Pandemic uncertainty cancels Concord's New Year's Eve Vancouver fireworks

Dec 1 2021, 5:02 pm

For the second year in a row, the pandemic has forced the cancellation of Concord’s New Year’s Eve Vancouver fireworks.

There will be no eruptions of fireworks over the night skies of Vancouver on December 31, 2021, to ring in 2022.

Instead, organizers are pushing for the inaugural year of the NYE fireworks in East False Creek to start on December 31, 2022, welcoming 2023’s bright start.

Concord’s NYE Vancouver was previously held annually at the Vancouver Convention Centre and Coal Harbour waterfront, where fireworks attracted free-flowing crowds upwards of 100,000 revellers.

“This difficult decision was primarily made as a result of the continuing uncertainty surrounding pandemic conditions,” Dani Pretto, chair of the not-for-profit Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society, in a statement.

“The lack of certainty has made it difficult to begin the planning process in earnest, as with event of this size and scale, so much depends on vendors and producers beginning much of their work as soon as possible. Having secure funding and the confidence that we can do everything safely is paramount to our success, and unfortunately, we do not have that confidence at the point in time.”

David Ju, the vice-president of Concord Pacific, the title sponsor of the event, added: “The Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival was the first major vaccine passport community event. Vancouverites showed their resiliency and spirit without incident at this daytime activation contained on our property. Concord’s NYE is harder to safely plan, being three times the size with spectators spread out around False Creek. We will continue to support Roundhouse family activities and Burnaby’s Heritage Christmas this season.”

Due to the pandemic health safety concerns and restrictions, NYE fireworks have also been cancelled this year in other global destinations, such as London, Niagara Falls, Auckland, Antwerp, and Amsterdam.

Vancouver New Year's Eve False Creek NYE

Artistic rendering of Concord’s New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration at East False Creek. (Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society)

At its new location in East False Creek, organizers hope to introduce new and innovative activations that can complement 2022’s fireworks display, including drones and special lighting integrated with the fireworks, as well as live music and roving performers.

“The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) looks forward to a time when everyone can gather together to enjoy the fireworks once again,” said Nolan Marshall III, the DVBIA president & CEO.

“Concord’s New Year’s Eve is such an important celebration for Vancouver; having these free, publicly accessible outdoor events elevates the city and creates a sense of excitement and anticipation, which is something that I know we all need after the many challenges brought on by the pandemic these past two years. We are slowly but surely — and safely —  seeing a return to normalcy in our city, and I can’t wait to come together to enjoy shared experiences with our downtown community once again.”

The VNYECS, a volunteer-driven organization, is also paying homage to John Keserich, a partner at BDO, who passed away peacefully on November 6, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. As one of the founding board members of VNYECS, pouring countless hours into the organization over the years, John was instrumental in the success of the event.

“John had a big heart, a fun-loving spirit, and a zeal for life. He lit up our boardroom; we all have fond memories of John,” continued Pretto.

“We all knew he had a passion for this community, and New Year’s Eve was just one of the many ways he gave back over his professional career. He endeavoured to rekindle a strong NYE celebration tradition for Vancouver and believed in the profoundly positive impacts that such a gathering would bring to our region. On behalf of the entire VNYECS board, we are all thinking of John’s family and loved ones during this most difficult time.”

Daily Hive is a Proud Founding Partner of the
Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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