Northern Lights in Vancouver Friday & Saturday Night

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last night nature put on a show with a G5 geomagnetic storm casting a wide array of Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) across Metro Vancouver, and many other parts of the world. Even downtown, where the light pollution is greatest, we still got to see the purples and greens of this celestial event.

Friday Night Photos | Saturday Night Info
Phone Photo Tips

Northern Lights Aurora Borealis Vancouver - Miss604 Photo
The aurora over Coal Harbour in Downtown Vancouver – Miss604 photo

The solar storm prompted NOAA to issue a severe geomagnetic storm watch, the first watch of its kind to be issued in almost 20 years, with the last being triggered in 2005. We were seeing photos online from London, South Carolina, Alabama, and beyond.

As far as solar storms go, this is the most severe on the NOAA Space Weather Scale which ranks them G1-G5. The description is “Extreme” and effects could be:

  • Power systems: Widespread voltage control problems and protective system problems can occur, some grid systems may experience complete collapse or blackouts. Transformers may experience damage.
  • Spacecraft operations: May experience extensive surface charging, problems with orientation, uplink/downlink and tracking satellites.
  • Other systems: Pipeline currents can reach hundreds of amps, HF (high frequency) radio propagation may be impossible in many areas for one to two days, satellite navigation may be degraded for days, low-frequency radio navigation can be out for hours, and aurora has been seen as low as Florida and southern Texas (typically 40° geomagnetic lat.).

Northern Lights in Vancouver Friday Night Photos

Usually, we’d have to head out to where there is little light pollution, such as the Dark Sky Park in Abbotsford, at Iona Beach, Burnaby Mountain, or Porteau Cove up the Sea to Sky. In previous years, some dedicated aurora photographers have snapped some streaks from Spanish Banks. Last night, however, they. were. everywhere. You didn’t even need to look to the north, there was a colourful dome on top of the city.

NOAA Space Weather Scale G5

Can We See Them Saturday Night Too?

Maybe! The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center is reporting that the extreme geomagnetic storm continues and will persist through at least Sunday. If it’s similar to Friday night, you’ll see the most activity around 11:30pm once darkness has fully set in.

Check the latest Aurora Viewline Forecast »

Update: As of 9:30pm Saturday, the NWS Seattle says the Kp index was 7 (lower than Friday’s 9 which was full of colour) but it will go back up to 9 around 2:00am-5:00am Sunday, May 12th. However, the NOAA aurora forecast doesn’t look the best for Vancouver now even during that window.

Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis in Downtown Vancouver
Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis in Downtown Vancouver

Many people heading up a mountain (even a Little Mountain in QE Park) or over to the beach will contend with traffic so try to take transit, walk, or cycle if you can to avoid the crowds on the roads.

Photo Tips

I haven’t picked up my DSLR in years and all of my photos posted on social media are from my iPhone. Here are some tips, and what I did to get these shots from Downtown:

  1. Check the Light Pollution Map to find a dark(ish) spot you can get to when the skies are clear (like they will be in Metro Vancouver Saturday night).
  2. If you’re discouraged that you don’t see the aurora in the sky with your naked eye – don’t be! Pick up your phone or camera anyway and just snap away capturing the sky. I did this last night and once I got home to review, that’s when I saw the lights in detail.
  3. Long exposure is key so let the most light into your photo. Not by using a flash, but by exposing the shot to what you want to capture for the longest time possible. Use Night Mode, especially if you can control the exposure time.
  4. Stay still or use a tripod. Since you’re setting the exposure for longer, the slightest movement could blur the image. If you don’t have a tripod, use a shoe (I’m not kidding) or anything else to anchor the camera in place when you take the photo.
  5. Bonus: If you have iPhone, try taking a few in Live Photo mode then afterwards select the option for Long Exposure and see what you get! You can also turn those into GIFs if you set to Loop or Bounce.

Some of the popular spots might be very busy with traffic again so plan ahead, and be safe out there. Have fun and enjoy this spectacular, and historic, event!

Read more: Events in Vancouver This Weekend

Foodie Friday – Mother’s Day, Pizza, Patio Paella and More

Add a Comment by Haley

We have once again curated a list of our current and upcoming culinary favourites and notable limited edition menus, into one convenient spot for the Foodie Friday May feature. Here are our updates for all foodies alike:

Vancouver’s Foodie Friday for May

Ocean 999 Mother's Day Brunch
Ocean 999 Mother’s Day Brunch – View the big list here


Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana to Open on Main Street this May

  • When: Slated to open in late May 2024, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 4pm until late.
  • Where: 3240 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Details: Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana is very excited to open a second restaurant location at 3240 Main Street, this May! The East Van location opened their doors in 2012 and quickly earned brand recognition from their homemade Neapolitan-style pies and authentic Southern Italian flavours. Via Tevere Main Street will feature 32 indoor seats in addition to two outdoor spaces: a 12-seat side patio and another 12-seat curbside patio. Plant based / vegan options are available on their menu. Learn more.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) celebrated the highly anticipated opening of Hula Poké in its domestic terminal. The new restaurant, located post-security, provides another option for travellers departing for Canadian destinations with breakfast, lunch and dinner items offered over extended hours to better serve travellers. Hula Poké is the 12th local brand to open a storefront at YVR since 2022.

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Weekend Events in Vancouver Things to Do May 10-12

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

This weekend around Metro Vancouver we’ve got hockey action, Mother’s Day fun, baseball, ballet and more. Burnaby Village Museum is also open for the season with free admission — there’s no shortage of fun things to do this month!

