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Useful Information




Vancouver is the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada. It has been ranked one of the most livable cities in the world for more than a decade. While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second-largest industry. It has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Expo 86, and the World Police and Fire Games in 1989 and 2009. The 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics were also held in Vancouver.

View of Vancouver
Photo: Thom Quine

Canada Place
Canada Place is a building situated on the Burrard Inlet waterfront of Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the home of the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver's World Trade Centre, and the world's first permanent IMAX 3D theatre. It is also the main cruise ship terminal for the region, where most of Vancouver's famous cruises to Alaska originate. The building was designed by architect Eberhard Zeidler. It can be reached via the SkyTrain line at the nearby Waterfront Station terminus. The white sails of the building have made it a prominent landmark for the city. Throughout the year many community events are held at and hosted by Canada Place including Canada Day.

View of Canada Place from the water
Photo: Nicolas Untz

Vancouver Public Library
The Vancouver Public Library is the third largest public library system in Canada, with more than 2.5 million items in its collections. The building is located in the eastern portion of the Vancouver Central Business District. The address of the library is 350 West Georgia Street. The Library Square occupies a city block in Downtown Vancouver. The building's exterior resembles the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome. Centred on the block, the library is a nine-story rectangular box containing book stacks and services, surrounded by a free-standing, elliptical, colonnaded wall featuring reading and study areas that are accessed by bridges spanning skylit light wells. The glass-roofed concourse serves as an entry foyer to the library and the more lively pedestrian activities at ground level.

Vancouver Public Library
Photo: Alex Ramon

Science World
Science World at Telus World of Science, Vancouver is a science centre located at the end of False Creek and features many permanent interactive exhibits and displays, as well as areas with varying topics throughout the years.

H. R. MacMillan Space Centre
The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, founded 1968, is an astronomy museum in Vancouver. Inside the building, there are live demonstrations on science in the GroundStation Canada Theatre, exhibits and games in the Cosmic Courtyard, and shows about astronomy in the Planetarium Star Theatre. Next to the building is the Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory. This centre of astronomy is a popular attraction in Vancouver.

Vancouver Museum and Space Centre
Photo: Bobanny

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestrais a Canadian orchestra performing in Vancouver. Over 240,000 people attend its live performances each year. It was founded in 1930 and plays in 12 venues. Its home is the Orpheum theatre. With an annual operating budget of $9.5 million, it is the third largest symphony orchestra in Canada. It performs 140 concerts per season. Every concert is exciting!

Arts Club Theatre Company
The Arts Club Theatre Company is a professional theatre company in Vancouver. Major themes from this company are new works, comedies, musicals, drama, and revues, with an emphasis on developing Canadian talent in productions appealing to the general public. Stages include: the Seymour Street Stage, the Granville Island Stage, the New Revue Stage and the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is the fifth-largest art gallery in Canada and the largest in Western Canada. It is located at 750 Hornby Street in Vancouver. Its permanent collection of about 10,000 artworks includes more than 200 major works by Emily Carr, the Group of Seven, Jeff Wall and Marc Chagall. It is a principal repository of works produced in this region, as well as related works by other Canadian and international artists. Its collections grows by several hundred works every year.

Robson Square, Vancouve
Photo: Bobanny

Robson Square
It is the site of the Provincial Law Courts, UBC Robson Square, government office buildings, and public space connecting the newer development to the Vancouver Art Gallery. In addition to the water features, there are trees and numerous other plantings as well as gradually inclining stairs with integrated ramps.The open design allows for relatively unobstructed natural light and fresh air, and the waterfall divert from the noise of downtown traffic. Robson Square is the only public outdoor skating rink in Vancouver. It is free to use, rentals are $3.00.

Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia
Photo: Arnold C

Museum of Anthropology
The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus in Vancouveris renowned for its displays of world arts and cultures, in particular works by First Nations peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations. The Museum is located at 6393 Northwest Marine Drive, on the campus of the University of British Columbia. As well as being a major tourist destination, MOA is also a teaching museum, used in a number of courses at UBC, and a research museum. The MOA holds 36,000 ethnographic objects, as well as 535,000 archaeological objects in its building alone. The most iconic object in the Museum is probably the yellow cedar sculpture The Raven and the First Men by Bill Reid, which is depicted on the Canadian twenty-dollar bill.

View of downtown Vancouver
from the Lookout Tower at Harbour Centre
Photo: MagnusL3D

Harbour Centre
Harbour Centre is a notable skyscraper in the central business district of Downtown Vancouver. The "Lookout" tower atop the office building makes it one of the tallest structures in Vancouver and a prominent landmark on the city's skyline. It has an impressive 360-degree viewing deck, it also serves as a tourist attraction, offering a physically unobstructed view of the city. Glass elevators whisk visitors 168 meters (553 feet) skyward from street level to the Observation Deck in 40 seconds.


National Holidays & Festivals

New Year's Day
January 1 every year

New Year's Day is the first day of the year. It is a public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts.

Vancouver's skyline
Photo: Shaund

Canada Day
July 1

Canada Day is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire. There are usually many outdoor public events, such as parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, fireworks, and free musical concerts.

Canada Day celebrations, Barrie
Photo: DarrenBaker

Victoria Day
Last Monday in May before May 24

Victoria Day is a federal Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. Several cities will hold a parade on the holiday. Other celebrations include an evening fireworks show, such as that held at Ashbridge's Bay Beach in the east end of Toronto, and at Ontario Place, in the same city. For many across the country Victoria Day serves as the unofficial marker of the end of the winter social season, and thus the beginning of the summer social calendar.

Toronto view from CN tower
Photo: Agunther

Thanksgiving (Canada)
Second Monday in October

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, occurring on the second Monday in October (since 1957), is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in most jurisdictions of Canada. While Thanksgiving is usually celebrated with a large family meal, it is also often a time for weekend getaways. Similar to the United States, traditions such as parades and football can be a part of Canadian Thanksgiving.

Quebec's National Holiday, Montreal

National Holiday (Quebec)
June 24th every year

Quebec's National Holiday is celebrated annually on June 24th and since 1978 it is publicly financed and organized by a National Holiday Organizing Committee. It is a paid statutory public holiday and celebrated as a festival of French Canadian culture. Celebrations have included in the past fireworks over the Parliament Building of Quebec, free public concerts and parades.

Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a publicly-attended film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The TIFF is now one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. In 2010, 339 films from 59 countries were screened at 32 screens in downtown Toronto venues. Many Hollywood studios premiere their films at TIFF due to the festival's easy-going non-competitive nature, relatively inexpensive costs (when compared to European festivals), eager film-fluent audiences and convenient timing.

Calgary Stampede rodeo
Photo: Chuck Szmurlo

Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is organized by thousands of volunteers and supported by civic leaders. The ten day event attracts over one million visitors per year and features the world's largest rodeo, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions. It is one of Canada's largest festivals and a significant tourist attraction for the city. Calgary's national and international identity is very much tied to the event.

Canadian National Exhibition

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is an annual event that takes place at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during the 18 days leading up to and including Labour Day Monday. With an attendance of approximately 1.3 million visitors each season, it is Canada’s largest fair and the fifth largest in North America. The fair itself consists of a variety of pavilions, exhibits, shows, concerts, a working farm, horse show, casino, and a large carnival midway with rides, games and food.

Canadian National Exhibition
Photo: JenniferHeartsU
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