Even though the rainy weather still feels like spring, Canada Day is just around the corner. Parties will be taking place across the city on Friday, July 1, but one of the biggest celebrations is at Canada Place. 30 bands will be performing on five different stages. There’s the big Canada Day Parade and, of course, fireworks over the Burrard Inlet. Here’s a rundown of the essentials:
Where: Canada Place (i.e. the iconic building downtown with the big white sails) and the surrounding streets downtown, including Canada Place Way, Jack Poole Plaza (where the Olympic cauldron is) and Harbour Green Park. Expect great views of the Burrard Inlet, majestic North Shore mountains and Stanley Park.
When: Friday, July 1, 2011.
- 10 a.m.-7 p.m: Waterfront Party at Canada Place. In addition to the five stages of music, the party will feature a range of interactive art, entertainment and other activities.
- 7 p.m.: Canada Day Parade starts at the corner of West Georgia and Broughton Streets.
- 10:30 p.m: Canada Day Burrard Inlet Fireworks Show starts, with two barges launching fireworks from Coal Harbour and also Dundarave in West Vancouver.
- Music: The big headliner of the festivities is Grapes of Wrath, the band from Kelowna that took Canada by storm in the ’80s and ’90s. They’ll be performing at 6:10 p.m. on the main stage in Jack Poole Plaza. Also be sure to check out The Irish Descendants and Chic Gamine, two Canadian acts that have risen to international acclaim; Montréal’s afro-pop group, H’sao; and local legend Dal Richards.
- Activities: Inside Hall A at Canada Place, you’ll find Creative Nation, a variety show featuring circus acrobats, dancers and performers. Kids will enjoy Young Nation in Harbour Green Park, featuring interactive workshops, circus performers, giant board games, face painting, water park and much more.
- Exhibits: Inside Ballrooms A and B at Canada Place, you’ll find Face of Canada, a collection of over 100 original oil portraits of notable Canadians, including hockey great Bobby Hull, Sir. John A MacDonald, Leslie Nielsen, Sarah McLachlan and Michael J. Fox.
- Parade: More than 60 elaborate entries highlighting diversity and 100,000 spectators are expected for the big parade, which begins at 7 p.m. at Georgia and Broughton Streets and then heads north down Burrard Street.
- Fireworks: New this year, spectators can buy reserved seating for the 10:30 p.m. show ($10; kids 12 and under free), which guarantees great views and washroom access. Or you can watch the fireworks for free from locations throughout Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, and West and North Vancouver.