Friday, May 10th | Saturday, May 11th | Sunday, May 12th

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend Summer

Weekend Events
Things to do in Vancouver May 10-12

Friday, May 10, 2024

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Rickshaw Theatre’s 15th Anniversary

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver’s beloved live music venue, is celebrating its 15th anniversary with four music-packed nights this summer.

Rickshaw Theatre’s 15th Anniversary

  • Dates: June 15, 20, 21, and 23
  • Location: Rickshaw Theatre
  • Tickets: Single day tickets or four-day passes available now
Rickshaw 15 Year Anniversary Poster

The venue first opened its doors in June 2009 when local entrepreneur, David Duprey repurposed an abandoned movie theatre. Two years in, Duprey sold the business to current owner, Mo Tarmohamed in 2011.

Local titans such as D.O.A., Bison, Japandroids, 3 Inches of Blood, Skinny Puppy, Bif Naked, Black Wizard,  Pointed Sticks, The Pack AD, ACTORS and many others have graced the Rickshaw stage.

The Rickshaw has also hosted artists that have gone on to play much larger venues such as The War on Drugs, Future Islands, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Turnstile, IDLES, Thundercat, Knocked Loose and others.

The musicians selected for this mini-festival include performers who have played the Rickshaw multiple times over its life. One of the bands playing in this year’s festival, Bison, actually headlined Rickshaw’s 2nd year anniversary show in 2011 just prior to Tarmohamed taking over the venue.

From my 2015 interview with Mo:
“One of the things that this place has been known for, and has been home to, is punk and metal shows.” But while metal and punk has been The Rickshaw’s “bread and butter”, its great sight lines, professional staff, lighting options, and 500+ capacity have made it an ideal venue for many acts, both local and international.

“We didn’t want to be known strictly as a niche venue so we’ve really opened it up and had quite a diversity of musical genres. Even last week, Tuesday we had Napalm Death a metal band, then on Thursday we had R&B/soul, on Friday we had punk, on Saturday we had world beat music.” With the diverse range of artists playing sold out shows for audience with a demographic with ages of 19 to 65, Mo said he often sees people act surprised that The Rickshaw existed — and that they haven’t been there before.

“We’ve hosted bands that are on the upward trajectory, like last year we had two sold out shows for War on Drugs — Future Islands played her last year and this year they’re playing at Malkin Bowl. So we’re catching bands that are just in the process of blowing up but then we also get some of those legacy bands.” DOA, Mudhoney, Human League, Concrete Blonde, have all played The Rickshaw recently and coming up they are hosting the likes of Wishbone Ash and The Rezillos.

The Rickshaw has also become a coveted stage for local performers. “They play at places like Funky’s and The Astoria, but getting on stage at the Rickshaw is a special notch on their belt. It just makes them feel like they’ve arrived — or are arriving — and they get the full rockstar treatment.”

Anniversary Lineup

June 15, 2024: BISON, Black Wizard, Rong, Pet Blessings

June 20, 2024: Bend Sinister, Colleen Rennison, Elliot C Way, The Furniture

June 21, 2024: The Pack A.D., ACTORS, Hyaenas, Beau Wheeler

June 22, 2024: Pointed Sticks, Rich Hope, Dead Soft, Night Court

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Bard on the Beach Presents Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and more for 2024 Season

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Bard on the Beach 2024 summer season at Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park will include Hamlet and Twelfth Night on the BMO Mainstage, as well as The Comedy of Errors and Measure for Measure on the Howard Family Stage.

Bard on the Beach
Bard on the Beach – Image Supplied

Bard on the Beach Summer 2024

  • From June 13 to September 20, 2024
  • Ticket prices for all regular play performances start at $30 CAD and are available now.

Twelfth Night: Director Diana Donnelly celebrates a topsy-turvy carnival world packed with romance and laughs, adventure, and self-discovery, set to original music by beloved Vancouver singer-songwriter Veda Hille. 

Hamlet: Adapted and directed by Stephen Drover, who invites us to consider the blurry lines around loyalty, self, and all the things that are in heaven and earth.

The Howard Family Stage will host two productions from July 2 to September 21, 2024:

The Comedy of Errors: Directed and adapted by Rebecca Northan, this play takes its laughs seriously—deadly seriously. Wear your best bedsheet as a toga to this hilarious slapstick saga of mistaken identity and marital strife.

Measure for Measure: Jivesh Parasram’s footloose adaptation is set in a contemporary Vienna where the party never stops—until now. Shakespeare’s tale of coercion and hypocrisy reaches absurdist new heights as premarital… dancing is outlawed.

Special Events

  • Bard Fireworks Nights: Enjoy a performance of Twelfth Night or The Comedy of Errors followed by a dessert buffet, and guaranteed, spectacular views of the Celebration of Light. Fireworks evenings are July 20, 24 & 27. New this year: Bring your own picnic supper, preorder from Bard (for an extra charge), or snack the night away.
  • Wine Wednesdays before one of three performances throughout the season. June 26, July 10 & August 14
  • Family Days: Encouraging a new generation of young theatre patrons to discover Shakespeare and the Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park festival experience. Special pricing and kids’ activities are in effect for these matinees July 14 & August 18.
  • Bard Pride Day: Includes early site access for special activities to celebrate Pride with the Bard Family on August 4.
  • Relaxed Performance: Twelfth Night. June 30 at 2:00pm. This performance is also “Pay What You Will”.
  • Bard Explored: A talk with Simon Fraser University’s Paul Budra on June 29, July 6, August 10 & August 17.
  • Talkback Tuesdays: In July and August where performers will take part in free post-show discussions.
  • Every performance, audiences are invited to In A Nutshell, free pre-show talks providing short, informal introductions to the plays’ stories and characters.

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