Update 2010: The fireworks are on this year.
Update March 11th, 2009: A “generous benefactor with a business angle” has stepped up to cover/sponsor the event and the Celebration of Light is officially back on. [news1130]
Additional: It has been announced that The Keg is the new sponsor. [straight.com]
Our city has battled with these events each year, from noise pollution to crowd control, and now the future of the world’s largest offshore fireworks competition, the Celebration of Light, is pretty dark. In a press release this morning it was announced that due to a lack of sponsorship dollars the festival would not be happening again.
I’ve lived in Surrey, Kitsilano, and the West End so I’ve been able to experience Vancouver’s annual Celebration of Light summertime fireworks nights from several angles and perspectives. As a West End resident, I came to accept the fact that hundreds of thousands of people would come streaming past my building 4-5 nights a year (even during a garbage strike). When I lived in Surrey it was a treat when the family would pile into the car and head out to the beach at Jericho for an evening picnic and fireworks display off the shore.
Every city and resident has their opinion of the fireworks so for many this announcement is a blessing — for others it’s just another way our city is returning to its “no fun” roots.
Update: In 2001, 6S Marketing ran a “Save the Symphony of Fire” campaign as you may recall it used to be the “Benson & Hedges Symphony of Fire” but having a tobacco company being a title sponsor was no longer allowed.
Update February 9th, 2009: There is now an official campaign to save the fireworks. You can donate online to support this event or join the Facebook Group for more information.