EDITORIAL: Oh, how far we’ve come

We’ve come a long way, baby.

The huge crowds that have gathered at downtown viewing sites to watch the Vancouver Canucks’ drive to win their first Stanley Cup have been celebratory and well-behaved. No matter that they’re crammed onto narrow city blocks straining to see what they can on distant big screen monitors.

The surrounding municipalities have also jumped on board, multiplying the sites as the series moved to Boston for games three and four. Surrey, Burnaby, Abbotsford and Richmond all set up big screens for large gatherings of fans to soak in the Stanley Cup vibe.

It’s human nature to share the company of others at monumental occasions, be they happy ones, like a victory in the Stanley Cup or the arrival of a new year; or tragic, like the 9-11 terror attacks or the assassination of a beloved world leader.

Most world-class cities have some sort of easily accessible location to host huge gatherings of people: New York has Central Park; Paris has the Champs de Mars below the Eiffel Tower, London has Hyde Park, Berlin has the wide boulevards and parks around the Brandenburg Gate.

Limited space and short-sighted urban design have left Vancouver without such a venue. That absence was a contributing factor to the 1994 Stanley Cup riot, when post-game crowds ran amok downtown because they had no place to go, and the ensuing chaos left a black mark on the city’s reputation.

But the lessons learned from that experience were put to good use during the 2010 Winter Olympics, when organizers created satellite gathering sites to serve the crowds seeking some Olympic buzz. It worked. A good time was had by all.

That spirit has fueled the Stanley Cup street party, and was only slightly (and temporarily, we trust) dampened after the Bruins’ 8-1 drubbing of the Canucks on Monday night.

The addition of suburban sites has spread the party atmosphere around the Metro Vancouver region.

The lack of stories on the nightly news about stabbings and liquor seizures at these sites are testimony to how well they’ve been managed and how far the region has really come since ’94.

And if the home team can hold up its end of the bargain, there might be a whole lot more worth celebrating in the next few days.

– Burnaby News-Leader

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health lists COVID-19 exposures at two more Surrey schools

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

White Rock Playhouse, Bell Centre lit up red in support of entertainment workers

Facilities across Canada participated in national Light Up Live movement on Sept. 22

New 10-bed substance use program opens in Surrey

It’s described as a ‘soft landing’ for people who are coming out of detox

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read