Concord's NYE Vancouver fireworks relocating to False Creek for new world-class event

Oct 31 2019, 9:36 am

Organizers of Concord’s New Year’s Eve Vancouver are promising a truly special, new, world-class, magical fireworks celebration at East False Creek in downtown Vancouver.

The annual public New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration, drawing crowds in excess of 100,000 people every year, is typically held at Coal Harbour, but starting on December 31, 2020 it will be relocating to the False Creek inner harbour — between the Cambie Street Bridge and Science World — and Concord Pacific Place.

This is a new intimate and eye-catching location, backdropped by the downtown skyline, featuring prominent landmarks such as BC Place Stadium and Science World.

Multiple fireworks barges and synchronized lighting effects

What is planned for the new celebration is Disneyesque: expect multiple fireworks barges to create a dazzling effect of a ballet of fireworks.

But it is not just fireworks, as exterior lighting displays of buildings in the downtown skyline, such as Science World and other areas of Concord Pacific Place, will be fully synchronized with the fireworks.

Other special effects, activations, and programming will add to the enthralling annual experience that is to come. Organizers will announce further event details next year.

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)

“This elevated experience will truly be a new magical event for Vancouver, and will allow Concord’s NYE the space to grow into one of the world’s top celebrations for the most important night of the year,” said Dani Pretto, chair of the not-for-profit Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society, in a statement.

“The new home at East False Creek provides us with the greater flexibility required to fully exercise our ambitions of staging an accessible, world-class event that sparks inspiration, a sense of place, and civic pride.”

Science World, one of Vancouver’s most recognizable buildings, will play a pivotal role as one of the visual centrepieces of the event.

“We’re looking forward to collaborating with the team at Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society to realize this vision for a spectacular New Years’ Eve 2020 in Vancouver,” said Janet Wood, president and CEO of Science World at TELUS World of Science.

“This is the first time the dome lights on TELUS World of Science will be synchronized with other skyline lights and the accompanying fireworks. It’s going to be a remarkable sight that is sure to delight the city of Vancouver.”

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)

Vancouver City Councillor Lisa Dominato believes the new event at False Creek will be an asset for taking the city’s nightlife to the next level.

“This move offers a terrific opportunity to expand and enhance the city’s iconic Concord NYE celebration. The annual NYE countdown is a fun, family-friendly event that makes a positive contribution to our nightlife and nighttime economy,” said Dominato.

This train of thought on how the new Concord’s NYE fits into Vancouver’s event calendar is also echoed by Ted Lee, the CFO and Director of Destination Development for Tourism Vancouver. It also positions this fireworks celebration as the flagship event of the City of Vancouver’s designated new entertainment district in Northeast False Creek.

“The new home for Concord’s New Year’s Eve Celebration is a great fit for the city. The location, a part of the ‘entertainment district’ is much more accessible to the public to enjoy the spectacular fireworks display with the additional vantage points from around False Creek,” said Lee.

“We are excited for the years ahead and how the growth of this event contributes to Vancouver’s livability and appeal as a travel destination.”

2019 celebration to be replaced with smaller pop-up events

But there is a catch. No major fireworks celebration is planned this year on December 31, 2019, at Coal Harbour, as organizers need to focus their attention on making the big move to False Creek.

Instead, organizers plan on keeping Vancouver’s New Year’s Eve spirit alive this year with pop-up community celebrations to ring in 2020 at yet-to-be-announced locations. Further details on the mini-celebrations will be made public closer to the upcoming NYE.

“Our volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization is directing its attention and efforts towards providing Concord’s NYE with a new exciting home at East False Creek that allows for a dynamic nighttime spectacular. An immense level of support from the public, the business community and all stakeholders is required to stage major citywide events on the scale of Concord’s NYE,” continued Pretto.

This will be the largest event in the East False Creek area since the last Molson Indy race a decade and a half ago. The area also has a history of staging fireworks, such as the displays during Expo ’86 and Vancouver’s New Millennium celebration, and during the 2010 Winter Olympics the fireworks from the rooftop of BC Place Stadium and at Live City Yaletown.

Fireworks erupt from the rooftop of BC Place Stadium during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremony. (mediamon / YouTube screenshot)

A dynamic fireworks spectacular in False Creek will set Concord’s NYE uniquely apart from other fireworks events regularly held at Coal Harbour (Canada Day) and English Bay (Celebration of Light).

“We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding that this will be well worth the wait. Concord’s NYE has quickly grown into becoming not only one of Vancouver’s largest flagship events, but also one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in all of Canada,” continued Pretto.

“We are proud of what we have accomplished at our Coal Harbour location over the last four years, and we thank the community and all of our partners, especially Concord Pacific, for their elevated support for 2020.”

Matt Meehan, the senior vice-president of planning for Concord Pacific, adds: “We are proud to have supported this event for four years and now to be hosting this family-friendly event at Concord Pacific Place. There is a long history of hosting events like Expo ‘86, the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, and the 2010 Olympic Games on this site. Family events like this will continue on our community pop-up park and long into the future on our fifth and final downtown park in Concord Pacific Place.”

Concord Community Park Northeast False Creek Vancouver

Aerial view of Concord Community Park at Northeast False Creek. (Concord Pacific)

The new event at False Creek is also supported by Charles Gauthier, president and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association and a former VNYECS chair.

“I know firsthand how much work goes into planning the city’s largest New Year’s Eve party, and am thrilled that it is evolving and growing to become bigger and better than ever before,” said Gauthier.

“The new location will be a fantastic fit for this iconic event, and will allow for exciting new public space activations and an even more inclusive, accessible, and family-friendly celebration. We’ve seen time and time again the positive economic impact that large-scale events and festivals have on the city, which is why it’s so important to create an environment for free public events to grow and flourish in Vancouver.”

East False Creek Science World

View of East False Creek, with Science World and BC Place Stadium. (Shutterstock)

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