51 things to do in Vancouver this May

May 2 2017, 10:40 pm

May is underway and Metro Vancouver is filled with fantastic events to experience. From farmers’ markets to a marathon, networking events to Mother’s Day, here are 51 things to do around the city this May.

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

Eat fresh with farmers’ markets

Farmers Market / Shutterstock

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, 10 am – 2 pm, May 7 to October 22

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, 9 am – 2 pm, May 6 to October 21

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 from 9 am to 2 pm, May 27 to October 21

Main Street Station 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 from 2 to 6 pm, May 31 to October 4

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 from 10 am to 2 pm, May 28 to October 8

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 from 10 am to 3 pm, May 13 to October 14

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 from 10 am to 4 pm, May 8 to October 30

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 and 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 from 10 am to 3 pm, May 7 to October 29

Hit the road

BMO Vancouver Marathon

Vancouver Marathon

Image: BMO Vancouver Marathon / Facebook

  • What: The BMO Vancouver Marathon has races for all runner types, including a new Marathon Relay with race distances between 5 km and 13 km, a separate 8 km race, Half Marathon, and Vancouver’s only marathon.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Park – Midlothian Avenue, Langley
  • When: May 7 at 7 am

Iron Knee Tender Knee

  • What: Race from Cleveland Park or Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver & finish on the beautiful shores of Deep Cove. Racers will be treated to some great trails capped off by the punishment of the infamous Powerline Climb and chocolate delights at the finish line.
  • Where: Iron Knee starts at Cleveland Park on Capilano Road in North Vancouver, Tender Knee starts at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, North Vancouver
  • When: May 13 at 8 am

Fairmont Mother’s Day Run

  • What: A 3 km, 5 km and 10 km run and walk starting in Stanley Park and finishing at the Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza. Moms will be greeted at the finish line with a commemorative scarf, and all family members are welcome. Event includes a Finish Line Festival, kid’s activities, champagne giveaways, and more. In support of  Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon.
  • Where: Ceperley Park in Stanley Park
  • When: May 14 at 9 am

Whistler Valley Trail Run

  • What: A breathtaking race course through the Lost Lake Trail system. Featuring yoga before and after the run, and a teddy bear trot. Race proceeds support the
    Community Youth Foundation of Whistler.
  • Where: Rebagliati Park in Whistler
  • When: May 20 at 9 am

Oasis Shaughnessy 8 km & 5 km Poker Walk

  • What: Certified 5 km and 8 km  course running through the undulating, historic, residential streets of Shaughnessy and Kerrisdale. Medals to top three finishers in each age group category (Men & Women).
  • Where: Kerrisdale Arena – 41st and East Blvd., Vancouver
  • When: May 21 at 8:30 am

Survival of the Fittest

  • What: A fantastic loop from the scenic Quest University lands in Squamish, BC.
  • Where: Quest University (Upper Campus Area) – 3200 University Blvd, Squamish
  • When: May 27 at 8:30 am

Microsemi Science Fair Fun Run

  • What: The Annual Science Fair Fun Run is the largest timed 5 km fun run in the province and one of the largest fundraising events in BC’s technology sector. It is a family-oriented event with balloons, free giveaways from run sponsors, free admission for registrants to TELUS World of Science on race day and prizes for the fastest runners and largest teams.
  • Where: Athletes Way between Salt & Manitoba, Vancouver
  • When: May 27 at 9 am

Ridge Meadows Hospice Society Vistas Run-Walk 

  • What: This annual event draws walkers and runners from across the Lower Mainland who participate year after year in support of Ridge Meadows Hospice Society.
  • Where: Kanaka Creek Regional Park – Maple Ridge
  • When: May 28 at 9 am

Run For Water

  • What: A Half Marathon, 10 km Run, 5 km Fun Run, and Trail Run to raise funds for clean water projects.
  • Where: Mill Lake Park – 33015 Bevan Avenue, Abbotsford
  • When: May 28 at 7:30 am

Cheers to Cinco de Mayo


David Franklin / Shutterstock

Cinco de Mayo at The Backstage Lounge

  • What: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Bassos Rancheros, Mr. Pablor and Kut, with special guest Daniel Ruiz on Percussion. And yes there will be tequila specials.
  • Where: The Backstage Lounge – 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 5 at 9 pm
  • Tickets: $12 at the door

