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32 free things to do in Vancouver this August

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Daniel Chai Aug 02, 2017 2:19 am 3,820

August doesn’t have to break the bank!

We’re your connection to fun free events happening in Vancouver this month! From Vancouver Pride to Powell Street Festival and Farmer’s Markets, here are 32 free things to do around the city this August.

For more things happening around town, check out our events section.

Celebrate Vancouver Pride

Downtown Vancouver’s rainbow crosswalk in the Davie Village celebrating the LGBTQ community. (Shutterstock)

Prance on the Pier

  • What: Dress up in all of your favourite pride gear for North Vancouver’s new all ages dance party. Not only will there be DJs who will have you dancing, but there will be food, games, drag performances, and a community zone for people to meet some amazing organizations ready with resources.
  • Where: The Shipyards – 15 Wallace Mews, North Vancouver
  • When: August 2 from 5 to 10 pm
  • Cost: Free

Davie Street Party

Vancouver Pride Society/Facebook

Vancouver Pride Society/Facebook

  • What: Join Vancouver Pride Society for the biggest event in the West End – the Davie Street Party! Presented by Fido, there will be multiple stages, lots of food from the many businesses along Davie Street, and great new art installations that are sure to wow your socks off.
  • When: August 4 from 6 pm to late
  • Where: Davie Street, Vancouver
  • Cost: Free

14th Annual Vancouver Dyke March and Festival

  • What: Vancouver’s 14th Annual Dyke March & Festival begins in McSpadden Park at 11 am with pre-March festivities and a community art project. The March will leave McSpadden Park at noon and make its way down Commercial Drive to end at Grandview Park for the Festival. The Festival will take place from 1 to 5 pm, and involve performances from various artists, feature queer-friendly vendors, and create a space to gather with friends, family, and the community.
  • Where: Commercial Drive
  • When: Saturday, August 5 from 11 am to 5 pm
  • Cost: Free

Vancouver Pride Parade 2017

  • What: The streets of downtown will be packed on August 6 as the annual Vancouver Pride Parade will make its way through the city for a three hour long route. With approximately 150 entries expected to take part in the highly anticipated celebration, spectators will see a wide array of costumes and colours making their way along downtown streets.
  • Where: Begins at Robson Street and Thurlow Street, proceeds onto Denman Street, and ends at Sunset Beach
  • When: August 6 at noon
  • Cost: Free

Vancouver Pride Sunset Beach Festival 2017

  • What: One of Vancouver’s favourite beaches will become the home of Pride’s big finale, as over 100,000 are expected to turn out for the annual Sunset Beach Festival, the go-to party at the end of the Pride Parade. The parade itself finishes at Sunset Beach, drawing all the performers, floats, costumes, and spectators towards the area. The festival will include beer gardens, and attendees can purchase a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) keychain that loads up with cash to make purchasing a drink quicker, as well as Express Passes that will get you into the beer garden ahead of the line.
  • Where: Sunset Beach – 1204 Beach Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: August 6 from 11 am to 6 pm
  • Admission: Free! But an Express Pass for the beer garden is $20 – get online

Enjoy the summer breeze

Honda Celebration of Light 2017

  • What:  A blaze of fireworks will shower over English Bay in downtown Vancouver this summer over a trio of nights for the 2017 Honda Celebration of Light fireworks competition. The remaining countries for the festival’s 27th year are United Kingdom (Wednesday, August 2), and Canada (Saturday, August 5).
  • Where: English Bay, Vancouver
  • When: United Kingdom, represented by Jubilee Fireworks; Saturday, August 5: Canada, represented by Royal Pyrotechnie
  • Time: 10 to 10:28 pm (28-minute duration each night). Rain or shine. Music simulcast on radio station LG 104.3 FM.
  • Cost: Free

