Location

The city of Vancouver is located on a major seaport in British Columbia, between the Pacific and the incredible mountains of Canada.

Vancouver is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. A popular filming location surrounded by mountains, the city invites outdoor pursuits of all kinds, but also has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses preeminent First Nations collections.

Majestic mountains, sparkling ocean, rainforests and beautiful foliage all four seasons make Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Canada is known for its people’s friendly nature, and Vancouver’s citizens take great pride in their welcoming, clean, safe streets − day or night, all year round.

Vancouver is known as being a particularly clean and green city and has consistently been named as one of the top five cities worldwide for quality of life.

One of Vancouver’s greatest strengths is its diversity, and whether you are visiting for a day or a month, there is plenty to explore. Pack a picnic and enjoy one of the city’s many botanical gardens, hop onto a boat and go whale watching just minutes from the city, or explore the many landmark sights of the city – there is so much to see.  Find more information here.

Airports

Vancouver is well-served by air transport and high-speed train.

The Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is located just south of the city (12 kms from city center). The city has more than a dozen international flights in and out of YVR every day, with 22 bound for the United States.

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is located 10 miles North from the Vancouver International Airport.

  • Canada Line Skytrain (light rapid transit system), current fare: 9 CAD (one way)
    This shuttle train will take you to Vancouver City Centre Station which is 2 blocks away from the hotel.
    The trip will take under 30 minutes.
  • Estimated taxi fare: 40 CAD (one way). The trip will take 30 minutes.

The Canada Line is a convenient transit rail connecting the airport to downtown Vancouver in about 26 minutes.

More information on hotel accessibility can be found here or visit the Vancouver International Airport.

Find also here practical details when you arrive in Vancouver.

Climate and weather conditions

There is a long-standing joke that in Vancouver you don’t tan, you rust. It frequently rains in Vancouver. The city of Vancouver has a temperate oceanic climate, which means warm summers, cold winters and rain all year round. Vancouver is one of Canada’s warmest cities in the winter. During summer months the inland temperatures are significantly higher, causing Vancouver to have the coolest summer average high of all major Canadian metropolitan areas. The summer months are typically dry, with an average of only one in five days during July, August and September receiving precipitation. In contrast, precipitation falls during nearly half the days from November through March.

The average temperature in Vancouver in September is 15°C (58.8°F).

Check here the 7-day weather forecast

Currency

The official currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). In Vancouver you will come across a multitude of banks, many of which operate in English and other foreign languages. They are generally open from 9.30am to 4pm, from Monday to Thursday, and until 5pm on Friday. Some may be open on a Saturday morning. Certain branches may close at lunchtime, between 12.30pm and 2pm.

Even though you may find some banks who will accept your currency in exchange for Canadian Dollars, you are more likely to come across exchange bureaus, which specialise in this type of transaction. Make sure you have some ID with you. In Vancouver, you will find numerous exchange bureaux in busy tourist areas and they are usually open on Sundays too.

However, it is advised to already have some local currency on hand prior to arriving.

Electricity

The standard plug in Vancouver uses 120 Volts, using the two plug socket. For European electrical appliances, you may need a voltage transformer, as well as an adaptor for the plug. If your appliances are dual voltage you do not need a transformer.  Find more information here. 

Entry requirements / visas

An official invitation letter will be sent upon request. You will find this option during the registration process. This letter however does NOT involve any commitments by the Conference Organisers to cover fees, accommodation, travel expenses or other costs connected to the participation in the Meeting.

ILCA will not be held responsible for visa not granted. In case of emergency, an official invitation letter can be requested to the ILCA Office at least three months in advance.

Canada has relaxed entry requirements for visitors from certain countries, and more complicated and stringent ones for other nationalities. EU citizens planning to travel to Canada do not need visas from March 2016 to enter, however they must apply for an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and a valid passport will be needed. Visitors from the US do not require a visa to enter Canada. The eTA permits you to visit Canada for up to 6 months. The eTA is valid for 5 years.

Please visit the website of the Canadian Government for further information.

Please also check with your travel agent before you confirm your travel.

Emergency phone number

For Police, Fire service or Medical service, call 911. It can be dialled free of charge from any telephone.

Health and safety

Vancouver, all in all, is a very safe place to be. Personal safety is extremely high. However,  items that are left unattended are at risk of being stolen. Also, be careful of car break-ins. Make sure you do not leave any items visible in a car when you are out.

For more information, click here. If you need to contact the emergency services, ring 911 for all support.

Insurance / liability

ILCA is insured only to meet claims arising from incidents caused by the organisers and their equipment. Participants, exhibitors and visitors are strongly recommended to be properly insured against accidents they may suffer when travelling and during the conference.

Language of the conference

The official language of the conference is English.

Public transport

The easiest and cheapest way to get around Vancouver is by using the extensive public transport available.  This includes Tram, Bus and Skytrain.

Rapid transit (automated trains that run above and below ground) consists of two lines, the Expo Line and the Millennium Line. A third system, called Canada Line, provides the travel from the airport to Downtown Vancouver.

Also, bus service is provided throughout the day. In addition to traditional buses there are express lines that make fewer stops.

The SeaBus crosses the Burrard Inlet to provide travel between Waterfront Station in Downtown Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.

Find more information here on public transport.

Taxis

Usually taxi ranks can be found in front of hotels or important landmarks. However, hailing a taxi from the curb is quite common as well. Otherwise you can always call a cab or book online.

Restaurants

The cuisine of Vancouver is very diverse and Asian cooking of all kinds is incredibly popular. Izakayas, or Japanese-style tapas, have taken the city’s habitats by storm in recent years for their atmosphere and unique dishes, and hot-dogs are being served with seaweed and okonomiyaki sauce.

Due to its location, fresh fruits and vegetables can be found everywhere as well as just-caught seafood. Also locally made cheese is something that should not be missed.

One thing can be guaranteed when you visit Vancouver though: diversity. For years Vancouver has been known for its multiculturalism and the great variety of expression that has emerged as a result, whether through music, art, or cuisine.

Find good locations in Vancouver to eat here or click here.

Shopping

Find here information on all the different shopping available in Vancouver, with a mixture of retail stores, souvenir shops and much more to cater for every shoppers needs.

Taxes

In Canada, price labels do not include tax and service and the tax is usually added when paying for goods (the latter is around 12% of the total price). For more information, please visit Changes to the Sales Tax in British Columbia.

In regards to tipping, if the service has been particularly good, you may wish to leave a tip in order to show your appreciation. Generally, the amount is 15 to 20% of the total bill. If you receive remarkable service, don’t hesitate to leave 25%.

Time Difference

Vancouver is 8 hours behind of GMT (GMT -8).

Useful links

For more information you can easily connect to the following website pages: