Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vancouver's summer fireworks - it's back on!

Vancouver's Celebration of Light, 2003
Viewing the fireworks from English Bay, 2003

A few weeks ago I posted this entry where I announced the cancellation of Vancouver's annual summer fireworks competition.

Well good news! According to this Vancouver Sun article, The Keg - a steakhouse chain (that had its origins in North Vancouver) - and other unnamed sponsors coughed up enough money to kick start Vancouver's summer fireworks festival back into reality for 2009.

Yay or Nay? You decide.

For those interested, the official dates for the 2009 Celebration of Light are July 22, July 25, July 29, August 1.

Update: March 11, 2009 - The other "unnamed" sponsors are Shore 104 FM, in addition to HSBC Bank Canada, London Drugs, Concord Pacific Developments, Tourism Vancouver, BC Hydro, YVR Airport Authority and Edgewater Casino.


Erik Mondrian said...

Awesome news! :D As I mentioned in my previous comment on your English Bay/West End post, I'm planning to move up to Vancouver this year (and since I just recently found out I got accepted to the program I applied to, that's now a definite!), and I had really been looking forward to seeing the "Celebration of Light" until I heard it was going to be canceled.

Thrilled that they're bringing it back and that I'll get a chance to see it in person. ^_^

Robyn said...

Congrats!! That's fantastic that you've been accepted to the PhD program. What are you studying? Are you going to be studying out at UBC? If so, I did my undergrad there. :)

BTW - my apologies for not responding to your initial comment! Reading back, it is funny that I called 8 degrees Celsius "warm". Obviously, it's not a warm summer's day... but when you've been in a strange, unusual deep freeze, 8 degrees is pure bliss! :D

Erik Mondrian said...

Yeah, temperature's definitely relative. I've been thinking it's "cold" here in San Diego when it drops to the high 50s/low 60s (13 - 17 C), so I'm sure I'll be in for quite a shock my first winter in Vancouver. :D Better get some warm clothing...

And I kind of wish I were going to UBC, just for the amazing location, but I'm actually going to be in the Interactive Arts & Technology program at SFU Surrey. Hoping to find somewhere nice (and not *too* expensive) to live downtown, though. Been scouting craigslist to get an idea of what's available, and so many places don't allow pets. :( Don't have a dog yet, but I've been wanting to get one and it's one of my goals for when I get up there.

Only area (downtown, at least) that seems to be both comparatively inexpensive AND pet friendly is Gastown, but of course from what I've read it has its own problems. What's your perspective on that?

Robyn said...

SFU is good too although I have no personal experience there as a student, they do have some excellent programs. I actually had no idea that they had a campus out in Surrey, but actually, now that I think about it, I think I know where it is.

Hrm... Gastown can be a really cool place to live in as long as you don't mind drug addicts and homeless people hanging around at street level, or in your doorway, or in your back alley. It's not dangerous, but there's certainly a seedy element to being there. I've had friends that have lived there and have loved it - you get some fantastic spacious lofts in old heritage buildings and often some excellent waterfront views. The area's also experienced a renaissance in the past few years - lots of up and coming restaurants have opened up shop there, so Gastown has become a bit of a foodie destination. Saying that, it's not particularly an area I like to linger around in after dark - there's not much there.

Grocery shopping is also an issue there - there's not much there, unless you go to Chinatown. There's a T&T Grocery store nearby Gastown, but it may or may not be very convenient.

We actually looked into moving into this beautiful apartment (which allowed pets) in Gastown on the corner of Cordova and Abbott about... 4 years ago. We never did it in the end simply because of the immediate vicinity - the front door was twice gated and the area was a haven for crack addicts. For a student like myself (at the time) who was coming and going early in the morning and later at night, I didn't like the idea of living in a building where I was immersed in a world of drug addiction every time I wanted to leave or return home. It's pretty sad.

Of course, this was on Cordova - there are some parts of Gastown where this is less than reality, but it's certainly a colourful part of downtown living.

One idea is to look into the West End - lots of rental apartments, many allow pets. The problem is that Vancouver's vacancy rate is typically extremely low. It's all about who you know.

If you haven't already on Craigslist, I'd write your own "Apartment Wanted" ad and see what responses you get. The most interesting rentals have come my way when I've written my own ads.

Erik Mondrian said...

Yeah, I guess that pretty much confirms what I'd heard and read about Gastown. I've always liked the idea of lofts, and as you said it seems to have those in (relative) abundance, but the seedy side of it - even if it's not dangerous, which of course is good - might give me pause. I dunno. The grocery shopping would be a problem for me, too. I could walk to the Capers Market on Robson, but considering how much I like to cook, it would be nicer if I lived right next to it. :D (Wouldn't mind living near the Naam, either.)

Been looking at the West End as well on craigslist, but almost *all* the apartments in that area are, "Sorry, no pets." :\ Probably the (lack of) vacancy issue you mentioned, though.

That's a great suggestion, by the way; I'll definitely post an Apt Wanted ad before I move up. I actually hadn't thought of that until you mentioned it, but it makes a lot of sense.

Oh, also, in case you're interested, I do have a blog but don't use Blogger; couldn't figure out a way to have my profile here link to an external site. If you want to check it out, it's at

Robyn said...

I'll definitely be sure to check out your blog!

Yeah, my advice is to *not* rent in Gastown without at least visiting first. It would also be very inconvenient to walk to Robson to do your shopping. Caper's is great and all, but you wouldn't want to walk that far to do your grocery shopping - that would be a good 25 minute walk - it's on the other end of Robson from Gastown, and there would be other grocery stores much closer to Gastown (Urban Fare, Choices, Nesters, T&T, IGA, HMart, etc). I love to trash Yaletown (where I live) because it's full of superficial materialistic people and I like to think of myself as NOT *grin* but it's ultra convenient as I do have lots of access to grocery stores, restaurants, public transit, water taxis to other interesting areas, and so on.

One other area you might want to look into is Commercial Drive. If you like vegetarian food, more of a bohemian vibe, access to little delis, green grocers, cafes, cool quirky restaurants, and more of a local community vibe - that is the place. Cheapish rent too and on the Skytrain line (a necessity I'd imagine if you're commuting to Surrey every day).

Robyn said...

I should also mention - you do realize that Surrey's a suburb about a 30 minute Skytrain side east of downtown Vancouver, right? Ideally you'll want to stay somewhere close to a Skytrain line.

Erik Mondrian said...

Yeah, when I visited Van last May I took the SkyTrain out there to see the SFU "campus" at Central City, so I know it's a trek; it's also the reason (besides high rental prices) why though I really liked Kitsilano, I'd rather live downtown or somewhere else near a SkyTrain station.

On a related note, looking back I realize that despite how much I felt I hadn't seen after my one short week there, I actually did see quite a lot. (Even went up to the Capilano Suspension Bridge after taking the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay, and later that same evening took the Skyride up to Grouse Mountain. There was still snow!) I did go to "The Drive," though for some reason I was feeling off that day so wasn't as impressed as maybe I'd be going there the 2nd time around. I am vegan so one would think it would be a good "fit," but I think I like being closer to the water... and plus, I want to be able to make frequent trips to the Granville Island Public Market. :D

Speaking of markets, by the way, though I didn't have a chance to actually go in to Capers, or Choices, or Urban Fare, I did go to the IGA on Burrard and was really impressed. Or maybe I was just in a good mood having just seen Prince Caspian at the Scotiabank Theatre across the street. :D