Cinco de Mayo Party at The Water Shed Arts Cafe

  • What: A night of live music with a Vancouver Salsa band made up of some of the best session musicians the city has to offer. You can also enjoy delicious tacos made by Chef Jenn Cornish and a fantastic select menu of cocktails with spirits from Granville Island distillery.
  • Where: The Water Shed Arts Cafe – #11 20349 88 Ave, Langley
  • When: May 5 from 6 to 11 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $20

Casa De Amigo – A Cinco e Mayo Celebration

Image courtesy of Casa de Amigos

  • What: Get ready for a fiesta as the largest Cinco de Mayo party in Vancouver returns to Robson Square. Feast on gourmet tacos, ceviche, churros, and other handheld Mexican street-style foods at four stations from the teams from Savoury Chef and Buena Onda. The event is also fully licensed and there will be a wide array of signature Mezcal and Tequila cocktails along with your favourite Mexican cervezas to sample, all available in the beverage garden. And no fiesta is complete without some Luchador wrestling, Mariachi bands, and traditional folk dancers.
  • Where: Robson Square (Plaza) – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 5 from 5 to 11 pm and May 6 from 3 to 11 pm
  • Admission: Tickets start at $18.95. Visit ticketzone.com for Friday and Saturday tickets.

Cinco de Mayo at Roosters

  • What: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Cazadores Girls. There will be plenty of tacos, Cazadores, a bucket-load of beer, a human pinata, and a chance to win Tim McGraw tickets.
  • Where: Roosters – #4-19040 Lougheed Highway, Pitt Meadows
  • When: May 5 from 7 pm to 2 am
  • Guest List: Online, free cover before 8 pm, two-for-one cover before 9 pm, $4 cover after 9 pm

Cinco de Mayo at El Camino’s

  • What: El Camino’s gets the party started with live music from Crash World. Dougie Stewart will also be dusting off his tequila dancing shoes and guest bartending for the night. There will even be drink and food specials, and more tequila than you can shake a stick at.
  • Where: El Camino’s – 3250 Main Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 5 at 3 pm. Live music starts at 8:30 pm
  • Admission: No Cover

Celebrate Mother’s Day

Mother's Day

Syda Productions / Shutterstock

Paint Night with Mom

  • What: Listen to music, relax and paint with mom at Zealous Art. Bring your friends and the whole family along for a fun evening being creative. No experience needed, and yes there will be wine to enjoy.
  • Where: Zealous Art – #104 20218 Fraser Highway, Langley
  • When: May 14 at 5 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $35. Includes a 12 x 16 canvas, a glass of wine, use of all art supplies and 2 hours art instruction.

Artisan Jewellery Show & Sale

  • What: The 4th Annual Mother’s Day Artisan Jewellery Show & Sale, hosted by the Creative Jewellers Guild of BC. Come browse, shop and meet the 18 artisans selling one of a kind pieces.
  • Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 14 from 10 am to 6 pm
  • Admission: Free

Mother’s Day Tea at Historic Stewart Farm

City of Surrey

Image: City of Surrey

  • What: Treat mum like the queen she is with tea at Historic Stewart Farm. Nibble cucumber sandwiches, indulge in sweets and scones baked in our wood stove, and make a craft together.
  • Where: Historic Stewart Farm – 13723 Crescent Road, Surrey
  • When: May 13 and 14 from noon to 3 pm
  • Register: Online, $16

4th Annual Mother’s Day Portrait Studio at Lougheed Town Centre

  • What: The best moms deserve special treatment. Bring Mom to Lougheed Town Centre’s 4th annual Mother’s Day portrait studio to enjoy an afternoon of pampering and giveaways. Moms will glam up with hair and makeup touch ups by Chatters and The Body Shop before their photo under a beautiful greenery arch. Enjoy live music from Sophia Danai while the kids are crafting up cards for Mom. The event is by donation and all proceeds benefit the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation in support of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
  • Where: Lougheed Town Centre – 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby
  • When: May 13 and 14 from noon to 3pm
  • Cost: By Donation

Mother’s Day Remembrance

  • What: If you would like to celebrate Mother’s Day, but your Mother has passed, or you are estranged from her, join others like you for an enjoyable brunch at Hart House Restaurant in Deer Lake Park. Bring a photo and/or story about your Mother to share. No age or gender requirement. Bookings taken up to May 10.
  • Where: Hart House Restaurant – 6664 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
  • When: May 14 at 11:30 am
  • Tickets: Online, $45. RSVP required at 778-318-1894

