In Absence of a Parade

Messages of thanks and support left on police cars. Photo: Amy Pieschel

Messages of thanks and support left on police cars. Photo: Amy Pieschel

Today was supposed to be a day of celebration where Vancouverites and visitors gathered together to attend one of the biggest parades in the city’s history. Unfortunately, the Canucks didn’t win the Stanley Cup and the reality of that is starting to sink in.

There is no parade or celebration today. If anything, the city is still dealing with the ramifications of Wednesday night’s chaos.

It’s been difficult to watch or read international news reports that showed graphic footage and images of the criminals who destroyed part of downtown Vancouver. It’s been even tougher to listen to reporters, and by extension, readers and viewers, condemn our city based on the actions of less than 1% of the people who had congregated to watch the final game.

Frankly, I don’t blame anyone for drawing the conclusion that we’re all hoodlums. Pictures don’t lie. Seeing how violent people became while others stood by or cheered on the culprits, leaves a lasting impression or perception. No doubt, average Vancouverites cursed or cringed at the media coverage. But today, in spite of the absence of a parade, we desperately wish that international media could see us now.

Today, Vancouver is bustling with residents and visitors enjoying our destination the way it should be enjoyed. What’s more, the city stands both humbled and proud by how average people have responded. Since first light yesterday, thousands have poured into the downtown core to voluntarily clean-up the mess. Even more people expressed their heartfelt feelings by writing words of encouragement on the plywood sheets that cover broken windows of businesses damaged during the melee. Police cars are covered in ‘post-it’ notes with expressions of gratitude for the work officers did to restore the city. Furthermore, citizens are intent on identifying the hooligans captured on film to ensure that justice is served. Dozens of the criminals have been ‘outed’ or have voluntarily turned themselves in.

While we’re still mourning the Canucks loss and our city’s tarnished reputation, we know we’ll bounce back, both on the ice and in the streets.

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4 Responses to In Absence of a Parade

  1. Melanie R

    Why ISN’T there a party for the Canucks coming in 2nd place? The national soccer team in the Netherlands got a parade+party (including a free concert from Armin van Buuren) for coming in 2nd in the World Cup Finals last year…
    http://www.amsterdam.nl/algemene_onderdelen/overige/wk_huldiging

    If the City of Vancouver had said ahead of time that we would celebrate the Canucks after Game 7 — win or lose — it might have set a more positive tone for both the media coverage (leading up to the game) and for people’s attitudes that evening. I’m not saying that this would have prevented the riots — but it certainly wouldn’t have hurt. (And a parade/party for the Canucks costs less than cleaning up riot damage.) Perhaps this is something to keep in mind for next time..

  2. Elisabeth

    What happened is horrible and my heart goes out to the people who were hurt and those who have been (and probably still are) cleaning up the mess.

    But no city can be held accountable for idiots going crazy. Unfortunately, those seem to abound just about everywhere.

    I’m still looking utterly forward to my Vancouver experience this summer… and while I’m at it, a big thank you to everyone writing and posting pictures here: You’ve been making me feel literally homesick for a place I’ve never yet been.

  3. Johnny

    Instead of rioting over a loss, why dont you riot over the Haprer regime, you know the ones you, in BC, got elected.

    Cause all you potheads are going to be thrown in his new prisons that he is building.

    Possession of marijuana will get you 6 months in Harper’s attack on the drug.

    & by the way, that Apology Board? I have never seen something so corny as that.

  4. Kevin G

    My family and I booked our summer vaction to your city before the playoffs began. It was only a coincidence that being from Boston we would be playing against your team for the Stanley Cup. Having spoken to Vancouver fans attending the games in Boston I was looking forward to my visit to your city even more. Hearing the reports on the news Thursday morning about the reactions of some ” fans” I was taken back. Was this the same Canadiens I thought I knew? Trusting that only a few short sighted people can make a city look bad (all cities have them). I have continued to plan for our trip to Vancouver and seeing the real people who make up your city.