Stanley Park Pavilion is located in the heart of world famous Stanley Park. It is fairly easy to drive to…just follow the signs. When you pull up to the building, you will notice it is a well kept older building and there is a lot of history connected to the building.
There is actually parking in front of the building but to be honest, it can be very difficult to get a spot there as the park is very popular tourist destination. There is parking on the other side of the building with a short two or three minute walk from there to the pavilion. Parking is around $20 for the day.
Getting into the venue is convenient for mobility challenged guests. The sidewalk is ramped although a little uneven from the parking lot. Once past that area though, the walkway is smooth into the front door and throughout the venue.
The views from the building and surrounding lawn is quite nice. Summer and early fall of course is the most scenic. For those of you thinking of having your wedding ceremony outside, there is a beautiful area adjacent to the venue where the exchange of vows is often performed.
When you enter the venue, you walk into the outer room. This is where the bar is located and where most often, the cocktail hour is held. Often appetizers are served here and guests mingle before entering into the main room. One very important point to note is that, most often, your entertainment is set up in the main room and they close the doors to that area while the reception for your guests is taking place. If you wish to have entertainment, music, etc., you should be aware that you will have to make arrangements for your band or DJ to set up in the outer room or else you will not be able to hear them from the main room where they normally set up. The only other alternative is to leave the doors open to the main room and that is frowned upon as the staff will be setting up for dinner in the main room. You could also have the house play music.
The main room is where the dinner and dancing take place. It is not a huge room and maxes out at around 180 guests. This is adequate for most events. Another point to note is that the house system in that room is not very good. For speeches you may need to use your entertainment’s PA system and microphone. If using a wireless microphone, make sure to have your DJ or band provide a professional Shure SM 58 wireless system, or something equivalent. The reception in that room for wireless systems is poor and with anything less you may have dropouts when speaking on the microphone, which can be annoying. The room is air conditioned in the summer during dinner but they often turn it off when the dancing starts and open up the doors to the outside which may or may not work for you.
I give the Stanley Park Pavilion a 4.5 stars out of 5. Having the main room and outer room separate can add a bit more expense if you want to have entertainment during the reception part of your event. Parking is limited close to the building, especially during summer, and although there is parking a few minutes away, it can be a wet dash to the venue if it is raining.
The venue has a beautiful setting however and being in world famous Stanley Park does have its’ perks.
The Pacific Yacht is one of the nicer harbor cruise yachts that can be hired out for events in Vancouver. The yacht is moored at the Westin Bayshore docks right off the seaside promenade that runs along the Vancouver waterfront . The yacht can accommodate a little over 100 guests but for the exact number, contact the booking site by clicking on Pacific Yacht.
The yacht is easy to board with a wide, carpeted ramp to the dock and a small ramp into the yacht. Very convenient for wheel chair bound guests and for any vendors loading equipment on to the yacht. The dock is a very stable concrete dock and not at all wobbly as is the case of some harbor cruise docks.
The inside of the yacht is quite nice. The lower deck has a layout than can be changed around to suit your event and the upper deck is often where dinner is served. This also can be reinvented according to your requirements. There is a third deck for open air viewing of the sights on your cruise.
The stairwell leading to the second deck is of a good size with a gradual curve and no tight corners. Unfortunately, there is no elevator on the yacht so access to the upper decks and to the washroom on the lower deck is not easy for mobility challenged guests. Access to the bathrooms and bar on the lower deck require a three step down stairway.
The yacht can do different routes on the cruise but normally starts out going by some million dollar yachts and the park.
It will the cruise by the park, seaplanes at the conference center, the high-speed jet catamaran ferry and head towards the light house passing by Canada Place.
There are any number of sights to see on the cruise including Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge and, in our case, the fireworks competition held every year with entrants from many different countries.
The Pacific Yacht is a great way to cruise the harbor, or beyond, for your event. Staff are friendly and helpful, meals can include a full sit down dinner cooked aboard the yacht or just hors d’oeuvres served by the efficient staff. I give The Pacific Yacht a 4.8 out of 5 stars. As is most likely the case with all the harbor cruises in Vancouver, there are no elevators to get to the upper decks making it difficult for wheelchair bound guests and your vendors to get equipment to the upper decks.
Country Meadows Golf Course is an older venue. Driving alongnumber six road, you have to watch carefully or you may miss the sign to the entrance of the golf course. There is a golf driving range about 2 km before Country Meadows Golf Club which you will want to pass. It is a common mistake to drive into the golf driving range thinking this is the Country Meadows Golf Club.
Country Meadows is a small golf club so the main building is not very large. The club house includes a restaurant and lounge area. There is a stage in the lounge area and this would work as the venue to hold your holiday parties or other events.
The parking lot is a bit small and on those nice summer days when it is busy, there may be a bit of a challenge to find parking. This could be especially true if you are having a larger event there in the summertime.
Many events are held in the tent that is off to the side of the main building. It is fairly spacious and looks like it could hold about 150 guests.
Load into the tent for your vendors is quite easy, with a slightly graded incline. The access to the tent is perfect for any of your wheelchair bound guests and very convenient for your entertainment to load their equipment in.
Power access is a bit strange. The power outlets are high up on the wall and you may need to ask staff to put a power bar on the floor if you need to access power. Your DJ or band, or any other vendor that requires power, will definitely need to bring extension cords.
The scenery around the golf course is nice and green, which is a common sight around golf courses in the summer. In nice sunny weather, the buffet is set up outside of the tent.
The tent seems to be a little on the cool side. This is great in the heat of the summer but the evening we can get a little chilly in the tent. It might be a good idea to bring a sweater for later in the evening if your event is going that long. There is no air conditioner but the staff can put up fans if you require.
I’m not sure how late events are allowed to go. The tent does not hold sound in well so your entertainment, DJ or band, would definitely be heard outside of the venue. Some venues do require that you turn down the sound after a certain time. This can dampen the party somewhat and is something that you would want to check on.
The staff are very helpful and friendly. This is an important consideration for your guests and yourself when hosting an event.
Country Meadows golf course would be worth checking out as a venue for holding your event. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.Although parking is a bit limited and some areas of the venue could use a little repair and paint, the venue being close to Richmond so that guests would not have to travel very far from their accommodation and the pleasant staff makes it a nice choice for your event or celebration.
The Cineplex Cinema Coquitlam venue is a very interesting location in which to host an event. It is the first time I have reviewed such a locale and I found it interesting and unique at the same time. The event was a dry grad party and the venue certainly has the space for this type of party. One of the great things about this venue is that you will never run out of parking space.
Another plus is the fact that the vendors or any person with mobility issues can pull right up to the curbside and use the very convenient ramp to wheel equipment in. In the case of mobility challenged guests, there is disability parking right in front of the ramp area.
The area inside is huge but the Cineplex Cinema Coquitlam location does have an actual bar and lounge area where you could host a smaller party of say 60 to 80 guests. The karaoke setup was placed outside the entrance to the lounge and in order to keep track of everyone, they did rope off the area past the karaoke set up…blocking off access to the washrooms on one side of the venue.
As previously mentioned, the inside of the of this venue is very spacious and it does take a lot of guests to fill up the space. It does feel cavernous and impersonal if you don’t have the numbers to fill up the huge floor area.
It would take at least 500 or more guests to give the venue some warmth and vibrancy. As well, they are showing movies until around 12:15 AM so there are movie goers still in the building. In this case…while the dry grad was taking place. This is definitely a deterrent to getting any kind a fun vibe going. Who wants to sing or dance when a group of total strangers, not there for the party, wander by gawking at you?
It is not possible to tone down the lighting very much. It is so bright that even DJ laser lighting will not make any impact. This contributes to a lack of ambiance when trying to involve guests in an entertainment event such as karaoke and/ or dancing. The background noise of the game machines also make a lot of extraneous noise and take away focus of a party atmosphere.
On the plus side though, if you wanted to base an event around a movie theme, the VIP lounge might be the place to do it. Smaller, more intimate with a separate area to control who wanders through your function and bar, this could quite possibly work as your event room.
I give the Cineplex Cinema Coquitlam a 2 out of 5 stars as a venue at which to host your party. Although it has great free parking and easy accessibility into the building, the venue is large, impersonal and too bright to have any kind of ambiance for a party of less than 500 plus. There is a lot of extraneous noise from the video game machines and the possibility that total strangers could be walking through your event is something you may have to contend with.