Catch a concert

Melissa Etheridge

  • What: Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Melissa Etheridge has remained one of North America’s favourite female artists for more than two decades. In addition to her two Grammy Awards, Etheridge has won an Academy Award for “Best Original Song”, a Juno Award for “International Entertainer of the Year” and ASCAP’s “Songwriter of the Year” Award.
  • Where: River Rock Casino Resort – 8811 River Rd, Richmond
  • When: May 5 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online

U2: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

  • What: The iconic, Grammy Award-winning band return for a select stadium tour this summer, and it all starts right here in Vancouver at BC Place. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the band’s classic album, The Joshua Tree, U2 will be performing the album in its entirety, with the support of a number of special bands. In Vancouver, their support is popular indie/folk rockers, Mumford & Sons.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: May 12 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $35-$280

LOVE SHACK! A Live Band Burlesque Tribute to The B-52’s!

  • What: Kitty Nights wraps up their season and kicks off your Summer of Lovin’ with a Live Band Burlesque Tribute to The B-52’s. Beehives, miniskirts and shagadelic, swingin’ fun abound as our Hot & Heavy Band kicks out your favourite B-52’s hits live onstage at The Biltmore accompanying the wild antics of a bevvy of fun-lovin’ burlesque beauties.
  • Where: Biltmore Cabaret – 2755 Prince Edward Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 21 at 9 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $12

Barn Burner 2017

  • What: A night of music and dancing featuring Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts Band, Odds, Rich Hope, Wild Honey and other special guests. All proceeds from the Barn Burner will benefit Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation and extend their partnership with Jack.org. Together, they will improve youth mental health along the North Shore and Sea to Sky corridor.
  • Where: Imperial Vancouver – 319 Main Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 26 at 7 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $75

The Shins

The Shins (Image: Benoit Daoust / Shutterstock)

  • What: Multiple Grammy-nominated band The Shins are returning to Vancouver in support of their fifth album Heartworms.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 27 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $36.50-$56.50

Laugh the night away

The Lady Show: May Edition

  • What: The comedy show that puts the “joy” in “Feminist Killjoy”. The Lady Show is a night of sketch, stand-up, monologues, storytelling and general comedy nonsense. May’s special guests are Catherine Falkner and Marylee Stephenson.
  • Where: Red Gate Revue Stage – 1601 Johnston Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 11 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $15

Harland Williams

Harland Williams

Image: Harland Williams / Facebook

  • What: Comedian and actor Harland Williams is known for his roles in Dumb and Dumber, Something about Mary, Half Baked, Rocketman, and more. His stand-up comedy has also been showcased on Letterman, The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brian, HBO, Comedy Central and everywhere else.
  • Where: Yuk Yuk’s Vancouver – 2837 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 11 and 12 at 8 pm, May 13 at 7 pm and 9:30 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $30

Bianca Del Rio: Not Today Satan Comedy Show

  • What: Season 6 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, self-professed “clown in a gown”, Bianca Del Rio continues her world-wide stand-up comedy tour, Not Today Satan, for a second round across North America.
  • Where: The Vogue Theatre – 918 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 19 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $49.50-$249

Ali Wong

Ali Wong

Image: Ali Wong / Facebook

  • What: With the recent release of her Netflix Special, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, Ali became the first comedian to record a stand up special while seven months pregnant. Ali co-stars in the new ABC comedy American Housewife, premiering this fall.
  • Where: Vogue Theatre – 1918 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 25 to 27 at 7 pm and 9:30 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $39.75-$65

The Canada Show: The Complete History of Canada

  • What: Three comedic historians – one First Nations actor, one female actor and one Francophone actor – try to jam 15,000 years of Canadian history into just one hour. Featuring Justin Beaver, the comedy team of Cabot and Costello, Jacques Cartier Puppets and every Canadian Prime Minister. The Canada Show is updated with new material and promises inclusivity and diversity to go along with its irreverence and hilarity.
  • Where: Red Gate Revue Stage – 1601 Johnston Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 31 to June 2 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online , $25

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Ships to Shore – King of the Sea

  • What: The Ships to Shore King of the Sea festival in Garry Point Park features the Kaiwo Maru, a massive naval training vessel from Japan. The free, family event features ship viewing and boarding on the dock, fireworks, live entertainment and more.
  • Where: Garry Point Park – 12011 Seventh Ave, Richmond
  • When: May 5 to 7
  • Admission: Free

