The UBC Boathouse
The UBC boathouse is another lovely venue overlooking the Fraser River. The venue has the added distinction of facing west for beautiful sunsets over the water.
There is only street parking at the venue but you can pull up adjacent to the venue for the convenience of your guests. The sign at the beginning of the narrow entrance way to the venue says do not enter but it is ok to do so for loading in equipment or dropping off guests. There is no overhead protection however and so on a rainy day, an umbrella would be needed. From there, you will need to move your vehicle to the street for parking. Although the sign says only three hour parking, this does not apply for guests attending any event at the boathouse.
The entrance gate at the bottom of the ramp that leads to the entrance of the venue is a bit narrow. It was a bit difficult to get equipment through. I am not sure if it would be wide enough for a wheel chair so that is something to check on for any mobility challenged guests. As well, there are fairly prominent edges at the end of the ramps at both ends. As a DJ, I found cartload of equipment tends to get hung up on them.
Once inside the venue things are easier. All areas are flat including access to the bathrooms. The room holds about 150 guests but there may not be much room for a dance floor at this capacity. There are large windows all around and the sunset over the river is lovely in the summer.
The room does have a microphone for your speeches and fairly nice speakers for low background music. The speakers would not be adequate for dance music.
There is also a built in projector and screen for your slide show or video presentation. I am sure it would be hooked into the venue speakers so any audio track would be played through the in house speakers. The venue is also air conditioned however, there are a lot of open spaces and even with the air conditioning on, it was still warm. This was especially true at the beginning of the reception.
The wedding ceremony can also be conducted at the venue. It is normally held outdoors on the dock beside the venue. The ramp down to the dock is easily accessed and although long, can be navigated by any mobility challenged person. It can get quite hot on the dock for your guests. I find bringing an umbrella to shield from the sun helps. There is power available if you wish to have wedding ceremony music. I did notice the dock was quite low to the water so there may be water coming over the dock if the wind picked up. There are also planes coming in to land regularly at YVR so your wedding vows may get drowned out at some points during the ceremony.If this is a concern for you, you might ask your music service to provide a small PA and microphone for you.
UBC Boathouse works very well for an type of event. I’ve done everything from weddings to karaoke events and contests here. With a very nice setting and pleasant ambiance, I give this venue a 4 out of 5 stars.