I would however, check out the VIP lounge. This room would be the one area recommended as having possibilities for a Christmas party or other occasion.
The University of British Columbia is a very large university and offers a number of varied venues within the unique setting of a distinguished university. The Sage Bistro is one of those venues. Located just steps from the beautiful Chan Center, the Sage Bistro has a relaxed and dignified ambiance.
There is limited parking just outside the restaurant and more underground parking in the Rose Garden Parkade. There is an elevator in the parkade, but parking outside the front of the restaurant is the most convenient. For wheelchair bound guests or for vendors loading into the Bistro, the easiest way is to have someone open the glass door on the north side of the building ( it only opens from the inside ) and follow the sidewalk to the door.
There are some stairs inside the Sage Bistro so you must be a little careful getting around, but they do have a lift for any mobility challenged guests to move between the two levels. Bathrooms are on the upper level.
There is a wonderful garden at the back of the bistro. This is a nice spot for having your wedding ceremony. With the balcony of the restaurant overlooking this area, you can have your DJ put a speaker on the balcony for your wedding ceremony music.
In addition, there is a walkway along the back and side of the restaurant where guests can hang out. I am not sure if this is policy, but some guests do smoke on the balcony so this may be a must have for some of your guests.
Some wedding ceremonies also take place inside the Sage Bistro. The area is fairly spacious and you have the advantage of being able to use the house speaker system so everyone can hear your vows.
The Sage Bistro gets a 4 out of 5 stars as although the setting is nice, I found the room rather plain. The smoking section on the balcony allowed 2nd hand smoke to drift into the venue. As I mentioned, I am not sure if this is a regular smoking area, but it was the case when I was there. The staff were adequate and did their job well, but only one was somewhat attentive and helpful. Still, the venue has the uniqueness of the UBC setting and if you enjoy academia, then this venue might be right for you.
Right in the heart of Richmond there is the very nice venue of Quilchena Golf and Country Club that is a great venue offering for your event. You enter Quilchena through a well kept row of townhouses adjacent to the golf course. As a matter of fact, unless you know it is there, you could very well drive right by.
As you drive up to the clubhouse you can’t help but notice, directly in front of you, the nice area where a wedding ceremony will often take place. One of the draw backs to this section of the building is that there is no ramp for wheelchair bound guests.
However, in the main entrance and down the hall there is an elevator, to the right, that takes you to the second floor. From there a mobility challenged guest could be brought out to the balcony which overlooks the wedding ceremony area.
As an option, mobile guests can take the stairs to the second floor. It has a lively skylight and chandelier and many guests find this area a lovely photo setting. The natural light and curvature of the staircase add an interesting feature to your photos.
Once on the second floor, there is the main ballroom where many of the events are held. It is bright and airy with a nice balcony for guests to enjoy. It should hold about a 110 guests or so. A buffet can be setup outside the main entrance to the room.
With buffet being set up outside the room, there is a nice large area for your dancing and different configurations are available in the placement of chairs and the dance floor. Plenty of room for your first dance and party festivities.
With its’ well kept grounds and nice clubhouse, Quilchena Golf and Country Club has that country charm just minutes from the center of Richmond. Well manicured lawns and green surroundings make you feel you could well be in the countryside. This always a plus when hosting a relaxed fun wedding or event.
I rate Quilchena Golf and Country Club a 4.5 with my only concern being the small challenge of getting a wheel chair to the wedding ceremony area.
The Inn At The Quay is a nice medium quality hotel that has all the basics plus a little extra for your event. The entrance is clean and bright with cover for loading in your luggage and ample parking very close to the front entrance. There is underground parking as well. The hotel will provide a parking pass for your vendors. The level entrance also is convenient for any mobility challenged guests you may have and makes it easy for your vendors to load in their equipment as well. A quick tip concerning your vendor load in…the more difficult it is to get into a venue, the more a vendor will cost due to the extra time and effort associated load in and load out.
The lobby is very bright with a modern and colorful decor. The check in area is quite spacious for a smaller hotel. This is a nice surprise, especially when you compare with hotels in downtown Vancouver where lobbies can be quite small. It makes moving around with luggage or equipment much easier.
