Archive for the ‘Events & Festivals’ Category

The Fall & Winter hours of 3 must see Vancouver attractions.

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

As the season transitions through Fall into the Winter hours many major attractions will be changing their schedules in line with the changing of daylight hours and volume of tourism traffic.

Many of the attractions at Grouse Mountain have closed for the season due to weather conditions, however, there are still activities that will be carrying on until the resort changes for the Winter season and hopefully the snows will return for the ski season.
A few of the regular attractions such as the Sky Ride 8:45am-10:00pm, Theatre in the sky 9:30am-9:00pm and the Eye of the Wind (Wind Turbine) Guided Tours 11:00am-3:00pm – are all still in operation.

Click on the following link to see what the Seasonal Activities are in operation and you can also see the schedule for the upcoming Winter Season.

Capilano Fall/Winter hours are as follows:
October 13 – November 26 9:00am – 5:00pm
November 27 – January 3 -(Closed Christmas Day – Dec 25) 11:00am – 9:00pm
– to find out Winter hours for 2016 keep checking the Capilano website and follow our Facebook page and blogs for future information.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver, British Columbia. The reason is simple, there are so many things to see and do.

The Canyon Lights will begin on from November 27, 2015 through to Sunday, January 3, 2016. (Closed Christmas Day – December 25th). Park hours are 11:00am – 9:00pm. Canyon Lights tickets are valid all day with holiday activities beginning at 4:00pm.
Celebrate Canyon Lights November 27, 2015 to January 3, 2016. Re-capture the feeling of wonder and excitement of the holiday season and be amazed by the hundreds of thousands of lights throughout the park. The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. See the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 feet tall!), go on a Snowy Owl Prowl, decorate gingerbread cookies and make your own Christmas card in the Winter Pavilion, and sing-along with the holiday band.


During the actual Winter – the Granville Island Public Market will be closed on Mondays – the actual date this begins is still to be confirmed. The current hours through fall are as follows.

Granville Island Public Market Hours: Open 7 days a week: 9am – 7pm
Browse the aisles and sample local and exotic flavours from the very best farmers, bakers, butchers and fishmongers. All fresh. All the time. There’s crafts galore and buskers too. Plus a waterfront courtyard for people-watching.

Net Loft – Open 7 days a week: 10am – 7pm
The Net-Loft has a selection of Stores, shops and crafts – plus eateries for you to enjoy – click here for the full business directory

Kids Market Hours: Open 7 days a week: 10am – 6pm
A wee hidden gem in the heart of Granville Island – The Kids Market is located next to the pond at the entrance to Granville Island and has over 25 shops, services and activities for children and their families.
The Kids Market is housed in an old factory which is over 100 years old, two annex buildings and a train caboose. Shop and play indoors or enjoy the patio and play area beside the pond! Splash around in the water park that is right next door!

The Public Market and Net Loft will be keeping regular hours on Remebrance Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2015.

Queen Elizabeth Park is 75 years old!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Come celebrate Queen Elizabeth Park’s 75th year. Take in a free concert, enjoy our licensed area, free pitch and putt, free admission at the Bloedel Conservatory, $5.00 zipline rides, food trucks, family fun, and much more!

Queen Elizabeth Park
The park itself is located right in the middle of Vancouver and is one of the highest points of the city – the location is affectionately known as ‘Little Mountain’.
Some of the gardens are found to be a in a sunken hollow – this is actually the remnant scarring as the land was once used as a quarry, the rocks that were taken were used to lay down the new road systems for the growing city of Vancouver at the time.

The idea was to transform the ugly scarring of the Quarry into sunken gardens on top of the hill, the growth of plants that had become quite overgrown and not a very good sight to the eye was also transformed to create a larger park for the public to enjoy. The site had been turned over to the Vancouver Park Board for park and recreation purposes, and was dedicated as such by King George VI and his consort, Queen Elizabeth (the mother of Queen Elizabeth II) on their much lauded visit to Vancouver in 1939, as King and Queen of Canada.

Happy 75th Birthday QE
As this is a very big birthday there will be some great events and activities happening in celebration.

Live Music Stage schedule
Beginning at 12:00 noon to 12:30pm with Opening Speeches

12:30pm to 1:30pm Pop Junkies
1:45pm to 2:45pm Hot Panda
3:00pm to 4:15pm Patrick Nazemi
4:30pm to 5:30pm The Zolas
5:45pm to 7:00pm Delhi 2 Dublin

At 2:00pm, 3:30pm, and 5:00pm there will be an aerial show by CircusWest at the fountain plaza.

