Where were you when Alex Burrows scored his sly Game 2 OT winner? If your answer is at home in front of your TV, consider heading out on the town for the team’s next big win. Make merry and make memories with thousands of your fellow Vancouverites as the city comes alive to celebrate like it’s the 2010 Olympics. A number of public celebration sites are popping up to accommodate the growing number of bandwagon jumpers. Here, where to find hugs, high-fives and, of course, the hockey game.
CBC Fan Zones
Feel close to the action by grabbing a spot in front of the CBC (700 Hamilton St.), just around the corner from Rogers Arena. Don your best get-up and you may even end up on TV as the network broadcasts from the fringe of the festivities. Starting at 3 p.m., you can have your face painted in blue and green, grab a “Go Canucks Go” poster to take home and fill up on tasty street food. You’ll want to secure your spot before the show starts on two huge screens, as the plaza was at capacity on Saturday. When we score, you may even have the opportunity to high-five a Hockey Night in Canada personality, as the crew is making appearances in the crowd. A second Fan Site has also been added on Granville Street between Robson and Georgia streets.
The Canucks flag is raised, the 90-foot sails are lit up in green and blue and the game is showing on “Canada’s Storyboard,” the 25-foot LED Screen at Canada Place. Down by the water, the vibe is much more chill, so it’s ideal for families or people who want to focus a little more on the plays and less on the fanfare.
White towels are waving, fans are chanting and beer is flowing whether or not the boys are in the house. Not only do the home games sell out here, so too do the away ones. Rogers Arena is screening away games for fans on the Jumbotron and charging $10 a seat with proceeds going to the Canucks for Kids Fund. A worthy cause for celebration.
Central City Plaza, Surrey
If you live outside of Vancouver, consider dodging downtown traffic and heading to this suburban hotspot. Show up early and hit the mall for a little shopping; you’ll be rewarded with a free Canucks antenna flag for making a purchase. The festivities at this family-friendly venue start at 4 p.m. and include live entertainment, concession stands and arts and crafts. If you arrive sans-Nucks garb, don’t despair: you can get a temporary team tattoo and have your face painted for free. When the puck drops, all eyes are on the 170-square-foot LED screen.
Sophisticated sports fans can sip chardonnay and cheer on the Sedins at the city’s sexiest theatre. Games 3 and 4 will be showing in the theatre lobby on the atrium screens and if the series goes to Game 5, you can catch it on the big silver screen. Admission is free, but you must be a Vancouver International Film Festival member to buy beer and wine. Annual memberships are available at the bar for $2.
This popular Art Deco dancehall has been transformed into a haven for hockey fans during the playoffs. Couches surround three massive televisions giving fans the feeling of watching the game in their very own living room — with hundreds of their closest friends. Entry is free, but fans are encouraged to bring a cash donation for the Canucks for Kids Fund. Registration to guarantee entry is sold out, so be sure to arrive early.
Image courtesy of Matthew Grapengieser.