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Vancouver’s Celebration of Light to return in July with traditional flare

Fireworks competition to feature pyrotechnic teams from Canada, Spain and Japan
Fireworks from team China blast over the waters of English Bay during the 21st annual Celebration of Light in Vancouver in 2011. Vancouver’s 30th annual fireworks competition will feature the skills of teams from Japan, Canada and Spain. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. residents have the opportunity to once again be dazzled by a world-renowned fireworks competition this summer.

Honda’s Celebration of Light hasn’t run since 2019 because of the pandemic, but in July it will return to Vancouver’s English Bay to mark its 30th year of lighting up the sky.

On the roster are teams from Canada, Japan and Spain.

The competition will kick off on July 23 with Japan’s team, Akariya Fireworks. They took home first prize in 2014 and 2017.

“Since ancient time, fireworks have been carrying people’s wishes in Japan. We deliver hopes and wishes for peace by fireworks blooming in the night sky,” the team says on its website.

Next up will be Canada’s team, Midnight Sun Fireworks, on July 27. They’re a volunteer group of pyrotechnics from the Yukon passionate about creating unique displays and showing off their soundtrack music.

On the final night, July 30, Spain’s team Pirotecnia Zaragozana will take the stage. Founded in 1860 in Zaragoza, Spain, the group has a long history of both manufacturing and displaying fireworks. They’re well-known in the country as competition winners.

Each night will begin with a performance by the Red Bull Air Show, with an additional formation flyover by the Canadian Snowbirds on July 27. The firework displays will then kick off at 10 p.m.

The winner will be announced on Aug. 2.

Tickets are available for VIP and family-friendly viewing locations at the Scotiabank Lounge, Concord Lounge at the Inukshuk, and the English Bay Grandstand beginning May 2 at

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