The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has had an impact on festivals and events in Vancouver and caused 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.
Some of the latest casualties of the pandemic are the Harvest Haus Oktoberfest event and the Old Farmhouse Vintage Market. Both were scheduled to happen this fall but have now since been postponed until next year.
COVID-19 Cases in Vancouver
As of September 21st, 2021, the virus has infected 180,178 people in this province (which is 525 more than the previous day). Of these, 172,624 people (or 95.8%) have already recovered. 1,900 people (or 1.1% of those infected), however, have died.
There have also been 1,585,732 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!
Also as of September 21st, the Vancouver Coastal Health Region has had 40,534 cases (including 51 in the previous 24 hours and 822 currently active cases). The Fraser Health Region, meanwhile, has had 94,944 (including 187 since the previous day and 1,711 currently active cases). To date, 2,815,764 vaccine doses have been administered in British Columbia.
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.
July 1st marked the beginning of the third phase of BC’s reopening plan. For the first time in over a year the provincial state of emergency status has been lifted. The biggest changes are that all personal indoor and outdoor gatherings are now back to normal, and larger organized gatherings can have increased capacity. Businesses like nightclubs and casinos can reopen at a limited capacity as well.
As of July 5th, travellers entering Canada no longer have to self-isolate for two weeks or stay in a quarantined hotel if they have received two vaccines doses. For the time being, those restrictions remain in place for those who have one or zero doses.
As of August 25th, the provincial government has returned to a mask mandate for all indoor public places. Beginning September 13th, there is also to be new “vaccine cards” required for access to places like gyms, concerts, sporting events and other activities with large congregations. People will have to provide proof of vaccination or be denied entry. The requirement is one dose by September 13th and two doses by October 24th.
To get your card go to the BC vaccine card website which launched on September 7th. There you can get a card with a QR code which you can either save on your phone or print. Either way, it can be scanned by establishments that require patrons to be vaccinated to see what your vaccine status is.
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 2021.
- Ambleside Retro Music Festival – a rock music festival at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver.
- 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.
- BC Superweek – Metro Vancouver’s series of pro cycling races have all been cancelled in 2021.
- Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival – a music festival at Deer Lake in Burnaby, cancelled once again in 2021.
- 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.
- Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest – a big food truck festival in New Westminster that includes over a hundred vendors and live music. Cancelled for the second year in a row.
- Harvest Haus – a German-themed Oktoberfest event for adults was supposed to happen on October 8th and 9th at the PNE Forum. However, the event won’t be happening until February in 2022.
- Old Farmhouse Vintage Market – the market was going to happen at the Tradex Centre in Abbotsford in November but has now been postponed until the spring of 2022.
- Paws for a Cause – a BCSPCA fundraising event that includes hundreds of dogs, cancelled in both 2020 and 2021.
- 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.
- Ribfest Langley – a fun event for all BBQ-lovers, due to COVID-concerns it has been cancelled for the second year in a row.
- Shipyards Night Market – organizers of the event had hoped to still run the market in 2021. In mid-July, however, they announced that it was officially cancelled.
- Squamish Constellation Festival – the music festival in Squamish should have taken place in the summer, but now won’t until 2022.
- Squamish Beer Festival – this event won’t now take place until July of 2022.
- Theatre Under the Stars – the outdoor musical theatre productions at Stanley Park have been cancelled for the second year in a row.
- Uptown Live Street Party – a big Indie music festival in New Westminster, won’t happen until July 2022.
- 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.
- Vancouver Thai Festival – the free festival outside the Vancouver Art Gallery celebrating Thai music, culture and food has been cancelled again.
- Vancouver Train Expo – a model train exhibition at the Pacific National Exhibition, cancelled for the second consecutive year.
- 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 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
- Rogers Arena – the hockey arena and entertainment venue has either postponed or cancelled all upcoming live in-person through to early fall. The venue plans on once again hosting Canucks games and other events like concerts beginning in October, 2021.
- Vancouver Night Clubs – night clubs closed in the spring of 2020, reopened in the summer and then closed again in the fall. As of August 2021, some of them are open but some remain closed.
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 November of 2021.
- Prospect Point – this restaurant and gift shop overlooking the Lions Gate Bridge in Stanley Park temporarily closed in the spring of 2020. It reopened for a couple of months beginning on July 8th, but then closed again in early September.
Closed Places on the North Shore
- Baden Powell Trail – the portion of the trail that runs from Deep Cove up to Quarry Rock hasbeen 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.
- MONOVA – the new Museum of North Vancouver was going to open in 2020, but now likely won’t welcome the public until September of 2021.
- Quarry Rock in Deep Cove – the hiking trails up to the rock are closed until further notice.
- Shipyards Friday Night Market – cancelled until further notice as of June 2021, usually home to live music, food trucks and different vendors in North Vancouver.
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 – while the park itself remains open, there are restrictions on what buildings at the historic site in Richmond can be accessed by the public.
Closed Places Elsewhere in the Lower Mainland
- Peace Arch Border – the border between USA and Canada has re-opened to non-essential visitors, but still have some restrictions
- Railway Museum of British Columbia – formerly called the West Coast Railway Heritage Park, the Squamish based attraction re-opened in the summer but only on Saturdays as of August, 2021.
- Stave Falls – BC Hydro’s facility in Mission is temporarily closed until the fall of 2021.
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.