Free Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park

  • What: One of the most popular summertime events in the city is back as free outdoor movies return to Stanley Park this summer! The Evo Summer Cinema Series features a four-story inflatable movie screen showing favourites such as The LEGO Batman Movie, Toy Story, The Goonies and Jaws. Please bring your own blankets and/or lawn chairs and, since it’s a family-friendly event, smoking or alcohol is not permitted. Movie goers are encouraged to walk, take transit, or bike to Stanley Park for the shows  – there will be a bike valet service offered on site each night too.
  • Where: Ceperley Meadows near Second Beach, Stanley Park
  • When: Every Tuesday to August 22 at Dusk
  • Cost: Free

Music on the Plaza

City of Surrey

  • What: Featuring Caribbean rhythms to Celtic melodies, Surrey is celebrating Canada 150 with a series of free outdoor performances. Bring your folding chairs or blankets and join the fun every Tuesday night in August.
  • When: Every Tuesday in August from 6:30 to 8 pm
  • Where: Civic Plaza, Surrey City Hall
  • Cost: Free

Starlight Theatre at Lansdowne Centre

  • What: Take a trip back to the days of poodle-skirts, greased hair, and doo wop music – the Drive-In Movie Series returns to Lansdowne Centre for third year, presented by Fresh Air Cinema. Enjoy classic, family-friendly, and even some of the latest hits on an outdoor screen. Take a drive and cuddle up, or bring a blanket and lawn chair and settle in. Parking is on a first-come first-served basis (first 200 vehicles), with movie audio will be broadcast over FM radio. And keep in mind that this is a family-friendly event, so smoking and alcohol are strictly prohibited.
  • Where: Lansdowne Centre, west parking lot – 5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond
  • When: Every Wednesday to August 30 at Dusk
  • Cost: Free

Summer Movies in Port Moody

  • What: Enjoy family movies together at the Inlet Theatre. Films include Moana, Sing, and Beauty and the Beast. Presented by Port Moody Public Library.
  • When: Wednesdays until August 9, August 12
  • Time: 2 to 4 pm
  • Where: Inlet Theatre – 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
  • Cost: Free to watch

Neighbourhood Night at Mundy Park

  • What: Take part in games, family activities and light refreshments. Be a part of building relationships, promoting neighbourhood safety and creating a sense of community, while getting out to meet your neighbours and having fun.
  • Where: Mundy Park – 641 Hillcrest Street, Coquitlam
  • When: August 3 from 6 to 8 pm
  • Cost: Free

White Rock Sea Festival

  • What: The White Rock Sea Festival is a summer tradition, over the August long weekend, that has been celebrating seaside fun for more than 60 years. A favourite of locals and visitors, there are live performances, a waterfront market, fireworks, torchlight parade, kids sandcastle competition and the crowning ceremony of Miss White Rock.
  • Where: The Waterfront – 14970 Marine Drive, White Rock
  • When: August 5 and 6
  • Cost: Free

City Centre’s Concerts in the Park Series

  • What: Enjoy a free night of fun activities and entertainment by local artists at Garden City Park.
  • When: Every Wednesday to August 30
  • Time: 6:30 to 8 pm
  • Where: Garden City Community Park – 6620 Garden City Road, Richmond
  • Cost: Free

Wild Wednesdays

  • What: Discover our incredible natural surroundings and go at your own pace as you pick and choose from our outdoor activities. Bring a picnic to make an evening of your visit. Ages 13 and under require parent participation. Rain or shine.
  • When: Every Wednesday to September 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm
  • Where: Surrey Nature Centre – 14225 Green Timbers Way, Surrey
  • Cost: Free

Waterfront Cinema at Canada Place

outdoor movies Canada place

Free outdoor movies at Canada Place (Port Metro Vancouver)

  • What: A large inflatable screen will pop up at Canada Place, creating the perfect environment to take in movies under the stars with the North Shore mountains in the background. To give your night two thumbs up, do yourself a favour and bring a lawn chair (or you’ll be sitting on the hard ground) and blankets (it gets cold). And keep in mind that this is a family-friend event – smoking or alcohol is not permitted.
  • Where: North Point of Canada Place
  • When: Every Thursday to August 31 at Dusk
  • Cost: Free

