Immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of Vancouver during the summer season, where the city comes alive with a dazzling array of festivals and events. From pulsating music festivals and live theatre to captivating cultural celebrations and street parties, these festivities capture the essence of the city’s diverse and dynamic spirit and there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Have an amazing Summer of 2023 everyone; see in late August!
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The Prom and Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical
July 6–Aug. 26
Audiences are invited to witness the magic that comes from taking risks, celebrating differences and, above all, accepting others for who they truly are in this summer’s endearing and exhilarating season of Theatre Under the Stars, which presents The Prom and Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, on stage now until Aug. 26, at Stanley Park’s scenic Malkin Bowl. These two sparkling musicals are full of whimsy and charm – both featuring a large cast of lovable and zany characters, eye popping set design and outstanding musical numbers. Please visit the theatre’s website for cast information, tickets and synopsis.
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Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Indulge in the rich tapestry of cultural diversity at the 46th annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Nestled in the picturesque Jericho Beach Park, this event showcases the talents of local and international folk artists, providing a harmonious blend of traditional melodies and contemporary sounds. Listen to diverse styles of music, from rockin’ blues to vocal treasures, from the heartbeat of powwow drums to global beats and from beloved Grateful Dead tunes and explosive Afro-Mexican rhythms to new traditions from Southern Italy and more – the evening main stage lineup at this year’s festival showcases some of the incredible diversity of world sounds you’ll hear everywhere in the park throughout the weekend. 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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Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square
July 16, 23, 30, Aug. 13, 20
Now in its 18th year, Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square has been teaching dancers to spice up their dancing. Some of the city’s best instructors will be on hand to help beginners and experienced dancers learn how to salsa at the free half-hour lesson at 3 p.m. Afterwards, join others for casual, social dancing or watch dance performers perform a variety of dance styles. For a complete list of dancing events, check out their website.
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Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival
July 27–Aug. 5
Inspired by Christine de Pizan (1364-ca.1430) – the revolutionary writer who questioned the centuries-old treatment of women and their prescribed place and role in society, this year’s Early Music Vancouver Festival theme WOMENinSIGHT, explores the impact and the role of women throughout history via a musical lens. Discovery is at the heart of the Festival – ranging from cloistered nuns to renowned singers, to acclaimed writers and composers writing for historical instruments past and present, audiences will bask in works shadowed by history and hear newly created ones. The festival opens with the world premiere of The Queen of Carthage – an operatic performance co-produced with re:Naissance Opera, including commissioned new works by female composers alongside those of Baroque masters.
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Film Noir 2023
Aug. 3–Sept. 4
This August, wrap yourself in the nocturnal embrace of The Cinematheque’s annual film noir season, their routine deep-dive into that deliriously dark and fertile period of hardboiled, high-body-count American cinema. This year features a 12-film rogues’ gallery of Tinseltown crime pictures spanning the length of the classic noir cycle – from its earliest archetype (1941’s The Maltese Falcon, boasting a brand-new restoration) to its final outpost (1959’s Odds Against Tomorrow). Before the opening-night screening of The Maltese Falcon, join the theatre for a courtyard shindig featuring vinyl jazz, tasty treats, Luppolo beer and your first shot at scoring their 2023 noir merch!
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Harmony Arts Festival
Presented by Odlum Brown, the Harmony Arts Festival will return on Aug. 4 to 13. The festival takes place in West Vancouver along the waterfront on Argyle Avenue, from 14th to 16th Street. Join them for live music and celebrate visual and culinary art in the community. For schedule information and a complete list of musical events, dining events and visual art exhibits, please visit the festival’s website.
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Vancouver Mural Festival
Vancouver Mural Festival is an annual outdoor celebration of public art designed to connect, reflect and celebrate our diverse communities through art and live events. Explore the creative side of Vancouver’s great outdoors and discover your new favourite murals, artists, performers, communities, neighbours and more! There will be many exhibits and events during the festival, including the Mount Pleasant Street Party, Bastid’s BBQ and Astro Alley. Check out the festival’s website for more information.
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Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival
For more than 23 years, the Caribbean Festival has drawn musicians from around the world to the tranquil and beautiful nature in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Full of music, mingling, good tunes and great times, this year’s concert lineup promises to make the festival another stellar event. Check out the festival’s website for more information.
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Powell Street Festival
Celebrate Japanese Canadian culture this B.C. Day long weekend with live music, Japanese festival food, martial arts demonstrations and more! The Powell Street Festival is one of the largest and the longest-running community arts festivals in Canada, located in Vancouver’s historic Japanese Canadian area, Paueru Gai – today known as the Downtown Eastside. The Powell Street Festival Society also offers year-round programs and collaborates with local organizations, artists and communities. Check out the festival’s website for more information.
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Ambleside Music Festival
Taking place on August 19 and 20, the Ambleside Music Festival will once again welcome music lovers to Ambleside Park for a summer party with a weekend packed with incredible food, engaging activations and live music from a mix of local talent and internationally celebrated artists, including rock n’ roll juggernaut headliners Weezer and Third Eye Blind. Concert-goers can also expect great local retailers, live music and impressive food & beverage options from local food trucks, craft beer, wine tastings and more, including community activations, focused on giving back to the West Vancouver neighbourhood that has embraced the festival over the years. For concert lineup information, please visit the music festival’s website.