The Port of Vancouver, the authority responsible for the city's onetime annual Canada Day fireworks display, announced Wednesday (May 24) that "after careful consideration," they will now "permanently discontinue the evening fireworks display."
The news came as a shock to many, including Vancouver's mayor Ken Sim, because the event had previously been considered to be simply on hiatus due to the pandemic.
Sim says he is "incredibly disappointed to see [the fireworks] cancelled this year."
"Fireworks have long been a part of Canada Day in Vancouver," he tweeted. "We will be reaching out to the Port Authority to discuss this further and hope to see a return of Canada Day fireworks in the coming years."
The Port cites rising costs as the primary reason for killing the event but also shares in an emailed statement that they decided last year to take the July 1 event at Canada Place "in a new direction."
"Following national conversations about how to best celebrate Canada Day in light of the tragic findings at residential schools," reads the statement, "the event was re-named Canada Together and is planned collaboratively with representatives from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations under the theme of 'weaving together the fabric of a nation.'"
The Port believes that last year's reimagined event was "a huge success" and estimates it attracted 150,000 people so, they will be moving forward with the concept this year as well.
Canada Together will be the theme of the 2023 event honouring Canada’s diversity which will involve setting an intention for the day to gather, celebrate, learn and share, according to the statement.
More event details are coming soon, the Port promises, and V.I.A. will continue to update this story as they become available.