This is one of Vancouver’s oldest traditions. Quick tidbit: “In 1928, on January 1st, 16-year-old Ivy Granstrom made her first entry into the chilly waters of English Bay in the Polar Bear Swim. Ms. Granstrom, blind from birth, will go on to appear at 77 consecutive Polar Bear events.” – VancouverHistory.ca Granstrom’s last dip was in 2004.
Registration takes place in front of the English Bay Bathhouse from 12:30pm – 2:30pm on January 1st. To be a Polar Bear Club member, you must register before the swim. Your free membership includes a commemorative button after you take the plunge. Prizes will be drawn from the entry forms filled out or turned in from the Province newspaper at the Swim registration table.
Costumes are very welcome and there is also the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race to get your heart racing in the icy Pacific. Check out the Flickr stream of John Goldsmith (aka WaxyPoetic) for some amazing photos following the 2010 event.