Local traditions and culture in Vancouver

  • Iraqi Protestors
    Iraqi Protestors
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    Protest Sign In Finn Slough
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  • Street Performer In Yaletown
    Street Performer In Yaletown
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Vancouver

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    Street Parties

    by briantravelman Updated Jul 17, 2014

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    Vancouver is filled with young people, so it's no surprise that street parties, are really common here, specifically in Yaletown. In fact, Vancouver is one of the biggest party cities, in North America. These parties usually take place on weekends, and major holidays. The biggest parties, take place on Canada Day. We passed by several street parties during our trip. We saw one at the waterfront, one by the Art Gallery, a few in Yaletown, and a massive Canada Day party in White Rock.
    Some of these parties are organized by private clubs or businesses, and require an entrance fee, but a lot are free. Locals just head out on the street, drink, perform for spectators, and just act wild.
    Downtown and Yaletown are the best places to go for street parties, and for Canada Day; Steveston, Surrey, White Rock, and English Bay.
    The ones in Yaletown were a bit too crazy for me, but I really enjoyed the one in White Rock, even though I'm not much of a party person.
    Even if you don't plan on drinking or acting crazy, it's worth coming just for the atmosphere, and to watch the locals have fun, and act crazy.
    If you're not the party type, I would avoid Yaletown on the weekends, and White Rock, Steveston, English Bay, and Surrey's Coverdale on Canada Day.
    The one at the waterfront and by the Art Gallery, were in a concentrated area, fenced off area, so you can just walk past them. But if you go to Yaletown, or somewhere during Canada Day, you will have to squeeze through crowds.
    Again, if you aren't a party animal, and don't like crowds and drunk locals, I would avoid those places entirely, but if you're a party animal, downtown and Yaletown are the perfect places for you.
    There is usually police at these parties to make sure they don't get out of control. We didn't see any fights or vandalism. Most of the locals are well behaved, and just there to have fun.

    Street Performer In Yaletown Party At The Waterfront Another Party Canada Day Bash
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    The Red Maples

    by joiwatani Written Oct 11, 2011

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    The Red Maples are very beautiful to look at specially during the Fall. Last week of October and first week of November would probably be the best time to see the red maples when it gets a little bit colder.

    I just got back from Vancouver yesterday and I didn't see any. I guess, we have to wait for another week or two...

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    Good Pub, Great Grub

    by spitball Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Basically, its a pub, with sports from around the world on the TV's, but the ambience is nice, the food good, and the people nice. So, its a place I would recommend if your in the mood for a nice cold beer, they've got 16 on tap from around the world. A nice patio that seats 80, which is south facing, so you get the sunshine.

    Frog n' Firkin pub Location of the Frog and Firkin
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    CKNW Orphans Fund

    by rmdw Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The orphans fund is a wonderful charity that raises money for a variety of purposes, all of them connected to helping children in need. It has been running annually since 1945.

    I particularly like this charity because 100% of the money raised goes to the kids. How is this possible? Because Corus Entertainment, the parent company of radio station CKNW, donates all of the administrative personnel to run the fund. It's a very, very good cause!

    If you live in or near Vancouver then I strongly encourage you to donate to the fund:

    CKNW Orphans Fund
    Suite 2000
    700 West Georgia Street
    Vancouver, B.C.
    V7Y 1K9

    CKNW Orphans Fund Radiothon

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    The painters at the Stanley Park

    by joiwatani Updated May 25, 2009

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    We were so lucky when we went to Vancouver. There was an art show going on at the Stanley Park.

    As an art lover, I ended up spending most of my time checking all the artworks of the locals. I collect Asian arts. I ended up talking to one of the oldest local artist in Vancouver!

    With his permission to publish this, I took a picture of Mr. Victor Leung. I also had a picture with him together. He etches his arts in plywood and slowly burn them. How amazing is that?

    I didn't really notice his method of arts until my daughter Shelby pointed it out.

    Mr. Leung immigrated to Canada in 1951 and he has lived here ever since. He told me that he is 75 years old and retired. He said he loved painting and spend most of his time doing what he loves!

    He etched some hummingbirds, eagles, bears, etc. His famous favorite artworks are Chinese women in their dresses!

