Vancouver could have a winter festival with a frozen skating river, tube slide, carnival and more

The Aurora Winter Festival has been proposed for Concord Pacific Place.


Your Christmas wish list might just include an indoor-outdoor full-on wintertime festival, complete with a frozen river for skating, a tube slide, ferris wheel, carousel, Santa’s workshop, food, and more, if a proposed event is approved by the City of Vancouver.

The Aurora Winter Festival has submitted a bid to go into Concord Pacific Place from November 22 to December 30, 2018. Capacity would be 6,000 people, and the fest would be open late afternoons to 10 pm weeknights and mid-afternoon to 10 pm weekends.

Aurora Winter Festival Site Plan

The section of the Concord Pacific Place lot organizers are proposing to be used for the festival is just west of Carrall Street.

On the site they hope to erect a dome that would house Santa’s Workshop and “ice elves” and be where children meet the big jolly man in red. They plan to put up an entertainment tent for live performances and public seating, vendor areas, and a food garden.

For activities, Aurora Winter Festival hopes to bring midway rides, including a 36-seat ferris wheel, a Circus Train, and a carousel. They also plan to have a “tube slide” structure, and a frozen river for ice skating (with an ice skate rental shack, too). And this is where guests can see the planned light dome, “a 50 ft wide (25 ft high) LED dome formed by trussing arches and programmed with the Aurora lights flowing over it,” according to their Operational Letter submitted to the City.

Winter lights/Shutterstock

Lastly, the festival proposes including something called “Mystical Worlds.” Here’s how organizers explain this:

“The Mystical Worlds are made up for 4 uniquely inspired regions that vary in style, texture, sound, and colour: the Disco Den, Arctic Retreat, Luminous Gardens, and Whimsical Forest. The worlds include impressive set designs, giant sculptures, and custom light displays (up to 20 ft in height), as well as the magical characters and their customized sets (i.e. the Yeti, Snow Queen, and Ice Elves). Attendees can also enjoy Hot Chocolate, Hot Apple Cider, and Mulled Wine at the Gingerbread Hut along the main pathway.”

Currently the application is pending review by the City of Vancouver.


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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome. A fifth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where ahe earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: