Kids are out of school, the weather is getting warmer and there are plenty of events and festivals all over the Lower Mainland to check out. Bring the family to Canada Day festivities at Canada Place, listen to poetry in the park, try some food and drink at an outdoor carnival, and enjoy live musical, dance and theatrical performances.
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Let’s Hear it for Yaletown
Bill Curtis Square, Vancouver
Stop by Yaletown’s Bill Curtis Square, which will be hosting five days of outdoor jazz, in celebration of 150 years of music in Canada. The neighbourhood will be serenaded with the sounds of live Canadian jazz bands at lunchtime and after work, with free performances at the Bill Curtis Square. For the schedule of artists and showtimes, please check out the Yaletown website.
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Oh, Canada – The True North Strong and Funny
June 29–September 2
Vancouver TheatreSports League takes a loving and comedic look at what makes us uniquely Canadian, with Oh, Canada – The True North Strong and Funny, poking fun at Canadian stereotypes. In a series of vignettes and improv games, VTSL’s quick-witted improvisers lampoon Canadian institutions, obsessions and double-doubles. The plot, characters and action are co-developed with the audience – utilizing their suggestions to drive the action and create on-the-spot, unscripted, theatrically-infused comedy. For tickets, showtimes and further information, please visit their website.
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Steveston Salmon Festival
July 1, 6:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
Steveston Community Park, Richmond
The City of Richmond will be hosting its own Canada 150 celebration at and around Steveston Community Park on July 1. The day begins at 6:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, followed by a bike parade for kids at 9:30 a.m., then the big Canada Day Parade at 10:00 a.m. In the afternoon, there will be various exhibits, displays, vendors and the Horticulture Show. There will also be the Salmon Barbecue at $16 per plate. For showtimes and a list of performers, please visit their website.
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Poetry in the Park
July 5–August 30,
Wednesday evenings, 6–8 p.m.
Queen’s Park, New Westminster
Come down to Queen’s Park in New Westminster this summer for another great season of spoken word poetry. Poetry in the Park is a free summer reading series that features emerging and established writers from British Columbia and across Canada dedicated to celebrating and promoting the literary arts. For a full list of speakers, please visit their website.
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Dancing on the Edge
Since 1988, the Dancing on the Edge Festival has evolved into an annual event. The festival presents 30 performances in mixed programs and full length works from over 20 different dance companies and choreographers from across Canada. For full program information, please visit their website.
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Indian Summer Festival
The Indian Summer Festival returns to Vancouver with music, dance and storytelling events. This year’s festival theme is “Tales of War and Peace,” and the line-up includes an outstanding array of award-winning artists who have the courage to say what they think, to hold up a mirror to ugly truths, but also to transcend, offer hope and celebrate creation when the world looks dispiriting. Be sure to catch the opening gala on July 6 at the Roundhouse Community Centre. For a full schedule and more information, please visit the festival website.
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Abbotsford Berry Festival
July 8, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
2615A Montrose Ave, Downtown Abbotsford
The 36th annual Abbotsford Berryfest is happening on Saturday, July 8th, 2017. This community event is the premiere arts, business and family festival in Abbotsford, featuring rides such as the ferris wheel and spinning berries, and an all new local craft beer garden positioned right next to the main stage (from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.). In the evening, notable musical headliners will include Beatles tribute band Fab Fourever, country band Me & Mae and soul train Big City Soul. For more information about the festival, please visit their website.
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Summer Art Carnivale
July 8, 1–4 p.m.
Killarney Community Centre, Vancouver
Bring the kids down to the Summer Art Carnivale at Killarney Community Centre on July 8. From comic book artists and Indigenous dancers to puppetry shows and fresh baked pizza, there will be fun for the whole family. Check out their website for more information.
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Beyond the Horizon
July 8–August 20
Richmond Art Gallery
This summer the Richmond Art Gallery is hosting Beyond the Horizon, an exhibition showcasing selected landscapes, demonstrating how various artists have grappled with the vast scale of the Canadian landscape. Featuring diverse art from 1932 to 1994, the works highlight the ways in which landscapes have changed over the last century, from a perceived empty landscape to a recognition of a convenient omission of earlier inhabitants. There will be an opening reception on July 8, 2–4 p.m. Check out the Richmond Art Gallery for more information.
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Sunday Afternoon Salsa
Sundays between July 9–August 13, 3–9:30 p.m.
Robson Square, Vancouver
Now in its 11th year, Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square has been teaching dancers to spice up their dancing. Some of the city’s best instructors will be on hand to help beginners and experienced dancers learn how to salsa at the free half-hour lesson at 3 p.m. Afterwards, join others for casual, social dancing or watch dance performers perform a variety of dance styles. At 7 p.m. there will be an after-dance party, allowing dancers to wind down and enjoy a slower kizomba music and dance. Check out their website for more information.