Deep forests, vast wilderness and a gorgeous mountainous scenery—there’s a reason we call it Beautiful British Columbia. Many visit the province’s major city, Vancouver for a much-needed summer break or ski escape. Others choose it as a departure point for the scenic Canadian Rockies train—the famous Rocky Mountaineer. Whatever your route, if you plan on visiting Vancouver during summer, make sure you stop by in time for the magical Honda Celebration of Light.

What is the Celebration of Light?

Set to light up Vancouver’s skies once more this summer is the greatly anticipated Honda Celebration of Light. One of the city’s signature events, it’s the world’s longest-running offshore fireworks competition attracting competitors from across the globe.

When is the Celebration of Light?

Now in its 29th year, visitors will witness dazzling displays from Canada, and for the first time— India and Croatia—across three nights in July and August (27th July, 31st July and 3rd August).

Where is the Celebration of Light?

The fireworks are set off from a barge just offshore from English Bay Beach but can be seen for miles around. Choose from various viewing spots, including Kitsilano Beach, Vanier Park and English Bay itself. There are also some observation decks and patio seats available for a small charge.

English Bay

Who is taking part in the Celebration of Light?

Last year, more than 1.2 million people came out to watch the competition, in which South Korea’s Daehan Fireworks Co. was crowned winner. Previous competitors have included Akariya Fireworks for Japan, and the Walt Disney Company for the USA.

This year, the competitors are as follows:

1) Amir Morani Fireworks, India 

Representing Team India on Saturday 27th July is Amir Morani Fireworks (AMFW). Founded in 1937, they are India’s pioneer display fireworks company and have decades of experience in displays and special effects.

2) Firemaster Productions, Canada

Wednesday 31st July will see Canada’s Firemaster Productions take to the platform. They are based in the Niagara Region of Ontario and are the producers of over 100 displays across the world each year.

3) Mironvec Fireworks, Croatia

Last but not least, on Saturday, 3rd August, visitors can watch Croatia put on a show—specifically Mironvec Fireworks. Mironvec were founded in 1993 and are one of Europe’s largest pyrotechnic production and display companies, having performed fireworks displays for bands such as the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Metallica over the years.

But who will come out on top? Head to our Facebook page on Tuesday 6th August as we announce whether Canada has taken the crown!

Additional information

Since the evenings will be light until late, each display will start at 10 pm for optimum viewing and will take place whatever the weather. Music will be broadcast via Breeze 104.3 FM and through the festival’s mobile app. There will also be live music performances throughout each evening.

If the weather is warm as expected, why not bring a picnic with you? Alternatively, there are various restaurants and food vendors concentrated in the English Bay area. We recommend planning ahead and taking public transport (or ideally walking or biking) rather than driving, as the roads will be busy.

What else can I do during my visit?

In addition to its stunning landscape, Vancouver is home to many attractions, including Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain. Of course, if you’re also keen to explore further afield, there are plenty of things in easy reach. Many people choose to spend a weekend in Whistler, sample wine in the Okanagan Valley, or journey through the Canadian Rockies via Train.

Thinking of planning your trip? Our Canada Travel Experts will be happy to help find the right dates and routes for you.