Cultural Calendar

Maryam Jafri, Depression, 2017.| Photo courtesy of Maryam Jafri and Leveronica arte contemporanea, Modica.

The 2019 summer season has started, and it’s setting up to be a hot and sunny one! Although I’ve included a sampling of some of the activities happening around the city, there is a lot more you can do this summer. Attend the many festivals and events around Vancouver. Celebrate Canada Day at any of the cities and towns across the province! Enjoy nature by going hiking, swimming, camping or travelling! Really, the sky’s the limit!


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Golden Spike Days

June 28–July 1

Rocky Point Park, Port Moody

The Golden Spike Days Festival is one of the oldest and longest running family events in B.C. The festival is held at Rocky Point Park around Canada Day, attracting upwards of 40,000 people of all walks of life with live entertainment, special events and activities for all ages. The event commemorates the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway line and its arrival at the original western terminus in Port Moody, where the last spike was driven. This year promises to be a fun filled event with new and returning attractions.


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Vancouver International Guitar Festival

June 29–30

Creekside Community Recreation Centre, Vancouver

The third Vancouver International Guitar Festival will be held at the Creekside Community Recreation Centre on June 29 and 30. Join guitar builders, players, collectors and aficionados for two 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.


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Canada Day Long Weekend in Whistler

June 29–July 1

Whistler Village, Whistler

If it’s nice and sunny and you have free time on the long weekend, why not travel up to Whistler to celebrate Canada Day? Canada Day is a national holiday that lands on July 1 every year with street parties in towns across Canada. Whistler is no exception, with everyone turning out to celebrate with a parade along the Village Stroll, free concerts, crafts, street entertainment and more. Everyone is welcome!


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Dano-Korean Festival

June 30, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Trout Lake Community Centre, Vancouver

The fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar Korean calendar is Dano. The festival is also called Surit-nal, and it’s a holiday in Korea. Enjoy live performances, songs, dance and traditional food. There will be an art station for the kids too – fun for the whole family! The festival is free, but please pre-register your attendance at the Trout Lake website.


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Dancer Sujit Vaidya.| Photo by Paul Elliott.

Dancing on the Edge

July 4–13

Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver

Dancing on the Edge Festival is Canada’s longest running festival of contemporary dance and is an eagerly anticipated highlight of the Lower Mainland’s Dance Season. This year’s DOTE presents extraordinary dance productions from Canada, Brazil and Korea and takes place from July 4–13 at various venues including the Firehall Arts Centre. This year’s performances offer high calibre, challenging and gorgeous dance delivering innovative and spell-binding work featuring World Premieres, North American and Western Canadian debuts, and works-in-progress from some of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers.


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Indian Summer Festival

July 4–14

Various venues around Vancouver

Every year, the Indian Summer Festival works to an exciting and provocative theme. This year it is Tricksters, Magicians and Oracles. From Grammy award-winning classical guitarists to genre-bending DJs, razor sharp comedians and award-winning novelists, this year’s programming spans literary dialogues, debates, performance art, musical collaborations, interactive public art and culinary experiences. And the festival, as always, is a model for what the world could look like, if we came together with all the power of human diversity, innovation, creativity and wisdom.


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Summer Arts Festival

July 5–6

Deer Lake Park, Burnaby

The Summer Arts Festival is an outdoor festival celebrating summer. It’s a fun, engaging event with thrills, excitement and culture, showcasing local artists competing in a live art tournament, a variety of entertainment, artists & artisans and more! The festival kicks off Friday night at 6 p.m. and continues in an all-day event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be local performers and professional artists, and festival activities are surrounded by majestic trees in Deer Lake Park.


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Maryam Jafri: Automatic Negative Thought

July 5–Sept. 22

Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver

The Contemporary Art Gallery will present the first solo exhibition in Canada of work by Copenhagen and New York based artist Maryam Jafri. Extending across two gallery spaces, the exhibition will include three recent series of sculptural works alongside a new video work co-commissioned by CAG and Taxispalais Kunsthalle Tirol in Innsbruck, Austria. The exhibit takes as its central interrogation our contemporary culture’s fixation on wellness and self-care and suggests that these trends are entangled intimately with our age of economic dispossession and social fragmentation. In considering these conditions, Jafri examines the ways the body is increasingly experienced as a site of anxiety-fueled narcissism and self-surveillance that is politically and economically produced.


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Geektopia 2019

July 6, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Harbour Convention Centre, Vancouver

Welcome to the world of Geektopia, a brand new one-day event held this year on July 6 that specializes in all genres of entertainment and fandoms. Whether you’re interested in anime, fantasy, horror or science fiction; this is the place where you belong. A community that accepts all, practices tolerance and celebrates diversity. This newest comic convention will feature cosplay competitions, fandom game shows, comedic performers and more.


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Carnaval del Sol

July 6–7

Various locations around Vancouver

Latincouver promotes relationships and cultural exchange among Latin Americans and the Canadian mosaic. For the last 10 years, their program Carnaval del Sol has been the biggest Latin festival in the Pacific Northwest; recreating the atmosphere of a vibrant city plaza in Latin America. The arts showcased during this event include live musical bands (350 artists), Native Canadian and Latin American visual art, traditional folk dances from different countries, and arts & crafts displays.


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SIBOD: Music, Dance & Gesture of the Philippine Panay Bukidnon Tribe

July 8, 5:30–8:30 p.m.

Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Vancouver

On July 8, the Philippine Indigenous Peoples-focused group, Kathara Pilipino Indigenous Arts Collective Society, will be presenting the work of visiting artist-academic Maria Christine Muyco through an interactive multimedia lecture workshop called SIBOD: Music, Dance and Gestures of Panay Bukidnon Tribe. The event will highlight the Philippine Indigenous People’s culture from the Visayas region, one of the main island groupings in the Philippines. The context of their ideology, “sibod,” is a body of concepts that translates to sunu (structure/basis), hampang (play), santu (synchronization), salu (catch) and tayuyon (flow; mastery). These concepts underpin their binanog (hawk-eagle tradition), which is expressed during courtship rituals, farming, fishing harvest, and other lifecycle events.