Cultural Calendar

Put on some shades, lace up some comfortable shoes and get out of the house! There are plenty of activities to see and do right here in town. Art galleries, music festivals, theatrical productions, film screenings and cultural celebrations are just a small sample of the many events and festivals happening in and around Vancouver. Make the most of this hot and fabulous summer! Make some amazing summer memories and see all of you in September!

Refreshing the Spirit (2014) by Etsu Essence Inoue.| Photo courtesy of Etsu Essence Inoue.

Refreshing the Spirit (2014) by Etsu Essence Inoue.| Photo courtesy of Etsu Essence Inoue.

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Eastern Echoes

July 1–Aug. 31

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver

Gold leaf gilding covers a number of techniques for applying fine gold powder to a solid surface, providing a thin coating of gold. Originating in Northern Africa, the technique spread to Europe and Asia, and has formed the basis of many artifacts, including sculpture and painting. Spanish gold-gilder Ana Diaz-Drew and Japanese painter Etsu Inoue’s exhibit at the Vancouver Chinese Garden showcases the Chinese method and interpretation of this ancient art form.


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Vancouver Folk Music Festival

July 15–17

Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver

Over 60 acts from over 18 countries on seven stages is how the Vancouver Folk Music Festival will celebrate their 39th year. Listen to diverse styles of music, from Afrobeat and Americana to Mongolian prairie and Senegalese soul at this internationally renowned festival. Be sure to check out the artisan market and folk bazaar and enjoy the many food vendors set up around the beachfront.


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Four Faces of the Moon

July 21–Aug. 20

grunt gallery, Vancouver

Pay a visit to the grunt gallery to check out Indigenous filmmaker Amanda Strong’s latest animated short, Four Faces of the Moon, a four-chapter story examining the Métis, Anishnaabe and Cree people’s history through the lens of her own personal family history. The short examines the themes of reclaiming language, nationhood and cultural practice with reference to the buffalo.

four-faces-1-1024x631.tif A screenshot from Four Faces of the Moon.| Photo courtesy of Amanda Strong .

A screenshot from Four Faces of the Moon.| Photo courtesy of Amanda Strong

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Surrey Fusion Festival

July 23–24

Holland Park, Surrey

The mingling of myriad world cultures returns to Surrey’s Holland Park for the ninth time. Featuring over 35 pavilions and exhibitions hosting cultures from five continents, there will be something for everyone to see, eat, and do. Check out live performances, Kids World, and Surrey pioneer re-enactors at the festival. Be sure to catch the music of Maxi Priest, one of the world’s most successful reggae fusion performers today.


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Kaleidoscope: Celebrating125 Years of Arts & Culture

July 23, 12 p.m.–10 p.m., July 24, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Town Centre Park, Coquitlam

Coquitlam turns 125 years. To celebrate, the city will host Kaleidoscope, a two-day music, storytelling and arts festival. Local visual and performance artists will perform spoken word, choral and pop-up theatre, for both adults and children. Artisan markets, food bazaars and street art will complement the park’s atmosphere. Be sure to check out the Story Project, a live performance featuring original stories from new and experienced Coquitlam storytellers.


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Much Ado About Nothing

July 29–Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.

Performance Works Outdoor Stage, Vancouver

Bard on the Beach is not the only Shakespeare production in the city. Why not give Carousel Theatre’s Teen Shakespeare Program a chance to dazzle and delight with their interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing, set in the 1970s. Teens ages 13–18 test out their acting chops and give us a glimpse at some of the emerging performers of tomorrow.


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Vancouver Bach Festival

Aug. 2–12

Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver

Early Music Vancouver will be putting on the works of the German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach on various days at Christ Church Cathedral in early August. Listen to Bach interpreted through musical forms such as jazz, chorale, cello, keyboarding and violin, in appreciation of this musical genius. The festival features Bach’s monumental Mass in B Minor, which plays at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on Aug. 5.


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Korean Cultural Heritage Festival: The Dynamics of Modern Korea

Aug. 6, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Swangard Stadium, Burnaby

For the 15th time, the Korean Cultural Heritage Society will put on a festival celebrating Korean cultural achievements, with food, performances and entertainment. There will be Taekwondo black belt demonstrations, K-pop competitions, art exhibitions, traditional festival games, and much more at this day-long celebration of all things Korean. Don’t forget to check out the food pavilion; both traditional and contemporary Korean foods will be served!


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Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Aug. 11–21

Various Venues in Vancouver

Since the 1980s, this film festival has showcased films illuminating the lives and lived experiences of queer people. Both the dramas and documentaries tells stories of queer and LGBT people’s struggles with loneliness, homophobia, bullying, adolescence and activism around the world. Catch the centerpiece gala film, Strike a Pose, showing at the Vancouver Playhouse at 6:30 p.m., featuring a Q&A with dancers Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Kevin Stea after the film.


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13th Annual New West Cultural Crawl

Aug. 13–14, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Various locations throughoutNew Westminster

Save the date for a visual arts celebration and self-guided tour celebrating New Westminster’s diversity and cultural character in five neighbourhoods. Artists will host artistic demonstrations showing their creative process throughout the city, such as a paint-out at Queens Park on Saturday, a live performance at the Plaskett Gallery on Sunday, and in their respective studios on both days. The celebration will open with a reception on Aug. 12 at the Anvil Centre Community Art Space at 5 p.m. For more information for locations, check out their website.


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Ratha Yatra

Aug. 20, 3 p.m.–8 p.m. (Yoga); Aug. 21, 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. (Parade & Festival)

Second Beach, Vancouver (Parade at Beach Ave. & Howe St.)

Feel the bliss at the 43rd annual Vancouver Ratha Yatra, a multicultural festival named in honour of the Hindu celebration of transporting deities on spoked-wheel chariots (called rathas in Sanskrit) on a journey (termed yatra, also in Sanskrit). There will be a yogic session led by some of Vancouver’s top yoga instructors on Saturday. The parade and festival will take place on Sunday, featuring the rathas, and culminating with live music, dance and theatre.


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Americas Masters Games

Aug. 26–Sept. 4

Various venues throughout Vancouver

Vancouver will host the first ever Americas Masters Games this August. Cheer for over 7,500 amateur athletes coming from around the world who will compete in 24 sports, from archery and badminton to tennis and volleyball. This nine-day event will host opening and closing ceremonies, social events and nightly medal ceremonies. There will also be live music, beer gardens and a health and wellness expo in the downtown core. Check their website for more details.