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Who’s competing in Vancouver’s 23rd Celebration of Light? Australia, Mexico and first-timer The Philippines


Published April 24, 2023 4:40 p.m. ET

Team Canada’s fireworks display is seen in Vancouver on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.


Organizers of Vancouver’s annual fireworks competition are starting this week off with a bang by revealing the lineup of the 2023 Celebration of Light Festival.

For the first time in its 23-year history, the competition will include a team from The Philippines, as well as groups from Mexico and Australia, according to a news release issued Monday.

Australia will kick off the show on July 22, followed by Mexico on July 26 and The Phillipines on July 29, with fireworks set to begin each night at 10 p.m. from a barge in English Bay.

This will be Australia’s fifth time being represented in the festival and the third time for Mexico, a spokesperson confirmed to CTV News.

While new to the competition, The Philippines team—Blue Peacock Fireworks—has made history with its shows and has collected more awards than the returning teams, according to the organizers of Vancouver’s event.

“Their team not only became part of history by culminating the 100th Philippines Independence Celebration, but also was the first ever team to set up a pyro-musical show using the SkyRanch Eye, the tallest ferris wheel in The Philippines, so be ready for a colourful show,” Honda Celebration of Light organizers wrote in a statement.

FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT FOLLOWS LINEUP REVEAL

The federal government describes the festival as “an anchor summer experience for locals and tourists alike,” and announced Monday that it’s investing $457,760 of the Tourism Relief Fund into the non-profit behind the annual event, the Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society.

“This iconic event has become more than a dazzling display of fireworks, it’s an economic driver for local businesses and a gathering place for people of all backgrounds to celebrate music, food, and culture,” said Randy Boissonnault, tourism minister and associate finance minister.

“The City of Vancouver is proud to welcome the hundreds of thousands of Vancouverites, British Columbians, Canadians, and those from around the world to celebrate and enjoy this one-of-a-kind event,” Mayor Ken Sim said in a statement Monday.

The event will also feature a pre-show performance, the Red Bull Air Show, on all three festival nights.

The pre-sale for tickets to one of three designated viewing areas along the beach launched at 11 a.m. Monday and is set to end at 8:59 a.m. Thursday, when tickets will be fully available to the public.

The most affordable option, and the only one available to all ages, is a $62.70 view from the bleachers at the Concord Pacific Grandstand, which includes access to private washroom facilities and a licensed bar.

Concord Pacific plans to hold a lottery to distribute 100 tickets to seniors living in the West End and Downtown areas for the July 22 show, as well as another 100 to families and individuals for the final performance. More details on the draw can be found online.



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