Capilano Suspension Bridge Park turns 125; Love is in the Air!

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Nancy and John Stibbard

To celebrate the anniversary, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park has announced a Dream Wedding Contest, creating the opportunity for one lucky couple to create their own once-in-a-lifetime memory from Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, anchor of the Capilano Group of Companies. The $20,000 prize package includes a wedding ceremony at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, a reception at the Stanley Park Pavilion and a four night honeymoon at Moraine Lake Lodge and Cathedral Mountain Lodge in the Canadian Rockies. Full details can be found online at The Wedding Package pays homage to Capilano Suspension Bridge’s fascinating and romantic past while highlighting the newest latest addition to the Capilano Group portfolio.

As Vancouver’s oldest attraction, many romantic memories and unique experiences make up Capilano Suspension Bridge’s storied past. Scottish civil engineer George Grant Mackay suspended a footbridge made of hemp rope and cedar planks across the canyon in 1889. This was literally accomplished through horsepower; with the help of 12-year old August Jack Khatsahlano and a team of horses who swam the hemp ropes across the river and pulled them up the other side, Mackay anchored the ropes to huge buried cedar logs. Mackay built a cabin, which he used to host parties for his friends, dubbed ‘Capilano Tramps’.

Over time the bridge has had many owners and undergone several redevelopments. In 1953 Rae Mitchell purchased Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and put his young daughter Nancy to work scooping ice cream. When the attraction was put up for sale in 1983, Nancy could not bear to see it leave the family and she purchased Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Today, she remains president and CEO of the Capilano Group of Companies, which includes Moraine Lake Lodge and Cathedral Mountain Lodge near Lake Louise, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, as well as recent additions Stanley Park Pavilion and Prospect Point Cafe and Gift Shop.

Nancy has built Capilano Suspension Bridge Park into an attraction that is much more than just the suspension bridge. Today the Park includes Treetops Adventure, seven suspended suspension bridges high in the trees, and most recently, Cliffwalk, a series of suspended walkways, platform and stairways hanging from the sheer granite cliff face of Capilano Canyon. Complimentary guided history and nature tours, seasonal entertainment, history and forestry exhibits, food, beverage and retail are all part of the year round visitor experience.

Taking a page out of her father’s book, Nancy put her son John to work at a young age. Today, as vice president of operations, John project managed the building of Treetops Adventure and Cliffwalk and is well equipped to ensure the Capilano Group’s bright future.

Throughout the summer, Capilano encourages everyone to tweet their favourite Capilano Suspension Bridge memory to @capsuspbridge, with the #capbridge125 hashtag. A rolling video screen will capture the tweets and project these memories at the park, sharing them with other visitors.

It`s time to share old memories, make new ones and celebrate the 125th Suspension Bridge Park!

For more information on, visit, or call 604-985-7474.

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James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: [email protected]

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