Cultural Calendar

Shito Ryu Karate at the 2016 Festival.| Photo by Kristin Fuchihara, courtesy of Powell Street Festival.

The summer season is in full swing and I trust everyone has a great summer planned! There is a sampling of events to check out below; there are a lot of things to do this season. For me, I’m heading to Quebec City for some much needed rest and relaxation. Whatever you plan to do, make the most of it; create some amazing summer memories and I’ll see you in September!

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Music at the Cannery

July 12–Aug. 30, 6 p.m. (Friday evenings)

Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Richmond

Steveston’s summertime music series returns to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site on Friday evenings in July and August. Concerts will take place on the Cannery’s outdoor tank deck or inside the historic building in inclement weather. The show will go on, rain or shine! Ticket sales start at 5:30 p.m., and doors open at 6. Please check out the Cannery’s website for a complete list of performers.


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Sixth Annual Thai Festival: Glories of the Kingdom

July 13–14

Vancouver Art Gallery

Organized by the Royal Thai Consulate General, the annual cultural festival showcases Thailand’s rich and vibrant cultural heritage. The festival will feature delicious Thai cuisine, performing arts, and unique products and crafts, in a lively, outdoor venue in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The free event also features fashion, kickboxing, Thai massage and spa, cooking and fruit-carving demonstrations, plus plenty of prize draws.


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Vancouver Folk Music Festival

July 19–21

Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver

Now in its 42nd year, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival returns to the city to let festival-goers experience the music and culture of more than 60 international, national and local acts. Listen to diverse styles of music, from Korean jazz and Newfoundland folk to Appalachian bluegrass and African rhythms at this internationally renowned festival. Be sure to check out the artisan market and folk bazaar, enjoy the many food vendors set up around the beachfront and have fun at the Little Folk Village for children 12 years and younger. Check out their website for a complete list of performers.


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Fifth Annual African Descent Festival

July 20–21, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

1166 Main Street, Vancouver

The African Descent Festival is intended to celebrate the cultural diversity of people of African descent within Vancouver, while recognizing and promoting attitudes of oneness among all ethnic groups and communities. This cultural event will allow Canadians, specifically Vancouverites, to enjoy and learn about different cultures and countries from Africa, some of which have strong embedded grassroot initiatives and history within the city. For a complete list of performers at the festival, please check out their website or Facebook page.


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The Surrey Fusion Festival.| Photo courtesy of Surrey Fusion Festival.

12th Annual Surrey Fusion Festival

July 20–21, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

Holland Park, Surrey

The mingling of myriad world cultures returns to Surrey’s Holland Park for the 12th time. Featuring over 45 pavilions and exhibitions hosting cultures from five continents, there will be something for everyone to see, eat, and do. Check out the live performances, Kids World, Indigenous Village and The Re-Enactors at the festival. For more information, please visit the festival’s website.


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Oh Nightingale: Parviz Tanavoli

Love Nightingale by Parviz Tanavoli.| Photo courtesy of West Vancouver Art Gallery.

July 24–Oct. 5

West Vancouver Art Gallery

The West Vancouver Art Museum will present Oh Nightingale, an exhibition of work by the eminent Iranian-Canadian artist, Parviz Tanavoli. Born in 1937 and a resident of West Vancouver for over three decades, Tanavoli is among Canada’s most significant contemporary artists. This exhibition will feature work that spans his six-decade career, focusing on his wearable art and small sculptures, prints and paintings of birds, cages and locks. Tanavoli has returned repeatedly to these forms, allowing him to explore the themes of freedom, nothingness, poetry and history, while playing with his viewer’s awareness of traditional function and meaning. Just as he subverts the accepted meaning of a cage, he explores dualisms that manifest themselves as both significant and trivial, a poet contrasting the everyday with the remarkable.


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Squamish Constellation Festival

July 26–28

Hendrickson Field, Squamish

The Squamish Constellation Festival hopes to be a mind-blowing, heart-opening experience of music, art and community. Nestled at the top of Howe Sound against the stunning backdrop of The Squamish Chief and swathes of evergreens, you’ll find Hendrickson Field, the idyllic location for Squamish’s preeminent cultural celebration. Featuring two stages of continuous music and more than 40 acts of multiple genres over three days and nights, the weekend promises fun in the sun –
and, of course – under the stars. For more information, please check out the festival website.


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The Winter’s Tale

July 26–Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m. (except Sundays)

Performance Works Outdoor Stage, Granville Island, Vancouver

The Carousel Theatre will be hosting a fanciful fairytale performance for families of all ages, staged outdoors under a canopy of trees and the night sky, featuring outstanding local teen actors in a whimsical production by director Mike Stack. Bring your kids, your dogs and your imagination. King Leonates and King Polixenes are childhood friends but a tragic misunderstanding drives them a part and thrusts those they love into an incredible adventure: a story of sorrow and joy, regret and forgiveness and the timeless power of love. For tickets and more information, please check out the theatre’s website.


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Powell Street Festival

Aug. 3–4

Powell Street Area, Vancouver

Inaugurated in 1977, the Powell Street Festival is free to the public and is held throughout the Powell Street area within Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian neighbourhood. Influenced by typical Japanese summer festivals or matsuri, the festival features something for everyone, including dance, music, film and video, visual arts, martial arts demonstrations, amateur sumo tournament, children’s activities, participatory activities, walking tours of the historic neighbourhood, craft vendors, traditional displays, delicious Japanese food and much more. The festival also presents new works by new Japanese Canadian artists each year, representing the wealth of Japanese Canadian artistic creativity and stimulating the local professional arts community with outside talent and expertise.


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19th Annual Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival

Aug. 3–4

Albion Fairgrounds, Maple Ridge

2019 will be another exciting year for the Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival. Over 100 entertainers will showcase the music and culture of their islands. In addition to the music, there will be a wide variety of food vendors, offering authentic Caribbean food from Jerk chicken to curried goat, as well as over thirty street vendors displaying their goods at the Caribbean open air market. A large kid zone with rides, face painting and a number of other activities are planned for small festival goers. This great family event is free and has attracted up to 15,000 festival patrons last year. For more information, please check out the festival’s website.