20 awesome things to do for $20 or less this summer

Jun 27 2017, 1:14 am

Summer is finally here Vancouverites, but with so much to do in our amazing city, your wallet might be feeling a little light.

Never fear. There’s tons of things to do in Vancouver that won’t cost you more than a crisp $20, and we’ve compiled them all here. Get going!

Get into some drama

This Is Our Youth

  • What: A play by American dramatist and screenwriter, Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), This Is Our Youth is a darkly humorous, bittersweet portrait of youth poised on the cusp of the scary, disillusioning path to adulthood.
  • When: July 21 to July 23
  • Time: 7 pm, with extra 3 pm performance on July 22 and July 23
  • Where: Granville Island – 1601 Johnston Street, Vancouver
  • TicketsOnline, $20

Do something different

Crazy Quilting with local Madwoman Diane Wood

  • What: Ever watched those movies where they make quilts out of every shirt they ever bought on a road trip? Well now’s your chance to create a small crazy quilt you can use as a pillow cover. Do it in this three-hour workshop with local artist and “madwoman” Diane Wood. All material is provided, but bring a favourite piece of fabric if you want to include it… like all those road trip shirts perhaps.
  • When: July 22
  • Time: 2 to 5 pm
  • Where: WePress – 202-268 Keefer Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Online, by donation. Suggested amount $20

RCMP Musical Ride

  • What: Kill two birds with one stone. Come celebrate Canada’s 150th and Burnaby’s 125th birthdays by watching one of Canada’s most recognized icons, the RCMP, put on a unique Canadian performance that features a troupe of 32 horses and riders performing choreographed cavalry drills to music.
  • When: August 18
  • Time: 5:30 to 9 pm
  • Where: Swangard Stadium – 3883 Imperial Street, Burnaby
  • Tickets: Online, $10

AIBC Architectural Walking Tours

  • What: Enjoy stunning architectural perspectives of three Victoria and six Vancouver neighbourhoods at the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC). Experience Vancouver sites including a vibrant Chinatown, historical Gastown, trendy Yaletown, contemporary Downtown, lively West End and diverse Strathcona.
  • When: Until August 31
  • Time: Thursday to Monday, 10 am to 1 pm
  • Where: Inside the AIBC – 100-440 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10

An Evening with Louise Penny

  • What: Join No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny in conversation, as she breaks conventions of the crime novel to explore what Gandhi called ‘the court of conscience.’ Hear about her latest instalment in her award-winning Gamache Series, her fascinating career and why she left her CBC post to write her first novel.
  • When: August 28
  • Time: 7:30 pm
  • Where: St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church – 1022 Nelson St, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $28, but under 30s only pay $17

Art School High

Art School High installation (Gordon Smith Gallery Of Canadian Art)

Art School High installation (Gordon Smith Gallery Of Canadian Art)

  • What: Take in this group exhibition put together by Dr. Patrik Andersson, showcasing twelve established Canadian artists. The exhibition touches on socio-cultural issues relating to identity, adolescence, conformity, marginalization, and rebellious behaviours.
  • When: Until August 26 (closed on August 5)
  • Time: Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 5 pm
  • Where: Gordon Smith Gallery Of Canadian Art – 2121 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver
  • Tickets: At the door, $5

Hit up concerts and party scenes



DJ Isaac

  • What: Get this party started as Dutch Hardstyle DJ and Producer Isaac stops in VanCity to drop the beat. DJ Isaac is at the forefront of harder dance music and is always sticking his head out for new revolutions in sound.
  • When: July 22
  • Time: Doors open at 10 pm
  • Where: Harbour Event Centre – 750 Pacific BLVD. Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $20, 19+ ID required

Untoxicated – 5th Anniversary

  • What: There might be no drinking happening at this sober and proud event, but you’ll be reeling at RuPaul’s stars Katya, Morgan McMichaels and DJ Nina Flowers, plus Raye Sunshine, Mayhem Miller, Trinna Modele, Brat Pack, Jane Smokr, Alma Bitches, Jaylene Tyme, MC Crystal Clearly and country singer Jaimie Wilson.
  • When:  August 6
  • Time: 6 to 10 pm
  • Where: Davie and Bute Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $20

Rapture: Playboy – HipHop & RnB Pride Party

  • What: Live it up at this 19+ party, one of Vancouver’s Pride events. Starring Global Superstar DJ Kitty Glitter with DJ Del Stamp and in her final Rapture stage appearance, the legendary Shokra!
  • When: August 4
  • Time: 8 pm to 4 am
  • Where: 1216 Bute St, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, 15$

