Ultimate guide to 75 Metro Vancouver Summer Festivals

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summer-festivals

This summer in Metro Vancouver, music festivals, night markets and more are the perfect way to let loose in the heat. Here is a collective list of all the events happening over the summer months to inspire you to step out of the house and celebrate the beautiful Vancouver summer ahead.

Did we miss your favourite festival? Let us know in the comments below!

Cultural festivals

summer festivals 2015

Photo Credit: Roland Tanglao/Flickr

Italian Day

This daylong event spans the 13 blocks of Commercial Drive, celebrating Italian culture with a vibrant street festival teeming with food, music and more.

Date: June 14
Location: Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Website: italianday.ca

Festival d’ete

This annual festival is one of the largest francophone events in Western Canada, featuring an amazing lineup of music, food and francophone entertainment.

Date: June 18 to 25
Location: Vancouver
Website: lecentreculturel.com

Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

This annual festival celebrates the arrival of the Vikings to Canada over 1000 years ago and the longest day of the year. The festival displays Nordic Villages with shopping kiosks from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Festival will feature cultural displays, singing and dancing and a beer garden.

Date: June 19 to 21
Location: Burnaby
Website: scandinavianmidsummerfestival.com

Il Mercato Italian Market

Vancouver’s only Italian market, Il Mercato is proud to present a market of Italian vendors who sell anything from food to art once a month over the summer.

Date: June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18
Location: Italian Cultural Center, Vancouver
Website: italianculturalcentre.ca/events/mercato-italian-night-market

pasta

SEE ALSO: Il Mercato: Italian Night Market Vancouver 2015

Saint-Jean Baptiste Day

After lying dormant for a number of years, this celebration of French Canadian culture features live music, children’s entertainment, francophone cuisine and more.

Date: June 24
Location: Canada Place, Vancouver
Website: canadaplace.ca/Events/Saint-Jean_Baptiste_Day

Greek Day

This free event celebrates Greek culture and regularly attracts over 100,000 attendees. This award-winning event stretches along Broadway from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is open to all.

Date: June 28
Location: 3200 West Broadway, Vancouver (between McDonald and Blenheim)
Website: greekday.com

Canada Day at Canada Place

Deck yourself out in red and white, then head down to Canada Place for a full day of events, including the Canada Day Parade (7 p.m.) and finish the night off by watching the fireworks (10:30 p.m.).

Date: July 1
Location: Canada Place, Vancouver
Website: canadaday.canadaplace.ca

Canada Day on Granville Island 

With a great lineup of live entertainment and other events, Granville Island is a perfect place for the whole family to celebrate Canada Day.

Date: July 1
Location: Granville Island, Vancouver
Website: granvilleisland.com/canada-day

Surrey Canada Day

This is a free event at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre to celebrate Canada Day. Come on down for a day full of food, live entertainment and more.

Date: July 1
Location: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, Surrey
Website: surrey.ca/canadaday

Greek SummerFest

East Vancouver’s 11-day celebration includes Greek food, drinks, and cultural performances. Free admission.

Date: July 2 to 12
Location: 4641 Boundary Road, Vancouver
Website: vancouvergreeksummerfest.com

Indian Summer Festival

A mix of performances and events, the Indian Summer Arts Society invites the public to immerse themselves in Indian culture with a mix of music, yoga and cusine and much more.

Date: July 9 to 19
Location: Vancouver
Website: indiansummerfest.ca

Carnaval del Sol

Celebrating “seven years of fiesta,” this festival celebrates Latin culture by hosting a mix of events from free salsa dancing lessons to a street soccer game. All events are under the sun and completely free.

Date: July 11 and 12
Location: Concord Pacific Place, Vancouver
Website: carnavaldelsol.ca

Bastille Day Festival

The first-ever Bastille Day is a free, public festival bringing a piece of Paris to Vancouver. For one unique afternoon, the Public Market Courtyard will turn blue, white and red and transform into a typical quartier français – French neighborhood.

Date: July 14
Location: Granville Island, Vancouver
Website: bastilledayfestival.ca

Aldergrove Fair Days

With a small town feel, Aldergrove Fair Days has a great lineup of concerts, live entertainment, food and more, traditional of a county fair.

Date: July 17 to 19
Location: Aldergrove
Website: aldergrovefair.ca

Surrey Fusion Festival

The ultimate celebration of music, food and culture, right in the heart of Surrey.

Date: July 18 to 19
Location: Surrey
Website: surrey.ca/fusionfestival

Caribbean Days

A weekend of tropical rhythms, cuisine, carnival and culture as only the Caribbean can offer. The massive outdoor party is accessible by a quick SeaBus ride.

