You may be saying to yourself – another long weekend is here. BUT, this is not just any long weekend…it is THE long weekend of the summer right across the country. It is our nation’s Birthday – and as a young nation we sure know how to party like we have been around awhile! In fact in a nation that has federally proclaimed that Caesars are the national drink and Poutine is the national dish, it is no wonder that we know how to throw a shindig...and party we will! Plans range widely on this mega long weekend, but one thing is the same – we come together as a nation, wear our red and white loud and proud, drink far too many brewski's, and there isn’t even any hockey on!

Vancouver offers just about a zillion things to do this June 27th long weekend to honour Canada Day on the July 1st. Everything from live music events, parades, fireworks, backyard bonfires, and family traditions – this weekend is rich with things to see and do. In our family, it is a time where everyone descends on Mum and Dad’s and the BBQ has to have two back up propane tanks to feed us all, as the neighbourhood always seems to follow the smell of Beer Can Chicken and the sound of laughter. We mark the night with a fireworks display that is always the highlight for those of us young and old. I am a patriot. I love everything about our Country – the good and the bad. As far as I am concerned we live in the most beautiful, friendliest, safest place on earth. Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday to you Happy Birrrthhhhday dear Canada, HAPPY Birthhhhhday tooooooo youuuuu!!! And many, many more.

Whether you are a first generation Canadian, a new immigrant, a long term permanent resident, or are ten generations strong – Canada has embraced us, sheltered us, (has health care!) and taken care of us –  I love her for it, and she loves you. 

Here is a quick peak of what is out there for you to see and do – have a wonderful long weekend everyone.

Canada at Granville Island

Granville Island has a huge Canada Day celebration which includes a Parade, a Truly Canadian Pancake Breakfast and Great Canadian BBQ (courtesy of Dockside Restaurant), an official Canada Day Ceremony with cake, live jazz, performers, and MELA!, a South Asian cultural fair. This is one of the best venue’s for families with young kids: bring a picnic blanket and take breaks to let the kids run at the free Granville Island Water Park. Consider riding your bike, taking a water taxi or parking off Island and walking in, parking can be quite competitive that day to say the least – but don’t let that deter you!
When: 8am - Midnight
Where: Granville Island

Canada Day at Canada Place – How Apropos!

Canada Place hosts Downtown Vancouver's biggest Canada Day celebration with a free Waterfront Party that includes live music and entertainment on three stages, followed by the annual and spirited Canada Day Parade. Highlights of the 2014 Waterfront Party include 25 musical acts,the West Coast Lumberjack Show, which to me is the reason to attend! Sports of all kinds, and an artisan market from people all over BC.
When: Waterfront Party: 10am - 6pm; Parade starts at 7pm
Where: Canada Place; Parade starts at the corner of Georgia Street & Broughton Street.
Canada Place also co-produces the Burrard Inlet Fireworks which is next here on the list, so you can make an entire day of your visit!!

Canada Day Burrard Inlet Fireworks Show

Top off your Canada Day celebrations with this pyrotechnic extravaganza! I love FIREWORKS!!!! With barges in Dundarave and Coal Harbour, the annual Fireworks Show will be visible from northwest-side Downtown (Coal Harbour, parts of Stanley Park), West Vancouver (the seawall between Ambleside and Dundarave), North Vancouver (Lower Lonsdale). Bring a blanket and some snacks and tuck into the best Birthday cake candles ever!
When: 10:30pm - 11pm
Where: Vancouver Downtown / Coal Harbour

Note: You can't see the fireworks from English Bay or Spanish Banks / the southwest Vancouver beaches. You need to be on the northwest side of Downtown Vancouver.

Other noteworthy events

Canada Day at the Steveston Salmon Festival
Steveston, Richmond's historic and adorable fishing village, attracts over 70,000 visitors to its joint Canada Day and Steveston Salmon Festival. The festival includes a parade, craft shows, cultural events, and Steveston's famous salmon barbecue, where over 1200 pounds of wild salmon filets are grilled over open fire pits. Uh, can you say YUM!
Steveston Village, Richmond
6:30am till 5:00pm

Surrey Canada Day
It may not be Vancouver – but Surrey offers the largest Canada celebration in Western Canada! Whoa! Huge stages allow for an enormous outdoor concert. There is lots to eat, see do and take in at this amazing event. Including the Fruiticana Fireworks Festival!
When: 10am - 10:30pm
Where: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, Surrey, BC