27 things to do in Vancouver this weekend: May 3 to 5

Apr 29 2019, 11:21 pm

The first weekend of May is upon us! Enjoy it with these 27 great Vancouver events happening on Friday, May 3, Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5. Hastings Racecourse Season Opening, Glitter Ball, and more!

And for more things happening around town be sure to check out our events section.

See also

Friday, May 3

The Show at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

What: The Show features work from Emily Carr’s graduating students across all five degree programs, exhibited on all four floors of the campus. Opening Night features a celebration of art, design and media, where attendees can enjoy music, connect in the lounges, and meet the graduating students.

When: May 3 to May 19, 2019
Time: Various times. Opening night from 5 to 10 pm
Where: Emily Carr University of Art + Design – 520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Laughter is the Best Medicine

What: The 13th annual Laughter is the Best Medicine charity improv show hosted by TMP Improv. One hundred percent of the profits from this family-friendly show will benefit KidSport Richmond.

When: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Where: Red Gate Revue Stage – 1601 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online, $10

18th Annual Grapes, Hops & Bites Festival

October 1


What: The Rotary Club of Steveston Wine Festival brings the best-of-the-best wine, beer, food, and entertainment to say thanks for continued support of the Rotary Club’s community. All proceeds go directly to the Steveston Rotary Community Outreach Programs.

When: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7 pm to 10 pm
Where: Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond
Tickets: Online, $60

The River of Light

What: The world premiere of a large scale work for chorus, soloists, and orchestra conceived and composed by Brian Current, one of Canada’s outstanding composers who is the recent recipient of the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music awarded by the Canada Council. Part of Vancouver Opera Festival.

When: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 630 Hamilton St, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

North Vancouver’s Shipyards Night Market

What: Gathering some of Vancouver’s best food vendors, this free event will feature a full farmers’ and artisan marketplace along with local food trucks and live entertainment weekly until 10 pm. Shipbuilders’ Square in North Vancouver will be transformed into a vibrant night market with 100+ vendors. Attendees can expect to chow down on grub from 40+ food trucks in “hot food alley” and enjoy live entertainment all summer long. The Friday Night Market will also feature a 19+ beer garden, serving local craft beer and cider as well as Betty’s Vodka Iced Tea.

When: Friday, May 3 to Friday, September 27, 2019,
Time: Starts at 5 pm
Where: Shipbuilders’ Square – 15 Wallace Mews, North Vancouver
Admission: Free

Epik High

Epik High

Epik High/Facebook

What: The three-member Epik High made their debut in 2003 and have captivated fans with perplexing lyrical themes. In addition to receiving numerous awards, they were also the first Korean act to perform at the Coachella Music Festival, according to Billboard Music.

When: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: Doors at 7 pm and show at 8 pm
Where: The Vogue Theatre – 918 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Available via Eventbrite

May Day Festival

What: Port Coquitlam celebrates its 96th annual May Days with nine days of free family activities, local culture, live entertainment and more.

When: Friday, May 3 to Saturday, May 11
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations
Admission: Free

Saturday, May 4

Playland Season Opening

Playland may 5

Rides at Playland in the PNE. (Júbilo Haku / Flickr)

What: If you’re ready to reacquaint yourself with the rolls, drops, spins, and thrills that only Playland can offer, then you’re in luck! The always-popular amusement park located in East Vancouver opens its doors for weekend operation, beginning this Saturday, May 4. In total, there are 35 rides and attractions to enjoy, 14 of which offer an extreme experience for those who dare to ride them.

When: Open on weekends starting Saturday, May 4, 2019, until June 14, 2019, when it will open up during the week
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Playland at the PNE – Hastings Street just off Highway #1 West – Exit #26
Tickets: Available online

May the 4th Be With You: Space Centre Family Night

What: What’s a more appropriate way to spend this day than at the HR McMillan Space Centre? Head over to Kitsilano for their May the 4th Be With You Family Night. With a bunch of Star Wars themed events including live demonstrations, a star theatre show and stargazing. There’s something for everyone in the family. Don’t forget to come dressed in your favourite Star Wars themed outfit!

When: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Where: HR McMillan Space Centre — 1110 Chesnut Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Hastings Racecourse Season-Opening

What: This year, Vancouver’s iconic Hastings Racecourse and Casino are celebrating 130 years of horse racing action. It’s the longest-running sports activity in BC, and this year, you can be part of the milestone celebrations. Kick off the racing season at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday, May 4 at the Season Opening event where you’ll get to experience unparalleled entertainment. Enjoy wagering, food trucks, a Vancouver British Classic Car Showcase and more.

When: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Time: 9 am start
Where: Hastings Racecourse – 188 North Renfrew Street, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Glitter Ball 2019

What: Glitter Ball, taking place May 4 and 5 in Vancouver, BC, is a two-day music showcase celebrating feminist art and culture. The event will feature bands fronted exclusively by women and those who identify with other marginalized genders, welcoming cis women, trans women, genderqueer women, non-binary folks, and those who otherwise challenge the cis-heteronormative binary.

When: May 4 and 5, 2019
Time: 5:30 pm to midnight
Where: Creative Coworkers — 520 Alexander Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online, $20 to $30

Free Comic Book Day

What: The annual event takes place at independent comic book shops all across North America, with thousands of comic shops giving out well-known titles like the Avengers, Captain America, Doctor Who, Pokemon, Riverdale, the Amazing Spiderman, and Star Wars, to name a few. In Vancouver, several shops will be celebrating with free books and special events.

When: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Various Comic Shops across Vancouver
Admission: Free

Vancouver Aquarium After Hours — Pints, Pinnipeds and Rescue Stories

What: At Vancouver Aquarium’s After Hours: Pints, Pinnipeds and Rescue Stories, you’ll learn about Señor Cinco the Californian sea lion, Hardy the sea otter, Bella Bella the Steller sea lion, and Hermes and Da Vinci the harbour seals. Hear their incredible rescue and rehabilitation stories through never-before-seen programs, all with a drink in hand. Ocean-minded breweries, cideries, and wineries will be there, including Arterra Wines, Lonetree, Moosehead Breweries Limited, Phillips Brewing & Malting Co., Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, Tofino Brewing Co., Whistler Brewing Co., and others.

When: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Time: 6:30 pm to 11 pm
Where: Vancouver Aquarium — 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
Price: $36 for members, $45 for non-members

Tian Jin Festival 2019

Music performance/Tian Jin Festival

What: Taking place in Burnaby on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, Tian Jin Festival gives you the opportunity to learn about the ancient cultures of China — without leaving Canada. The seventh-annual event draws in thousands of visitors every year and it’s completely free to attend.

Taste mouthwatering Taiwanese food (you’ll want to Instagram it before your first bite), and see incredible live cultural performances. There’s also going to be plenty of traditional Chinese games and activities that children of all ages (AKA, you) can take part in.

When: May 4 and 5, 2019
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: 3426 Smith Avenue, Burnaby
Price: FREE — RSVP via Facebook

Mother of all Comedy Shows

What: The Mother of All Comedy Shows features a collection of some of the best local women in stand-up comedy. They have diverse backgrounds and experiences related to ‘mothering’ and have hilarious words to share about it. Featuring Katrina Bennett, Monique Bellamy, Tania Taylor, Sarah Susswein, Erin Jeffery, Colleen Brow and emceed by Jan Bannister.

When: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Time: 8 pm
Where: Anvil Centre Theatre – 777 Columbia Street New Westminster
Tickets: Online

Galaxion: A Star Wars 80s Party

What: This month, Galaxion is celebrating Star Wars day with an epic dance party filled with all things space. There will be retro games, prizes for the best Star Wars costume and of course an epic dance party set to your favourite 80s songs! You don’t have to dress up but if you’re aiming for those prizes then I suggest you go all out.

When: Saturday, May 4, 2019 – Sunday, May 5, 2019
Time: 9 pm – 2 am
Where: Astoria — 769 East Hastings Sreet, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival 2019 – Chilliwack

What: The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival is back for its sixth year featuring delicious grub-on-wheels, drinks, and more. This year brings drool-worthy events from the Fraser Valley Food Truck Association, each featuring 28 trucks to enjoy.

When: May 4, 2019
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Heritage Park, Chilliwack
Admission: Free

Sunday, May 5

BrickCan 2019 at the River Rock

(DISCHA_AS / Shutterstock)

What: In addition to the many creations on display, attendees can shop at a wide variety of vendors selling LEGO-themed books, clothing, jewellery, and artwork, as well as rare LEGO sets and pieces. Before and after viewing times, everyone with tickets is invited to visit the Creation Station, featuring lots of interactive building opportunities for all ages. The event is free for children three years old and younger, and all children under 12 who present valid tickets will receive an exclusive, custom-designed BrickCan building set to take home.

