What: Western Canada’s largest Canada Day Celebration is a jam-packed day filled with fun for the whole family and is capped off by an impressive Burrard Inlet Fireworks display. This year’s party is going retro to mark the 30 years since Expo too.
Where: Canada Place, Jack Poole Plaza and the seawall near the Vancouver Convention Centre
When: Friday, July 1, all day, fireworks at around 10 pm
What: The Evo Summer Cinema Series of free outdoor movies, shown on a four-storey inflatable movie screen in Stanley Park. This year’s schedule includesPurple Rain, Dirty Dancing, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
Where: Ceperley Meadows (Second Beach), Stanley Park
When: Every Tuesday from July 5 to August 23, movies start at dusk
What: The Drive-In Movie Series returns for a second year, presented by Fresh Air Cinema, to screen classic, family-friendly, and even some of the latest hits on an outdoor screen at Lansdowne Centre, with areas for outdoor seating and drive-in.
Where: Lansdowne Centre, West parking lot – 5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond
When: Every Wednesday in July and August, at sunset
Drive-In: Parking is on a first-come first-served basis, movie audio will be broadcast over FM radio
Walk-In: Easiest to take the Canada Line to Lansdowne Station
What: It’s back! Dance the night away for free as DanceSport BC brings back the Robson Square Summer Dance Series. Free lessons, shows, and social dancing. No partner or experience required – just show up and have some fun.
Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
When: Every Friday from Friday, June 24 through September 2, between 7:30 and 11:30 pm
What: Check out the Museum of Vancouver’s latest exhibition of the weird and wonderful stuff collected by the residents of Vancouver, including artistic taxidermy, artificial eyeballs and antique corsets.
Where: Museum of Vancouver – 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver
When: On display through January 8, 2017
Tickets: At the MOV, usual museum entry is $15 full price or $11 for students; last Thursday evening of the month by donation instead.
What: Inspired by the Brooklyn Flea in New York City, the Eastside Flea isn’t your typical craft fair. You can expect to find a mix of local handmade items, beautiful craftsmen goods, vintage clothing, collectibles, artisanal foods and more.
Where: The Ellis Building – 1024 Main Street, Vancouver
When: Friday, July 15 through Sunday, July 17; Fridays from 6 to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm
What: Salsa dancing returns to Robson Square for the Summer 2016 season, offering free lessons, performances and social dancing. Swing by and check it out – it’s fun just to watch if you’re too scared to hit the dance floor!
Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
When: Every Sunday in July and August; lessons at 3 pm, performances at 5 pm, social dancing all afternoon
What: The Brian De Palma Series kicks off at VIFF on July 1 with a screening of classic horror movie Carrie. Among the many other movies being screened, look out for Carlito’s Way, Scarface and of course, The Untouchables.
Where: VIFF Vancity Theatre – 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver
When: Now to July 20
Tickets: At VIFF, $12 full price, $10 for students, per movie, or buy a 3-pack for $30
A happy participant at Pride Run and Walk (Vancouver Frontrunners)
What: Pride Run and Walk is back with a new 5K course to mark the first official event of Vancouver Pride Week. Registration is open now in three gender categories (female – cis/trans, male – cis/trans, and gender variant.) Everyone is welcome.
Where: Sunset Beach, Vancouver
When: Sunday, July 24, warm up at 9 am, race start at 9:30 am, awards around 10:30 or 11 am
What: Take back the streets for Pride Weekend in the heart of the Davie Street Village! The party will spill out from the Community Stage at the historic Rainbow Crosswalk, where you can pound the pavement to some of the city’s hottest talent and witness the annual Wimple-In ceremony of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
Where: Davie Street between Burrard and Jervis, Vancouver
When: Friday, July 29, 6 pm until midnight
Tickets: This is a free event, but if you want to buy alcohol, you’ll need to pay $5 in advance or $10 on the door for a 19+ wristband.
Pride Festival at Sunset Beach
What: Browse more than 100 exhibitors in the Pride Market, including local artisans and community organizations. Bands, drag performers, and speakers will be featured on the main stage, with DJs spinning in the beer garden throughout the day.
Where: Sunset Beach Park – 1204 Beach Avenue, Vancouver
When: Sunday, July 31, at 11 am
Vancouver Pride Parade 2016
What: Attracting crowds of more than 650,000, the annual Pride Parade is the city’s largest parade and is renowned on the international stage as on of the largest and most successful events in the world, in support of LGBTQQ+ communities.
Where: West End, Vancouver
When: Sunday, July 31 at noon
For more information about all of the above events and Pride in Vancouver, visit vancouverpride.ca.
The Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster (Lucasfilm)
What: The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will play popular classics from a host of composers including Gershwin and Tchaikovsky, plus the themes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Trek: Into Darkness – all for free.
Where: Deer Lake Park – 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
What: Original bands and artists will be performing free, outdoor concerts in Cates Park again this summer, so bring a picnic and spend your Saturday afternoons enjoying the immense local talent that Vancouver has to offer.
Where: Cates Park – Deep Cove, North Vancouver
When: Every Saturday from July 16 to August 27, exact times TBA
What: A series of free, live concerts at the CBC Plaza, every weekday at lunchtime. The lineup this year includes The Tourist Company, Jordan Klassen, Big Little Lions and for the kids, Will Stroet, co-creator and star of the musical TV series Will’s Jams.
Where: CBC Plaza – 740 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
When: From July 8 to August 19, Monday to Friday, noon to 1 pm
What: A series of free concerts takes place at the Shipbuilder’s Square every Saturday night throughout July and August. A lineup of exciting local bands are set to appear, and there’s a beer garden for people aged 19 and over. What better way to while away the summer nights than by listening to live music by the ocean?
Where: Shipbuilder’s Square, North Vancouver
When: Every Saturday in July and August, 7 to 10 pm
What: Country music’s biggest badasses are returning to our city for the first time in three years and they’re not ready to make nice just yet. The Chicks kicked off their North American tour in Cincinnati by performing “Goodbye Earl” in front of a giant poster of Donald Trump (defaced with a devilish goatee and horns, of course).
Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
When: Thursday, July 7 at 7 pm
Tickets: Available online from $69 to $145. All ages.
What: The second of three Red Truck concerts takes place this month. The July 9 show features Hollerado, Old Man Canyon, Bend Sinister, High Kicks, Little India, and Redeye Empire. The great music is, of course, accompanied by great beer.
What: Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is trading in his tasseled unitards for cowboy boots, but don’t think for a second that a change in genres has softened the hard rocker. Sample lyrics from his forthcoming country album, his first as a solo artist, include “When I look in your eyes, all I wanna do is bang bang baby like the 4th of July”. Luckily for Tyler, he has no concerts scheduled for July 4 but will play the Orpheum Theatre six days after that.
Where: Orpheum Theatre – 884 Granville Street
When: Sunday, July 10 at 8 pm
Tickets: Available online from $69.95 to $169.95. All ages
What: Burnaby gets a double dose of hipster fun when Weezer and Panic! At The Disco take over Deer Lake Park on July 28. Rivers Cuomo and the rest of Weezer are still going strong, having released another self-titled album (their fourth) in April. Panic!, however, is more of a one-man operation these days with singer Brandon Urie being the only “official” member of the group.
Where: Deer Lake Park – 6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
Dragon boat racing at Dragon Zone Paddling Club in Vancouver (Dragon Zone Paddling Club)
What: If you’ve ever wanted to try kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or dragon boating, now’s your chance. Reserve a spot and on Community Day, knowledgeable paddlers will provide you with coaching before you head out on to the water.
Where: Creekside Community Centre – 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver. Meet outside, by the sea wall, just southwest of Science World and the Main Street SkyTrain station.
What: For one day, the charming cobblestone streets of Gastown are transformed into one of the fastest, best-loved and most challenging cycling race courses in North America – and it’s totally free to watch.
Where: Start/finish line next to Gastown’s steamclock, spectators can line route down Water and Cordova streets
When: July 13, youth race at 5:30 pm, opening ceremonies at 5:55 pm, women’s race at 6:15 pm, men’s race at 7:30 pm.
What: This is a little far flung – literally – but if you’re a wannabe lumberjack or lumberjill and you’re free Thursday afternoons you could try axe throwing on Bowen Island. No experience necessary, all equipment provided.
Where: Doc Morgan’s Pub & Restaurant – 437 Bowen Island Trunk Road, Bowen Island
When: Every Thursday at 3 p.m. until July 14
Register: Drop in fee for casual Have-A Throws is $15 for 10 throws
What: Taco Fest is back for a second year, bringing with it a host of food carts selling tacos for all tastebuds. Attendees can enter the Ring of Fire taco-eating competition and enjoy a gigantic taco piñata filled with swag and prizes. Much more than just an excuse for a feast, Taco Fest is also a musical extravaganza, offering 20 local bands on two stages.
What: Throughout July a limited number of guests will be able to book a seat at YEW’s communal table for an over-the-top, interactive crab and lobster feast. Raise a glass of YEW’s Summer Sangria and make new friends as hands reach across the table to dig in to the generous family-style meal starring Dungeness crab and lobster.
