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 April 16th, 2021, the virus has infected over 117,000 people in this province (which is 1,005 more than the previous day). Of these, 105,291 people (or 89.9%) have already recovered. 1,530 people (or 1.31% of those infected), however, have died. There have also been 1,106,062 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!
Also as of April 16th, the Vancouver Coastal Health Region has had 29,163 cases (including 259 in the previous 24 hours and 3,005 currently active cases). The Fraser Health Region, meanwhile, has had 66,814 (including 536 since the previous day and 5,304 currently active cases). To date, 1,282,091 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 March 29th BC Health Authorities announced a tightening of restrictions related to the pandemic. These included the prohibition of indoor dining at restaurants until April 19th (which has since been extended, likely until the May Long Weekend).
New regulations announced on March 29th included the following:
- Restaurants cannot provide indoor dining services. Outdoor patio service, takeout and delivery are still allowed.
- Indoor group fitness classes for adults aren’t allowed for at least the next three weeks. Individual training is still permitted.
- The ski resort of Whistler Blackcomb is closed.
- The administering of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under the age of 55 has been halted temporarily.
- Outdoor social gatherings of up to 10 people from within the same “bubble” are still permitted.
As per government orders, since November of 2020, social gatherings have not been allowed with people from outside one’s own household or core bubble. Public events have also been prohibited. On February 5th, 2021, the provincial government extended the current range of restrictions indefinitely. On March 11th some easing of restrictions was announced.
As of March 11th, 2021, folk can once again socialize outdoors with up to 9 other people. Physical distancing is still mandatory and masks should continue to be worn when necessary. This means that social “bubbles” can now expand from just immediate household members to a few other people, but only in outdoor settings.
Gatherings should still be limited though to a maximum of 10 people from within the same “bubble”(meaning that your consistent core “bubble” should be the same for everyone within your group).
For exact details about the revised 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
- Cloverdale Rodeo – the event normally happens on the May Long Weekend.
- Shen Yun – the American-based Chinese performing arts company was going to be in Vancouver in April. Its shows were cancelled in 2020 and now again in 2021. It hopes to return in March of 2022.
- Robson Square Ice Skating – the free ice skating in downtown Vancouver was cancelled for the entire 2020/21 winter season.
- Surrey Vaisakhi Festival – the massive East Indian parade that attracts hundreds of thousands of people was officially cancelled in mid-March, so a month prior to when it normally takes place.
- Vancouver Boat Show – the international boat show at Granville Island and BC Place Stadium would normally have taken place in February of 2021. Now it won’t happen until 2022 at the earliest.
- Vancouver Fan Expo – the trade show for people who love superheroes and comic books was going to happen on the Family Day Long Weekend in 2021. It got cancelled and now won’t take place until February 19-21 in 2022.
- Vancouver International Wine Show – the prestigious festival was going to run from February 20th to 28th in 2021, but it has now been cancelled. Smaller wine-themed events might still happen, although exact details are to be determined.
- Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade – the large cultural festival in South Vancouver would have happened on April 17th.
- Whistler Pride and Ski Festival – the LGBTQ-themed series of events were going to happen in late January. Now though they won’t run until January 23rd to 30th in 2022.
- Vancouver Comic and Toy Show – a trade show featuring comics, art and collectible items. It was scheduled for February 28th, 2021, but has since been cancelled.
Closed Vancouver Attractions Due to COVID-19
As of the end of March, 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
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden – the classical Chinese garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown is closed from October 19th until May 24th.
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – the space centre and planetarium in Vanier Park are closed until further notice, but online and outdoor programs have become available. As of December 2020, the venue was also offering on-site events, but not every day, and the general exhibits still aren’t open to the public.
- 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.
- Firehall Arts Centre – all shows at the venue have been cancelled for at least the period of November 20th until February 5th, 2021.
- 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 April 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 the spring.
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 won’t welcome the public until around mid-2021.
- Quarry Rock in Deep Cove – the hiking trails up to the rock are closed until further notice.
Closed Places in Burnaby
- Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum at Deer Lake is normally closed this time of year. It was supposed to be open though over the Christmas holidays. Because of COVID-19, however, the venue’s annual Heritage Christmas attraction didn’t take place.
- 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
- 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 was also cancelled for 2020. As of January 2021, the park was still closed.
- Stewart Farm – the farmhouse in Elgin Heritage Park is temporarily closed, but guided outdoor tours are available as of the middle of the summer.
- Museum of Surrey – the museum in Cloverdale has been open, but is closed for the month of January in 2021.
- Peace Arch Border – the border between USA and Canada is temporarily closed to non-essential travel and trade.
Closed Places the in Fraser Valley
- Kilby Farm – as of the middle of January, Kilby Museum is closed for the season. Parts of the campground, however, remain open to the public.
- Twilight Drive-In Theatre – the outdoor movie theatre venue in Langley had to close until further notice.
- Stave Falls – BC Hydro’s facility in Mission is temporarily closed.
Closed Places in Whistler & the Sea to Sky Region
- Scandinave Spa – the European spa in Whistler is closed between April 4th and the 15th of 2021 due to a possible exposure to COVID-19 among its staff. (Note: The venue is not considered to have been an outbreak site for guests.)
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – the Indigenous museum and cultural centre in Whistler is closed between April 4th and the 27th in 2021.
- 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.
Closed Places Elsewhere in the Lower Mainland
- Paintball Venues – paintball game centres throughout the Lower Mainland temporarily ceased operations. While Richmond Indoor Paintball and Ambush Paintball in Surrey have both reopened, Maple Ridge’s Delta Force Paintball remained closed as of the last time we checked.
- 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.
- Vancouver Paddlewheeler – the New Westminster-based boat tour company suspended operations until further notice as of December 30th, 2020.
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
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.