50 things to do in Vancouver in August

Jul 27 2016, 11:42 pm


Now that summer is really here, let’s all just bask in the sunshine and awesomeness of Vancouver.

Even in August, when we’re all at the beach, there’s tons going on in our gorgeous city.

So here are 50 things to do in Vancouver this August, from waterslides and musicals to movies and meteors.

See also

Slide The City

  • What: Picture this: a waterslide like you had growing up, but stretching 1,000 feet down Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. Add in live music, entertainment, and local vendors, and you have all the ingredients for an awesome summertime party.
  • Where: Lonsdale Avenue at Keith Road, North Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, from noon to 8 pm
  • Passes: Available online, $35-$99 USD

Perseid Meteor Shower

  • What: This year the annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to be more spectacular than usual. They’re best viewed in complete and total darkness, so find a quiet spot to watch the skies. One group has set up a viewing party for the top of Mount Seymour.
  • Where: Anywhere high up and pitch black – or Parking lot 2, Mount Seymour
  • When: Meteors will be visible at night between Sunday, August 7 and Friday, August 12. Mount Seymour viewing party is on August 12, from 11 pm.

Spot the space station

  • What: Get your telescopes out, the International Space Station will be visible from Vancouver until about August 11. But be quick – durations for sightings range from less than a minute to up to six minutes.
  • Where: Somewhere in Vancouver with clear skies and little light pollution
  • When: Until about August 11, short viewing opportunities are spread throughout the day. Here’s NASA’s Vancouver timetable.

New West Pride Columbia Street Party

  • What: Pride may be mostly over in Vancouver for another year, but in New Westminsterthe pinnacle of Pride Season is yet to come. This free event will be packed with beer gardens and patio party areas, plus drag shows, choir recitals and more.
  • Where: Columbia Street, between Begbie and 4th streets, New Westminster
  • When: Saturday, August 13, from 3 to 8 pm
  • Info: newwestpride.ca

Free PNE Admission Days

  • What: You may think The Fair is overpriced and far too small for a metro region of 2.5 million, but it’s hard to say no when admission is free. Expect long lineups if the weather cooperates. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
  • Where: The Fair at the PNE – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, 23 August and Tuesday, 30 August, from 11 am to 1 pm

Tour the Orpheum

  • What: This summer, BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and Vancouver Civic Theatres are offering free guided tours of the Orpheum Theatre, built in 1927 and now a National Heritage Site and home to the beloved Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
  • Where: The Orpheum – 601 Smithe St, Vancouver
  • When: Every Tuesday and Thursday, plus some Saturdays, from 11 am to 12:30 pm
  • Register: To reserve, call 604-665-3047

Undressing Drag

  • What: Drinks and a lively discussion about the fashion of local drag performers – the Bovines – an ensemble that performed throughout the Lower Mainland during the 1980s. Followed by drag shows from the lovely Peach Cobblah and Isolde N. Barron. 
  • Where:  Museum of Vancouver – 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, August 18 at 6 pm
  • Tickets: At the MOV, $15 full price or $11 for students

Go to the movies

August is a bumper month for film fans, with plenty of indoor and outdoor screenings, including two entire film festivals and a masterclass!

Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park

Open Air Cinema

(Open Air Cinema)

  • What: The Evo Summer Cinema Series of free outdoor movies, shown on a four-storey inflatable movie screen in Stanley Park. August’s schedule includes Space Jam, Labyrinth, Purple Rain and Dirty Dancing!
  • Where: Ceperley Meadows (Second Beach), Stanley Park
  • When: Every Tuesday through August 23, movies start at dusk
  • Schedule: Free outdoor movies Vancouver 2016 at Stanley Park schedule

Starlight Theatre at Lansdowne Centre

  • 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 through 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

Movies Under the Stars

  • What: Free animated outdoor movies in Holland Park, courtesy of Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. The August schedule includes Minions, Inside Out, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.
  • Where: Holland Park – 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey
  • When: Every Saturday in August, family activities start at 5 pm, movie starts at dusk

Picnic and a Movie in Kits

  • What: This family-friendly event will start with a picnic, with BBQ supplied by Pete’s Meat, live entertainment, rides and games, followed by a pre-show with the chance to win prizes from local stores, then at sunset, a free screening of Pixar’s Inside Out.
  • Where: Connaught Park – Larch St at 12th Ave, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, August 14, picnic from 11 am to 4 pm, pre-show starts at 6 pm, movie starts at 8 pm
  • Admission: Picnic is $5, pre-show and movie are free

Masterclass with Catherine Hardwicke

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in the Twilight movies (Summit Entertainment)

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in the Twilight movies (Summit Entertainment)

  • What: Designed to educate and inspire everyone from established to emerging movie directors, this masterclass with Catherine Hardwicke, the award-winning director of the Twilight movies, is sure to be an fascinating night.
  • Where: VIFF Vancity Theatre – 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 6, at 3 pm
  • Tickets: At VIFF, $35

Lift Off Film Festival

  • What: This film festival showcasing grassroots, indie filmmakers will be fusing the spirit of the Canadian people and combining it with a full international programme of films from every walk of life.
  • Where: VIFF Vancity Theatre – 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, August 1, from 1 pm, and Tuesday, August 2, from 6:30 pm
  • Tickets: At VIFF, all screenings $12 full price, $10 for students

Queer Film Festival

  • What:  A showcase of the best LGBTQ+ films from Cannes, Sundance and local BC artists, along with directors, performing artists, and free workshops, plus parties and talk backs. Opening movie is the lush and poetic Summertime.
  • Where: Various movie theatres across Vancouver; Summertime screens at Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, August 11 to Sunday, August 21; Summertime screens on Thursday, August 11 at 7 pm
  • Tickets: At queerfilmfestival.ca, individual movies $12 or $8 for students, six-pack $66 or $42 for students, super pass $165 or $135 for student.

Enjoy the arts

Three Kinds of Abstraction

  • What: April Thompson is curating this exhibition  of seven Canadian artists at Access Gallery, reflecting upon the notion of a “West Coast” photographic aesthetic and our expectations of photography.
  • Where: Access Gallery – 222 East Georgia Street, Vancouver
  • When: Everyday except Mondays and Sundays, through August 27, from noon to 5 pm

Sunday Afternoon Salsa

  • 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 through August; lessons at 3 pm, performances at 5 pm, social dancing all afternoon


“This is physical and mental,I won’t sugar coat it”. – @kendricklamar

A photo posted by N D L O C A L (@ndlocal) on

  • What: Instagrammer Adam Hoens is renowned for his colourful, eye-catching portraits of hip-hop superstars like Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, and Mos Def – and now he’s presenting his very first solo exhibition, in Vancouver.
  • Where: 397 Alexander Street, Vancouver
  • When: August 11, at 8 pm


  • What: Iraqi-born, Vancouver-based artist Jasem Qaisi aims to use Impressionist techniques to show both the relationship and the feminine likeness between horse and woman in terms of movement and agility in his latest exhibition.
  • Where: Katami Designs Studio & Gallery – 138 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • When: Through September 8, Tuesday to Friday, from 11 am to 6pm, weekends, noon to 5 pm, closed Monday

Robson Square Summer Dance Series

  • 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 through September 2, between 7:30 and 11:30 pm

Catch a show

The Book of Mormon

  • What: This hilarious Broadway musical from the creators of South Park returns to Vancouver for another run this summer, telling the tale of two Mormon missionaries as they attempt to share their scriptures with residents of a remote Ugandan village.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: August 23 to September 4, evening shows 8 pm, weekend matinees at 2 pm
  • Tickets: At Ticketmaster, $55-$130

PNE 2016 Concerts

  • What: This year’s artist lineup offers something for fans of all genres, with big names including Hedley, The Sheepdogs, Simple Plan, Olivia Newton-John, The Monkees, and Chris Isaak.
  • Where: PNE Amphitheatre – 2901 E Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 20 to Monday, September 5 (except on Monday, August 22 and Monday, August 29), at 8:30 pm
  • Admission: Unreserved seating is free with PNE gate entry, reserved seating starts at $15, available at pne.ca

Cates Park Concert Series

  • 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 through August 27, from 4 to 7 pm

CBC Musical Nooners

  • 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: Monday to Friday, through August 19, noon to 1 pm

Eric McCormack

  • What: Eric McCormack, the Emmy-winning star of Will & Grace, is coming to Vancouver to give a concert full of insider anecdotes and iconic songs in memory of his parents – on two nights only.
  • Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage – 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Available on Vancouver Tix, $95-$115. All proceeds go to Prostate Cancer Canada.

North Vancouver Summer Sessions 2016

  • What: A series of free concerts takes place at the Shipbuilder’s Square every Saturday night throughout 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 through August, from 7 to 10 pm

Riff Raff

  • What: Formerly a member of rap group Three Loco, Riff Raff has claimed his spot in the music industry since joining Diplo’s Mad Decent label. Gone are his early mix tape days, as Riff’s second studio album Peach Panther was released last summer.
  • Where: Venue – 881 Granville Street
  • When: Saturday, August 27 at 7 pm
  • Tickets: Available online, $30

Enchanted Evenings

  • What: This series of open air concerts in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden continues, offering you live performances from Lalun, Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, Silk Road Music and Jim Byrnes along with a deluxe picnic and drinks.
  • Where: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Thursday night until August 25, from 7 to 10 pm
  • Tickets: From enchantedevenings.ca, $20-$50

Band of Horses

  • What: A mainstay of American indie rock, Ban of Horses are bringing their top rate songwriting and musicianship to Vancouver this August, touring their highly-anticipated fifth studio album, Why Are You OK.
  • Where:  The Orpheum – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 20 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: On Ticketmaster, $29.50-$39.50

Get sporty

Vancouver Whitecaps games

  • What: The Whitecaps have two home games in August, so get down to BC Place and support our guys on the soccer pitch.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
  • When:
    • Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, August 12, at 8 pm
    • Whitecaps vs Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday, August 23, at 7 pm
  • Tickets: At whitecapsfc.com/tickets, priced $27-$142

BC Lions games

  • What: Now that the CFL season is getting underway, the Lions also have two home games in August, so you’ve got no excuse not to get down to BC Place.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
  • When:
    • Lions vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday, August 13, at 7 pm
    • Lions vs Calgary Stampeders on Friday, August 19, at 7 pm
  • Tickets: At bclions.com/tickets, priced $28.75-$138.75

Hastings Racecourse

  • What: Cheer on those jockeys and their steeds at the horse racing track in Hastings – entry is always totally free. The race schedule runs through October.
  • Where: Hastings Racecourse – 188 N Renfrew St, Vancouver
  • When: Mostly Saturday and Sunday afternoons with 1:50 pm start times. In August, Friday night races start at 7 pm, while two Monday afternoon races start at 4 pm.
  • More info: hastingsracecourse.com

Vancouver Canadians games

  • What: Vancouver’s own minor league baseball team has a massive 14 games at home in August, so you’ve got no excuse not to get some friends together and head to a ball game this month.
  • Where: Nat Bailey Stadium – 4575 Clancy Loranger Way, Vancouver
  • When: Various Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday during August; evening games at 7.05 pm, daytime games at 1:05 pm
  • Tickets:  At milb.com, priced $14-$25

lululemon’s Seawheeze

  • What: Seawheeze is one of Vancouver’s biggest parties. Whether or not you compete in the half-marathon portion of the program, there’s always the giant Sunset Festival afterwards, with headlining bands Chromeo, Dear Rouge, and Young Blood.
  • Where: Brockton Field, Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, August 12, 7 am to 8 pm, and Saturday, August 13, from 5:45 am to 11 pm
  • Entry: At Seawheeze, $128 for race including Sunset Festival; $38 just for Sunset Festival

Free yoga at Dude Chilling Park

  • What: Get out your yoga mats and put away your wallets, free yoga is back for another year! Two sessions, twice a day, seven days a week. All abilities welcome.
  • Where: Dude Chilling Park – 2390 Brunswick Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until fall; from 10 to 11:15 am and 6 to 7:15 pm

Free yoga at Jack Poole Plaza

  • What: More free yoga! Every week a different instructor will be leading the hour-long sessions that are designed for people of all skill levels – no previous experience is required. Just show up with your mat and yoga clothes.
  • Where: Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver
  • When: Every Wednesday until the end of August, from noon to 1 pm


