Kissing Flash Mob to Show Off Downtown Vancouver’s Romantic Side

Downtown's Kissing Flash Mob aims to spread the love around Vancouver.

Credit: C. Betta

It may have faced a violent riot less than 2 months ago, but with the Kissing Flash Mob Vancouver is out to prove it’s still a city of love


Amongst the thousands of photos that captured the vandalism and destruction of the June 15th Stanley Cup Riot, one photo went viral for an entirely different reason: romance.


Dubbed the “Vancouver Riot kissing couple,” Alex Thomas, a former student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, and Scott Jones, a budding actor and comedian from Australia, were photographed embracing in the street after being pushed to the ground during riot police’s attempts to control the crowds.


As pictures and videos of the night’s conflicts continued to circulate, their photo received increasing global attention as a contrastive “make love, not war” image.


Vancouver’s kissing flash mob

Now, Vancouverites are being given a chance to have their own moment of downtown romance captured on film. On August 20th, grab your sweetheart and head over to Canada Place, where the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) is hosting a Kissing Flash Mob event in an effort to demonstrate that Vancouver is indeed a place for love, not violence.


DVBIA encouraged Vancouverites to post these statements of support following the riot. (Image: DVBIA)


In the aftermath of the riot, there was “rampant concern about downtown being unsafe,” says Ivy Fong, Member Services & Projects Officer at the DVBIA. Merchants in the area were facing declining business, so the DVBIA launched the “VANLOVER” campaign to encourage Vancouverites to share what they loved about the businesses impacted by the riot and the downtown area in general.


However, as Fong notes, the concept of downtown love expands beyond the physical structures to the people who live and interact there.


Feel the (flash mob) love

Fong’s personal knowledge of multiple couples that found love in the downtown area, along with the DVBIA’s continued effort to restore Vancouver’s image as a welcoming city, spurred the creation of the Kissing Flash Mob event.


At noon, as Canada Place’s Heritage Horns sound the first four notes of “O Canada,” couples will lock lips for one minute. Once the moment’s been captured, couples are encouraged to stick around to receive complimentary roses and handcrafted chocolates for their participation.


A professional photographer will also be on hand to snap a photo for you and your partner to download as a keepsake (all the photos taken will be posted on the Canada Place Facebook page).


The dream date

Don’t want the romance to end there? Enter that photo in DVBIA’s “Summer Love” contest. The grand prize is a dream date worth more than $1,500 in gifts and prizes, including a one-night stay at the Loden Hotel, dinner for two at Tableau Bar Bistro, a couples massage at CHI (the Spa at Shangri-La) and a pedicab tour of Downtown Vancouver.


To enter, post a picture of you and your significant other taken in the downtown area. Then, in 300 words or less, share your story of downtown love: be it a first date, a memorable downtown experience or your favourite romantic spot. One winner will be selected at random from all the submissions on September 2nd.