Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2019

Polar Bear Swim

Ready to take the plunge?

An annual Vancouver tradition is returning to the frigid waters of English Bay.

The Polar Bear Swim will take place on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 and is expected to thousands.


As one of the world’s largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs, the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club started in 1920 when 10 swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day.

In 2014, the event grew to a new record of 2,550 official entries and has never looked back.

A fun touch to the event is attending in a costume. We’ve seen some epic swimmers in the past dressed as Vikings, penguins and even a giant paper mache shark.

Don’t forget to also register for the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race for your chance to win prizes.

Before you head out, keep these tips in mind:

  • If you have a heart problem – just watch!
  • Children must swim and stay with an adult.
  • Please leave your dog at home.
  • Do not drink – alcohol does not warm you up – it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.
  • Entrants in the 100-yard race – meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
  • First 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat – give your names to the lifeguard.
  • After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table.
  • Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.

Use the hashtag #604Now and #VanPolarBearSwim to make sure we see your photos.

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Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2019

Location: English Bay - Vancouver

Admission: Free

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Date: Tuesday January 1st, 2019

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