  • What: The Ultimate Fighting Championship is back in Vancouver! So far the biggest fight on the card is Anthony Pettis, who makes his debut in the featherweight division, taking on Charles Oliveira. Definitely an intriguing matchup for avid MMA fans.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 27; 5 pm
  • Tickets: On Ticketmaster, $52.50-$183.75

Bike to Shop Day

  • What: HUB will be hosting celebration stations near shopping spots in Vancouver with free snacks, drinks, bike mechanics, and tips on how to carry items by bike. There will also be themed rides, discounts and a trip for two to the Okanagan to be won.
  • Where: All over Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 13, from 11 am to 3 pm
  • Register: At bikehub.ca, totally free

Vancouver’s Largest Water Fight

  • What: Vancouver’s largest water fight returns for the 10th year running. Bring your water pistols, and if you use water balloons, remember to pick up after yourself.
  • Where: Lumberman’s Arch – Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 6 at 1 pm
  • Register: On Facebook

Eat and drink

Eat Rich Food Truck Festival

  • What: Richmond gets its very own food truck festival this summer. The Eat Rich Food Truck Festival will bring with it a smorgasbord of delicious eats.
  • Where: South Arm United Church, 11051 No.3 Road, Richmond
  • When: Saturday, August 27 from 11 am to 7 pm
  • Price: $2.50 admission or free admission with a non-perishable food item for the Richmond Food Bank (one item per person), free for kids under 10

YVR Food Fest

  • What: Food Cart Fest has rebranded to YVR Food Fest and will feature long table dinners, food talks, private dinners, and cocktail parties. Its flagship event will be the Street Food Showdown – over two days, 80 food carts, restaurants, wineries, and breweries will gather, offering an unlimited tasting menu for a feeding frenzy.
  • Where: Various locations cross Vancouver
  • When: Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7
  • Info/tickets: Available online; tickets $10-59

Truck Stop Concert Series

  • What: The third and final outdoor summer concert hosted by Red Truck Brewery, featuring Jon Pardi, The Washboard Union, JJ Shiplett, and Dan Davidson, plus Red Truck Beer and food trucks.
  • Where: Red Truck Brewery – 295 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 6, from 4 to 10 pm
  • Tickets: Available online, $35

Mixology Night on the Pier

  • What: This terrific new fundraising event will showcase Vancouver’s top bartenders and the growing cocktail culture. The evening will feature an exciting pop up beach lounge, a cocktail competition, catered food, and great music.
  • Where: Ambleside Pier (foot of 14th Street in West Vancouver)
  • When: Thursday, August 4, from 8 to 10 pm
  • Price: Available online, $105 per person; the goal is to sell 250 tickets and raise $15,000 for local art programs

Diner en Blanc 2016

The popular ticketed annual event that brings together hundreds of strangers for an elegant outdoor all-white dinner party at a top-secret location will take place on Thursday, August 18, 2016. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Diner en Blanc Vancouver.

Farmers’ Markets

Farmer's Market/Pixabay

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.

Night 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:

Il Mercato Italian Market

  • 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.
  • Where: Italian Cultural Centre, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, August 19, from 4 to 8 pm

Chill out on a patio

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!


Vancouver Mural Festival

Vancouver Mural Fest Press Pic 2

  • What: Vancouver’s first-ever mural festival is expected to attract close to 100,000 attendees, celebrating over 35 murals around the Main Street area. There will also be a tailgate party at the Red Truck Brewery and evening music shows around town.
  • Where: Various locations – murals will be around Mount Pleasant and Main Street area; evening music shows will be at various locations.
  • When: Saturday, August 20
  • More info: vancouvermuralfestival.com

Pakistan Festival

  • What: This festival marks the anniversary of Pakistan’s 1947 independence from the UK, and will showcase the cultural heritage, diversity, geography, music, dress, cuisine, customs and traditions of all corners of Pakistan.
  • Where: Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, August 14, from noon to 8 pm
  • More info: pakistanfestival.com

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. Vendors sell traditional handicrafts, while hawkers serve up a range of culinary delights.
  • Where: Chinatown – Columbia and Keefer streets, Vancouver
  • When: August 13 to 14, from noon to 6 pm