Vancouver has consistently been voted as one of the world's "Most Livable Cities", but we in Vancouver prefer the term "Most Alive." As soon as you arrive you'll see it, but you'll also feel it. Our city is intertwined with nature, from the snow-capped mountains to the urban rainforest and sparkling Pacific Ocean that reflects off our city skyline.
Our West Coast and world-famous cuisine: from food trucks to molecular gastronomy and certified organic urban farms to city orchards, we live up to our reputation of being a chef's city. We're a well-known place for growing, eating and inspiring some of the best food on the planet.
Experiences beyond the 9-to-5. Our location makes us the perfect jumping- (driving-, sailing-, flying-) off point for adventure. In the days or even hours before and after a meeting, your delegates can easily add an experience that won't be so easily forgotten.
IAIA has negotiated room blocks near the convention center to secure the most competitive rates for spring 2022. Staying at one of our partner hotels can heighten your conference and networking experience! Information on booking a room with one of our partner hotels can be found on the Hotel Information page.
The Vancouver climate is oceanic, cool and humid, with relatively mild, rainy winters and cool, fairly sunny summers. The west coast is the only part of Canada in which the average temperature remains above freezing (0 °C/32 °F), and Vancouver is the only major city not having a freezing winter.
Average temperatures for May are 16°C /61°F to 8°C/46°F.
Canada's official languages are French and English, with English being the primary language spoken in Vancouver and British Columbia (BC). BC is home to one of the biggest language diversities in the world with 34 language groups and 90+ dialects.
The languages of our partner Indigenous conference hosts, the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh & Musqueam, include:
- Skwxú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish): the Skwxwú7mesh Snichim (Squamish language)
- səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh): the Hunq'eme'nem language, and
- Xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam): the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language
All foreign visitors to Canada must have a valid passport that does not expire within six months of arrival.
There are two types of Visitor Visas: a single-entry visa and a multiple-entry visa. Both are valid for a fixed period and cannot be used after they expire. For more information, click here: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=417&top=16.
The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement (similar to the ESTA in the USA) for visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada. The eTA will be valid for five years or until the applicant's passport expires, whichever comes first, and only costs $7 CAD. Eligible travelers can apply online at ww.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp.
The eTA applies to citizens of countries that are visa-exempt and lawful permanent residents of the USA flying to or transiting through Canada. Citizens of other countries must go through the visa process. To find out whether you need an eTA or a Visitor Visa, visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.
Citizens of Canada and the United States of America do not need an eTA.
From the airport: Vancouver's SkyTrain is one of the longest automated light rapid transit systems in the world. The Canada Line is Vancouver's rapid transit rail connecting Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to downtown Vancouver in under 30 minutes.
Within Vancouver: The downtown core provides everything your team needs in 30 minutes walking time or less.
Vancouver's vast network of buses, trolleys and community shuttles link to various hubs, Sky Train stations and tourist destinations throughout Metro Vancouver. For more information on Vancouver's public transportation network see https://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/visitors-guide-to-public-transit.aspx.
Normal business hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Banks are generally open from 9.30am to 4pm; some have limited services on a Saturday morning.
Retail stores (especially independent and smaller ones) are typically open from 10am to 6pm on Monday to Saturday, and from noon to 5pm on Sunday, though some will not open on Sundays at all.
Restaurants are usually open between 11.30am to 2.30pm and from 5pm until 9pm. Some of the larger, well-known restaurants in downtown Vancouver may stay open between lunch and dinner.
Note that some businesses may be under COVID-19 restrictions. For the latest updates, check the Government of Canada website at: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid
The currency used in Vancouver and the rest of Canada, is the Canadian Dollar. Money can be exchanged at banks, ATMs, and currency exchange offices, and some hotels and businesses, with banks and ATMs tending to offer the best rates.
MasterCard, Visa and American Express are widely accepted in Vancouver; look for the Mastercard and/or Visa symbols at the checkout or on the door.
In restaurants it is customary to tip approximately 15-20% on the total bill before tax, less for poor service, more for truly exceptional service. Many restaurants may charge an automatic 15-18% gratuity for larger groups. This is up to the individual establishment but is usually applicable to groups of 8 or more. It is customary to tip taxi drivers. Most tip 10%, but you can tip 15% if the service is exceptional. Tipping porters, bellhops and other hotel staff is at the discretion of the customer.
The electrical current in Canada is 110 volts, 60hz cycles alternating current (AC); with 220 volt devices a converter is needed.
In British Columbia, smoking is banned in all indoor public places and workplaces, including restaurants, bars, shops, and on public transportation. Smoking is also prohibited inside private vehicles if there is a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle.
Most goods and services in British Columbia are subject to a sales tax totaling 12% of the purchase price (7% PST +5% GST). Please note alcohol is taxed at 15% (10% PST + 5% GST). Visit gov.bc.ca for more information.
The Vancouver Visitor Centre is located downtown, within walking distance of the Convention Centre: https://www.destinationvancouver.com/about/contact/
Travel tips and tools can be found at: https://www.destinationvancouver.com/plan-your-trip/travel-tips-tools/
Public Transit Information: 604.953.3333 www.translink.ca
City of Vancouver - General Information: 604.873.7000 (311 within Vancouver) www.vancouver.ca
BC Ferries: 1.888.BC.FERRY (1.888.223.3779) www.bcferries.com
British Columbia Highway Conditions: 1.800.550.4997 www.drivebc.ca
Provincial and regional restrictions (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions#travel)
Government of Canada (https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid)