How does Vancouver celebrate a great milestone such as a 125th birthday? By inviting the city to a party at Jack Poole Plaza, where the Olympic cauldron meets the beautiful North Shore mountains.
A memorable day filled with festivities went off without a hitch yesterday, as crowds gathered to hear a variety of music, play street hockey, enjoy a beautifully illuminated multimedia installation, eat one of the most beautifully decorated cakes and watch the birthday candle (Olympic cauldron) being lit to the voices of the Vancouver Bach Choir.
I spent the entire day wandering around, capturing images from a sunny day (and chilly clear night). BC Lions fans were able to get up close and personal with the Grey Cup, street performers kept the crowd smiling, and Mayor Gregor was on hand for the official ceremony that started at 6 pm.
It’s no small feat to organize an event of this size, and I congratulate the City of Vancouver for putting on a show that blended seamlessly from day to night.
I liked the variety of talent that came on stage throughout the course of the day. From Japanese drummers Uzume Taiko to hip-hop, Dene singer/songwriter Leela Gilday, the Vancouver Bach Choir to well-loved bands Bend Sinister and 54-40, the event truly offered something for all tastes.
Hopefully those who waited in the huge queue for a slice of that cake weren’t disappointed! Three tents were set up to provide enough cake to go around. The middle of the two tents held the “pretty cake”, where people clamored to get a shot with the Mayor as he sliced the first piece. I was able to view the cake while still “under construction” at the Vancouver Community College.
Another highlight for me was watching Philipp Geist’s TimeDrifts multimedia installation unfold. Once the cauldron was extinguished, the visuals came to life on the surrounding buildings, ground, and even in the fog generated near the installation tent.
If you missed being at Birthday Live, an even larger event is planned for July 8, 9, and 10. Summer Live will take place at Brockton Point in Stanley Park to help keep the birthday momentum going throughout the summer.