Canada Day will be a double celebration this year at Granville Island as July 1 will kick off a summer of festivities to mark the entertainment and cultural district’s 35 years of exploration, discovery and inspiration in the city.
A carnival-like celebration featuring a legendary parade, a multicultural pavilion, music, dance and street entertainment; the time has come to wrap yourself in the Maple Leaf and rejoice the vibrancy of Canada with every sight, sound and bite.
The free program of family events celebrates the past while embracing the fresh and contemporary, remaining true to the vision that established Granville Island as the benchmark for public spaces when it emerged from an abandoned industrial area 35 years ago.
All Day Family Entertainment
Celebrate Canada Day with an array of colourful activity from 10am. Mortal Coil’s spectacular stilt horses, disco queen dancers, maple leaf tattooing and face painting will enthrall the kids and entrance your camera. Create a one-of-a-kind artwork to take home by pedalling and painting on a spin art bike, or check out the dogs that bob, weave and jump at the Little Paws Agility Shows behind the Kids Market. Tour the SS Master Historic Steam Tug engine, play a game of road hockey, or shake your Canadian bacon at the Disco Party, it’s all on offer throughout the day, along with kayak and canoe demos for water babies and glass blowing, yarn dying and tapestry decorating for budding artists.
Parade & Ceremony
Just a touch of colour and some sparkle and you can be part of the 15th Annual Canada Day Parade. Bikes, trikes, strollers and helmets will be decorated from 10am in time for the lively extravaganza of flag waving, stilt horses, 15-foot tall dancers and The Brotherhood of Brass Band. The parade leaves from Ocean Construction at 1:30pm and ends at Ron Basford Park with the Official Canada Day Ceremony at 2pm. Join The Bat, The Bee &The Butterfly in singing the Canadian anthem, hear greetings from the Government of Canada and let the kids indulge in a slice of delicious Canada Day birthday cake.
My Granville Island: Celebrating 35 Years
It was in 1979 that Granville Island opened its doors with a rich mix of theatres, restaurants, shops, studios, and the Public Market.
To help us celebrate 35 years of inspiration, discovery and entertainment, share your favourite Granville Island memory, favourite activity, or favourite island food at Media Lab’s participatory video installation that puts your stories on the big screen from 11am – 7pm at Waterfront Theatre.
Tastes & Treats
Take your taste buds on a culinary adventure, Island-style, with an all-day Lobster Festival on the patio of Bridges Restaurant offering Nova Scotia lobster and buttery corn on the cob. Fresh boiled Canadian lobsters are also on the menu from 9am – 4pm at The Lobster Man, or experience the exotic with an abundance of mouth-watering food at the cultural celebration of MELA! Festivals at the International Pavilion. Just don’t leave without a special Canada Day donut from Lee’s Donuts in the Public Market!
Music All Day & Into The Night
Free outdoor concerts will enliven the festive atmosphere throughout the island.
A truly Canadian folk and country musical experience, celebrating the iconic acoustic roots music that define Canada is the Willy Blizzard Band from 2pm – 3pm at the Family Pavilion. Traditional Mexican dance and musical traditions by All Over the Map summer concerts will take to the same stage from 4pm – 4:45pm.
Under the Crane (east of Emily Carr University of Art and Design) from 11am – 7pm, MELA! presents a lively bazaar of music and dance from around the world.
From noon to 9:30pm, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival presents Granville Island Jazz. Visit stages at Performance Works, Railspur Alley, Ron Basford Park, and the Public Market Stage, to enjoy artists, including Ribcage, Quatuor Andre Lachance, the Mike Allen Quartet, Deanna Knight & The Hot Club of Mars and the Tim Sars Band.
Ongoing Summer of Celebration
Granville Island’s Summer of 35th Anniversary celebrations throughout July and August means a program of daily performances, demonstrations and exhibitions, as well as culinary events, festivals, workshops and classes.
Feature Image: Granville Island via shutterstock