I was immediately excited to learn that I would be in Vancouver in time for Canada Day; the time to celebrate a nation and its people. Now I don’t know too much about Canadian history (a fact I hope to improve whilst living here) but I do know that the country is still part of the British Commonwealth, which is why it was easy for me to to obtain a working holiday visa. Here is the itinerary for my first Canada Day in Vancouver.
First Stop: Canada Place
My friend Kate and I began our Canada Day adventure at Canada Place. When we arrived the view in front of me was a sea of red and white, with no part of the body safe from a maple leaf attack: there were maple leaves on tattoos, hats, pins and t-shirts. The festivities at Canada Place were fantastic for families. They included live music from local artists and displays and activities inside the Convention Centre from the Vancouver Aquarium.
Canada Day Parade
After having the Canada favourite poutine for lunch, next on the list of must-see activities was the Canada Day Parade, which made its way to Canada Place via Burrard and West Georgia Streets downtown. It was very entertaining, but I was surprised at the lack of Canada-specific floats and groups. There was the Canadian Mounty Police at the beginning and a marching band, but then we visited China, Japan, the Philippines, the Middle East, Latin America before we saw the Vancouver Aquarium’s entrance. It was fun to watch nonetheless, but I would have liked a bit more red, white and Canada.
The best part was as a band came around the corner singing on the back of a truck, the crowd got to join in to the procession and walk down the street. It was so fun to be able to walk with everyone, waving our flags along the way.
The sea of red and white made its way back to Canada Place to wait until 10:30 pm, when the sun finally set, to watch the fireworks spectacular. And the crowd was not disappointed.
The spectacle lasted for twenty minutes, and it was the perfect ending to a fun celebration. It was an honour to be able to spend Canada Day in Vancouver, and I look forward to participating in more national holidays during my stay.