Cultural Calendar

National Aboriginal Day will celebrate Aboriginal culture and traditions.| Photo by Tim Sheare and John Bellerose.

Summer is finally here, so go out and enjoy what the city has to offer. There are plenty of events, both indoors and outdoors, for you to check out. From festivals and pop-up markets to art exhibitions and theatrical plays, there is something for everyone. Also, Father’s Day is on June 18, so why not take your dad out to some of these places too?

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In Tune 2017

June 8–18

Granville Island, Vancouver

Touchstone Theatre is currently hosting In Tune 2017, a preview of Canadian musical shows featuring a range of showcases, masterclasses, panel discussions and workshops. Take a masterclass in musical theory, watch cabarets and musicals or partake in a shaggy dog story showcase! For dates and more information, please check out Touchstone Theatre’s website.

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B.C. Highland Games and Scottish Festival

June 17, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.

Percy Perry Stadium, Coquitlam

Celebrate Scotland, the northernmost constituent country of the United Kingdom, at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam on June 17. There will be caber tossing, highland dancing and bagpipe competitions, as well as plenty of Scottish delicacies to try, like haggis and Irn Bru. There will also be a beer garden for the adult crowd. Please check out the Highland Games website for more information.

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Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

June 17–18

Scandinavian Community Centre, Burnaby

The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival returns to Burnaby once again to celebrate the food, dance, music and culture of the Nordic peoples. Perennial favourites such as the wife-carrying contest, the Paavo Nurmi Run and the raising of the midsummer pole will be featured. On June 16 in the evening, there will be an adults-only Ember Skies kickoff party. For a complete schedule of events, please visit the festival website.

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Car Free Day

June 17–18, 12–7 p.m.

West End, Kitsilano and Main Street, Vancouver

Take transit, bike or walk to the Car Free Day festivals happening throughout Vancouver on the June 17 weekend. Harkening back to a time without automobiles, these carless festivals hope to reclaim the streets from traffic to not only cut down on car exhaust, but to also foster community spirit by allowing artists, local residents, performers, artisans, non-profits and businesses to interact and engage with each other. For more information about the festivals, please visit the website.

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Queer Arts Festival

June 17–29

Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

The Queer Arts Festival returns to the Roundhouse in order to push boundaries and foster dialogue and conversation about gender and sexuality through the visual arts. This year’s multidisciplinary festival features exhibits and performances about alternative Aboriginal sexuality, colonial gender boundaries, queer musicals and dance. Check out the festival’s website for a complete list of shows and performances.

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National Aboriginal Day at Trout Lake

June 21, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Trout Lake Park, Vancouver

Celebrate the diversity of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada at Trout Lake on unceded Coast Salish Territory on June 21. First Nations, Métis and Inuit people gather to share their spirit, experiences, stories, songs, art and dance with each other and the general community – with a day of entertainment, activities and fun planned for the whole family. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, please visit their website.

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Vancouver International Jazz Festival

June 22–July 2

Various venues in Vancouver

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival is back for the 32nd time with more smooth sounds and upbeat rhythms to get your feet tapping. From the popular and mainstream to the experimental and groundbreaking, the festival will present jazz musicians from all around the world. For a complete list of events and shows, please visit the jazz festival website.

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Vancouver International Guitar Festival

June 23–25

Chinese Cultural Centre Event Hall, Vancouver

Join guitar builders, players, collectors and aficionados at the inaugural Vancouver International Guitar Festival for three days of live music, master classes, special events and the opportunity to see, hear and play some of the world’s finest handmade stringed instruments. To learn more about the art and craft of guitar making and playing, please visit their website.

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Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival

June 23–25

Concord Pacific Place and False Creek, Vancouver

There will be free admission to the 29th annual Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival around the False Creek Area, June 23 – 25. Cheer on the dragon boat racers at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and enjoy the live entertainment, food and festivities afterwards. For a complete schedule of events, please visit their website.

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Claude Monet: Secret Garden

June 24–October 1

Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery will be exhibiting the works of the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet this summer, until October 1. The exhibition, Secret Garden, will present 38 paintings spanning the course of Monet’s long career, showing how Monet’s dedicated experimentation toward a novel approach to painting sought to capture the fleeting appearances and colours conjured by variable light. There will be a gala fundraising auction on June 16 and a Heller Lecture on June 27. Please visit the art gallery’s website for more information.