The Honda Celebration of Light (formerly known as Benson & HedgesSymphony of Fire) is an annual musical fireworks competition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The first "Symphony of Fire" was held from July 25 to August 5 of 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 2016 Honda Celebration of Light is scheduled for July 23, July 27, and July 30. The event will feature the Netherlands, Australia, and the United States in competition. Notably, 2016 will be the first time that the Netherlands has competed in the event. The Walt Disney Company, the world's largest consumer of fireworks, will be the competitor for the United States, while Australia will be 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.
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 was 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.
^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.