Come and celebrate the new year at English Bay for the 104th Vancouver Polar Bear Swim.

Get your swim gear ready for a frosty plunge.

Event details

  • Where: English Bay Beach
  • When: 12pm to 4pm (Program begins at 2pm and the official swim at 2:30pm.)

 Swimmers entering the 100-yard race should meet behind the start line. The first 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat should give their names to the lifeguard.

The event will have a designated family area along with an accessible beach mat for participants.

After the swim, participants can pick up their commemorative button at the centre-tower Family Zone or information tents spread throughout the beach.


Registration is now open. Register in advance to receive your participation certificate.

Register here.

History of the Polar Bear Swim

The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club is one of the largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs in the world. Its initial swim was in 1920 when a small number of swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day. Led by their founder, Peter Pantages, the swim has grown from around 10 swimmers to the new record of 2,550 official entries set in 2014.

When Peter Pantages was not able to swim in the ocean he found other ways to make sure that he had a cool ‘dip’, everyday. He even had an agreement with the Pacific Steamship Company, when he was traveling on an ocean liner, for the ship to stop everyday so he could take a dip. When it was unsafe he would draw a salted chilled bath instead.