Three years ago Canucks Sports & Entertainment sought to create a family friendly party atmosphere to get fans psyched up for home playoff games. The evolution of this event was taken to the next level through the 2011 playoff run. The “Party on the Plaza presented by Canadian Tire” outside Rogers Arena became the official gathering spot for all Canucks fans during 14 home playoff games.
Each home game was a sight to behold, as a sea of Canucks jerseys piled into the plaza area to partake in numerous activities. Walking through the plaza amidst chants of “GO CANUCKS GO” there were numerous sponsors in different tents offering fans fun activities or free food and drink.
On any given home game day a fan could head on down to Rogers Arena a few hours before the game and take in a slew of fun family activities. They could start off by grabbing a free Sizzlin’ Smokie from Grimm’s Fine Foods, and a free can of Coke Zero, then head over to the Canadian Tire photo booth to get their picture taken.
After making a quick pit stop at the Sony PlayStation tent to get in a game or two of NHL 11, you could also test out your skills at the Rogers shootout challenge. Over on Abbott street, two street hockey courts were setup where anyone could get pickup game in without car interruptions after the street was closed down for the festivities.
Some more creative fans would headed over to the sign making station where they had access to all sorts of stationary and markers to create signs to support the home team. Prefer to decorate your face instead? The face painting station would definitely be for you then. On one particular game day a haircutting station was setup for the most dedicated of fans to get a Canucks symbol shaved into their hairdo.
On one special game day, with the help of some volunteers there was a charity balloon popping station that raised over a $1,000 for the Canucks for Kids Fund.
Each Party on the Plaza was emceed by the Beat 94.5’s Chris Palliser, with music by DJ J-Swing and DJ Marlon J. English. During one of the parties there was even a live performance by Kyprios performing his Canucks inspired song “How the West Was One”.
Of course everyone’s favourite mascot FIN was on hand to join in on all the fun and get the fans psyched up for the game. In fact he even celebrated his 10th birthday with the fans at Party on the Plaza with birthday cake and a fan rendition of the Happy Birthday song during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
As the Canucks advanced through the playoffs and Canucks fever spread throughout Vancouver, the crowds surged and it became apparent that many fans would come down to the plaza regardless of whether they had a ticket to the game that night or not.