Honda Celebration of Light fireworks barge tour


It’s that time of year again! On July 28th, Aug 1st and Aug 4th, Vancouver welcomes the Vietnamese, Brazilian and Italian teams of fireworks artists for the 22nd annual Honda Celebration of Light. And this morning I got the chance to do the fireworks barge tour.

Honda Celebration of Light barge in English Bay

I have seen a lot of fireworks in my life, but I have always wondered how it worked. Well today, my questions were answered by Mr Patrick Brault (Pyrotechnics producer) and the Team Da-Nang (Vietnamese competitors)

Patrick Brault – Pyrotechnics Producer

The Vietnamese Team – Da Nang

So here are a few fun facts that I learned:

The big barge floating in English Bay is filled with 350 tons of sand, thats a lot of truck loads.
It used to be anchored, but it is now piled to the shore, which means that a big pipe is linking the shore to the barge to limit movements.

In those tubes are 50 pound fireworks that fly 1000 feet in the air.

Each firework weighs about 50 pounds and needs to go up to 1000 feet in the air, so they are blasted by gun powder that is basically 70% TNT. (Hence the non smoking policy on the barge.)

Canada is not represented this year because the producers are choosing new countries from each continent over the next 3 years and will have the winners of each year compete for an “All Star” type Celebration of Light in 2015. So Canada should compete next year or in 2014 and hopefully for the “All Star” in 2015.

It’s the first time that the Vietnamese Team shows what they can do abroad, so they are very honored (and so are we!!!) and eager to bring it on to prove that they mean business. And they have a surprise for us, some kind of water trick firework that we’ve never seen before.

And finally, each show that lasts a minimum of 45 minutes, takes about 3 to 4 days to put together.

So be sure to grab a blanket and enjoy the Honda Celebration of Light around English Bay (and Vanier Park) on July 28th, August 1st and 4th.

Photos: Brice Ferré Photography

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