Posts Tagged ‘Celebration of Light’

Exploring Vancouver’s West End. Part 3. Beaches and Seawall.

Monday, April 14th, 2014

On Sunday evening the skies were clear and you could feel the warmth of Spring in the air, the breeze had a slight chill to it but nothing to make you uncomfortable or ruin the moment. It was the perfect evening to catch the Sunset at one of the beaches that hug the Seawall around the West End.

Beaches of the West End
Walk westbound for around 10 to 15 minutes down the hill on Davie Street and you will reach the western boundary of the West End district – here you will be greeted by the very popular English Bay Beach and the entrance to Stanley Park with the gorgeous Lost Lagoon dividing suburbia and nature – read our next Blog installment on the West End and we have more to say about the Lagoon.

As the Sun was setting on Sunday April 14th there were many many people who were gathering at the English Bay to see it, we were at the peninsula where the stunning Inukshuk is standing – which is an excellent area to watch the Sun set. The waters of English bay were quite calm and had a stunning metallic gold shimmer with dashes of blue reflecting from the stunning blue skies above. As the Sun was setting the crowds had swollen in size and there were lots of cheering and drumming as the spectacle came to its finale!


Photo courtesy of Kyle Pearce at Unifiedstream – visit their site at http://www.unifiedstream.com/

Inukshuk Monument at English Bay
Standing by the Inukshuk you really get to see the beauty that this city has to offer and also the realisation of what a wonderfully cute area that the West End is, the location of the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel is indeed a prime spot for us and our guests.
The Inukshuk itself looks very majestic overlooking the ocean and the North Shore mountains as a great backdrop, it is a great opportunity for some incredible photographic shots and memories of your stay in Vancity. It is also one of the most recognised landmarks in this part of the world and is a symbolic representation for the First Nations peoples and adopted for the Winter Olympic Games of 2010. Traditionally the Inukshuk were used as markers for a point of reference when navigating the land especially during hunting in the more northern climes of Canada- they were also used as Sign posts for settlements in the area.

Click Inukshuk and you will see a great video on the meaning of this symbolic monument is.

Looking at the map, you will find the Inukshuk is located at the South Side of English Bay at the mouth of False Creek – our Hotel is at the same spot marked where the HI Hostel is..

The Seawall
The Seawall is one of the most walked, run and biked paths in Vancouver and at 22km long it encompasses Stanley Park, and much of the Downtown peninsula with a plethora of sights to absorb and photograph- one things for sure you will certainly remember this part of your visit.

Balancing Rocks
We suggest that you walk from English Bay back South to South East where you start to follow the seawall along the opening of False Creek towards Burrard Bridge and Granville Island, along this path you will come across some really cool Rock structures balanced on the large boulders and rocks embedded among the pebbles and sand.
Everywhere you go along the beaches in Vancouver, if there are rocks, there are likely to be plenty that are balancing on top of each other, and as much as you may believe that they are glued on, well, you will be wrong, the glue that is holding them together is quite literally the natural force of gravity and the awesome art of balance!

Rock Pools and Sandy Beaches at Sunset Beach.
Further along the Sea Wall you will notice that there are more options to hang out at the waters edge, here the rocks make way for Sandy beaches and large Logs that have been lined up for you to hang out and have a picnic. This is called Sunset Beach the hotels namesake and is the quieter option in comparison to the popular English Bay.
As the Rockier beaches transition to more Sandy style beaches you can easily explore the area with your family, just be mindful of the tides of course. Along the beaches you can come across some cool Rock Pools and see some smaller fish, crabs and all varieties of colour from the Seaweed and Algae that adorn the rocks and pebbles. It is also a great area to watch all the local Birds such as Geese, Gulls, Crows and the majestic Herons, if you have a really keen eye, you may even catch a glimpse of a Seal popping its head up from the water…

Events that are best seen from Sunset Beach and English Bay during the Summer
There are lots of events that happen in Vancouver throughout the year, here we will highlight a couple of the major events that come to our neck of the woods.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Display.
These Fireworks come to Vancouver every single year and draw in very large crowds of locals and tourists alike every year, the display is a competition that travels the world each year and our turn comes at the end of July and the beginning of August – the masses love to get their prime seat down at English Bay, but for us, we feel that Sunset Beach will do the job and is quieter too, so if you do not like the crowds – Sunset Beach it is!
Celebration of Light: http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Pride Parade and Festival.
Davie Village which is adjacent to the Hotel is home to the Gay District of Vancouver so naturally that means we have fun with the annual Gay Pride Parade. This event always happens on the final weekend of the Celebration of Light fireworks.
The Parade winds it way from Robson St through to Denman where the procession ends at Sunset Beach and then the party truly begins!
Vancouver Pride Parade: https://vancouverpride.ca/

For further information on other Vancouver Top Attractions – click here: http://www.sunsetinn.com/leisure/attractions

Open Air cinema and other summer film events

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The festivals have really knocked our socks off in the area, what with the culmination of the fantastically colourful Pride Parade and the grand finale of the Celebration of lights fireworks display, the West End really showed us all what a Vancouver Summer festival is all about, and what about that weather! Absolutely perfect sunshine and great warmth to please the masses.

