Vancouver will slip into obscurity this Saturday, March 29 at 8:30pm, as residents and businesses across the city switch off their lights for Earth Hour – the largest environmental event in the world.
Given that Vancouver a) knows how to celebrate, b) plans to be the world’s Greenest City by 2020, and c) is the 2013 winner – and host of the 2014 awards for – the “We Love Cities” Earth Hour City challenge, there’s no shortage of ways to spend Earth Hour in the city.
You might notice some local landmarks looking a bit darker than usual this Saturday…
Some of our most iconic attractions and hotels have committed to turning down non-essential lighting for Earth Hour:
- Canada Place will dim the lights on its iconic sails
- BC Place has pledged to shut down its award-winning, multi-coloured LED lighting
- Pacific Centre plans to power down all escalators and non-essential lighting
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is the place to be during an hour of complete darkness with visitors able to peer through telescopes into the night sky and catch a special screening of “Universe in a Night”
- Four Seasons Vancouver Hotel will shut off all non-essential lighting to host an evening by candlelight at YEW seafood + bar, including the introduction of “Highway 99” – a “100-mile cocktail” featuring ingredients and spirits sourced within 100 miles (or 160 kilometres).
- Fairmont Chateau Whistler will be pedaling towards clean energy. Participants are able to pedal on a stationary bike located in the hotel lobby and blend their own organic smoothie. Guests can also dine by candlelight while enjoying acoustic music and green themed activities.
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport will be starting by dimming all lights and lighting their pedway with tea lights. Guests are also encouraged to participate and can win a complimentary night’s stay by sharing their pictures on social media.
Other businesses taking part in Earth Hour include:
As for Inside Vancouver? We’ll be spending Earth Hour (unofficially re-dubbed “Earth Cocktail Hour”) dining, sampling and sipping at local eateries that have come up with creative ways to participate. With 32 of Vancouver’s finest establishments on board, the hardest part is deciding where to go first. Our top picks:
LIFT – Bar Grill View will dish up a special Earth Day feature: Fraser valley ostrich and Alaska octopus Carpaccio with garlic chips, micro greens, shaved radishes and dry-cured chorizo sausage.
P2b bistro at Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel will feature two flaming cocktails for the day as well as free dessert with the purchase of an entrée (between 8pm-10pm).
Graze Restaurant will serve dinner by candlelight during Earth Hour while eliminating non-critical power consumption. The beer may be warm, but the music will be live!
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel will host a cocktail reception “under the stars” in the foyer and Pavilion ballroom with local beers, wines and an acoustic performance. Solar-powered lighting will illuminate the walkway from tower to tower.
Sylvia Restaurant & Lounge will turn off the lights and spark up the candles to enhance the view of English Bay.
Rocky Mountain Flatbread will feature a three-course candlelight dinner for just $18. Ask the staff about the restaurant’s new green initiatives like growing greens and mushrooms on-site.
Five Sails Restaurant will turn down the lights, all the better for guests to admire the view of a dimmed North Shore and Grouse Mountain.
The Parker will dim the lights while continuing their usual zero waste operations.
Other participating restaurants are:
Spencer’s (at Delta Vancouver Suites Hotel)
Mosaic Bar & Grille
So there’s your excuse to dine out on Saturday, March 29 (as if you needed one). Just don’t forget to turn off the lights before you head out!
Earth Hour is organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a symbolic stand against climate change. For one hour, millions of people switch off the lights to demonstrate how great things can be achieved when we come together for a common cause.
Staying in? Check out these home-bound ideas from WWF.
How will you spend Earth Hour? Be sure to take pictures and tweet them to @myVancouver or try the hashtag #momentofdarkness