50 things to do in Vancouver in July

Jul 1 2016, 7:26 am

It’s summer in the city! From Canada Day and the Celebration of Light to a myriad of multicultural festivals, here are 50 things to do in gorgeous Vancouver this July.

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Canada Day

  • 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

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. 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
  • 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 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

Honda Celebration of Light 2016

  • What: Vancouver’s pinnacle summer event, as fireworks galore are launched off a barge in English Bay. Of special note, the Walt Disney Company will produce this year’s display for the United States.
  • Where: English Bay, Vancouver
  • When: 10 to 10:25 pm (25-minute duration every night)
  • Schedule and nations:
    • Saturday, July 23: Netherlands, represented by Royal Fireworks
    • Wednesday, July 27: Australia, represented by Howard’s Fireworks
    • Saturday, July 30: United States, represented by the Walt Disney Company


  • What: Playland has officially opened for the season, so connect with your inner child and hop aboard the famous wooden roller coaster for a little throwback fun.
  • Where: Playland at the PNE – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When:  Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, from 10 am to 7 pm
  • More info: pne.ca/playland

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 from Friday, June 24 through September 2, between 7:30 and 11:30 pm

All Together Now

  • 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.

Eastside Flea

The Eastside Flea Grand Opening at The Ellis Building from Eastside Flea on Vimeo.

  • 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

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 in July and August; lessons at 3 pm, performances at 5 pm, social dancing all afternoon

De Palma Film Series

  • 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

Pride Season

Pride Run and Walk 2016

A happy participant at Pride Run and Walk (Vancouver Frontrunners)

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
  • Register: At vancouverfrontrunners.org/priderun, priced $40 per person

Davie Street Party

  • 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.


Symphony in the Park

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster (Lucasfilm)

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
  • When: Sunday, July 10 at 7 pm

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 from July 16 to August 27, exact times TBA

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: From July 8 to August 19, Monday to Friday, noon to 1 pm

North Vancouver Summer Sessions 2016

  • 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

Dixie Chicks

  • 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.

Red Truck Concert Series

  • 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.
  • Where: Red Truck Brewery, 295 East 1st Avenue
  • When: Saturday, July 9 from 4 to 10 pm
  • Tickets: Available online at $35. 19+

Steven Tyler

  • 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

Weezer and Panic! At The Disco

  • 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
  • When: Thursday, July 28 at 5 pm
  • Tickets: Available online for $55. All ages


Community Day at Dragon Zone Paddling Club

Dragon boat racing at Dragon Zone Paddling Club in Vancouver (Dragon Zone Paddling Club)

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.
  • When: Saturday, July 9, from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Reservations: For dragon boating, online at dragonzone.ca/community, for kayaking and stand-up paddling, call 604-616-7453 or email[email protected]

Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix

  • 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.

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

Vancouver Whitecaps games

  • What: The Whitecaps have four home games in July, so there’s plenty of opportunities to get down to BC Place and support our guys on the soccer pitch.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
  • When:
    • Whitecaps vs Colorado Rapids on Saturday, July 9, at 7 pm
    • Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, July 13, at 7:30 pm
    • Whitecaps vs Orlando City SC on Saturday, July 16, at 7 pm
    • Whitecaps vs Crystal Palace FC on Tuesday, July 19, at 7 pm
  • Tickets: At whitecapsfc.com/tickets, priced $27-$142

BC Lions games

  • What: The CFL season is just getting underway, so there’s only one chance to see our Lions in action at home in July, when they tackle the Toronto Argonauts.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, July 7, at 7 pm
  • Tickets: At bclions.com/tickets, priced $28.75-$138.75

Vancouver Canadians games

  • What: Vancouver’s own minor league baseball team has a massive 14 games at home in July, 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 July; evening games at 7.05 pm, daytime games at 1:05 pm
  • Tickets:  At milb.com, priced $14-$25

Axe Throwing

  • 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
  • More information: axethrown.com/contact

Deighton Cup

  • What: Vancouver’s most stylish day at the races returns as some 4,000 revellers are expected at the annual all-day horse racing festival.
  • Where: Hastings Racecourse – 188 N Renfrew Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 16 from 11 am to 6pm
  • Tickets: Early Bird $65 / Regular $75 / Last Chance $85 plus various upgrade and VIP box options. For more information, visit deightoncup.com.

Eat and Drink

Eat Rich Food Truck Festival

Facebook / Eat Rich Food Truck Festival

Facebook / 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: July 30 (and again on 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

Taco Fest 2016

  • 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.
  • Where: Swangard Stadium – 3883 Imperial Street, Burnaby
  • When: Saturday, July 16 from noon to 10 pm
  • Price: Tickets are priced $15 each and can be purchased in advance from Taco Festor $20 on the door

Crab & Lobster Fest at YEW seafood + bar

  • 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

The Muses Dinner at Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver

Photo courtesy Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

Photo courtesy Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

  • 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

Farmers’ Markets

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, July 15, from 4 to 8 pm

Vancouver Greek Summerfest 2016

Greek Food / Shutterstock

Greek Food / Shutterstock

  • 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
  • Cost: Free to enter


  • 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

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!


Surrey Fusion Festival

  • 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.
  • Where: Holland Park – 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey
  • When: July 23 to 24, from 10 am to 10 pm

Indian Summer Festival

  • What: The Indian Summer Arts Society organizes the Indian Summer Festival every July, to showcase provocative artists and visionaries from Canada, South Asia and beyond. Highlights this year include:
    • Opening Gala on July 7
    • Rajasthan Josh concert on July 9 and talk on July 10
    • Border Crossings improv theatre on July 12
    • FUSE party on July 15
    • Closing Party on July 16
  • Where: Various locations across Vancouver
  • When: July 7 to 16
  • More info: http://indiansummerfest.ca/

Carnaval del Sol

  • What: This festival celebrates Latin culture by hosting a mix of events from free salsa dancing lessons to a street soccer game. All events are under the sun and completely free.
  • Where: Concord Pacific Place – 88 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: July 9 and 10
  • More info: carnavaldelsol.ca

Khatsahlano Street Party

  • 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
  • When: Saturday, July 9, from 11 am to 9 pm

Bastille Day Festival

  • 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.
  • Where: Granville Island, Vancouver
  • When: July 14

Powell Street Festival

Katari Taiko at the Powell Street Festival (Jeanie Ow)

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

Caribbean Days

  • 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
  • When: July 23 to 24

FVDED in The Park

  • What: FVDED in The Park returns for another year on July 2 and 3. Around 34 artists will be performing over a period of two days in Holland Park, and the lineup is not to be missed.
  • Where: Holland Park – 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey
  • When: Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3; 1 to 11 pm

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2016

  • 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.
  • Where: Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver
  • When: July 15 to 17
  • Tickets: Tickets are on sale now.

Hiatus Music Festival

  • 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
  • When: July 23
  • Price: Tickets start at $89.95, buy online

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