The summer solstice is on June 21, marking the official start of summer! There are plenty of events going on around the city, both indoors and outdoors, for you to check out and enjoy. From festivals and pop-up markets to art exhibitions and theatrical plays, there is something for everyone. Plus, Father’s Day is on June 17, so why not take your dad out to some of these places too?
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Coast Capital Playhouse, White Rock
The 73rd season of the White Rock Players’ Club will close this June with an adaptation of Hungarian playwright Melchior Lengyel’s play Ninotchka, playing at the Coast Capital Playhouse in White Rock. The Soviets are set on recovering the Romanovs’ lost treasures. When a charming French art collector proves to be more obstinate than they expected, the government sends out their best agent, Ninotchka. A summer romance set in Paris and featuring Soviet spies, royal treasures and joie de vivre, Lengyel’s play delivers a sharp and timely critique of Cold War-era politics. For tickets and more information, visit the Players’ website.
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Festival d’été francophone de Vancouver
Various venues around Vancouver
Every June since 1990, Le Centre culturel francophone de Vancouver organizes the Vancouver Francophone Summer Festival, one of the most important cultural and musical francophone events in Western Canada. Discover more than a week of concerts under the banner of international francophone music. In a lively atmosphere, thousands of people come together to hear artists from across Canada and around the world. The festival audience is not limited to the francophone and francophile community, but includes the population of Vancouver at large as well as tourists who are interested in taking in a cultural experience that is unique on the West Coast! For a complete listing of events and performances, please visit the festival website.
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Jeff Ladouceur: Pearl Path
June 15–Aug. 19
Burnaby Art Gallery
The Burnaby Art Gallery will be featuring the works of Victoria artist Jeff Ladouceur, a prominent figure within Canada’s tradition of contemporary drawing. His world is populated by a slowly morphing cast of old-timey, comic-inspired characters: droopy elephants, big-nosed salesmen and bubble babies rendered with a dizzying level of detail. This is Ladouceur’s first solo exhibition with a Canadian art museum and will be the largest number of works shown in one institution to date. A book, which includes a written piece by renowned Canadian author Sheila Heti, coincides with this exhibition. There will be an opening reception on June 14 in the evening. Check out the gallery’s website for more information.
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BC Highland Games and Scottish Festival
Percy Perry Stadium, Coquitlam
Celebrate Scotland, the northernmost constituent country of the United Kingdom, at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam on June 16. 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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Car Free Day
June 16–17, July 8
West End, Main Street and Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Take transit, bike or walk to the Car Free Day festivals happening throughout Vancouver on the June 16 weekend. Harkening back to a time where streets were primarily used by pedestrians, 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
Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, Vancouver
The Queer Arts Festival returns to the Roundhouse to celebrate its 10th anniversary 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 histories: celebrating lives in actions unnoticed, voices unheard, lost stories of self and races won in forgotten Herstories/Ourstories. Check out the festival’s website for a complete list of shows and performances.
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National Indigenous Day at Trout Lake
June 21, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Trout Lake, Vancouver
The First Nations, Métis and Inuit people will gather at Trout Lake to share their spirit, experiences, stories, songs, art and dance with each other and the community – with a day full of entertainment, activities and fun planned for the whole family. There will be an all-day food truck village, a traditional Pow Wow, canoe tours of Trout Lake, a fun family photo booth, a friendship walk and arts and crafts vendors. For information about this event, please visit their website.
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Scandinavian Midsummer Festival
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 22, 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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Point Grey Fiesta
Trimble Park, Vancouver
The Point Grey Fiesta is the community’s annual start-of-summer event for families and friends. Starting with a Saturday parade on West 10th Avenue, the Saturday celebration continues in Trimble Park with stage performances, activities and exhibitors. Carnival rides in Trimble Park operate from Friday to Sunday. With the exception of the carnival rides and midway games, Fiesta entertainment and children’s activities are free of charge. For more information, please visit the fiesta’s website.
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Greek Day on Broadway
June 24, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Broadway between Macdonald and Blenheim, Vancouver
Greek Day on Broadway is the largest one-day Greek festival in Vancouver, which aims to share the rich Greek culture that spans 2500 years of history, including over 100 years of social and cultural contributions to the City of Vancouver. A five block stretch on Broadway is closed off to traffic to make room for a world of delicious Greek food and drink, market vendors, entertainment and live music offering a laid back, yet lively Greek atmosphere.