GE Plaza (Robson Square)

GE Plaza photo 2.jpgCLOSED GE Plaza at Robson Square features a popular outdoor skating rink, and is the location for the International Media Centre and BC Pavilion during the Games and centrally located at Robson & Howe Streets. Thanks to the generous contribution from General Electric in partnership with the Province of BC, the skating is free and skate rentals are only $3. The rink is open daily from noon to 9 pm.

The revitalization of the ice rink at GE Plaza has brought over 115,000 visitors to Robson Square to enjoy ice skating, concerts, and other special events since it re-opened in late November. Robson Square is the BC’s signature celebration site during the 2010 Winter Games. Live music performances are taking place day and night at this lively centre of activity. The nightly fireworks display are a must see. Check out this video. Just look for the big glass bubbles from street level.

The site is just a 2-minute walk from the Vancouver City Centre Skytrain and Canada Line stations. Click here for directions on how to get there. Check out Daniel's review of this venue by clicking here.

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31 Comments

Whether it's legit complaints or whining, it's up to each person's perception. No one has the authority to decide it's not legit so it shouldn't exist. I think it's pretty legit and it's her opinion. Everyone should be allowed to express their opinions. Even if it sounds like whining to you, it's still free speech by definition. It's whining to you because you don't agree. It's legit complaint to you if you somehow feel the way more or less.

If you are trying to gag someone by being hostile and doing personal attack, then you are not respecting the right of free speech. Did the person you attack even attack you like the way you attacked her?

I hope you remember Vancouver needs and relies on tourism. It's a fact. We made a lot of money from tourists. It helps local economy and the profit funds education, infrastructure and many social programs. Tourists' opinions are important because our government and local business do want them to come back. We want to know what's appealing to tourists and what clicks/works for them so you can modify things and give them a good travel experience. No one is obligated to travel here and spend. The industry has to earn it by marketing and offering good service. We have to compete with Europe full of historical art architecture and the USA full of show stoppers and theme events, both places have nature for sightseeing as well. it doesn't hurt to learn more about what tourists think so we can compete.

Let's put it this way. If tourism is down. The city has no money? It will come back to taxpayers. We will have to pay more tax to fund things. Some local business will not survive without visitors. There will be less jobs if tourism is not doing well.

There's a difference between legit complaints and whining. Cindy is a whiner.

And this is me exercising my rights to freedom of speech by expressing my opinion.

Free speech, my friend. People are allowed to criticize the events. No need to be hostile. No wonder it's called a no fun town. Big social pressure, you are supposed to think like everybody else or they will bark at you.

They are not fans of free speech, are they?

American tourists are just outspoken and they speak the truth that many locals feel the same. They are entitled to have their opinions. They are not oppressed and reserved like some locals here.

Actually, most trade shows and expos are free in the United States. You should check them out. If they do charge, it's a very small fee to pay, less than your public transit tickets.

"They want you to wait in line forever at 9 degrees outdoor. It might be nothing to people from Yukon."

Yes, of course. The world should cater to people from sunbelt California for a WINTER Olympics.

Are we going to have mascots skating at Robson Square during paralympics?

You're welcome to stay home next time. No one here, or anywhere else, would miss you. You're the embarassment, not the Olympics.

"It's definitely less organized than those expos, trade shows and conventions in the States."

Robson Square is free. Those shows you talk about are not, nor is Disneyland.


"Keep in mind that this is 9 to 10 degrees Celus outdoor. They want you to wait in line forever at 9 degrees outdoor. It might be nothing to people from Yukon. But it won't impress tourists at all."

This type of comment is an embarassment to other Americans, and is a main reason why American (tourists) are known to be ignorant and arrogant. Do your research before travelling, and dress appropriately. And for your information, Vancouver hasn't been so warm in late February in the past 150 years.

To CINDY - If you are having such a BAD time, then go home. Negative people are not needed here in Vancouver.

Despite the crowds, the lack of space, the stage that blocked one end of the rink, the jostling for 1-inch of space to get as close to the rink as possible, the funny costumes....none of that mattered to my two-year old who sat atop Daddy's shoulders and LOVED every second of it! That made it all worthwhile :o)

What time are the fireworks at
Robson Square? Thanks

If you want to see the Mascots on ice, make sure you do not stand at the end of the rink with the stage. We were there an hour and a bit before the show and we were only told 15 minutes before the show that we would not be able to see due to a blow up background they put up. We were very angry as our 3 and 8yr old girls were so excited and we were there so early! If someone had told us right away we would have moved to the other end or the sides! Of course there were so many people at this time that we could not find room to see. We were not happy.

Waiting in line forever, people pushing...