All day activities from 12:00 noon to 7:00pm with the Stanley Park Brewing licensed area.
$5.00 zipline rides
Free pitch & putt
Free admission at the Bloedel Conservatory
Face painting at the fountain plaza
Photo booth at the fountain plaza
Pickleball at the tennis courts
Free drop-in at the QE lawn bowling club

City of Vancouver QEP:

HONDA Celebration of Light Fireworks

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

In 10 days time our annual street parties returns once more to the Westend where we will be entertained with the annual Celebration of Light Fireworks display at English Bay, and the colourful spectacle that is the Vancouver Pride parade and festival which we will write about in our next blog.

The Honda Celebration of Light is an annual musical fireworks competition held every summer in Vancouver, Canada since 1990. Three companies representing their country perform a 25 minute fireworks display set to accompanying music. This competition is cited as being the longest-running offshore fireworks competition in the world. The fireworks are synchronized to music which is broadcast over the radio station LG104.3 FM.

This years participants are China, Brazil & Canada – we are very excited to see what they will show us as these countries have traditional dazzled and wowed the crowds in the past with excellent pyrotechnics that will amaze! The 2015 Honda Celebration of Light competition begins at 10:00pm sharp each night, rain or shine.

SHOREFEST – Sunset Beach Festival – Live Music begins at 2pm at Sunset Beach & Keg Lounge at English Bay at 7.30pm
Just a little over a 5 minute walk from the hotel you will find Sunset Beach and here is where the festivities begin in the day – this is a great family orientated event and is getting bigger and better each year.

As part of the Sunset Beach Festival, SHOREFEST showcases some of Canada’s top musical acts in one of Vancouver’s most picturesque settings on the shores of English Bay. Come down early to the Sunset Beach stage for live music all afternoon. Then move on over to English Bay to catch our feature performers on the stage in The Keg Lounge. This stage plays to the beach – to you the fans – with rock and roll starting at 7:30pm.

For a complete breakdown of the full days Schedule click here:

LOOK UP ON FESTIVAL NIGHTS! 3 amazing Airshows!
At 8:00 PM lift your eyes to the skies and watch for Super Dave, The Skyhawks, and Anna Serbinenko! These three epic air shows are sure to amaze all of you on the three festival nights.
Saturday July 25 “Super” Dave Mathieson.
Wednesday July 29 Canadian Armed Forces “Skyhawks” Parachute Team.
Saturday August 1 “Skydancer” Anna Serbinenko.

FIFA Women’s Soccer World Cup Final – BC Place in Vancouver on Sunday July 5th

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The FIFA Women’s Soccer world cup is soon to be reaching the grand final which will be held in Vancouver at BC Place Stadium on Sunday July 5th and what an event it has been to date.

Canada had a great run – some may not agree with this, but to make it in the quarter finals in any tournament as big as this is never an easy feat – so we have to congratulate the girls on their effort and especially their fearless Captain Christine Sinclair. Christine is a local girl and both her uncles have experience playing Soccer so it is no surprise that Christine followed in their footsteps. We feel that the current squad with Christine at the helm has put Women’s soccer in the limelight now and we feel for many years to come – and it is for the very fact that women like Christine can show the world that they are an equal to the men with their skills, technical ability and thought process that makes this game such a delight to watch.

As we type this blog it is hot off the heals of the famous USA victory over Germany which has propelled them to a record 4th Final in the world cup tournament – that is a an impressive feat in itself.
It is ironic that Germany were to lose the game in the manner they did, it was as many feel assumed that if the game was to go to penalties then germany were likely to be victors as this was undoubtedly their strengtht as they had been knocking in some accurate goals under immense pressure. So you do have to feel for the German striker Celia Sasic who missed her penalty shot. As in many games of Soccer – it takes a moment of chaos to turn a game on its head and this seems to be the case in this instant.

So the next game coming up is a huge one – England versus Japan – we will love to know who you think will be the victors? Japan has the massive task of getting through to the final knowing that there is a chance of winning back to back tournaments which is hard to do in any sport! England have made 4 appearances in this tournament in the past and have made it only as far as the quarters – so their tails will be up as they feel they have a chance to go all the way – the team had a very good run leading up to this moment with 10 straight wins on the bounce in the qualifying stages that lead to entry into the world cup.

This tournament has been a boon to the economy of Canada and especially Vancouver – we have witnessed immense interest and pleasure in this world cup and have certainly seen the benefits of all the tourism that has inflated the city this past month – the weather has been exceptional too – warm, dry and perfect for Soccer!

We are looking forward to the final and who knows it could be a very good Independence day for the USA?!?!?!

