The Honda Celebration of Light (formerly known as Benson & HedgesSymphony of Fire and The HSBC Celebration of Light) is an annual musical fireworks competition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The first "Symphony of Fire" was held from July 25 to August 5, 1990. The celebration is one of Vancouver's largest and most well known festivals, and is recognized as the longest running off-shore fireworks competitions in the world. The multiple-day event has an estimated annual attendance of 1.4 million people.
The 2019 Honda Celebration of Light took place on July 27, July 31, and August 3, 2019. The participating countries were India, Canada, and Croatia. It was the first year where India and Croatia have participated in the competition. The winner of the 2019 competition was Canada
The 2018 Honda Celebration of Light took place on July 28, August 1, and August 4. The participating countries were South Africa, represented by Fireworks for Africa; Sweden, represented by Unique Pyrotechnic; and South Korea, by Daehan Fireworks Co. For the first time, all three competitors were required to incorporate the same theme into their fireworks display and musical accompaniment. The theme, which was voted by the public, was love. The winner was South Korea.
The 2017 Honda Celebration of Light took place on July 29, August 2, and August 5, featuring competitors from Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The competitor for Japan, Akariya, previously won the 2014 Honda Celebration of Light. Widely regarded as the premiere pyrotechnic company in the UK, the multi-award-winning Jubilee Fireworks Ltd became the holders of the first "Champions of Champions" title after winning both national competitions: The British Fireworks Championships and The British Musical Fireworks Championships. Royal Pyrotechnie, recognized as the most decorated fireworks firm in Canada, is the only group to win three Gold Jupiter awards during the annual L'International des Feux Loto-Québec competition.
To celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, each of the competitors were required to include one iconic Canadian song into their display, extending the traditional length of the shows (25 minutes) for an additional 3 minutes (for a total of 28 minutes). The songs were voted by the public on Honda's Celebration of Light Facebook page; the three chosen were "Ahead by a Century" by The Tragically Hip, "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, and "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams. The winner of the competition was Japan.
The 2016 Honda Celebration of Light took place on July 23, July 27, and July 30. The event featured the Netherlands, Australia, and the United States in competition. Notably, 2016 was the first time that the Netherlands has competed in the event. The Walt Disney Company, the world's largest consumer of fireworks, was the competitor for the United States, while Australia was represented by Howard & Sons, whose displays have included the opening and closing ceremonies for 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Team USA won the competition. Vancouver Police had to shut down English Bay Beach for the Team USA show, due to capacity concerns.
The 2015 Honda Celebration of Light was scheduled for July 25, July 29, and August 1. For the 25th anniversary of the event, three returning competitors from China, Brazil, and Canada participated. The 2015 competition winner was Canada.
The 2014 Honda Celebration of Light was scheduled for July 26, July 30, and August 2, featuring performances by the United States, France, and Japan respectively. The competitors were newcomers to Vancouver, though their respective countries have previously participated before. The 2014 competition winner was Japan.
The 2013 Honda Celebration of Light was scheduled for July 27, July 31, and August 3, with performances by the United Kingdom, Canada, and Thailand respectively. 2013 was the first year that Thailand participated in the event as part of the organizers' ongoing efforts to introduce a new nation to the program each year. The 2013 competition winner was Canada.
The 2012 Honda Celebration of Light saw teams from Vietnam and Brazil as newcomers, while the Italian team of Pirotecnica Soldi was more established. Canada did not participate for the first time in six years as producers of the event had been looking for new countries to compete from each continent for the next three years. The 2012 competition winner was Italy.
The 2011 HSBC Celebration of Light presented a "Battle of Champions" by featuring three previous competition winners: China (represented by 2009 winner Red Eagle Industrial and Trade Co. Ltd), Spain (represented by 2010 winner Pirotecnia Igual), and Canada (represented by 2007 and 2008 winner Archangel Fireworks Inc). The winner for the 2011 competition was China.
The Italian team's presentation is a peculiar and charming pyrotechnic show with wide variety of effects ranging from the sky to the water, dancing volcanoes, golden rain and a fantastic closure. Attendance was estimated at 400,000.
The Chinese team's presentation features specific colours in each of the five sections: blue, silver and crackling, green, green falling leaves and gold. The music is performed by The Philarmonic Orchestra of China, accompanied by pianist Xiang-Dong Kong.
Past and future values come together in a program full of joy. A musical score that includes pre-Hispanic sounds, music in the history of carnival celebrations, traditional sounds mixed with innovative rhythms, and some of the best Mexican known values, friendship and fraternity are present in this show with the purpose to make you feel a little part of Mexico.
The Celebration Finale is specially designed to pay tribute to the HSBC Celebration of Light competition. The 6-minute Celebration Finale did not include components from participating countries.
^"Home". hondacelebrationoflight.com. Retrieved July 5, 2021. The Vancouver Fireworks Festival society is excited to confirm the event will return bigger and better than ever for its milestone 30th season on July 23rd, 27th and 30th 2022.
^Cindy Robinson; Jon Jefferson; Les Wooten (2006). Modern Marvels - Walt Disney World (History Channel) (DVD). New York: A&E Television Networks. Event occurs at 44 minutes. ASINB000CS461O. ISBN9780767087896. OCLC64282449.