The main event room is on the second floor. There is elevator access to all floors, including the underground parking, making it easy for guests and vendors to get to your event within the hotel. The room will hold 80 to 90 guests quite comfortably. Above 90 guests, a space challenge starts to present itself, especially if you are trying to keep room for a dance floor.
The room can be configured to your event. A wide range of events are hosted and a dinner service can be provided as well. Weddings, anniversaries and corporate events take place regularly.
The rooms overlook the Fraser river and some great sunsets are to be had. The balcony is small however so not that many of your guests would be able to stands on it. Still, it is a nice feature.
With the hotel located on the boardwalk by the water, there is lots to do for guests if you are hosting a wedding reception and there is time between the wedding ceremony and start of the reception. By the way, they do offer an open air wedding ceremony venue as well.
Your guests can wonder through the small mall area of the Quay, take a cruise on the river paddle wheeler or just stroll along the Fraser river via the boardwalk.
The Inn At The Quay has a lot going for it. With a nice location bright, clean premises and with a number of attractions for your guests, the hotel would be a nice choice for a small or medium sized event. I give it 4.5 stars out of 5 as my only concern is perhaps the size of the event room. There is not a lot of wiggle room if you have a hundred guests and more show up last minute…especially if you want to have a dance floor.
The Holiday Inn at 1110 Howe Street, Vancouver is a very busy hotel venue a little further away, but still relatively close to the downtown core of Vancouver. Accessible by bus or taxi, the hotel offers full services for your wedding or event.
Upon entering the driveway to the entrance of the hotel, I noticed it was a bit narrow…especially if you have a large car. A few cars were backed up so I think patience is a virtue while guests and luggage is being unloaded from their taxis or cars. There is no parking allowed so cars should move along to either exit the driveway or move on the parking. They do have a ramp to help with any mobility challenged guests.
At the end of the driveway is the entrance to the parking lot, there is a button on the wall that must be pressed to gain entrance. Here again, the parking lot is a touch small if you have a large car. It can be managed though as long as you are careful. For your vendors, it is best for them to park on the second level. This section is not covered but it will allow them to unload their equipment on a cart and roll it to the elevator. If they park on the first level, they will have to roll everything down to the second floor to the elevator. The small ramp up to the elevator hallway leans a little so you must be careful that your cart, or if bringing a guest in by wheel chair, does not flip over.
The elevators are also small. It is possible to fit a cart with equipment in them and one person but it is difficult to fir more without squeezing in. Probably a wheel chair and two people would be comfortable. After that, it would be tight getting more people in the elevator.
The event rooms are on the second floor , with the Columbia room to the left upon exiting the elevator. This room is not tiny but is on the smaller side. It seated 90 guests comfortably leaving room for a dance floor. You could seat more if you put tables on the dance floor.
This Vancouver DJ was placed in one corner of the room and about 15 feet ( about 5 meters ) from the dance floor. There were guest tables in front of the DJ making it difficult to push sound across the room as it would be too loud for the guests sitting at tables directly in front of the speakers. Another challenge was that a pillar was directly in front of the DJ so the it was a bit difficult to see the dance floor well and it did obscure some of the sound for the dancers later on.
In this instance, the bride and groom were fine with it so it did hamper their enjoyment of their reception. Music projection was helped by the corner placement of the DJ and speakers which tended to bounce the sound off the wall by the DJ and by the smaller sized room. However, there was a door to the hallway where on speaker had to be placed and there was some concern that too much volume would leak out into the hallway and disturb other guests in their rooms.
The worry did not materialize however. As a far as I know, there were no complaints from other guests staying at the hotel concerning music volume. I would consider though, putting your entertainment at the opposite end of the room better yet, the far wall would be best.
The room is of course air conditioned for your summer events and the staff and room manager were organized, very helpful and friendly to the guests and vendors. They do have a small ceiling in house system for your speeches as well.
The Holiday Inn on Howe Street has everything you need for a fun, smaller event. The biggest thing to be aware of is the placement of your entertainment for your dancing or karaoke enjoyment. As a DJ in Vancouver, I give this venue 4 out of five stars.
Vancouver harbor cruises have a great reputation when it comes to celebrating events and the Royal Vancouver does not disappoint. The staff are friendly and helpful, the food great and on a sunny day, a great view of the Vancouver area and city is sure to please.