We went on Monday, weekday, should be easier right? Nope! Whatever you want to do, you have to wait in line forever. This is not even half as fun as Disneyland but the line sometimes takes longer than Disneyland.

The whole event is badly planned. There's only a few things to do in a very condensed area around Robson. The area is so small, you have to endure people pushing. There's nothing see. There's also bad music playing on the big stage near the skating rink.

If you have been to any trade show or convention in the States, you will find the Olympics is not even as fun as some of the trade shows and conventions. It's definitely less organized than those expos, trade shows and conventions in the States.

The convention center in LA is even bigger than that small pedestrian area on Robson for you to do things. No wonder it's unpleasant. With only one or two activities really worth doing in that small area (skating, zipline), nothing else to entertain the crowd, of course the lines are ridiculously long. Keep in mind that this is 9 to 10 degrees Celus outdoor. They want you to wait in line forever at 9 degrees outdoor. It might be nothing to people from Yukon. But it won't impress tourists at all. They are giving tourists memory of torture. It's embarrassing.

This doesn't fee like a world class event. It feels more like a country fair.

I simply cannot stress how much fun this was for my kids, 5 year old twin girls.

We went just for the skating, but stayed for the Mascot show and I'm so glad we did.

First went down last Wednesday just to see what the downtown was all about and decided to, at the spur of the moment, to take my kids skating, the first time they'd ever touched ice and it was magic!

The refs on the ice are great, very helpful and humorous to say the least. The blue assisting... things, well they made skating simple for my kids who were just booting it from the moment they grabbed them.

The staff at the skate counter were quick, efficient and very friendly.

And the mascot show... VERY cute. Simple, but great for kids. 15 minutes long, just enough to hold their attention. The mascots themselves were very friendly to those right up against the glass, and the people who perform were also very friendly, coming up and high-fiving kids, and talking to them as they'd go around.

As for it being busy? Let me put it this way, we got there at about 11:15am on Sunday morning. Debated on what we wanted to do and finally got in line to get skates by maybe 11:30 or so. Took us a bit of waiting to get the skates, and by that point it was a bit after 12, the mascot show was going to start getting prepared at about 12:30 or so, no point getting on the ice, but we had our skates! We got a good spot at one of the ends by the ice, hunkered down and waited while the prepped the ice. The other performers started skating on the ice and interacting with the crowd while they did the other set-up, it was great! The girls loved the show, so did everyone else that was there. Afterwards we got onto the ice and skated for at least 30+ minutes, taking breaks every now and then to watch the circus show that is on at the opposite end of the rink, closer to Robson. When they got bored of that, they went back on to skating on the ice.

We haven't had much of a chance to do anything other than this downtown, but I've never seen my girls love something as much as this, and I'm thrilled with how it's handled. Best attraction so far!!

Actually to correct you down below there. GE did pay for all of it because the rink has been there for decades. GE paid for it all to be up and running again. So no not many tax dollars spent here at all. Get your facts right first.

Saw the mascots show today. Great for kids and not too crowded. Very professional show and didn't have to line up for it!

Brett, the Mascots on Ice show is at 1:00, 3:00, and 6:00 everyday and skating opens at 10:00 and closes at 12:00 midnight Feb 12-28th. But...things change daily because of ice conditions, other performances, "surprises",and media bits that "appear". Also there can be lineups/delays due to ice conditions and other matters. There's lots of smiles on peoples faces when they are skating but the schedule is more like a guideline.

Anyone know where we can get a daily schedule of events happening at the rink?? thanks

Looks like the fireworks will be on nightly at 9:30pm and 11pm. At least that's what I found in the events under BC Pavillion.

What time are the fireworks at GE Ice Plaza (Robson Square)? Can't find the info anywhere.

closed feb 9 to 11

Staff decided to call in an early night and closed before 8:30pm (Sunday night). Must say we all left feeling a little disappointed.

We liked the facilities and spirit of the events, but it still amazes me that children don't get pirioty in the line-up, plus hulligans skate up and down the ice like it's a derby rink. We didn't get on the ice maybe for a good reason.

Oh..and just to be clear, GE's funding was the "revamping" of Robson Square rink, lighting, entertainment programming during the Olympic period, etc. All rink revamp will be left there as the "legacy" of the Olympics.

Actually...this venue is funded by GE. The province has worked with GE by the use of space. They also have the Olympic Games Secretariat located next to the rink.
Little tax dollars spent here, wb.

Yes, and we get free skating! Nice to see sometimes that our tax dollars can be put to something that keeps us healthy. I can't wait to strap on the blades.

generous contribution of the Province of BC? Those are our tax dollars at work.

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