Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2010

Comments 17 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The legacy of Peter Pantages will live on New Years Day as Vancouver hosts its 90th annual Polar Bear Swim in English Bay.

January 1, 1939 – The Polar Bear Club – Item #: CVA 371-836

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.” – Granstrom’s last dip was in 2004.

©2005-2009 Waxy Photography. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

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.

17 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. WaxyThursday, December 17th, 2009 — 4:06pm PST

    That 1939 photo is funny — everyone is so calm and it looks downright balmy, though dark. I wonder if they used to start the swim closer to sunset back in the day.

    Thanks, again, for the props.

  2. WaxyThursday, December 17th, 2009 — 4:16pm PST

    It looks like I won’t be able to photograph Ms. Ivy Granstrom as she retired from the Polar Bear Swim in 2004 (the 84th annual). But there are some sweet pics of her on the Vancouver Park Board website:

  3. SThursday, December 17th, 2009 — 7:01pm PST

    I guess you really are Vancouver’s best blogger 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real and posting important events and details about our great city.

  4. paulFriday, December 18th, 2009 — 7:24am PST

    i did it last year, will probably do it again – it’s lots of fun.

  5. Tyler IngramFriday, December 18th, 2009 — 8:29am PST

    We did it last year. What a whoot too! I went completely under and hung out for a while. We were going to do it next time but we’ll be in Costa Rica during it. Guess I can take photos of us swimming on the Caribbean coast huh?

    Was hoping to bring my better camera to the swim this year, guess it will have to wait until 2011’s! I shall be back! muahaha

  6. vancouver eventsFriday, December 18th, 2009 — 11:08am PST

    we attended 2 years ago. it was a great experience, but it was so cold. I was sick the next day with a bad cold.

    All the best to those attending. I am still considering going but will have to wait how I feel. Great post!

  7. MelFriday, December 18th, 2009 — 10:20pm PST

    I’m going to do it this year!

  8. CTuesday, December 22nd, 2009 — 12:02pm PST

    Is it just a dip or do you need to swim?

  9. Miss604Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 — 9:51pm PST

    @C – I think you can just “dip” if you want.

  10. Cucumber MarketingWednesday, December 30th, 2009 — 8:42pm PST

    Doing it, doing it! 🙂 First time this year! Was trying to convince more people to do it with me, but looks like everyone is scared! 🙂 Going to donate some $ to charity if you join me! 🙂

  11. New Years Eve Events in Vancouver » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittThursday, December 31st, 2009 — 10:38am PST

    […] Reminder: Head to English Bay by 12:30pm on New Years Day to register and take part in the 90th annual Polar Bear Swim. […]

  12. DennisThursday, December 31st, 2009 — 7:58pm PST

    Going for my 24th plunge (not all @ English Bay… but many). This will also be my 7 year old son’s 2nd PBS.

    Good luck and way to go to all those who join us.


  13. CCFriday, January 1st, 2010 — 8:49am PST

    Looks like everything is there this morning. Just don’t know what costume to wear 🙂

  14. CCFriday, January 1st, 2010 — 9:21am PST

    I have figured out what costume to wear. What can be more fitting for a polar bear than the birthday suit!!

  15. DennisFriday, January 1st, 2010 — 12:01pm PST

    Small correction…. (was thinking like anniversaries). My dip was in 1986, so this is my 25th!!??!!! WoW! I can’t believe it.

    HAPPY 2010 Everyone

  16. ClaudiaFriday, January 1st, 2010 — 2:22pm PST

    Don’t forget to look for the big pack of crazy guys wearing the Mexican sombreros and white bath robes!!! They’re hilarious!!!

  17. WaxyFriday, January 1st, 2010 — 9:05pm PST

    Oh my… that was wet. I was fully waterproofed and I still came home at least as soaked as the swimmers though I’m sure a lot warmer. My camera was also drenched but it seems that it truly is water sealed.

    @Claudi. The Mexicans were great. I see and photograph them every year. Here are a few of them as they were breaking for the water….

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