"The Celebration of Light" Top 5 Page for this destination Celebration of Light Tip by Carmanah

Celebration of Light, Vancouver: 11 reviews and 13 photos

  People watching China's fireworks in August 2005
by Carmanah

If you're looking for some free entertainment and a great excuse to sit on a beach for hours to watch an exhillarating fireworks display, you likely won't be disappointed with the Celebration of Light.

The HSBC Celebration of Light is one of Vancouver's largest summer events that happens on Wednesday and Saturday during the last week of July and the first week of August. Some people might still remember it, or call it the Benson & Hedges "Symphony of Fire", however, they had to change the name because tobacco company sponsorship was considered morally wrong for such a family event.

The firework displays are about 45 minutes in length and are synched to music that plays from the speakers on the beach. The fireworks are set up on a large barge off of English Bay. Thousands of people gather along English Bay beach, although many also view the fireworks from Kits Beach, as it's visible from the southern shores.

There are three countries that compete against eachother - they often change every year. Some of the previous countries that I've seen are China, USA, Canada, Australia, France, Japan, Germany, and Sweden.

Note that the crowds often start gathering on the beach in the afternoon. You wouldn't want to grab a spot on the beach any later than 8pm. Do *not* drive to the event as the roads are closed and the traffic afterwards does not start moving for over an hour. While some people get drunk and rowdy during these events, this is the minority. For the most part, this is a safe, family-oriented event and the biggest public event in Vancouver.

Address: English Bay, Vancouver
Directions: Viewing is free from any beach downtown or in Kitsilano, although the best viewing is from the shore of English Bay downtown. Kits Beach, while further away, is less-hectic.
Website: http://www.celebration-of-light.com/fireworks/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Mar 21, 2006
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


Carmanah Lives Here!


“You only live once!”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 4 6 0

Have you been to Vancouver?

  Share Your Travels