Plaza of Nations
The Plaza of Nations was an entertainment complex located on the northeast shore of False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia.
It was part of the British Columbia Pavilion during Expo '86, and along with Science World, Canada Place, and the Roundhouse Community Centre is one of the remaining physical reminders of Expo '86. The sheltered plaza had a capacity of 4500 for performances. The Plaza had been nominated by the city's Heritage Commission to be added to the Vancouver Heritage Register. Along with the Roundhouse and Science World, Plaza of Nations was considered important for demarcating the spatial extent of the world's fair, which was a transformative event for the city in its centennial year. It was decided in 2007 that the building was to be demolished completely, leaving the Edgewater Casino the only remaining structure, although it may be rebuilt or redesigned.
Plaza of Nations consisted of Enterprise Hall, the West Building, the East Building, and the Covered Plaza. It has been owned by Canadian Metropolitan Properties since 1990. The site houses Edgewater Casino, and hosted various cultural and entertainment events, including the Dragon Boat Festival, and has been a popular events venue for various ethnic communities in Vancouver, as well as for corporate events.
Plaza of Nations was the only outdoor sheltered plaza in Vancouver, as well as the city's only cultural venue on the waterfront. It was also an important mid-size venue for popular music acts seeing artists such as Foo Fighters, Hootie & the Blowfish, Fugazi, My Morning Jacket and Garbage, among others perform sold out concerts at the venue.
The Plaza has been used for a filming location for numerous projects, such as episode 2010 in the fourth season of the Stargate SG1 series and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (film)," a 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie.
Planned as a temporary structure to be torn down after Expo '86, the glass roof of the plaza was found to be unsafe by city officials in November 2006, with notices to that effect being posted in the offices of the ownership on Wednesday, November 22 and subsequently the area under the canopy was fenced off for public safety. The sudden closure forced the events planned for the space to move with little or no notice (see Portobello West). In January 2007 the ownership decided that the cost of repairing the roof was too high, and opted to demolish both the roof and its two adjoining office buildings. As of November 2007, demolition of the roof has been completed and all tenants of the adjoining structures have vacated. Plans for use of the space have not been released, however the owners and the City of Vancouver are planning continued use of the plaza as a covered outdoor performance venue. As of March 2008, the west building office structure is completely demolished. The future of the site remains unclear as the east office complex has not been abandoned and the plaza concert amiptheatre was rebuilt and restored with original seatings and new flooring.
- Policy Report: Plaza of Nations Land Use Study, the Director of Current Planning and Managing Director of Cultural Services, City of Vancouver, 14 July 2005.
- Plaza of Nations roof deemed unsafe, National Post, 24 November 2006.
- Glass canopy at Plaza of Nations to come down, News1130 radio, 25 January 2007.