    I bought one of his artworks with a Chinese woman holding an umbrella!

    Mr. Victor Leung with his arts Mr. leung and I at the Stanley Park, Vancouver,BC
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    Vancouver has no freeways

    by Carmanah Updated Jan 4, 2008

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    The freeway infrastructure in Vancouver, or lack thereof, is a product of a city-wide vote in the 1970's in which the locals voted against having a freeway because it would mean the destruction of neighbourhoods. To this day, freeways within city limits are seen as a bad thing among Vancouver city planners, and this trend is actually catching on in other cities across North America because they see how vibrant the city remains when freeways aren't dissecting it up. Vancouver has also implemented a plan to densify as opposed to sprawl out, and freeways are catalysts for urban sprawl. As they say, "build them, and they will come". It's a totally different mentality to think of freeways as a bad thing, but that's the way it is in Vancouver.

    Driving down the Granville Street bridge
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    Obvious signs

    by Dabs Written Aug 20, 2006

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    The first "obvious sign" that cracked me up was on Kitsilano Beach, two signs at either end of a row of rocks that said "Rocks". I'm pretty sure most Canadians would recognize that those were indeed rocks......

    The second "obvious sign" was one that I found on a pretty close to being dead tree which said "Water Please" hee, hee

    Rocks Um, yeah, that might be a good idea!!!!

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    Tamed Animals

    by el_ruso Written Jul 6, 2005

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    People here don't bother animals, and the city is largely clean, so this place feels a bit like Galapagos: a lot of wild animals who are not afraid of people. There seals swimming among boats, tame birds and other animals.

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    View a Wide Assortment of Canadian Flags

    by rmdw Written May 13, 2005

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    Visit Canada Place if you'd like to see all the flags of Canada in one place. This includes the 10 provincial flags, the 3 territorial flags, and of course, the flag of the country.

    To get to Canada Place just find Howe Street downtown and start walking north. It's the large building with the white sails where cruise ships depart from.

    All of Canada's Flags
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    Vancouver's Downtown Ambassadors

    by rmdw Written May 8, 2005

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    The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association has created a program to help locals and tourists alike. They've employed a number of upbeat, friendly people for these roles, though their not all as cute as this particular young lady! You'll be able to immediately spot them from their bright red shirts and caps.

    A Downtown Vancouver Ambassador
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    Blue Fire Hydrants?

    by rmdw Written May 7, 2005

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    Any ideas on why this fire hydrant is blue? Might it be Vancouver's attempt to be more unique? Good guess, but the city does have regular red fire hydrants just like in other cities.

    But after earthquakes in Kobe, Japan and San Francisco, USA it was determined that a dedicated pumping system using saltwater from the ocean could be employed as a backup in case the regular fresh water pipes are destroyed.

    If you'd like to read more about this special system then click here.

    Special Vancouver Fire Hydrant

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    2ND SUNDAY OF MAY-MOTHER'S DAY

    by crazy_vietgirl2 Updated Oct 29, 2004

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    The Greeks were the first to celebrate Mother’s day. In North America, Anna M. Jarvis was given credit for making Mother’s Day and an official celebration. Her mother organized Mother’s Day Work Clubs to provide food and help to women in need during the Civil War. When she died Anna promised her mother that she will ‘find a memorial to Mother’s Day’ to honour her mom. Anna fought long and hard an on May 10,1907 the first Mother’s Day service was held.

    Mother’s Day is being celebrated in over 50 countries today at different times of the year but the second Sunday of May seems to be the most popular. Most people send cards and flowers but there are many other ways you can show your mom you appreciate her. However, according to retailers Mother’s Day holds the record for card and flower sales. Well of course, who doesn’t love their mom?

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    APRIL 1-APRIL FOOL'S DAY

    by crazy_vietgirl2 Updated Oct 28, 2004

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    Where and how April Fools’ originated seems to be uncertain, however there was one story that seems to make sense to me.

    April Fool’s Day all began when the new Calendar was introduced to change New Year’s Day from March 25-April 1 to January 1. Apparently communication during those time was so slow, (real slow) that some didn’t know about the changes until years later. Those who continued to celebrate New Years in early April because they didn’t know or those who refused to except the new change were called April Fool’s. To poke fun at these people practical jokes were played on them, which always included fake party invitations to non-existing parties. Over time it became a custom to play pranks on April 1.