Uninterrupted

  • What: High-tech artwork along the entire undersurface of the Cambie Street Bridge meant to represent the “life blood” of the West Coast will be officially unveiled to the public on June 28. Uninterrupted by director Nettie Wild, producers Betsy Carson and Rae Hull and editor Michael Brockington it is meant to tell the the story of Wild Pacific Salmon’s life journey.
  • Where: Viewed from North Side of Cambie Street Bridge at Coopers Park
  • When: 25 minute shows nightly from Tuesdays to Saturdays; Now to August 14 at 10 pm (Note: no shows on Celebration of Light fireworks nights); August 15 to September 24 at 9 pm
  • Cost: Free

Nomadic Tempest Tall Ship Circus Show Vancouver 2017

  • What: Nomadic Tempest is a travelling nighttime acrobatic show synchronized to music and digital video projections by BC-based Caravan Stage Company. The free, all-ages spectacle takes place onboard the Amara Zee, the world’s only tall ship that doubles as a stage and backdrop for live performances.
  • Where: 299 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver (on the seawall in Southeast False Creek, between the Cambie Street Bridge and the Olympic Village)
  • When: August 15 to September 3 (no shows on Mondays); 9:45 to 11 pm. Recommended arrival by 8:45 pm.
  • Cost: Free Eventbrite tickets available in mid-July

The Market at Brewer’s Row

  • What: The Market will feature thoughtfully curated shopping options, along with food, and family fun. Founded by the owners of boutiques Ardillas United and Violet+Ruby, the shop owners are happy to be bringing their outdoor market experience to Port Moody and to those who enjoy Rocky Point Park and Brewer’s Row on summer Friday nights.
  • When: Fridays through August 11
  • Time: 6 to 9 pm
  • Where: Port Moody Station Museum parking lot – 2734 Murray Street, Port Moody
  • Cost: Free

Music in the Square

  • What: Enjoy the summer with an afternoon performance in Leigh Square every Sunday! Music in the Square features the finest professional musicians from across Metro Vancouver playing a variety of genres including jazz, pop, rock, blues, folk, world fusion, and contemporary.
  • Where: Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam
  • When: Sundays to August 27 from 2 to 4 pm
  • Cost: Free

Steveston Dragon Boat Festival 2017

Steveston Dragon Boat Festival 2016, Dragon Boat BC/Facebook

  • What: The eighth annual Dragon Boat Festival is taking place in the town of Steveston on Saturday, August 26. And this year the event is set to be bigger and better than ever before, with an estimated 15,000 spectators anticipated on the shores of the Fraser River, where they’ll watch more than 1,100 local and international athletes compete against each other in a series of races.
  • When: August 26
  • Where: Steveston – Richmond, British Columbia
  • Price: Free

Explore the city

Wish150 A Long Way Home Exhibit

  • What: TakingITGlobal presents the Wish150 A Long Way Home exhibit featuring the Vancouver Mosaic. The project brings together wood pieces painted by 9 different artists from British Columbia, to form a diverse mosaic. Opening reception on August 1 features Cease Wyss, artist talks, poetry with Mitchell Touchie and Justin Bige, a dance performance with Vidya Kotamraju, a musical performance with Familiar Wild, and a DJ set with Erica Dee
  • When: August 1 to 4
  • Where: Roundhouse Community Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
  • Cost: Free

Live & Local: David Marasigan

  • What: Learn to Waltz and Cha Cha the night away with David Marasigan at North Vancouver Recreation & Culture’s summer social dance show!
  • When: August 2 from 6 to 8 pm
  • Where: Lynn Valley Village – 1233-1277 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver
  • Cost: Free

SUP – A series of sassy, un-produced projects

  • What: ‘SUP brings together Vancouver’s unique, sought after, and unpredictable talent to present their original works, never before seen by a live theatre audience. Works include full length plays, one-acts, comedy, drama, and more.
  • When: August 1 to 5 and August 8 to 12 at 8 pm, and August 6 show at 2 pm. No show on August 7
  • Where: Havana Theatre – 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, Free

OH! Launch Event

Changing lights at Science World using OH! (Tangible Interactive)

