Cultural Calendar

Many gather for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.| Photo courtesy of Jason Rowe, Flickr.

The sunny days are here once again! Get some travelling done, take a dive in a swimming hole and bask in the amazing sunshine with a variety of events and festivals happening around town. Have an awesome summer everyone, and I’ll see you all in September!


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Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives

Now until Sept. 2019

Museum of Vancouver

Nature Vancouver will be presenting Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, an exhibition on display at the Museum of Vancouver until September 2019. This exhibition delves into the life stories of local animals and plants – how they relate to each other and how they connect people to nature in the city. Scenic design, videos, taxidermy, crowd-sourcing technologies and the display of natural specimens breathe life into these tales of cohabitation. The immersive nature of the exhibition, including hands-on activities, encourages visitors to examine their relationship with nature, think about momentarily disconnecting from their devices and find equilibrium with the natural world around them.


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Vancouver Folk Music Festival

July 13–15

Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival returns to the city for the 41st time to let festival-goers experience the music and culture of more than 40 international, national and local acts. Listen to diverse styles of music, from Cajun tunes and soul jazz-funk to Cree/Irish trip-hop and Arabic musical ensembles, 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 Folks Village for children 12 years and younger. Check out their website for a complete list of performers.


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SFU Summer Festival

July 14, 1–8 p.m.

Convocation Mall, Burnaby

Returning for the fifth year, the Summer Festival is an annual event held in the Convocation Mall at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. The festival gives anime fans a chance to check out artist booths, food vendors, games and stage events all in the style of the “matsuri” summer festivals. There will be a cosplay contest, Yakata show, dance groups, melon smashing and more! For more information, please visit their website.


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Summer Sounds

July 20, 31, Aug. 7, 21, 5:30–9 p.m.

šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (formerly Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza), Vancouver

This four concert series will take place in the heart of Downtown Vancouver at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (formerly the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza) and will feature top music headliners, delicious food and the always popular patio bar. Headliners for the pop-up series will remain top secret leading up to the event so you’ll have to follow along on social media and listen to The Peak radio for clues before the official announcement two weeks prior to each show. For more information, please check out the website.


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Vancouver Thai Festival

July 21–22

Vancouver Art Gallery, North Plaza

Gear up for a weekend of food, fun and live entertainment at the fifth annual Thai Festival – Western Canada’s largest Thai event is taking place this July 21 and 22 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, North Plaza. The annual cultural festival showcases Thailand’s rich and vibrant cultural heritage through its tasty gastronomy, performing arts and crafts. The free family-friendly festival also features traditional and contemporary fashions, digital technology, Thai boxing, Thai massage and spa services plus plenty of prize draws. Please check out their website for more information.


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A Generous Spirit

July 25–Sept. 1

West Vancouver Museum

Thanks to generous patrons, artists and donors, the West Vancouver Museum houses over 300 works by local artists and their associates from across the country. The Museum’s Permanent Collection ensures that the community’s legacy of great art and design is preserved and celebrated. A Generous Spiritpresents a selection of these exceptional works, highlighting works by women artists in particular, such as Emily Carr and Jane Billaux. There will be an opening reception on July 24, and a talk and tour on August 18.


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Harmony Arts Festival

Aug. 3–12

1564 Argyle Avenue, West Vancouver

For 28 years, the Harmony Arts Festival has been one of the North Shore’s most popular cultural events. The free festival draws crowds from all over the city to celebrate a harmonious balance of visual, culinary and performing arts on the spectacular West Vancouver waterfront. The festival will feature world-class musical performances, inspiring art exhibitions and demonstrations, mouth-watering culinary events, Indigenous showcases, outdoor movies and more!


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Powell Street Festival

Aug. 4–5

Powell Street, Vancouver

This long running community celebration returns to Vancouver for the 42nd time to celebrate the art and culture of the Japanese Canadian people. This year’s extravaganza includes works from acclaimed visual artists Chiharu Mizukawa and Nao Uda, virtuoso percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and the Nakatani Gong Orchestra (a 14-person gong ensemble) and a presentation on Asian fetishism by writer and performance artist Sophia Akiko Stephens. For a complete schedule of events, please visit their website.


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Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival

Aug. 4–5

Albion Fairgrounds, Maple Ridge

This musical festival returns to the Albion Fairgrounds in Maple Ridge to showcase the music and culture of the islands of the Caribbean. This great free family event will have arts & crafts vendors, a kid zone and a variety of authentic Caribbean food as well as over 100 entertainers performing music spanning a variety of styles such as Reggae, Calypso, Salsa and Soca music and much more. For more information, please visit the festival’s website.


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Queer Film Festival

Aug. 9–19

Various cinemas and venues in Vancouver

Celebrating the best in independent queer cinema, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival returns to the city for the 30th time to proudly showcase films that illuminate the transformative moments in the lives of queer people – telling stories of the journeys we have taken to find ourselves, each other and our place in the world and creating social change through film, education and dialogue. More than just film, the festival also hosts performances, workshops, panel discussions, parties and more, creating a unique community space for eleven days each August. For showtimes and a list of films, please visit the festival website.


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New West Cultural Crawl

Aug. 10–12

Various locations in New Westminster

The New West Cultural Crawl is an annual arts and culture festival that celebrates and exhibits the vast creative talents across New Westminster. Artist studios and venues open their doors to welcome thousands of visitors from across Metro Vancouver. There will be a sneak peek opening night on Aug. 10 at the Anvil Centre, followed by two days of music, entertainment, food and, of course, plenty of art, around the Royal City. For a complete list of locations, please check out their website.