party-goers at the beach

Party for the Planet on Earth Day

Celebrate on April 22 at an event near you … or DIY

by Bruce Mason

Mother Earth is inviting and encouraging us to party hearty on her behalf, as if our lives depended on it. Millions of brothers and sisters have already got it going with bold plans to grow Earth Day on April 22 bigger and better.

And if you need another reason to party, start celebrating Canada’s year-long, 150th birthday (when was the last time you did that?) on Earth Day.

Vancouver: The Metro Vancouver Collaborative Cascadia Green Building Council is launching Vancouver’s biggest Earth Day event with an evening of entertainment and inspiration entitled “Innovation in Sustainability.” It includes speakers, live music, award-winning catering, BC wines and local micro-brews. Full event (4-10pm) tickets are $30. For the celebration only (7-10pm), tickets are $18, which includes the live band and free open bar at the TELUS Garden, 510 W. Georgia St.

Vancouver’s longest running Earth Day celebration takes place at Everett Crowley Park, 8200 Kerr St. (11am-3pm). More than 1,000 native mushrooms will be planted to help grow forest roots.

Since 2011, Vancouverites have flocked to Commercial Drive for a parade (begins at Commercial and Broadway at 1pm) and festival (Grandview Park 2-5pm). Speakers include Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Ta’Kaiya Blaney is among the lineup of performers.

Wesbrook Village, UBC, is hosting a book donation, swap and sale. Bring in your donated books to swap.

MBA House, 3385 Wesbrook Mall, April 22, 12-4pm.

Surrey claims to stage BC’s largest Earth Day, and rightly so, for now. In 2016, 20,000 people took part and are still talking about it. They already have the best-named annual celebration: “Party for the Planet.” But Surrey isn’t resting on its laurels; in fact, it’s raising the bar big-time with Juno-nominated entertainment, street hockey, rock-wall climbing and electric vehicles. Walk through a tiny house, take home a native plant or a BC Lion’s autograph. See a shortlist of 25 attractions at http://www.surrey.ca/partyfortheplanet/things-to-do.aspx, including the top five for active and artsy kids. It all kicks off Saturday, April 22 (10am-7pm) at the Plaza at City Hall, 13450 104th Avenue.

Victoria has opted for free (outdoors and at Clifford Carl Hall) and ticketed events (10am-5pm) at the Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville St. The festival and sustainability showcase includes interactive art, music, panels and Vancouver Island’s largest electric vehicle show.

Maple Ridge got started early in March, with lead-up projects to the main Earth Day event when thousands of people will participate at Memorial Peace Park, 224 Street and McIntosh Ave., (11am-3pm).

North Vancouver: Evergreen and other community groups are planting native trees and shrubs in the revitalized Mahon Park, 1634-1648 Jones Ave.

All over the province, people are planting, learning and cleaning parks and beaches to join in the worldwide event that was inaugurated in 1970 with 20 million-strong.

If you’re “too busy” on the 22nd, not to worry. The Stanley Park Ecology Society is hosting events all week in one of the world’s finest urban parks (www.stanleyparkecology.ca/events). It’s all good and the good news is you’ve got a ‘Get out of Jail Card’ to shut down the screens – after searching for the nearest event – and ‘get down by going outside.’

Best for last: grow your own Earth Day Celebration! Mother Earth will be eternally grateful.

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