  • What: OH! is an interactive installation that lets you affect Vancouver’s night skyline with your very own hands. As you move around the small model of Science World, you can alter the lights on the iconic building in real time.
  • When: August 4 to 6, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 from 9 to 11 pm
  • Where: 1 Athlete’s Way, Olympic Village
  • Cost: Free

41st Annual Powell Street Festival

  • What: Canada’s largest celebration of Japanese Canadian arts and culture held in Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood. Enjoy live music, Japanese food, sumo wrestling, vendors and more.
  • Where: Oppenheimer Park – 400 Block, Powell Street; Firehall Arts Centre – 280 East Cordova Street; Vancouver Japanese Language School – 475 Alexander St; and Vancouver Buddhist Temple – 220 Jackson Avenue
  • When: August 5 and 6 from 11:30 am to 7 pm
  • Cost: Free

Tsawwassen Sun Festival

  • What: This three-day celebration of fun in the sun is jam packed with special events, games, and many other attractions. Enjoy a classic car show & shine, Delta’s Got Talent, Kids Funzone and more.
  • Where: Winskill Park – West side of 56th at 9th, Tsawwassen
  • When: Saturday, August 5 to Monday, August 7
  • Cost: Free

Robson Square Salsa 2017

  • What: Whether you’re a beginner or Salsa pro, these afternoons will definitely spice up your summer. Enjoy a free dance lesson taught by some of Vancouver’s best salsa instructors. Following the lessons, there is a dance show that features some of Vancouver’s most talented dancers.
  • Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday to August 13; lessons run from 3 to 3:30 pm. Dance show starts at 5 pm. After party begins at 7 pm.
  • Cost: Free

New West Cultural Crawl

  • What: This free two day event showcases the best of New West’s artistic talent presented all throughout the city. Make a day—or weekend—of it by walking from gallery to gallery at some of the city’s most historical venues.
  • Where: Various neighbourhoods of New Westminster, including Sapperton, Downtown, Uptown, West End, and Queensborough.
  • When: August 12 to 13
  • Cost: Free

Vancouver Chinatown Festival

  • What: A celebration of the area’s heritage and culture, with tea ceremonies, calligraphy demonstrations and a Hong Kong-style outdoor bazaar. Festival activities include a day market, multicultural stage performances, TD Canadian Talent Showdown, and Streetfest.
  • When: August 12 and 13
  • Time: Noon to 6 pm
  • Where: Chinatown – Columbia and Keefer streets, Vancouver
  • Cost: Free

Free PNE Admission Days

Image: PNE/ Facebook

  • What: Since 1910, millions of guests have enjoyed shows, exhibits, sporting events, amusement rides, concerts, cultural activities and, of course, the annual summer Fair at the PNE. Get in for free this year on select days: Heroes’ Opening Weekend with free gate admission for First Responders and a guest, free morning admission for all guests on August 22 and 29, and Senior’s Day.
  • When: August 19 to 20 (Heroes’ Opening Weekend), August 22 and 29 (free admission for all guests), August 24 (Senior’s Day)
  • Time: 11 am to late for Heroes’ Opening Weekend and Senior’s Day, 11 am to 1 pm on August 22 and 29.
  • Where: The Fair at the PNE – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • Cost: Free

Young Women in Business Vancouver Open House

  • What: YWiB Vancouver is hosting an open house event on Tuesday, August 29th at Mobify. You’ll have a chance to meet our team, members, mentors, and speakers, and discover how you can become involved in the YWiB community.
  • When: August 29 from 6 to 9 pm
  • Where: Mobify – #420-725 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, Free

Fast Times: Fridays in The Projection Room

  • What: An intimate dance party with DJ Abel + rotating special guests and surprises. Featuring rap trax, throwbacks, dancehall and party faves
  • When: Every Friday
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: The Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Cost: Free

Movie Under The Stars

  • What: Grab a blanket and a friend and head down to Holland Park every Saturday evening in August for Movies Under the Stars. The family friendly event not only showcases a film weekly, but it also features activities, games and entertainment from local performers. Activities begin at 5 pm, and the movie starts at dusk. Films this year are Lego Batman (August 5), Sing (August 12), Moana (August 19), and Beauty and the Beast (August 26).
  • When: Every Saturday until August 26 at Dusk
  • Where: Holland Park – 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey
  • Cost: Free