The boat has full facilities for any kind of event and two decks on which to party. The bottom houses the bar and washrooms but the upper deck is where the action takes place.
The first event that I did on the yacht hosted forty guests. This seemed to be a good number as there was room to move around fairly easily and room to set up a basic budget DJ / Karaoke system.
However, the second event there included 60 guests. This was a bit challenging, but as you can see, we managed to pull it off and everyone had fun in spite of slightly cramped quarters.
Of course being on a harbor cruise yacht often means tight spaces here and there. Stairs can an issue. If you have guests that don�t navigate stairs well, you might like to discuss with the booking agent if there are some options available. There are no elevators on this yacht and stairs are narrow.
The narrow stairs may be a consideration for vendor as well. I know getting the equipment down on to the dock from the parking area, then rolling it along the dock to where the Royal Vancouver Yacht is moored, loading on the ship and up the narrow stairway to the upper deck is quite a bit of work and I do charge extra for that.
Another item to consider is the parking on Granville island, where the yacht is moored. If your event is through the week in the evening, parking shouldn�t be too bad and you probably can find parking close to dock.. If your event is Friday or Saturday, Granville island is very busy, especially during summer and the holiday season. During these times, parking is much more challenging.
I gave the Royal Vancouver Yacht a 4 out of 5 due to the extra effort of loading equipment on the boat for vendors.
In summary, I found the Royal Vancouver Yacht to charming, enjoyable and with great staff to help make your event a joyous occasion. I feel it worked great for an event of up to 55 guests and should meet with all your plans for fun time on the water.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver combines old school charm with all the amenities of an affluent hotel. It provides many of the features brides and grooms look for in a venue for their wedding and /or reception and would also work well for any upscale event such as a corporate Christmas party.
The British room is a very large ballroom. Half of the ballroom can easily accommodate three hundred guest and probably could seat a hundred more. I would imagine the whole ballroom opened up would be quite substantial in terms of space for very large events.
There are a set of stairs down into the room which may be an issue if have any mobility challenged guests. It might be a concern for your vendors also. Especially if they have large heavy items to load in. I am not sure if the hotel could provide a portable ramp. This might be possible as there was a portable ramp out of the service elevator up to main foyer for vendors loading equipment into the hallway.
A in house ceiling speaker system for your speeches is availalbe but I would recommend that you have your DJ provide equipment more suitable for music.
While the British room is suitable for a wedding ceremony, the Pacific room is ideal for the reception.
This room, can easily seat three hundred guests. The room has a very high ceiling and at the wedding event where I provided audio, the videographer actually flew a drone to get a bird’s eye view of the happy couple’s first dance,
Another nice feature of the Pacific room is the stage. The bride actually used it to sing a special song for her husband. This worked very well as even guests at the back of the room could see her. It is also a great area for your entertainment …whether that be a DJ and / or Karaoke, string ensemble, band, etc.
There is plenty of parking for the hotel but can be a bit expensive for anyone not given a parking pass. It is about $40 for vendors to park from 9 Am to 5 PM on Saturdays in the public parking lot by the hotel.
Another thing to be aware of for your vendors is the load in procedure. Although they do have a ramp for vendors in the loading bay, the service elevator is in constant use and it may take a vendor extra time to load in. It can take about 40 minutes to load in, park a vehicle and then get back up to the British room, so make sure your vendors give themselves a little extra time.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is a very nice venue for any upscale event. Classy, sophisticated with lots of history and friendly, helpful staff. If you’re planning an upscale event, this is one of the nicest hotels in the downtown core for your function.
I give the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 4.5 stars
The Hotel Vancouver 900 West Georgia St.,
Vancouver, BC V6C 2W6
Event planner at the time of this review: Christine Han
Where we listen to you and get it right on your big night!
DJ Gary, based in Vancouver, BC, has been in the music business internationally for over 20 years as a live performer and event DJ. He formed his company, DJ Boogie Shoes & Karaoke Services, in 2007. Having performed at thousands of weddings and events and committed to creating a fun, interactive, and flexible atmosphere for all his happy clients and guests, DJ Boogie Shoes can provide everything needed to enhance your events and entertain your guests.