August is a great month to check out some free events in the city, our highlight today are the free outdoor movies.

Head down to Stanley Park at Second Beach near the open air pool, here you will find the location for the Fresh Air Cinema.

http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2012/06/19/free-outdoor-movies-in-stanley-park-start-july-3-2012/

Every Tuesday there will be an awesome movie for you to enjoy, so get out there, bring a picnic and sit back and enjoy the show!

Also, if you are into something a little different, check out the Pacific Cinematheque. Here they are showing a spotlight on Alfred Hitchcock and his works, and during mid to end of August, the cinema will be showcasing Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 years.

http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca/

Watch Vancouver roar with Pride over this coming week and weekend!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The West End is alive with the sound of music, fireworks and probably the best weather of the summer season so far!

It all began in spectacular fashion with the opening of annual Celebration of Lights Fireworks display and it did not disappoint, with calm and completely clear skies, the stage was set for Vietnam (appearing for the very 1st time) to dazzle the strong crowd of well over 300 000 excited spectators, we really enjoyed the display especially the music which infused some traditional music and some more well known songs from our side of the pond which certainly got the crowd dancing. Next up on Wednesday will be Brazil to give us their best shot to try and win this competition. We anticipate a noisy booming affair.

Anyone who is staying at The Sunset Inn and Suites or elsewhere in the West-End will tell you that there is an unmistakable buzz in the air, and this is all for very good reason, as all week we are leading up to the 34th Annual Pride Festival and Parade. This is where the West End comes alive and its all fun in the sun.

Here is what to expect…

Friday August 3 from 7pm till 12pm – DAVIE STREET DANCE PARTY.
Start the weekend on the right foot and boogie on down at Davie where the street will be closed off for a Dance Party! Featuring some of the best and hottest DJs of the summer season, main entrance is at Broughton and Davie Street. This event is 19+ and cash only.

Saturday August 4th from 4pm till 10pm – SHOREfest.
Hosting free concerts on two music stages at English Bay and Sunset Beach, catch some of the hottest bands in Canadian music, absolutely free. The concerts preceded the grand finale of the finale to the Celebration of light, where Italy bow out the show starting at 10pm.

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Sunday August 5th – PRIDE FESTIVAL, PARADE AND MARKET.
@Sunset Beach, 11am to 6pm The festival is a great place to check out before, during and after the parade.

34th ANNUAL PRIDE PARADE at 12pm
Starts @Robson and Denman and ends at Beach and Thurlow, with an expected attendance of over 700,000 spectators.

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

So go out there and have fun, and support such an event that embraces equality and love in this huge world community of ours!

What to expect from the parade? See the link below.

http://youtu.be/J9gm3lMacOQ

Celebration of lights fireworks begins on Saturday July 28th!!!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The Sunset Inn hotel is getting ready for the official start of major festivities in Vancouver.

Starting this Saturday July 28th, the first of 3 huge fireworks displays will be occurring at English Bay as part of the annual Celebration of Light Fireworks competition.

This is an event that is by far one of the most popular in Vancouver, and for all those who live in the West End we see this as the true beginning of summer.

Please see the link below to know what to expect…

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

This is a major event in the city, and with any huge event such as this you will have to expect road closures, so, we do strongly suggest that if you do have a vehicle this will be the best day to leave it at the hotel, the West End completely shuts down for traffic at around 4pm, so the streets can let around half a million people migrate through the West End towards English Bay.

We always suggest that you head straight down to the Beach via the seawall on Thurlow Street to Sunset Beach and towards English Bay…..you do not have to be right at the Bay to see the display, it will be crazy full and if anything Sunset Beach will be quieter yet – still it has an amazing vantage point, also GO EARLY….there will be a stage and live bands to entertain you as the sun sets before the big show shoots into the sky at 10pm…be prepared to be dazzled!!!!

As for the rest of the summer, please keep checking this blog for further exciting events. Over the next couple of months the Vancouver Calender does get pretty busy, the events following the fireworks are as follows…….The Davie Street Dance Party on August 3rd.

http://www.coopradio.org/events/barefoot-davie-street-dance-party

Following hot on its heels is the Annual Pride Festival and parade, then all this ends with a bang with the Vancouver Fringe Festival during September…….summer has never been so good in Vancity!!!

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

Also in 2009 during the South African display at the celebration of light, a very rare thunderstorm moved over the city and very nearly upstaged the event itself, I believe the footage will speak for itself…..the 1st is a timelapse of the day, pretty breathtaking, the second video is the full display itself…enjoy!

http://youtu.be/HNgk1pEHi_Q

http://youtu.be/TwDDdfLYbDA