that are by donation. All have been cancelled indefinitely, as have many religious services and most other events (both faith-based on non) at church venues throughout the Lower Mainland.
- Ladner Village Market – the summer market’s June dates have been cancelled. The market is, however, still hoping to run in July, August and September, but with fewer and food-only vendors.
- Maple Ridge Car Free Day – originally scheduled to take place on Father’s Day, organizers of the event hope it can now instead happen on September 27th. (June 21st, 2020)
- Olde Farmhouse Market – a vintage market at the Tradex Centre in Abbotsford, Originally scheduled for the weekend of April 3rd and 4th, it has now been postponed with future dates to be determined. Although the live in-person event isn’t happening this spring, in its place is a virtual market on May 21st to 23rd. The online event happens via the Olde Farmhouse Online Market’s Facebook page.
- Playdome – an indoor event at BC Place Stadium with midway games and amusement rides (March 20th to 28th, 2020). There is a chance this event is merely “postponed” and will be rescheduled for another time. Hopefully that will be the case, but details are to be determined.
- Playland – the city’s amusement park was scheduled to open for the season on May 2nd, 2020. As of mid-March, however, that has been pushed back until June at the earliest.
- Shipyards Friday Night Market – the once-a-week evening event in North Vancouver has been postponed. Originally scheduled to start up for the season on May 1st, it now won’t begin until June 5th at the earliest.
- Sonic Boom Festival – a contemporary classical music festival showcasing BC composers (March 19th to 22nd, 2020).
- Squamish Farmers Market – the weekly Saturday market is delaying its start for the season by a month. As of March 19th, instead of opening as planned on April 4th, its new opening date is scheduled for May 9th.
- TED2020 – the annual world TED Conference takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre. (Originally scheduled for April 20th to 24th, but now tentatively rescheduled for July 26th to 30th.)
- UBC Classes – all in-person classes have been cancelled temporarily. Online instruction will be taking place for the foreseeable future.
- Vancouver Canadians Baseball Games – minor league baseball has delayed Spring Training which means the official season is postponed until further notice.
- Vancouver Canucks Games – the NHL has suspended all games indefinitely. All other Vancouver Professional Sports Teams have also been similarly impacted.
- Vancouver Craft Beer Week – featuring a variety of events including a weekend Craft Beer Festival. (Originally from May 29th until June 7th but postponed until later in 2020.)
- Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival – a series of dragon boat races at False Creek. (Originally in June but postponed to September 12-13.)
- Vancouver International Auto Show – a car show that takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre. (Originally scheduled for March 25th to 29th, the new dates are to be confirmed.)
- Vancouver South African Film Festival – an event showcasing films about the culture of South Africa. (Originally scheduled for March 27th to 29th, new dates are to be confirmed.)
- Vancouver Whitecaps Games – Major League Soccer (MLS) has suspended all games for at least 30 days.
Also in addition to the above, on March 12th, 2020, Princess Cruises announced that it was cancelling all cruise excursions for the next two months including ones scheduled to depart from and visit Vancouver. See the Princess Cruises website for details. A few days after that the Province of BC announced that all large cruise excursions with stops in Vancouver were cancelled until at least July.
BC Ferries has also announced that it is cutting some sailings due to reduced demand. Passenger numbers are down as much as 80%! As a result, all sailings from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo were cancelled (between April 4th and June 3rd) and sailings to Vancouver Island from Tsawwassen have been cut in half. The ferry corporation is also no longer offering buffet dining and other hot meal services for at least the next little while.
Lower Mainland hotels are taking various precautions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants are now either closed or offering only take-out and/or delivery services. Cleaning procedures have also been stepped up, and cancellation policies at many places have been revised to reflect the current situation.
As of March 26th, hotels that have closed include the Fairmont Vancouver, Fairmont Waterfront and several other Downtown Vancouver Hotels. Elsewhere, the River Rock Casino & Resort in Richmond and the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier in North Vancouver also both closed, although the Pinnacle soon after re-opened. Other hotels have also already closed, and more will likely eventually do the same.
In Surrey, both the Civic Hotel and Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel have shut their doors for at least the next little while. And in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel has also closed temporarily.
Closing Retail Businesses
In addition to festivals, events and attractions, some area retail stores are also closing their doors temporarily. Major brands that have announced they won’t be open for business for at least a few weeks include Nike stores, LUSH stores and Apple outlets.
Below is a list of some (but far from all) retailers that announced they were closing until further notice as of the end of May, 2020. (Note: Some of these places have since reopened. Also, details are subject to change.)
- ALDO Shoes – in addition to closing brick-and-mortar stores temporarily, the Canadian retailer announced that it is seeking creditor protection (which means that it is really struggling).
- Anthropologie – this American clothing store closed, but has since reopened.
