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Posts Tagged "light"

26Jul

Everything you need to know about the 2019 Celebration of Light fireworks

by admin

So you want to see some fireworks, hey?

First off, it’s going to be crowded. You’ve been warned. If you still insist on seeing the fireworks live, then read on.

Here’s what you need to know about watching the Honda Celebration of Light in downtown Vancouver this summer.


Map


Here’s a handy map for navigating the 2019 Honda Celebration of Light in Vancouver, B.C.

HANDOUT


When are the fireworks? Who’s competing this year?

In 2019, the Celebration of Light will take place over three nights:

• Saturday, July 27: India: Amir Morani Fireworks
• Wednesday, July 31: Canada: Firemaster Productions Inc.
• Saturday, Aug. 3: Croatia: Mirnovec Fireworks

The fireworks begin around 10 p.m. each night, with the winning team being announced on Aug. 6.


Where do the fireworks take place and how can I watch them?

The fireworks are set off from a barge located in English Bay, with the show visible from several vantage points in and around the West End, Kitsilano and some spots along the downtown Vancouver False Creek area.

Your best bet will always be to transit, walk or cycle. TransLink will be offering more frequent service, modified routes and extended hours for buses, SkyTrains and SeaBus. You can find all that information here.

Some viewing points are more crowded than others, and some are easier to access than others. Take your pick.

English Bay Beach

This is by far the busiest spot from which to watch the fireworks but also where many of the official festivities take place, including music stages, the Pete McLeod airshow, the judges, VIP seating and official Celebration of Light PA system where the fireworks soundtrack will be broadcast.

For a good view, you’ll need to park yourself on the beach early in the day with a beach blanket to wait for the show. The buzz is undeniable but be warned — it will be crowded and could be a challenge meeting up with friends close to showtime. The exit afterward is usually slow-moving as well.

Crowded? Very. VERY.

Food? Great West End selection nearby or pack your own. Food trucks will be parked along the beach.

Bathrooms? Beach bathroom facilities and portable toilets.

Best way to get there? Take transit downtown and then walk from central downtown into the West End; it’s a 20- to 40-minute walk, depending on where you start from.

Cycling in along the seawall is good too — there will be complimentary bike valets set up from 6 p.m. onwards along the beach, though leaving with a bike could be a challenge if crowds take over the pathways.

Don’t bother trying to drive — it’s usually a nightmare unless you park far away from the beach, and nearby roads shut down beginning at 7 p.m.

Second Beach

This is a partially obstructed view of the fireworks but that also means it’s a bit less crowded than English Bay Beach. A good spot if you’re exploring Stanley Park before hunkering down at Second Beach to watch the fireworks.

The Second Beach Stage will host official festival entertainment, as well as other family-friendly activities nearby. A site-wide liquor licence means you’ll be able to enjoy a cold brew at this venue.

Crowded? Bearable.

Food? Food trucks will be parked nearby but your best bet is to pack some food and snacks since restaurants aren’t within walking distance.

Bathrooms? Beach bathroom facilities and portable toilets.

Best way to get there? Take transit downtown early in the day and walk into Stanley Park. Cycling would work well too since the beach is located on an easy riding route. You could drive into Stanley Park, but be mindful of parking fees and the lots will likely fill up quickly.

Kitsilano / Vanier Point

This is a great alternative if you want the atmosphere but don’t want to be trapped downtown, or if you’ve got kids and want to keep out of the downtown fray. There’s both sand and grass, as well as some benches if you’re lucky enough to snag one.

You’ll be able to see the fireworks happening downtown, though there usually aren’t any loudspeakers broadcasting the show’s soundtrack. For that, you’ll have to bring your own radio to tune into LG 104.3 FM or a smartphone equipped with the festival’s mobile app to play the simulcast.

Crowded? Yes.

Food? There are a few restaurants and bars nearby and will likely be some food trucks, but your best bet is to pack a picnic.

Bathrooms? Beach bathroom facilities and portable toilets.

Best way to get there? Take transit along Broadway or West 4th and get off between Burrard and Arbutus, then walk about 20 minutes down to the beach.

Cycling is also a good bet, but driving will be a challenge. If you plan to bring a car, you’ll have to park in the nearby residential area and walk in. Nearby road access shuts down at 6 p.m. and reopens around 11 p.m.