Eat fresh with farmers’ markets

Downtown Farmers’ Market

  • What: This local food destination is situated on the corner of Georgia & Hamilton at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Shop fresh weekly to enjoy quality fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and poultry, baked goods, artisan food and craft, fresh fish, and local craft beer, wine and spirits.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Thursday to October 5 from 11 am to 3 pm

Granville Island Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Granville Island Farmers’ Market is the oldest of its kind in Vancouver offering customers fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. This market also has local craft beer and wine vendors too.
  • Where: Triangle Square (between the Net Loft and the Public Market), Granville Island
  • When: Every Thursday to September 28 from 10 am to 3 pm

Kitsilano Farmers’ Market

  • What: Tempt yourself with a myriad of vegetables, meat, cheese, seafood and music in Kitsilano.
  • Where: Parking lot of Kits Community Centre – 2690 Larch Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday to October 22 from 10 am – 2 pm

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market

  • What: The market where it all began. Come meet your friends and neighbours, pick up supplies for a picnic by the lake, or just rub shoulders with farmers who care about the future of the land as much as the food they put on your plate.
  • Where: Lakewood Drive and 13th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday to October 21 to 9 am – 2 pm

West End Farmers’ Market

  • What: Located in the heart of Vancouver’s West End, this laid-back Saturday market looks onto beautiful Nelson Park and adjacent community gardens. Take the dog for a walk and enjoy the best in local produce, prepared foods and crafts.
  • Where: West End Farmers Market – 1100 Comox Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday to October 21 from 9 am to 2 pm

Main Street Station Farmers’ Market

Main-Street-Farmers-Market

Image: Vancouver Farmers Market

  • What: Located just steps from the Skytrain, this convenient Wednesday farmers’ market is ideal for local food fans seeking an easy shop on their commute. Over 85% of the vendors at Main Street Station are primary producers offering an excellent mix of fresh and organic produce, meat, eggs, handmade cheeses, and more.
  • Where: Main Street Station – 1100 Station Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Wednesday to October 4 from 2 to 6 pm

Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market

  • What: You’ll find familiar faces like Applebarn Pumpkin Farm, Blue Comet Seafoods and Goldwing as well as new ones like Honest Food Farms, Rai Produce and Urban Digs Farm. You won’t have to elbow your way through lines to get at the cauliflower and there’s plenty of adjacent street parking. It’s also only a couple blocks from the 99 B-line.
  • Where: Dude Chilling Park – 2390 Brunswick Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday to October 8 from 10 am to 2 pm

Riley Park Farmers’ Market

  • What: Tempt yourself with a myriad of vegetables, meat, cheese, seafood and music in Riley Park neighbourhood.
  • Where: Riley Park – 50 East 30th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday to October 7 from 10 am to 2 pm

River District Farmers’ Market

  • What: This one-of-a-kind market is the only riverfront market in Vancouver. Come shop for fruits and vegetables, prepared foods, and handmade products produced by farmers and artisans. Stay for live music, a delicious meal and enjoy the waterfront, playground and pier.
  • Where: Kerr Street Plaza – 8683 Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday to October 14 from 10 am to 3 pm

Ambleside Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Ambleside Farmers’ Market has a wide selection of organic and conventional produce. Prepared food vendors include baking, jams, honey, syrups, salsas and much more. The Ambleside Market has a games table, kids play area, and live music.
  • Where: Ambleside Farmers Market – 1500 block of Bellevue Street, West Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday to October 30 from 10 am to 4 pm

Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Market has a great selection of conventional and organic produce. You also will find local artisans with jewellery, pottery, photography, kids clothing, soaps & much more. The market also has a book exchange, newspaper reading area, and live music.
  • Where: East Plaza of the Lonsdale Quay Market – 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday to October 29 from 10 am to 3 pm

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Daniel Chai
Daniel is a writer and comedian based in Vancouver, BC.

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