- Holidays and Celebrations
Fireworks in Vancouver Skies to Remember a Summer's Goodbye
Italy's fireworks steal the show
Every summer, the city of Vancouver along the West coast of Canada prides itself with a fireworks display that promotes friendly competition among participating countries. Like the United States, Canada is a country forged by immigrants so in this spirit, countries like China, Italy, Spain, etc., engage in the act of outdoing each other with their creativity, fireworks choreography, and sheer visual brilliance. For the 2012 Vancouver Celebration of Light, Vietnam, Brazil and Italy were the presenters with Honda as the major sponsor. Some 300,000 spectators watched Vietnam's take on the fireworks on the first night of the exhibition.
With each participant showcasing the best in fireworks bravura, Italy came away as the champion, narrowly defeating the two other countries. As a fireworks aficionado since I settled in Vancouver from Toronto in 2007, I find this yearly competition to be an excellent idea. Participants work so hard at perfecting their craft and putting their best foot forward. For example, the Italian fireworks presentation which I have been fortunate to capture in pictures and video is a perfect representation of the spirit of the festival.
About 400,000 spectators showed up for the Italy presentation which was held on the last night of the competition. The English Bay, where the fireworks were always held from a barge, was teeming with people just the same. Fireworks aficionados always had the fear that getting home was going to be a problem, partly because drunks could not be helped; and partly because with such a huge throng of people, a stampede was a possibility just waiting to happen. I considered myself lucky to get home that night, although I had to stay put on Davie Street for about fifteen or so minutes before the mass of humanity started to dissipate.
Italy's take on the fireworks was befitting every participant. It was like an artwork in the sky, with colors so vibrant it left spectators spellbound. The fireworks came in different shapes and sizes. At times it looked like the big sky could not even contain the breadth of the display. By now I believe that the art of fireworks has been stolen from China like Prometheus stole the fire from heaven.
I have also learned that the art of fireworks presentation is not as much about the explosion of sound as much as the explosion of colors. Watching all the spectacle, it is easy to forget that gun powder can induce asthma, some allergies as well as a general breathing difficulty. Struggling as it is from the difficulty of finding corporate sponsors year after year, the 2012 Vancouver Celebration of Light is certainly not a breath of fresh air, yet it is nothing short of a miracle.