What else is there at the Celebration of Light Festival?

Before the fireworks, there is live music and entertainment throughout the afternoon.

The Park Stage at Second Beach will host live music beginning at 2:15 p.m. and wrapping just after 9 p.m., while the Z-Fest Stage at English Bay will have music beginning at 7 p.m. and ending around 9:30 p.m. To see the full lineup of bands expected on each day of the festival, click here.

There’s also the Honda Zone at English Bay from 2 to 6:30 p.m., where family-friendly activities will take place along with the Pete McLeod Airshow above the English Bay Beach at 7:45 p.m.

As for food, there is no shortage of food trucks that will be located near English Bay Beach and Second Beach as part of the festival. Those who prefer a less crowded experience can purchase dining packages. There are VIP lounges offering live music, food and drinks if you’re so inclined.


Crowds gathered for the fireworks display from team USA Disney at the Honda Celebration of Light at English Bay, Vancouver, July 30, 2016.

Gerry Kahrmann /

PNG


What’s with the tickets? I thought the festival was free?

The Celebration of Light is free to watch, but those who prefer can buy a ticket for a dining package. The package includes food and drinks through a partner restaurant and a seat in the VIP section during the show. There are several packages:

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar Lounge: This ticket gets you into the party on top of English Bay’s Bathhouse Roof beginning at 6:30 p.m. and is 19+ only. There’s music, panoramic views of the beach, live music, two complimentary drinks and access to a private bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and grill station and VIP washroom facilities. Tickets are $159 and up.

Concord Lounge: This ticket puts you into an exclusive sectioned-off area of English Bay near the Inukshuk sculpture. It’s the closest viewing spot and your ticket includes live music, two complimentary drinks and a private bar, a BBQ and VIP washrooms. Tickets start at $169 with reserved tables starting at $209.

YVR Observation Deck: This ticket does not include complimentary food or drinks but does get you a reserved seat in the VIP viewing bleachers, access to dedicated washroom facilities and an all-ages licensed area. Tickets are $44 and up. There is a cash bar available as well as alcohol-free zones by request.

Air Canada Business Class Cabanas: If you’re rolling in with a big crew, then this spot is for you. Private cabanas complete with complimentary appetizer platters and bar service; dedicated washroom facilities and bar access are available for rent, allowing you to host up to 24 of your friends and colleagues.


What should I bring and what should I leave at home?

You should definitely bring:

• Radio or smartphone with Celebration of Light app to broadcast fireworks soundtrack.

• Beach blanket to mark your territory and some cushions/seat mats for comfort.

• Water, food and snacks.

• Sunscreen and bug repellant — when it gets dark and you’re watching the show, it’s a bug’s feast.

• Playing cards or a book to pass the time while waiting for the show.

• If you plan to take videos or photo, you’ll want a good camera for low-light settings and a small tripod.

You should definitely not bring:

• Alcohol — you can be sure police will be on the lookout.

• Lawn chairs — heavy to carry in and out and you’ll likely obstruct someone’s view.

• Beach umbrella — the idea of having shade is great but an umbrella is a challenge in a crowd.

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8Jul

Uber in B.C.? Regulations give ride-hailing service the green light

by admin

The B.C. government says the Passenger Transportation Board will start accepting applications as of Sept. 3 in order to have the service in place this fall.

ICBC says it will offer a blanket, per kilometer insurance product and will only apply when a driver is offering the service. All other regulations will come into force on Sept. 16, which means ride-hailing is a go once the PTB approves applications.

PTB will need to consider appropriate operating areas, fleet sizes, and rates.

Other regulations announced via a government release include requiring drivers to have criminal and driver record checks. Those operating illegal services could be fined up to $100,000 a day. A 30-cent “per-trip” fee is also being added to help fund programs to increase accessibility.

The regulations released today come after a number of studies and consultations into the issue of ride-hailing.

Earlier this year, a legislature committee issued recommendations including there be no boundaries or limits on how many ride-hailing vehicles are allowed on the road. The committee also suggested the minimum cost for ride-hailing needs to be more than the cost of taking transit.

Another recommendation – that drivers be required to hold a Class 5 license was previously rejected by the minister.

In June, a report from B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board found there was a “public need and desire for ride hailing.”

In 2017, the NDP government commissioned Dan Hara to speak to the taxi industry and stakeholders about how to move forward.

Parties have fielded the issue as a political hot potato for years. The Liberals, in power for 16 years failed to introduce regulations and the NDP broke a promise to bring in ride sharing by the end of 2017. Observers and critics accuse politicians to bowing to the taxi lobby and refusing to alienate voters in key battlegrounds like Surrey.

An overview of the regulations provided by the government follows. Viewing this on our mobile beta site? Tap here for a compatible version.


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15Feb

New St. Paul’s Hospital gets green light from B.C. government

by admin


The provincial government announced this morning that a new St. Paul’s Hospital will open for patients by 2026.


PNG

The provincial government announced this morning that a new St. Paul’s Hospital will open for patients by 2026.

Premier John Horgan said the new hospital will have 548 beds, 115 more than the hospital on Burrard Street, which was founded 125 years ago.

The new hospital will cost $1.9 billion. It will be located at 1002 Station Street on the False Creek Flats.

Horgan says the plan for the new hospital had stalled for 12 years, but the wait is over with the approval of a business plan for construction.

The project will be funded with the provincial government and Providence Health Care sharing costs, and B.C. businessman Jim Pattison has already donated $75 million to the new hospital.

The property where the current St. Paul’s hospital stands in downtown Vancouver will also be sold to fund part of the project.

The hospital will offer specialized and general care, emergency and critical care, there will be mental health and addictions beds and community outreach programs.

The government says St. Paul’s will also remain a teaching hospital, training hundreds of University of B.C. medical students and other health-sector professionals.

(With files from CP)

More to come.


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13Nov

New study sheds light on who’s dying in B.C.’s opioid crisis

by admin





Vancouver Fire Department Medical Unit responds to an unresponsive man after he injected a drug in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, December, 9, 2016 in this file photo.


RICHARD LAM / PNG

The first snapshots from a project aimed at providing a better picture of people at greatest risk of illicit drug use reveal that an average of nearly 10 Canadians fatally overdosed each day between 2016 and 2018.

Statistics Canada says the data from the Public Health Agency of Canada show British Columbia is facing the worst of the crisis.

Further data from the agency reveal victims in B.C. range from employed people who have never had contact with the justice, social assistance or hospital systems to those with little work history and long-term legal and social issues.

B.C. Coroners Service numbers included in the study show overdoses leaped from 293 in 2011 to 639 by 2016 and nearly three-quarters of those deaths involved 25- to 54-year-old men.

Of those at risk, the study shows roughly one-quarter were hospitalized in the year before their deaths, more than 40 per cent visited an emergency room at least once in that time, and three-quarters of those who had contact with police for an alleged crime died within a year of that interaction.

The data are from the Opioid Project, a partnership between numerous agencies including Statistics Canada, British Columbia’s Health Ministry, the B.C. Coroners Service and several departments within the City of Surrey, including its RCMP detachment and fire department.

Surrey’s high profile in the project stems from its efforts to develop a real-time overdose reporting system to rapidly respond to areas where a bad batch of drugs may be circulating.

Surrey fire Chief Len Garis, who is also an assistant professor in the school of criminology and criminal justice at the University of the Fraser Valley, said the findings should help focus prevention programs.

Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis.


Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis.

Ric Ernst /

PNG Files

“What we’re trying to do is determine the trajectory of the individual who died so we can find out what his or her pathway was to this particular issue,” he said.

“So far, what we know is that the majority of those individuals who died, their contacts with police were for shoplifting and for the administration of justice, basically failing to comply with an order and for breach of probation,” he said.

That information suggests the justice system needs to try a different approach, Garis said.

“It’s a vicious cycle within the justice system before they die. So we have to change the way we do business.”

He said more resources, such as supportive housing, recovery programs and addiction management, are also needed for people who shoplift to support their addiction.

Garis said the biggest surprise for him was that two-thirds of the people who fatally overdosed had no contact with police.

The data from 2016 also show nearly 25 per cent of people worked in the construction industry and almost half of them were in building maintenance, waste management and support services.

The B.C. Coroners Service recorded more than 3,400 overdose deaths in the province between January 2016 and September 2018. The number of fatalities decreased by 27 per cent in August compared with July.

The top four drugs involved in illicit-drug deaths were fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.

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