Popular Vancouver events that are FREE!

Friday, June 19th, 2015

There are many events and festivals to enjoy and it all starts this weekend as Summer is really here folks, plus the weather is playing ball too! Get out there and enjoy it as these events are FREE!

CAR FREE DAYS – VANCOUVER June 20th & 21st.
West EndSaturday, June 20th, Noon-6pm from Davie to Robson on Denman Street: Fun for young, old, families, couples and single folks, which includes music, artists, artisans, and lots of local community groups.

Commercial Drive – Sunday, June 21st, Noon-7pm from Venables to Grandview on Commercial Drive: Roller disco, parading drummers, healing gardens, DJs spinning beats, and all your friends and neighbours hanging out.

Main Street – Sunday, June 21st, Noon-7pm from Broadway to 30th on Main Street: Mini-festivals, community-supported stages with dozens of bands, multiple kids zones, artisan markets, roller derby, skateboarding, parkour and more!


National Aboriginal Day Celebrations – June 21st
Saturday, June 20, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Join us for a day of celebration that kicks off with a traditional Coast Salish welcome, followed by a variety of Aboriginal performances, including traditional dances, storytelling and more. National Aboriginal Day is officially designated on Sunday, June 21, 2015 to coincide with the summer solstice. This is a special opportunity to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.


Vancouver International Jazz Festival till July 1
While not all of the events are free, a majority of them are, giving you access to some of the best jazz acts in the city! There are endless options for free performances, including Blue Moon Marquee, Rumba Cazalda, and Karin Plato Ensemble.


Vancouver Buskerfest – Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28
Featuring astonishing and Diverse Street performers from all around Vancouver and all around the globe deliver comedy, circus, music and mayhem on Downtown Vancouver’s main entertainment area that is Granville Street.


Canada Day at Canada Place – July 1st
Canada Day at Canada Place is a celebration that brings communities together to share our special bond of living in one of the greatest country’s in the world and celebrating our freedom, values and diversity. It all ends with a fantastic spectacular Fireworks display.


Canada Day at Granville Island July 1, 10 a.m. to midnight
Canada Day on Granville Island is an all-ages event that goes from morning until late! This year, they’ll start with a pancake breakfast, then continue with jazz festivals, a street festival and a parade. The team at Granville Island encourages you to bring your kids!


Stanley Park Free Outdoor Movies July 7 to August 25
The Evo Summer Cinema Series at Stanley Park is back for another year from July 7 to August 25. Expect classics like Jurassic Park, The Breakfast Club and Harry Potter. Don’t forget to arrive early to get a good spot since upwards of 5,000 people attend each screening


FIFA Women’s world cup soccer comes to Canada and Vancouver #Canada2015

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

As the hockey playoffs get closer to the final that is the Stanley Cup we will turn our attention to another very popular event that is Soccer. Vancouver and Canada welcomes the FIFA Women’s Soccer World cup in June where Vancouver will be one of 6 other cities taking part.

The Women’s world cup tournament has been running since 1991 and like the Men’s tournament returns to the world stage every 4 years, it had been 61 years that the first Men’s Soccer world cup tournament preceded the women’s – which was won by Uruguay in 1930, certainly it was long overdue for the ladies to show us their footballing skills!

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is recognized as the most important international competition in women’s football and is played amongst women’s national football teams of the member states of FIFA, the sport’s global governing body. The current format of the tournament involves 24 teams competing for the title at venues across the host nations country over a period of about three weeks. The grand final game of this tournament will be held in Vancouver at BC place on Sunday July 5th 2015.

Full countrywide schedule of the tournament:

To date only a couple of teams have won the tournament twice – these were Germany in 2003 & 2007, and the USA in 1991 & 1999.

The event in Vancouver will be staged at The BC Place stadium which is the home of the Vancouver Whitecaps (Who incidentally are playing not a bad game these days considering how young the squad is) and the BC Lions CFL team. During June it will be turned into a Soccer haven for probably the best sport of all time.

Just outside BC Place there will be a Fanzone section to enjoy the festivities that this tournament will bring, read the excerpt below taken from the FIFA website.

Fanzone Vancouver at BC Place.
In celebration of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM, the City of Vancouver is hosting FIFA Fan Zone in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The FIFA Fan Zone is just steps from BC Place Stadium and will serve as the main gathering place for fans outside of the stadium.

The Vancouver FIFA Fan Zone will feature talented Canadian bands, a large viewing tent, sponsor activations, and a wide selection of food and drink! It will provide fun and enjoyment for people of all ages, and give the public a chance to experience the excitement of Canada 2015!

