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.
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.
A much larger collection of my Birthday Live photos can be viewed on Flickr, divided into day and evening sets.
Celebrate Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary on April 6 with Birthday Live – FREE!
The Birthday Live celebration begins with a street hockey tournament for youth and adults at 2pm and continues until 10pm with live music, DJs, food, street arts, spectacular video art, special performances and more. Vancouver’s Mayor Gregor Robertson and other dignitaries will be on hand for official ceremonies including lighting the Olympic cauldron and cutting a BIG birthday cake! Close to transit, free bicycle valet on site.
Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 from 2pm to 10pm Location: Jack Poole Plaza (site of the Olympic Cauldron), outdoor plaza at Thurlow & Canada Place, adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place)
* Street Hockey Tournamentfor adult and youth teams from 2pm to 5pm. Five Hole For Food will be collecting donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and DJ Marvel of the Freshest and Duh Hockey Guys will be there to spin tunes and keep everyone laughing. * Official ceremonies from 6pm to 7pm with Mayor Gregor Robertson, leaders of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and other dignitaries. *Olympic Cauldron Lighting during the official ceremonies. * A giant birthday cake created by the faculty and culinary students at Vancouver Community College Baking and Pastry Arts Department. Free cake will be served following the official ceremonies.
Main stage performances running from 4pm to 10pm (all performance times are approximate only):
54-40 (8:45pm performance time)
54-40, the iconic Canadian alternative rock band with Vancouver roots, will headline the Birthday Live main stage. Celebrating their 30 year anniversary, the band has a catalogue of hit songs, including “Baby Ran”, “I Go Blind” and “Ocean Pearl”. The band has toured throughout the world, carved out a legacy of gold and platinum albums, received numerous awards and achieved almost a dozen Top-10 hit singles.
Leela Gilday (5pm performance time)
Leela Gilday is a Dene singer/songwriter whose acclaim includes a Western Canadian Music Award, a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award, and an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award. She is a passionate, soulful performer whose lyrics reflect her northern roots. She has toured extensively throughout Canada playing festivals, theatres, ceremonies, and folk clubs.
Uzume Taiko (4pm performance time)
Uzume Taiko is a mesmerizing percussion ensemble that infuses traditional Japanese taiko drumming with a unique West Coast style. Uzume Taiko has performed across the world and at local venues including the Vancouver Playhouse, the Vogue Theatre and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, as well as at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
Bend Sinister (7:35pm performance time)
Bend Sinister is hailed for their original indie songs and high energy shows. Launched in 2001 in Kelowna, they moved to Vancouver and released two albums: ‘Through The Broken City’ and ‘Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers’. The band has toured across Canada and their single, ‘Things Will Get Better’, was rated one of the top 10 songs of 2010 by Grant Lawrence’s CBC Radio 3 Podcast.
Vancouver Bach Choir (6:40pm performance time)
Vancouver Bach Choir will lead the crowd in singing O Canada and Happy Birthday, and perform popular arias and choral favourites. Since its founding in 1930, the choir has won top prizes in international choral competitions, including the European Broadcasting Union sponsored “Let the Peoples Sing.” The choir has sung from Warsaw to Tokyo and from London and Oxford to Toronto and Calgary.
mmHoP: HOP•JUMP•JIVE •125 (4:40pm and 7:10pm performance time)
HOP•JUMP•JIVE •125, darlings of audience-engaging, multi-media performance art, mmHoP dancers will perform Hop-Jump-Jive-125 a site specific birthday dance party that will have everyone shaking their thing. Directed and Choreographed by Martha Carter, Hop-Jump-Jive-125 features Vancouver MC / DJs Jacob Cino and Ndidi Cascade who will lead the performance with their unique musical style.
Time Drifts: Video and light art installation (8:20pm start time)
Time Drifts is a large-scale video and light art installation by Berlin-based multi-media artist Phillipp Geist. Geist works internationally using video, performance, photography and painting. He has exhibited his live video performances at venues including the Palazzo delle Espozioni in Rome, the Central House of Artists in Moscow, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, and the opening of Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.
Event Location & Transit Information
The Birthday Live event will be held at Jack Poole Plaza, site of the Olympic Cauldron. It is the outdoor plaza at Thurlow & Canada Place, adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre at 1055 Canada Place. The site is easily accessible by transit and it is within walking distance of the downtown core – just head toward the waterfront. Free bike valets from BEST will be available on site for cyclists.
Vancouver’s 125th Birthday Party – You’re Invited!
Mark your calendar on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 for a very important birthday party – that’s the day Vancouver celebrates its 125th anniversary. The City of Vancouver will host a free public celebration – Birthday Live – at Jack Poole Plaza, which is the site of the Olympic Cauldron along the waterfront in downtown Vancouver.
Vancouver 125 Birthday Live Location: Jack Poole Plaza (at the intersection of Thurlow Street & Canada Place, adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre)
Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Time: 2 pm – 9:30 pm
The City of Vancouver was incorporated on April 6, 1886 and on April, 6, 2011 Vancouver will come together to celebrate 125 years of history with a free, fun-filled, family-friendly event that honours our city’s diversity, First Nations heritage and distinction as a Cultural Capital of Canada for 2011. The Birthday Live celebration begins with a ball hockey tournament for youth and adults at 2 pm and continues until 9:30 pm with live music, DJs, food, street arts, innovative visual art, special performances and more. Vancouver’s Mayor Gregor Robertson and other dignitaries will be on hand for official ceremonies including lighting the Olympic cauldron and cutting a BIG birthday cake! Close to transit, free bicycle valet on site!
Are you planning something special in your neighbourhood to celebrate Vancouver’s 125th anniversary this year? Be sure to contact us with the details and we’ll happily post details of your event on the Vancouver 125 website.