When: Four Sunday’s in July (10, 17, and 24) from 6 pm
Where: Four Seasons Vancouver – 791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Price: Tickets are priced at $89 per person and can be purchased online here
What: Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver is celebrating Picasso’s bold innovations, and similar to the exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery is looking beyond the artist to the six women who influenced his life and art. The hotel is presenting a series of artfully inspired dinner tasting menus at MARKET by Jean-Georges, titled The Muses Dinner. The second tasting menu in this dinner series (running from June 30 to July 20) is influenced by Olga Khokhlova.
Where: Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver – 1128 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
When: 30 June to 20 July, available daily from 5:30 to 10 pm
Price: Tickets are priced at $110 per person. To reserve call 604-695-1115
Popular among chefs, home cooks, and local gastronomes, farmers’ markets have become an integral part of Vancouver’s food landscape. Not only do these community events grant local farmers, growers, and bakers the opportunity to connect with urban folk but they also provide them with a space to show off their seasonal favourites. Here’s a quick list of a few – for full details check our guide to Vancouver farmers’ markets.
In addition to a variety of farmers’ markets, the city and surrounding areas boast a collection of night markets that showcase the city’s best food trucks, bakers, and artisans. These night markets bring together communities for entertainment, shopping, and wonderful food:
What: Vancouver’s only Italian market, Il Mercato is about bringing together the tastes of Italy with the produce grown in local farms. Come and enjoy a vibrant assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, and handmade products from local artisans.
What: Vancouver Greek Summerfest is returning to the city for their 30th consecutive year, bringing you delicacies like barbecued lamb and loukoumades, a traditional Greek dessert. Who can resist gyros, spanakopitas, and souvlaki?
Where: St. Nicholas and Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church – 4641 Boundary Road, Vancouver
When: Thursday, July 7 to Sunday, July 17; Monday to Thursday: noon to 10 pm and Friday to Sunday: noon to 11 pm
What: Vancouver will host yet another beer festival this summer, when the inaugural CANcity, an all-craft, all-canned beer and cider tasting event, comes to Downtown Vancouver. Attendees to this unique beer fest can enjoy 4oz samples of BC’s best canned craft beer and cider, outdoor games, can art installments, a can label art gallery, and much more.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 649 Cambie Street, Vancouver
When: Saturday, July 30 from 2 to 8 pm
Price: Tickets are priced at $25 and can be online here
It’s summer in gorgeous Vancouver – time to hit the patio for some beers, some wine, some cocktails…! Conveniently, the City has released a map showing all the patios in the city, and we’ve put together a complete list of all the patios open as late as 1 am. Cheers!
What: The ultimate celebration of music, food and culture, right in the heart of Surrey, with musical performances across six different stages, and 40 cultural pavilions offering culinary delights from all over the world.
What: This free annual festival will take over 10 blocks along Kitsilano’s 4th Avenue, with main stages at both Burrard Street and MacDonald Street. Hannah Georgas, Mounties, We Are The City and Jordan Klassen are among a huge lineup.
Where: Along 4th Avenue between Burrard Street and MacDonald Street
What: A fairly new festival, Bastille Day brings a piece of Paris to Vancouver. For one unique afternoon, Granville Island’s Public Market Courtyard will turn blue, white and red and transform into a typical quartier français – French neighbourhood.
Katari Taiko at the Powell Street Festival (Jeanie Ow)
What: Vancouver’s annual celebration of Japanese culture and the largest event of its kind in Canada. Headliners include Australian koto virtuoso Miyama McQueen-Tokita and Tutchone-Japanese Tlinget-Scottish folk singer Diyet – all totally free.
Where: Oppenheimer Park and surrounding streets and venues – Vancouver
When: Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, from 11:30 am to 7 pm
What: A weekend of tropical rhythms and cuisine organized by the Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Society of B.C.. The massive outdoor party includes a multicultural street parade, an island and international food fair and a sound stage to get you grooving to calypso beats.
Where: Waterfront Park – Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver
What: Mark your calendars for July 15 to 17 at Jericho Beach in Kits, as crowds of 40,000 are expected to see 60+ international, national, and local acts. From blues to bluegrass, Celtic to banjos, Hawaiian, electro-trad, acoustic and spoken word, the legendary diversity of VFMF is sure to get Vancouverites moving to old favourites and new discoveries.
What: Hiatus Music Festival focuses on the best in experimental live music – both local and international across a range of genres. Attendees can expect five stages of talent, visual art installations, surprise interactive experiences, food trucks, and one entire hotel takeover right in the heart of our city.
Where: The Waldorf Hotel – 1489 East Hastings Street, Vancouver