Dustin Bentall with Ben Rogers & Dawn Pemberton

  • What: Guess who’s coming to town with his luscious locks of hair? Dustin Bentall, and he’s bringing along Ben Rogers & the Bloodred Yonder and Dawn Pemberton.
  • When: September 8
  • Time: 8 pm to 1 am
  • Where: Imperial Vancouver –319 Main Street,Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $20

Matthew Presidente – ‘Every Single Sin’ Live – Part III

  • What: Matthew is back to follow up his February release of Every Single Sin with the third part of the series. Take in the full band performance at XY! Have a rocking good time with new songs, fun games, and lots of drinks.
  • When: July 20
  • Time: 8:30 to 11:59 pm
  • Where: XY YVR – 1216 Bute Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $8 to $15


  • What: Party with these DJs/producers from the Netherlands as they drop some electro and progressive house beats.
  • When: August 4
  • Time: 10 pm to 3 am
  • Where: Harbour Event Centre – 750 Pacific BLVD, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $20

Wild Fruit-LGBTQIA Dance Party

  • What: You’ll want to be here for this 90’s guilty pleasure. Jam along as DJ Miss M drops good old tunes from Missy Elliot, Madonna, No Doubt, BackStreet Boys, Destiny’s Child, TLC, Nirvana, Spice Girls and much more. Definitely our kind of party with drinks specials like Double Killer Koolaid.
  • When: July 22
  • Time: 10 pm to 3 am
  • Where: Odyssey Nightclub – 686 West Hastings, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10 to $12

OVERFLOW #002: Mega Ran/Sammus, Together We Are Robots, Freaky DNA, UNICODE

  • What: Try something new at the next instalment of this innovative concert series featuring musicians who make original music using obsolete videogame/computer sound hardware. In attendance will be Mega Ran (from Phoenix, Arizona), Sammus (from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and Together We Are Robots (Calgary, Alberta) as well as local musicians Freaky DNA and UNICODE.
  • When: August 30
  • Time: 7:30 to 11:30 pm
  • Where: Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $15 or $20 at the door.

Babes On Babes / Vancouver Queer Pride Party

  • What: Hit up Fortune Sound for the Pride edition of this event. The organizers are giving you 10 international and local Queer, Lesbian & Trans DJs to choose from, playing house, hiphop, trap, 90s and Y2K jams, dancehall, bass music and breaks. And for the first time ever a secret level in Fortune is opening up, with rad artwork, a bar, and lots of chill space.
  • When: August 6
  • Time: 9 pm to 3 am
  • Where: Fortune Sound Club – 137 E Pender Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, Earlybird $15,  Advance $17, or $20 at the door

Check out some comedy

Comedy at Big Rock feat. Kevin Banner!

  • What: They’re back at it with an outstanding lineup of the funniest stand-up comics in the West. Kevin Banner headlines this month’s show with the best pros and up and comers including Jackie Hoffart, KC Novak, Maddy Kelly, Gavin Matts and Sam Tonning. Hosting the event is Big Rock Comedy’s very own Justin O’Hearn.
  • When: July 30
  • Time: 8 to 10 pm
  • Where: Big Rock Urban Brewery & Eatery – 310 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10

LIGHTS! Improvised Sketch Comedy Show

  • What: If you want to watch comedy born on the spot this is where you’ll want to be. Twelve of Vancouver’s hottest improv comedians present back-to-back short sketch ideas that have never been rehearsed or pre-formed for an audience before.
  • When: August 8
  • Time: 8 to 9:30 pm
  • Where: XYYVR –1216 Bute Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $5 or $10 at the door

Talk Felty To Me: Dirty Puppet Improv

  • What: This is not Sesame Street. We repeat this is not Sesame Street.  Take in a night of explosively sexy/gratuitous/over-the-top improvised comedy. The organizers say it simply couldn’t be shown on stage – unless “we did it with puppets!” Grab your girlfriends for this wild fun show.
  • When: July 28
  • Time: 10:30 to 11:30 pm
  • Where: Havana Theatre – 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10 or $8 with receipt from Havana restaurant

The Instant Lab Presents: The Reasonably Late Show

  • What: Master host extraordinaire, Joshua Begosh has been dominating the world’s talkshow scene for some time now and he’s decided to take pity on our “sleepy coastal town of Vancouver” and grace us with his charming show.
  • When: July 21
  • Time: 10:30 to 11:30 pm
  • Where: Havana Theatre – 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10

Keep up with your fitness

Women’s Ride Day

  • What: Join pro rider and member of the Canadian National Para-cycling Team, Joanie Caron on this road ride to Deep Cove or enjoy a more casual ride along the scenic, Central Valley Greenway with one of the Ride Ambassadors.
  • When: August 6, 9 am to 3 pm
  • Where: The Original Bike Shop & Cap’s Bicycle Museum – 434 East Columbia Street, New Westminster
  • Tickets: Online, $5
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