    I have only fallen for one April Fool’s joke and that was about 3 years ago. It was a pretty good joke. Do you want to know what it is? Ok I’ll tell you... On the radio they made emergency announcements early in the morning and through out the day that there was some sort of bad static being released through the mouthpiece of all phones that was of a health concern. They advised anyone who needed to use the phone that day to cover the mouthpiece with a plastic wrap until the health department confirmed it was safe. Of course I thought it was a big thing and did exactly what they said and even called everyone (because I care) I knew to make sure they are doing it as well. I helped the radio recurit more victims for the April Fool's joke. In my defense, the radio fooled a lot of people that day.

    I wish every day was more like April Fool's day dont you? Sometimes I feel people are too serious, the world would be a much better place to live in if we all learn to laugh more.=0)

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    FEBRUARY 14TH-VALENTINE' S DAY

    by crazy_vietgirl2 Updated Oct 14, 2004

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    There are a few legends as how Valentine’s Day came to be. I picked the most interesting one to share with you.
    In 5th Century, the Romans practiced a pagan celebration on February 14th that featured a lottery where young men draw names of teenage girls from a box. Once the name is drawn the girl becomes the man’s 'friend' for the year. Others say the Lupercus(pagan god) celebration was where young people drew names out of the box and exchange gifts. Cards and love letters replaced the gifts after. I like the first legend more…it’s more controversial!
    The Church did not like this and decided to make changes. Instead of having names of girls it would contain names of saints. Both sexes were allowed to draw names from the box and they were to emulate the way of saint for the rest of the year. Of course this change didn’t sit too well with the men. Hmmmm I wonder why? Then it was decided that Lupercus be replaced with the more suitable Saint Valentine of love.
    Why Saint Valentine? He was a martyr for love. Somtime in AD, there was a terrible Emperor who felt that married men made poor soldier so he decided to ban marriage. Valentine felt the ban was ridiculous, continued to marry young lovers secretly. Words quickly spread to the Emperor and soon Valentine was captured and beheaded. So where is the love in this story?...hang on getting there.
    While in prison awaiting his death, Valentine fell in love with a blind girl who frequently visited her father who is also a jailer. Before his death, he wrote her a letter and signed it ‘From your Valentine’ an expression that is used today. The February celebration continued on where it became tradition that men gave letters to their lovers containing Valentine’s name.
    Valentine’s Day is still being celebrated today on the 14th of February with cards, flowers and gifts. The celebration of love is not restricted to only couples & lovers but it is for anyone who loves and is being loved…a child, a father, a mother, a friend...it is for everyone!

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    JANUARY

    by crazy_vietgirl2 Updated Oct 13, 2004

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    10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays; it dates back 2000BC in ancient Babylon. The New Year began during the first New Moon, which also symbolizes the first day of spring. The Romans observed the New Year and noticed their calendar did not work with the sun. To set the calendar right the Romans decided to declare January 1 as the beginning of the New Year. Don’t worry I’m not going to give any more history.

    It is believed that what you do or eat affects your luck for the coming year so people celebrate the first few minutes of the year with close friends and family. To prepare for the New Year a common tradition is making New Year’s Resolution (a promise to change something to better one self). Examples of popular New Year Resolutions are promises to quit drinking, quit smoking, to lose weight, go back to school etc… On New Year’s eve(December 31), many people hold gatherings or parties, which carries into the next morning. When the time is near, most people turn on their TV on or the radio to join in with the countdown with other fellow partygoers in the city. As soon as the countdown starts, the New Year is officially welcome by hugs, kisses, and well wishes with everyone in the room.

    If you prefer to party with other people especially if you are from out of town, there are lots of clubs, cruises, and hotels that will sell tickets to their New Year Party. You might want to check out the ads in the newspaper or listen to the radio for the party info. It is recommended that you don’t wait until the last minute to buy your tickets because most places do get sold out.

    Remember to find a safe way to get home if you plan to drink. If you have to, take the bus it is free on New Year's Day.

    *Pictures to come

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