The Talk Of The Town

Disruptions & Eruptions

The season all West Enders look forward to is upon us, so brace yourselves for the coming series of road closures, bus route jumbles, and maddening crowds. Here are few things we know for sure. Check for weekly updates on our Facebook page here.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Care Free Days on Denman last year. 

Car Free Days: The West End Car Free Days Festival will close Denman Street from Davie to Robson on Saturday, June 17 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The festival itself will run from 12 noon to 7 p.m.

This event, now celebrating its tenth year, brings together local businesses, community organizations, artists and volunteers to seed the idea of building a better, more livable city. Their stated mission is to nurture and grow car-free spaces and culture in collaboration with local communities. The day will feature music stages and jam sessions, art exhibitions and demonstrations, and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or a cooling beverage.

The West End Car Free Days Festival is one of three such festivals and 20 Car Free Day block parties that take place throughout Vancouver during the summer. In total more than 60 city blocks are engaged each year, with some 400,000 attendees in total. Surveys have shown that sixty percent of these attendees are residents of the neighbourhoods involved, with the balance from other communities in the region.

You can find out more about Car Free Days here, and if you'd like to help out information for volunteers is here.

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Black Lives Matter Vancouver will protest the policies of Vancouver Pride on Sunday, June 25.

Black Lives March On Pride: If you've been following the news these past few months you know that a local group styling itself Black Lives Matter Vancouver (BLMV) has been working to have the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) exclude the Vancouver Police and the RCMP from the annual Pride Parade. The VPS, after extensive community consultation, decided to continue having the police in the parade (their statement here) and that didn't sit well with the BLMV. 

As a result, BLMV have announced that they will hold a March On Pride on Sunday, June 25. The march will muster at 12 noon at Emery Barns Park at Davie and Seymour and proceed to Jim Deva Plaza at Davie and Bute where there will be speeches and other activities through to about 3 p.m. Plan your afternoon accordingly.

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The annual Celebration of Light at English Bay.

Three Days of Fireworks: The 27th annual Celebration of Light returns for three nights in July and August (never too early to plan accordingly) with three nations competing. Japan will get things started on Saturday, July 29, the UK takes its turn on Wednesday, August 2, and Canada has the final say on Saturday, August 5.

The big ticket item will be admission to the  Shorefest stage in the Keg Lounge, a 19+ venue located on the Bathhouse roof at English Bay. Admission will include live music, two complimentary drinks, hors d'oeuvres and a grill station, and a great view of the fireworks.

None of this VIP access comes cheap. General Admission is $200.35 (taxes included) and seating is first-come-first-seated, and a ticket does not guarantee a seat. A Lounge Table ticket will cost you $220.90 and guarantee you a seat at one of several communal tables of eight scattered throughout the venue. Go all out and a Premier Table will cost you $242.45 and give you an up-front seat at a table for eight with the best view in the house. To be clear, those prices are per person. 

New this year will be the first Celebration of Music at Second Beach in Stanley Park. Taking place all three days of the Celebration of Light, the Park Stage at Second Beach will host areas to view the fireworks and present an array of performers and food and drink vendors. 

West End access shuts down at 7:30 p.m. all three nights. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m.

More information and tickets to the Keg Lounge here.

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The Vancouver Pride Parade: Following immediately on the heels of the last night of the Celebration of LIght, Sunday, August 5 will see the annual Pride Parade take over Robson, and Denman Streets, parts of Beach Avenue, and Sunset Beach. 

As of this writing the VPS has not posted details on their website, but there will be street parties, closures, and other details we will try to bring you in advance. You can also check here for updates.

That's what we know so far about this summer's excitement and chaos in the West End. More information in our July issue, and on our Facebook page here.

UBS Student Still Missing

UBC RCMP advise that Louis Gonick, who was last seen getting out of a taxi at the entrance to Stanley Park is still missing. 

The 21-year-old UBC student was last seen on April 16. He has never been reported missing before and his family and friends expressed concern for his well-being as it was unusual for him to be out of contact.

Gonick is described as a 21-year-old Hispanic male (from South America), 171 cm tall, 64 kg, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last known to be wearing a dark blue shirt, blue jeans, dark blue jacket and grey scarf.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the UBC RCMP detachment at 604.224.1322.