When: May 4 and 5, 2019
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Where: River Rock Casino Resort – 8811 River Road Richmond
Tickets: $15, available online

IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s  2019

What: On Sunday, May 5, join fellow Vancouverites and take part in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s to celebrate and remember the people in your life who have been touched by dementia. The event is a five-kilometre walk starting at Creekside Community Centre in Olympic Village.  You can join as an individual participant, as part of a team, or donate if you can’t make the walk. Registration begins at noon with the walk starting at 1 pm.

When: Sunday, May 5, 2019
Time: Registration 12 pm, Walk 1 pm
Where: Creekside Community Recreation Centre — 1 Athletes Way
Price: Register or donate at walkforalzheimers.ca

Third annual Vancouver Opera Festival

What: Explore the theme of Fairy Tales & Fables at the Vancouver Opera Festival, presented by BMO.

When: Now to May 5, 2019
Where: Various locations; check out the Festival Guide
Time: Various times
Tickets: Various prices depending on show, available at Vancouver Opera; Vancouver Opera Ticket Centre 604-683-0222

Walking, Weaving and Wayfinding: the False Creek Fibreshed

What: Walking from the south shore of the lost estuary of False Creek to the north shore, explore the stories of the land and the plants from then and now that people use for fibre and dye. Walk led by Rebecca Graham, a community engaged artist who uses ancestral skills.

When: Sunday, May 5, 2019
Time: 1 to 2:30 pm
Where: Means of Production Garden – 809 East 6th Ave, Vancouver
Tickets: Online, Free

Community Paddling Day

Dragon Boat BC

Image: Dragon Boat BC / Facebook

What: A free dragon boat lesson on the water. The 45-minute sessions start at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 pm. Dragon Boat BC supplies the instructors, equipment, and boat, attendees supply the enthusiasm. Registration highly encouraged as drop-in spots are not guaranteed.

When: Sunday, May 5, Saturday, July 6, and Saturday, August 10, 2019
Time: 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 pm
Where: 1 Athletes Way (Creekside Community Centre), Vancouver
Register: Online, Free

41st Annual Greek Food Festival

What: Vancouver’s 41st Annual Greek Food Festival returns this May for another year of delicious food and entertainment.  From May 3 to 5, attendees of this fest can enjoy live performances, heritage displays, and mouthwatering eats such as souvlaki and sweet, honey-soaked loukoumades.

When: May 3, May 4, and May 5, 2019
Time: 5 to 10 pm (Friday), 12 to 10 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: Hellenic Community of Vancouver  4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Veg Expo 2019

What: This event will showcase new and inspiring products and services, along with cooking demonstrations with local celebrated chefs, information on locally sourced foods, and more. Veg Expo 2019 will also give attendees the opportunity to explore innovative sustainable transportation options and a ‘vegetation lounge,’ eat free samples, and witness a natural vegan bodybuilder showcase.

When: May 5, 2019
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
Price: $20; buy online

Sakura Night

What: The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s (VCBF) fifth annual Sakura Night returns this May. The one-night event is the festival’s standing reception fundraiser and celebrates a world of Asian-fusion cuisine, allowing attendees to try food from some of Vancouver’s top local chefs.

When: Sunday, May 5, 2019
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 pm
Where: Stanley Park Pavilion – 610 Pipeline Road, Vancouver
Tickets: $175

Burnaby Blooms

What: Burnaby Blooms (formerly Rhododendron Festival) is being re-imagined for 2019. View figures dressed in flowers, plants and foliage by floral designers as they create unique floral ladies. Returning in 2019 will be the popular plant sale and auction hosted by the Burnaby Rhododendron and Garden Society. Also on site will be the popular Burnaby Eco-Sculptures, floral installations, workshops, market vendors, entertainment, and more.

When: Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, 2019
When: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts –  6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Revenge Of The Fifth: Star Wars Trivia Night Party

What: While this event won’t fall on the actual day, why not extend the party to the fifth? The Russian Hall presents Revenge Of The Fifth: Star Wars Trivia Night Party. Anybody aged seven and up can attend this event honouring the 2005 classic Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith. Make sure you get your tickets early as there will be a 50/50 draw, awesome prizes and even a cash bar!

When: Sunday, May 5, 2019
Time: Doors open at 7 pm
Where: The Russian Hall — Campbell Avenue, Vancouver
Tickets: Online (Early bird saves $0.55)

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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