New Year's Eve Vancouver: 2016 Countdown Festival and Fireworks

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Image: Vancouver Fireworks / Shutterstock

To celebrate the arrival of 2016 in proper fashion, New Year’s Eve Vancouver will consist of six hours of exciting and fun programming on the downtown Vancouver waterfront.

The celebration, presented by Concord Pacific, will be held along Canada Place Way and Coal Harbour. It marks the first time in over a decade that Vancouver has hosted a first free, public New Year’s Eve midnight countdown celebration event.

The evening’s programming begins at 6 p.m. and culminates with an 11-minute fireworks display at midnight. Revellers can also expect a free concert series featuring local musicians, multicultural performances, sponsor activities, food trucks, and a three-minute Early Eve fireworks display at 9 p.m. for families with young children. All festivities will conclude after the midnight fireworks.

New Year’s Eve Vancouver 2016: Celebrating HomeTogether, we are #Vancouver. This New Year’s Eve, let’s celebrate home. #NYEVAN

Posted by Vancity Buzz on Friday, November 20, 2015

 
“We are excited for our community to ring in the New Year surrounded by local talent, Vancouver’s natural landscape and, of course, family and friends,” said Charles Gauthier, president of the not-for-profit Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society, in a statement.

“We anticipate the same joyful atmosphere experienced at past community celebrations that have taken place along Canada Place Way, such as Canada Day. With the help of our partners, the community’s best interests have been top of mind during all stages of our planning.”

The initiative to revive Vancouver’s annual New Year’s Eve festivities was launched in 2012 by Vancity Buzz, which also created the New Year’s Eve Celebration Society. Members and other founding sponsors of the organization include the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Port Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Convention Centre, Tourism Vancouver, Starbucks Coffee, Vanterre Projects, Boughton Law Corporation, Burrard Landing, and BDO Canada.

Other partners and sponsors include Concord Pacific, City of Vancouver, 102.7 The PEAK, WestPark, Herschel, CF Pacific Centre, Tom Lee Music, Nelson Square, Global B.C., 24 Hours, Molson, Granville Island Brewing, PCI Developments Corp., Pinetree Creative, AntiSocial Media Solutions, Marriott Vancouver Pinnacle Downtown Hotel, Brix Media Co., The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, Terminal City Club, and EventCorp Services Inc.

Free Concert

Programming at the 102.7 The PEAK Stage, located on Canada Place Way, will focus on the participants of The PEAK Performance Project. Over the last seven years, the program has educated, promoted, developed and launched the careers of some of British Columbia’s up and coming artists.

Five bands will take the stage beginning at 8 p.m.:

  • 8:00 to 8:25 p.m. – Bed of Stars (2015 Peak Performance Winner)
  • 9:15 to 9:40 p.m. – The Matinee
  • 9:55 to 10:25 p.m. – We Are The City
  • 10:40 to 11:10 p.m. – Dear Rouge
  • 11:25 to 11:59 p.m. – Current Swell

Prior to the band performances, there will be DJs and multicultural performances by First Nations, Kin Fung Athletic Group, and Vancouver Okinawa Taiko.

Image: Concert Crowd / Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: 5 bands to play New Year's Eve Vancouver's free outdoor concert

Two Fireworks Displays

Early Eve Countdown Fireworks

There will be an Early Eve countdown event from the 102.7 The PEAK Stage, coinciding with the East Coast countdowns. The early countdown provides families with young children with a chance to celebrate New Year’s revelry.

A three-minute-long high-aerial fireworks display at 9 p.m. will conclude the Early Eve program.

Midnight Countdown Fireworks

The celebrations to mark the arrival of 2016 will conclude with an 11-minute, high-aerial fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. There will be also be a final countdown from the 102.7 The PEAK Stage.

The Midnight Fireworks, presented by WestPark, are synchronized to a soundtrack, which will be broadcasted on live radio at 102.7 The PEAK FM. For those celebrating the New Year from home, Global B.C. will be broadcasting live from the event.

Best Fireworks Viewing Locations

Similar to Canada Day, both fireworks displays will be launched from a barge anchored in the middle of Coal Harbour – just west of the Canada Place pier and north of the Vancouver Convention Centre’s West Building.

Canada Place Way by the 102.7 The PEAK Stage has been deemed the best location to view the fireworks, given that it will also include a countdown and fireworks experience with the soundtrack.

Please note that the fireworks are not visible from English Bay and Kitsilano.

Image: New Year's Eve Vancouver

Image: New Year’s Eve Vancouver

Free Public Transit

All public transit services – buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express – in Metro Vancouver will be free to encourage revellers to stay off the roads after celebratory drinking. Transit will be free beginning at 5 p.m. on December 31 until 5 a.m. on January 1.

In addition to free fares, all three SkyTrain lines and SeaBus late-night services will be extended by one hour. The last trains and ferry will depart Waterfront Station after 2 a.m.

Trains will operate more frequently to handle the surge in traffic traveling to parties and the downtown celebration.

Buses will operate on their regular weekday schedule on New Year’s Eve and additional late-night trips will be made on a number of routes.

For the full New Year’s Eve transit schedule, click here.

Image: SkyTrain Canada Line via Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Free public transit in Metro Vancouver on New Year's Eve

Road Closures

Canada Place Way between Howe and Burrard streets will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30 to allow for the set-up of the festival. However, the route will remain open for local access to parkades and the hotels in the area. Additional restrictions could be put in place in the evening due to large crowds.

New Year’s Eve Vancouver 2016

Where: Canada Place Way and Coal Harbour, Downtown Vancouver

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, December 31, 2015 to 12:20 a.m. January 1, 2016

  • NYE Vancouver Festival: 6 p.m. to 12:20 a.m.
  • CF Pacific Centre Lounge: 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • Early Eve Countdown Fireworks: 9 p.m.
  • Midnight Countdown Fireworks: 12 a.m.

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About the author

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
@iamkennethchan

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