If it weren’t for the NHL hockey game on the TV behind the bar, you might have thought you were in Australia rather than Vancouver at the Beaver Bar and Grill last night.

Many of our city’s Australian diaspora, clad in green and yellow or wearing Australian flags as capes, piled into the popular backpacker’s pub on Granville Street to celebrate Australia Day, which is acknowledged officially today.

Amy Jones, 24, from the Western Australia city of Perth, said Aussies abroad celebrate the holiday at the same time as it’s celebrated back home.

That meant visitors from Down Under began partying at 3 p.m. yesterday, when the Triple J Top 100 countdown began broadcasting live in Australia.

The annual radio show counts down the top 100 songs of 2008 based on the votes of Triple J radio station’s listeners.

“(Australia Day) is my favourite holiday,” said Jones. “Triple J is one of the biggest parts of it.”

She added while it’s not the same celebrating in Canada, it helps to be surrounded by other Aussies.

Kirsten Miffling, 25, also from Perth, said Australians are drawn to the West Coast because of the mountain culture, which is a novelty there.

“We have beaches but we don’t have mountains,” she said. “I love snow.”

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