FIFA Fan Zone Schedule*:
Saturday June 6 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Monday June 8 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Thursday June 11 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Friday June 12 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Monday June 15 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Tuesday June 16 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sunday June 21 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Tuesday June 23 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Saturday June 27 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Wednesday July 1 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Saturday July 4 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Sunday July 5 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
* Schedule subject to change



Monday, May 4th, 2015

Here are some great events and festivals to check out during the month of May.

DOXA Documentary Film Festival – Runs till May 10th
DOXA is presented by The Documentary Media Society, a Vancouver based non-profit, charitable society (incorporated in 1998) devoted to presenting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences.
The society exists to educate the public about documentary film as an art form through DOXA Documentary Film Festival, a curated and juried festival comprised of public screenings, panel discussions, public forums and educational programs.


Vancouver Farmers Markets – Every Saturday at various locations around the city.
Since 1995, Vancouver Farmers Markets have been supporting small BC farms and producers and bringing you the freshest, most local food in the city.
Along the way, they’ve nourished people, connected neighbours, and contributed millions of dollars to the local and regional economy.


Mothers Day – Sunday May 10th
Many happenings around Vancouver that will be a sure treat for Mum – Check out the Vancouver Couriers suggestions

Roedde House Jazz Concert Series presents: Braveheart feat. Ted Crosby, James Meger and Omar Amlani – Thursday, May 14
Braveheart is a jazz saxophone trio that explores group improvisation and composition with an obstinate sense of honesty and integrity.

The Roedde House museum is a uniquely restored Heritage house in the heart of the West End. Take a stroll through the peaceful, leafy Barclay Heritage Square; sit under the gazebo or on one of the many benches and take in the sights of Roedde House and its Victorian neighbours, such as Barclay Manor.


Old Money: West of Denman Historical Walking Tour
Sunday May 17, 2015 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Before Vancouver’s upper class elite moved to Shaughnessy Heights, “West of Denman” by Stanley Park, was where many of the “Who’s Who” lived until the First World War. Discover who they were, where and how they lived and what lured them out. This tour also explores the lives of the domestic workers, sellers and nursemaids like Janet Smith. Stroll the streets of the West End to hear fascinating stories about this early Vancouver neighbourhood. Meet beside the Buchan Hotel at 1906 Haro St. (at Gilford Street). $10 cash. Drop-in only.


Victoria Day – MAY 18th 2015
Victoria Day is a Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25 in every province and territory. It honours Queen Victoria’s birthday.


Friday, April 17th, 2015

Our very own star Arabella Bushnell is playing the main character of the very funny film ‘Songs she wrote about people she knows.’ which was written and directed by her husband Kris Elgstrand.

Canadian Film Day screening at The Vancity Theatre
(2014, 80 mins)
Director: Kris Elgstrand
CAST Arabella Bushnell, Brad Dryborough, Ross Smith
Classification: PG / 19+

The matinee on April 29 is open to youth. All other screenings are 19+ only.
Showtimes: April 25 08:15 pm, April 27 08:00 pm, April 29 01:00 pm, April 30 06:30 pm
All at the Vancity Theatre

About the film.
Carol, an emotionally bottled up woman, discovers the pitfalls of honest self-expression when she begins writing and singing songs she wrote about people she knows. Her songs immediately alienate her friends and co-workers with one notable exception: her boss Dave, to whom she dedicates the song Asshole Dave. Inspired by the song, Dave fires Carol with a nifty severance so she can pursue her music. Dave, in turn, quits his job, and picks up a guitar in an attempt to revive his long-abandoned dream of becoming a rock star. But Dave’s resolve is challenged when he finds himself in a hotel room in California without his medication. The two misfits soon find themselves working with a strange record producer, Silent G (nee Doug), whose work inspires Carol to confront her biggest emotional obstacle: her mother. Unable to find satisfaction, Carol pours her entire severance package into producing a full album that she shares with her “friends” at a special LP release party.


The film is featuring in the Vancouver International Film Festival which is running until OCTOBER 9th 2015


Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

April 6th was the official date of Vancouver’s 129th birthday. Vancouver is probably one of the most stunning cities in Canada and of course the world – it is usually rated within the top 3 most liveable cities in the world and it really is very hard to argue against this. We will like to create a list to you as to why Vancouver should be at the top of your destination list.

Stanley Park is a gorgeous wooded forest and Park that completely dominates the centre of Vancouver. At 400 Hectares it is bigger than New Yorks Central park and is home to a vast array of incredible Gardens, Sporting facilities an outdoor pool, playparks for children and the natural Fauna and Flora that make the park come alive.
In the Summer time it is a great place to take your family to explore the dense forest and you can also check out the many beaches that can be found following the Seawall that encircles the outside perimeter.