- Apple – the American technology company closed all its retail outlets until further notice.
- Army & Navy – the Vancouver-based discount retailer has closed permanently.
- Aritzia – the Canadian women’s boutique shut locations, but has reopened some locations as of mid-May.
- H&M – the Swedish clothing/retail store closed all Canadian locations. As of mid-May, however, they are starting to reopen.
- Hot Topic – these pop culture stores have closed until further notice. As of May, however, some locations have reopened.
- Hudson’s Bay – the Canadian department store closed all its locations, but they are OPEN in the Lower Mainland again as of May 19th, 2020.
- IKEA – all physical locations of the big-box Swedish furnishings store in Canada are closed, including the locations in Coquitlam and Richmond. Online sales and home delivery, however, are still possible.
- LUSH – the Vancouver-based soap company is closing all 250+ of their North American stores until further notice.
- Lululemon – this athletic apparel chain closed all its locations, but is now reopening them slowly on a store-by-store basis.
- Nike – the sportswear store closed brick and mortar locations in the US, Canada, Europe and other regions temporarily. As of mid-May, however, some locations are starting to reopen.
- Nordstrom – the retail department store closed its Canadian and US locations for a few weeks. As of late May, however, the Vancouver location has reopened.
- Pacific Centre – the downtown shopping mall remained OPEN, but many of its stores closed at least temporarily. Over time more and more retailers, however, have been opening back up.
- Pier 1 Imports – after seeking bankruptcy protection back in February, even before COVID-19 became a national health crisis, the home decor and furnishings store has since decided to close all its Canadian and American stores permanently.
- Purdy’s Chocolates – the Canadian chocolate and sweets store closed all its locations temporarily. Starting on May 22nd, however, it is starting to reopen some of its locations across Canada, starting first in Manitoba. Hopefully BC locations will soon follow.
- Reitmans – the women’s clothing retailer closed all its locations, but is reopening them in BC as of May 25th, 2020. That being said, the company has also filed for bankruptcy protection as it struggles to manage in these difficult times.
- Roots – the Canadian retailer closed all its locations in the spring. As of May 15th, however, certain locations are offering curbside pickup.
- Sephora – the makeup and beauty store closed all stores in Canada and the US until further notice.
- Starbucks – the popular American coffee company closed multiple stores and transitioned to delivery and drive-thru options for the remaining open stores. By the end of May it hopes to reopen as many stores as possible.
- The Source – the Canadian electronics chain closed all its stores initially, but has since then been reopening some of them.
- Tim Hortons – much like Starbucks, Tim Hortons has gotten rid of seating and remains open for only drive-thru, delivery and to-go orders.
COVID-19 has been having an impact on all industries in the Lower Mainland, including public transportation.
As of March 28th, Harbour Air announced that it was suspending all regular scheduled flights. This included its daily flights from both downtown Vancouver and YVR Airport, but not private chartered flights or cargo services.
On April 6th, Harbour Air announced that it would be starting some of its flights back up again, but only ones between Vancouver and Nanaimo, and only a small number of them. This was in response to BC Ferries cancelling all sailings between Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay. Just over a week later, the company announced it would also be resuming some of its Vancouver to Victoria flights for essential travel.
BC Ferries continues to operate, but with reduced sailings and no food services. Passengers wishing to self-isolate are permitted to remain in their vehicles on the lower car decks (which until recently they have not been allowed to do).
TransLink is the company that operates Metro Vancouver’s public transit system. They have increased sanitation procedures on all buses, the SeaBus, SkyTrain and the West Coast Express, as well as in all terminals and stations. Passengers on public buses have not had to pay and have been having to board via the rear doors (although that all changes as of June). Measures have also been taken to reduce the number of passengers on board and their proximity to one another.
Vancouver International Airport has been designated one of only four airports in Canada to accept international flights (with the others being Calgary, Montreal and Toronto). All travellers arriving from abroad are instructed to self-isolate for 14 days immediately after arrival (which means no going grocery shopping or to other places before heading home). Canadians are discouraged from flying within Canada and people showing possible symptoms of COVID-19 are being refused permission to board.
As of mid-March, 2020, no Cruise Ships are arriving or departing from Vancouver (or any Canadian port) until July at the earliest.
In addition to the above, a few local taxi companies have ceased operations temporarily and all Vancouver residents are being encourage to stay at home as much as possible.
Due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Vancouver-area attractions are increasing the thoroughness of their cleaning practices and taking extra precautions. 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.
Most events that are being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic are either offering ticket holders refunds or credits for the future. If you have already paid for an event that has been cancelled, contact the organizer for details.
For information about the coronavirus, public health advisories and what you can do to protect yourself, see the following websites:
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. (NOTE: All BC Provincial Parks and Campgrounds are now closed due to the coronavirus. When going outside, be sure to maintain social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from other people.)