April is an exciting time in Vancouver, with plenty of events and festivals taking place all around the city. With the Easter holiday just around the corner, there’s even more reason to get out and explore. From family-friendly egg hunts to amazing music and cultural celebrations, there’s something for everyone. With so many events and festivals happening in April, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in Vancouver. So, put on your walking shoes, grab your camera, and get ready to explore all the sights, sounds and flavors that this amazing city has to offer!
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Easter at the Cannery
Bring the family down to Richmond for the Georgia Cannery’s annual “Easter at the Cannery,” a fun-filled family friendly weekend featuring crafts, story time, games and of course, the annual Easter Salmon Scavenger Hunt, all happening inside the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. Throughout the day, they’ll have activities suitable for kids ages 2 to 6 years old, including the Easter Salmon “Egg” hunt! Please visit the Georgia Cannery’s website to RSVP and to learn more.
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Turkish-Canadian Society Turkish Choir Ensemble Earthquake Relief Concert
April 8, 7 p.m.
The Turkish-Canadian Society (TCS) will present the annual concert of the Turkish Choir Ensemble Vancouver, celebrating 100 years of the Turkish Republic. The concert will consist of Turkish Folk Music and Turkish Classical Music. The society has revised the program after the massive earthquake in Türkiye and Syria on Feb. 6 and a portion of the proceeds from this concert will be used to support the Turkish students here in B.C., whose families were directly affected by the earthquake. For tickets and more information, check out their Eventbrite page.
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Graveyards and Gardens
Graveyards and Gardens is an unforgettable performance installation conceived, created and performed by composer Caroline Shaw and choreographer Vanessa Goodman. A stage is filled with lights and cables, plants and turntables. Things begin with an array of sounds – some come from tape decks, some from a record player, some from old Edison wax recordings. This auditory wash slowly diminishes until only one part is left; the energy then shifts, and dance mixes with music until they become one. Discover a live performance that is entrancing, enveloping and ultimately liberating. Check out Music on Main’s website for more information.
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Hillel Kogan: We Love Arabs
April 13–15, 8 p.m.
We Love Arabs dives into the toughest of questions – how can we co-exist within conflict? Somewhere in Tel Aviv, a Jewish choreographer enlists an Arab dancer to help create a work that will carry a message of peace. But as the work progresses, power struggles ensue; bodies resist control. Skewering choreographic fads, unconscious bias and misplaced good intentions, the piece unfolds as a corrosively funny takedown of politics, ethnic stereotypes and contemporary dance itself. Hillel Kogan is one of Israel’s most successful choreographers, blending biting political and social commentary with a highly physical movement language, and this award-winning work has been a hit on stages all over the world.
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Tom Hsu – Isthmuses Exhibition
April 13–August 7
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden will be hosting an opening on April 13 for photographer Tom Hsu’s solo exhibition Isthmuses as it makes its debut at the Garden’s Hall of One Hundred Rivers Exhibition Space. Isthmuses is part of the Capture Photo Festival and runs from April 1 to August 7. Hsu presents images made from visits to their homeland in Taiwan. Photography also acts as a type of isthmus weaving together events and memory, exploring geographical, ideological, sociological, political and philosophical spaces. Hsu visits Taiwan seeking the familiar and unfamiliar; what was once home becomes memories that reactivate in the body as time passes. For more information, and to RSVP for the opening, check out the garden’s website.
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Sakura Days Japan Fair
The Sakura Days Japan Fair celebrates all things Japan, from Japanese food, performances, to arts and culture. Most activities will take place out of doors, with selected vendors, tea ceremony and experiences to take place indoors. Look forward to taiko drumming, theatre performances, woodworking demonstrations and a renewed Japanese Garden display, just to name a few! Immerse yourself in Japanese culture, food and art – participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, try some Japanese festival food, sample premium sake, learn new Japanese games and enjoy cultural performances. Discover a wide variety of vendors and exhibitors featuring local Japanese food, craft and businesses.
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April 15–May 7
With over forty years’ history of weaving diverse storytelling into the fabric of Greater Vancouver, Firehall Arts Centre is where stories come alive. Their last play, Our Ghosts by playwright Sally Stubbs, amazingly dealt with personal responses to loss and tragedy following the disappearance of the playwright’s own father. This upcoming play, White Noise by playwright Taran Kootenhayoo, is a comedy about two families who have dinner together for the first time during Truth and Reconciliation week and explores what it means to live in Canada from two different paradigms and asks us to consider: How do we deal with internalized racism? Do we keep pushing it away and pretend to live safely in our day-to-day? For tickets and more information about the Firehall plays, please check out their website.
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National Canadian Film Day
Launched in 2014, CanFilmDay has brought together hundreds of thousands of Canadians, to celebrate our stories and the incredible achievements of our filmmakers. Whether you host a screening or attend one, watch from the comfort of your home or join the party on social media, CanFilmDay is your day to feel connected to our cultures and shared values. This year’s programming spotlight will showcase one hundred titles: a broad and diverse cross-section of Canadian films, with ten enticing categories, each featuring ten delectable films. Hundreds of screening partners across the country will once again host free in-person events in communities big and small, with lots of broadcast and streaming options as well. For more information and a list of films, check out the film day website.
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Verses Festival of Words
Verses Festival of Words is at it again! The Vancouver Poetry House is bringing together a broad intersection of poetic artists, including spoken word and page poets, storytellers, singer-songwriters and improvisers, to celebrate the power of the spoken word. This year’s festival will focus on nurturing as a medicine, celebrating the power of the spoken word with the 2023 theme, Gathering Found Family Back Around The Table. Spoken word and page poets, storytellers, singer-songwriters and improvisers will be at the festival, including: Sheri-D Wilson, Louise B. Halfe, Randell Adjei, Anto Chan and more. Poets from across the country come to compete in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam and there will be three nights of poetry bouts to see who will be named the 2023 champion.
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Surrey Khalsa Day Vaisakhi Parade
April 22, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
The Surrey Khalsa Day Vaisakhi Parade will return to the streets of Surrey on Saturday, April 22 following three years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Every April, millions of Sikhs world-wide celebrate Vaisakhi Day, a day that marks the New Year. Considered one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar, parades celebrating the event are held in Sikh communities around the world. The largest Vaisakhi Parade in the world occurs in Surrey, where approximately 500,000 people attend the annual Surrey Khalsa Day Vaisakhi Parade. For event day information, check out the parade’s website.
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a small but comfy house and maybe a dog
April 22–June 11
The Richmond Art Gallery will be presenting an exhibit by artist Amy Ching-Yan Lam until June 11. The title of this exhibition comes from a text, “Me in the Future,” that Lam wrote at age 11 and put in a time capsule, speculating by the age of 25 she’d be married, have a career and “a small but comfy house and maybe a dog.” Starting from these childhood fantasies of domestic love and financial stability, Lam presents artworks that explore how these dreams function within the wider context of colonial history. With humour and acuity, she examines the relationships between property, family, institutional power and collections and theft.