Stanley Park is also home to the world famous Vancouver Aquarium which is home to the rehabilitation of the beloved Beluga Whales

The Seawall itself is a great way to explore the majority of the city and along the way you will be able to come across some notable features of the city such as Granville Island, Science World, the Totem Poles of Stanley Park, the Inukshuk and the Vancouvers most popular beaches such as English Bay. The best way to explore the full 22km wall is by bike rentals. English Bay Bike Rentals:

A cultural hub that lies in the heart of False Creek. Granville Island is home to Vancouver’s largest Public Market which has a huge array of colourful stalls, unique homemade products and the very finest in gastronomic delights. All fresh from the ocean, the oven or the field. Try closing your eyes right now and imagine the rich aromas permeating from the lavish displays. Shimmering seafood, warm baked goods, plump fruit.
There is also plenty of dining out options, entertainment in the form of Theatre, comedy and Arts – it is also a huge hub for busking to delight the masses as they meander around the Island.
You can reach Granville Island using the False Creek Ferries which is a 10 minute walk from the hotel

Built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River and has created a whole complex within the rain forest canopy that is found located above the river half way up the mountainside towards Grouse Mountain. In the last few years the area has expanded so now we have a daring cliffwalk path that leads you out over the canyon close to the steep Granite cliffs that create the towering gorge that has been cut and eroded by the river over thousands of years. There are also treetop viewing points dotted all over the park.

Grouse Mountain did not have much in the way of Snow this year which was a troubling for the Ski enthusiasts, however, as Spring turns to Summer it is time for the Hiking season to begin.
Grouse Mountain

The Grouse Grind
This is a great challenge for any able’d bodied person to use if you are up for the challenge and a great well known hike. This very popular hiking trail is a steep trail that climbs 853 m (2800 feet) from the gate and timer near the bottom of the trail to the “Grind Timer” at the top of the trail, a distance of 2.9 km (1.8 mi), with an average grade of 17 degrees (or 31%) and short sections of up to 30 degrees. The total number of stairs is 2,830.

This is one of the most effective ways to see the best sights of the city, you can Choose from over 20 stops to create your adventure.
Free one-way ferry ride to the public market, galleries and colourful culture of Granville Island
As many as 7 stops in Stanley Park, voted the best urban park in the world
World-class commentary in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin (May 2015)
Vancouver’s only company with convertible, clear-top bus covers for stunning views rain or shine.

For further information read out latest blog on the tour itself

April 2015 events in Vancouver

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

April is a great time to visit the city in Vancouver. The city starts to warm up nicely with the colours of the plants and trees in full bloom which makes the city vividly come alive.


Now in its 31st year the Vancouver Sun Run has grown ever popular since the very first run way back in 1985 which had 3,200 participants at the 2014 event it attracted 45,183 participants which is quite the jump in numbers! The run is Canada’s largest 10k event and was founded by former Canadian Olympians Dr. Doug & Diane Clement & Dr. Jack Taunton.
The purpose was top promote a healthier lifestyle among the population and a chance for long distance athletes to improve their sport.

PLAYLAND at the PNE April to October
One of the most popular attractions at the PNE site is Playland Amusement Park which is a 15-acre amusement park that has hosted millions of thrillseekers of all ages since it opened in 1910.
The Park was named “Happy Land” in 1926 and remained on the original site until 1958, when it was moved to its present site and re-opened under the name, Playland.
Playland’s marquee attraction, the beloved 1958 Wooden Roller Coaster remains the most popular ride on the site and one of the most highly regarded wooden coasters in the world.

Although the Whales start to become visible in the coastal waters of BC around the beginning of March the officila Whale Watching Season for guided tours runs from April 1st to October 31st.
There are various Tour operators that you can use to spend a day out at sea to catch these Whales. Reservations for these tours can be made directly with us at the Front desk of the hotel.

Vancouver operations
Wild Whales Vancouver
1806 Mast Tower Road – Granville Island
Vancouver, B.C.
V6H 4B6 Canada Phone: 604-699-2011

South Vancouver/Richmond/Steveston area
Vancouver Whale Watch
Suite 210 – 12240 Second Avenue
Richmond (Steveston), BC
Canada V7E 3L8
Phone: (604) 274-9565

Victoria operations
Prince of Whales
812 Wharf Street, Lower Causeway Level
Victoria, BC V8W 1T3 Canada
Toll-free 1-888-383-4884