Due to high visitor volumes resulting in crowding of facilities, packed parking lots and safety issues, you will now need to sign up online for day passes for some BC Parks.
Free Day Passes Required for Some BC Parks
As of July 27, 2020, new free day-use passes for six popular BC Parks are available for reservation through the “day-use passes” tab on the Discover Camping website as a part of a pilot project. These parks are:
Cypress: Upper mountain trails including the Howe Sound Crest Trail, Hollyburn Mountain trails, and the Black Mountain Plateau trails.
Garibaldi: Diamond Head (Elfin Lakes), Rubble Creek (Garibaldi Lake) and Cheakamus trailheads
Golden Ears: South Beach Day-Use Parking Lot, Alouette Lake Boat Launch Parking, East and West Canyon Trailhead Parking Lot (including Lower Falls Trail).
Mount Robson: Berg Lake Trail
Mount Seymour: Upper mountain trails including the Seymour Main Trail, Mystery Lake Trail, and Dog Mountain Trail.
Stawamus Chief: Chief Peaks Trail (also called the Backside Trail)
These environments do not easily allow for physical distancing and large numbers of visitors also have increased environmental impacts. The trail systems within these parks can become crowded at narrow pass points and view points which can lead to congestion and difficulties maintaining physical distancing.
The reservation/pass system opens up each morning at 6:00am and some are valid for a whole vehicle, others require each person in the vehicle to have a pass booked. Passes can only be booked on the day of arrival. Select from AM/PM or all day. Passes do not guarantee a parking spot – visitors should plan accordingly. Find more info here.
More than 60 films from 10 countries are featured at VQFF presented by RBC, along with virtual visits from filmmakers, local directors and numerous local performing artists, in addition to virtual parties and post-screening Q&As.
Curated by Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah, VQFF 2020 opens with director Elegance Bratton’s Pier Kids, an uncut guerilla style documentary that unearths Black queer resourcefulness and resilience at its core. The film follows the life of Black Trans woman, Crystal LaBeija and other Queer and Trans youth of colour at the Christopher Street Pier in New York City.
The unifying effects of the Pier Kids resonate through the veil of safety, solace, and the promise of chosen family. Elegance Bratton will be joining the Festival at a virtual Q&A along with producer Chester Algernal Gordon.
VQFF will also feature two special presentations of seminal queer women’s history. Ahead of the Curve is a documentary about the history of Curve Magazine, the longest running lesbian publication in history, featuring interviews with Andrea Pino-Silva, Kim Katrin, Denice Frohman, Amber Hikes, Jewelle Gomez, Melissa Etheridge and Lea DeLaria, and a score composed by the legendary Meshell Ndegeocello. Ahead of the Curve celebrates, honours, and interrogates the legacy of a movement while considering the shifts and contractions necessary to create a more representative future for all queer women.
In addition, VQFF will screen a retrospective of Long Time Comin’, Dionne Brand’s 1993 documentary that charts the work of two Black queer Canadian artists: folk/jazz singer-songwriter Faith Nolan and multimedia visual artist Grace Channer. Using a combination of interviews and vérité footage of the women at work, Brand showcases their projects as well as their thoughts on art, race, and sexuality.
Festival favourite The Coast is Queerreturns, uplifting and spotlighting the work of emerging and established local queer filmmakers. International programming reflects the urgency of queer rights, with A Worm In The Heart. Shot in six cities along the Trans-Siberian Railway, this gripping documentary follows gay couple Paul Rice and Liam Jackson Montgomery as they embark upon a tense journey to detail the lives and stories from the LGBTQ+ community across Russia. Meeting with Nobel Peace Prize nominees, drag queens and ordinary folks, Paul and Liam learn more about the current state of the Russian queer community — providing both broad social and political overviews as well as deeply personal accounts from activists and non-activists alike.
Georgian documentary March For Dignityfollows a small group of LGBTQ activists in Tbilisi, Georgia, as they plan for the first ever Pride March in the country. And Goodbye Mother is a Vietnamese family dramedy that will charm and delight audiences.
The first play I saw at The Stanley was Hamlet in 1998, presented by The Arts Club. I had just finished studying the tragedy in AP English and it was a delight to see it come to life on stage, and what a beautiful stage it was. I have since seen many productions, ranging from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to The Producers, Dreamgirls, White Christmas, Les Miserables, and even A Christmas Story: The Musical. That’s my personal history with the theatre, now here’s a bit more:
Opened in 1930 at 2750 Granville Street, the Moorish-style theatre was “ultra-modern in every respect […] equipped with the latest technology for talking pictures and also a pipe organ” with 1,200 seats.
1951 The Stanley Theatre. Archives# CVA 772-12
It was a landmark movie house for sixty years, and in 1991 when Famous Players closed the venue, it had become the oldest operating movie theatre in Vancouver.
1985 The Stanley Theatre. Archives# CVA 790-2269
Prior to its closure, there was a campaign to “Save Our Stanley” to preserve the building and prevent commercial redevelopment of the space. In 1994, the Stanley Theatre Society was formed to try to buy the Stanley for the Arts Club Theatre Company, and in 1997 it purchased the theatre from Famous Players for $3,173,000.
Shuttered for seven years, it was masterfully renovated to update its art deco style. In 1998, it reopened as a 650-seat playhouse for the Arts Club Theatre Company and in 2005 it took on the name The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage with the addition of new sponsors.
The restoration of the venue received a 1999 City of Vancouver Heritage Award.
The theatre is quiet once again, due to COVID-19, but as soon as audiences can once again gather The Arts Club will fire up the spotlights under the dome once more. For now, you can enjoy the company’s digital programming here.
Remember when parks were closed? That foggy time in March and April where a bounty of cherry blossoms filled the canopy and no one was there to photograph them? When ‘going for a walk’ meant taking a stroll from the refrigerator to the living room instead of a forest or marshland trek? To make sure that type of lockdown doesn’t happen again, you can heed this advice to help keep Metro Vancouver Parks open:
Help Keep Metro Vancouver Parks Open
“Metro Vancouver has kept regional parks open as outlets for people to safely enjoy the outdoors, but we are seeing too many visitors neglecting physical distancing guidelines, raising the risk of community virus transmission,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors. “As Dr. Henry warned earlier this week, we must keep our physical interactions to about 60% of normal in order to avoid a major spike in new cases.”
Beach parks, especially White Pine Beach at Sasamat Lake in Belcarra Regional Park and Boundary Bay Regional Park, have experienced high demand, especially on weekends, leading to local traffic, parking and physical distancing challenges.
Parks visitors are asked to follow these guidelines:
Choose parks in your own area – do not travel across the region
Avoid beach parks – explore nearby trail-based parks instead
Walk, bike, or take transit to avoid contributing to traffic and parking issues
Maintain physical distance of at least two metres from others at all times, including in parking lots
Dispose of tissues and other waste in designated garbage bins
Pack it in, pack it out – do not leave any items behind in parks
Wash or sanitize hands frequently during the day and upon returning home
Stay home if you are sick
All Metro Vancouver Regional Parks are open. Metro Vancouver has increased staff patrols, sanitation of high-touch surfaces, traffic management and continues to monitor and manage visitor behaviour. Staff are reassessing the status of each regional park on an ongoing basis.
Amenities including playgrounds, picnic shelters, group camps and reservable facilities are open, and some nature programs have resumed with modifications.
Parking restrictions are in place at select parks and municipalities have ramped up parking enforcement in residential areas near regional parks.