Free dragon boating at Community Paddling Day

Dragon Boat BC

Image: Dragon Boat BC / Facebook

  • What: Try out dragon boat, canoe, and kayak paddling with Dragon Boat BC. All instruction and equipment is provided.
  • Where: Dragon Boat BC at Creekside Community Centre – 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver
  • When: May 7 from 12:30 to 3 pm
  • Registration: Online, Free

Celebrate BC Water Week – Coquitlam Watershed Tour

  • What: ​To celebrate BC Water Week, sign up for a free Coquitlam Watershed Tour and learn about our local water from source to tap. Learn about the drinking water infrastructure and enjoy the views of the old growth forests and the Coquitlam Watershed.
  • Where: Coquitlam Watershed
  • When: May 13 from 9 am to noon
  • Cost: Free, call 604-432-6359 to register

GO Fest – Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival

  • What: The fourth annual GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, returns on the Victoria Day Long Weekend. Come and spend four days trying different outdoors activities in a beautiful outdoor setting. Also features concerts, film screenings and arts workshops.
  • Where: Venues across Whistler
  • When: May 19 to 22
  • Registration and Tickets: Online

Art in the Garden 2017

  • What: The 2017 tour will feature 16 gardens, located in various neighbourhoods in North Vancouver and West Vancouver. Local visual artists and artisans are offered the opportunity to use these natural spaces as the ‘gallery walls’ on which to display their work. Individual musicians and small bands are also programmed to perform at each garden throughout the weekend.
  • Where: Various neighbourhoods in North Vancouver and West Vancouver
  • When: May 27 and 28 from noon to 5 pm
  • Tickets: $2 per garden or $20 all-garden pass. Passes will be available in May 2017 for pre-purchase online, by phone at 604-988-6844, or in person at CityScape Community Art Space. Tickets will also be available at all gardens on the tour during the event weekend.

Take care of business

Indigenous Leaders’ Panel on Career Progression

  • What: Join executives from the Vancouver offices of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Labour Canada (ESDC), and the Canada Revenue Agency for a panel discussion on career progression advice. The panel will be discussing questions related to career advancement, resiliency, work-life balance, and more. There will also be a Q&A session.
  • Where: UBC Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 10 from 9:45 t0 10:45 am
  • Tickets: Online, Free

#HootupYVR: Social Ads

  • What: From turning Facebook fans into customers, to giving your content a boost, social media advertising is a key component of any social strategy. Join Hootsuite for an expert session on paid advertising for the first #HootupYVR of 2017.
  • Where: Hootsuite Media Inc – 5 East 8th Ave, Vancouver
  • When: May 11 from 5:45 to 8:30 pm
  • Tickets: Online, free

National Girls Learning Code Day

  • What: Girls Learning Code is hosting its fourth annual National Girls Learning Code Day. On that day, hundreds of Canadians girls and their parents will come together to challenge themselves to learn a new skill: digital storytelling and animation. Hosted by Ladies Learning Code Vancouver.
  • Where: Amazon – 510 West Georgia Street, Vancouver; BC Tech Innovation Hub – 887 Great Northern Way, Vancouver; Traction on Demand – 2700 Production Way, Vancouver
  • When: May 13 from 1 to 4 pm
  • Register: Online, By Donation

The Side Hustle: A panel event presented by Young Women in Business

Young Women in Busines

Image: Young Women in Busines / Facebook

  • What: Ever thought about exploring a project outside of your 9 to 5 grind? YWiB’s panel discussion on The Side Hustle will explore the benefits, challenges, and lessons of launching your own ideas and creating your own career opportunities. Enjoy an enlightening evening with some of Vancouver’s multitalented entrepreneurs and find the spark to kickstart your own ventures.
  • Where: Mobify – #420, 725 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 23 from 6 to 9 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $25-$30

DesignThinkers Vancouver 2017: Studio Open Doors

  • What: Get an all-access pass to visit top creative studios in downtown Vancouver. Meet members of the team, see the space and check out their latest projects.
  • Where: Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 29 from 8 to 8:45 am
  • Tickets: Online, RGD/GDC Members – $10 per session, Non-Members – $20 per session


Image: Montreal Impact / Twitter

Vancouver Stealth vs Colorado Mammoth

  • Where: Langley Events Centre
  • When: May 6 at 7 pm

Whitecaps FC vs. Sporting Kansas City

  • Where: BC Place
  • When: May 20 at 4 pm

Whitecaps FC vs. Montreal Impact

  • Where: BC Place
  • When: May 23 at 7 pm

Whitecaps FC vs. D.C. United

  • Where: BC Place
  • When: May 27 at 4 pm
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