Date: July 25 to 26
Location: Waterfront Park, Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver
Website: www.caribbeandays.ca

Vancouver Chinatown Festival

A celebration of Chinese culture, this street festival is hosted in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, stretching along Columbia and Keefer and attracting more than 50,000 patrons each year.

Date: August 8 and 9 (estimated)
Location: Chinatown, Vancouver
Website: www.vancouver-chinatown.com

Langley’s International Festival

This festival celebrates diversity in the community of Langley with a great mix of live entertainment, food and more.

Date: August 22 and 23
Location: Langley
Website: internationalfestival.ca

Taiwanese Cultural Festival

This is a festival of multi-disciplinary entertainment that celebrates Taiwanese culture in Canada.

Date: September 5 to 7
Location: Vancouver
Website: taiwanfest.ca

Coho Festival

This annual festival hosted in Ambleside Park, West Vancouver, celebrates the return of the Coho Salmon to the rivers of the North Shore. This event features a 14K Coho Run, live entertainment and the Coho Salmon BBQ.

Date: September 13
Location: Ambleside Park, West Vancouver
Website: cohosociety.com/coho-festival

Culture Days

A series of events hosted all over Metro Vancouver that celebrates British Columbia’s cultural diversity.

Date: September 25 to 27
Location: Metro Vancouver (all over B.C.)
Website: bc.culturedays.ca

 

Food

Food Cart Festival

Join every Sunday at the Olympic Village for food, fun and sun complemented by community markets, live music, DJs, craft food vendors, kids activities, ping pong, urban gardening and more.

Date: Every Sunday, starting June 28
Location: Olympic Village, Vancouver
Website: foodcartfest.com

Food Cart Sunset Beach Party

In association with the Food Cart Festival, this beach party is held in Olympic Village featuring a night of music and great food from the best food carts in Metro Vancouver.

Date: TBA
Location: Olympic Village, Vancouver
Website: foodcartfest.com

Brewery and the Beast

Vancouver’s annual ‘festival of meat’ hosts some of the best chefs from Vancouver and Whistler restaurants. They’ll be preparing delicious dishes featuring meat, both modern and classically cooked.

Date: July 26
Location: Concord Pacific Lot, Vancouver
Website: breweryandthebeast.com

Photo courtesy Brewery & the Beast

SEE ALSO: Brewery & the Beast back for 2015, tickets on sale May 1

 

Arts

summer festivals 2015

Photo Credit: Asher Isbrucker/Flickr

Vancouver Shakespeare Festival (Bard on the Beach)

Presented on the beautiful waterfront of Vanier Park, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit Shakespeare festivals, in its 26th year. This year’s shows are King Lear, The Comedy of Errors, Love Labour’s Lost and Shakespeare’s Rebel.

Date: June 4 to September 26
Location: Vanier Park, Vancouver
Website: bardonthebeach.org

Viva Vancouver – Robson Redux

This annual design event invites artists to transform a block of Robson street with an art installation. This year’s winner is ‘Porch Parade,’ designed by Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer, that will change the 800 block of Robson into a series of porches that might seem abstract at first but once filled with people, will become familiar to viewers as a sight that reminds them of the liveliness of Downtown Vancouver.

Date: Begins July 1
Location: Robson Street, Vancouver
Website: vivadesigncomp.ca

Vancouver Draw Down

This is the 6th annual ‘Vancouver Draw Down’ which celebrates the art of drawing by hosting events all over Vancouver to encourage people to people to pick up a pencil and draw.

Date: June 20
Location: All over Vancouver
Website: vancouverdrawdown.com

Summer Solstice

On the longest day of the year, different arts & music performances on display at Emery Barnes Park in support of Vancouver’s vulnerable and disadvantaged inner-city populations. All events free.

Date: June 20 – 21
Location: Emery Barnes Park, Vancouver
Website: gatheringfestival.wordpress.com

Robson Square Summer Dance Series

Every Friday night this summer come down to Robson Square for a night of square-dancing fun. Start of with a free beginner dance lesson and dance the night away.

Date: June 26 to August 28
Location: Robson Square, Vancouver
Website: dancesportbc.com/about/robsonsquare

Dancing on the Edge

This festival gives local dance companies the chance to showcase their works for the public. This series also features choreographers and dancers from across Canada.

Date: July 2 to 11
Location: All over Vancouver
Website: dancingontheedge.org

Sunday Afternoon Salsa

Salsa Dancing returns to Robson Square for the Summer 2015 season, every Sunday in July and August starting July 5.

Date: Starts July 5
Location: Vancouver, Robson Sqaure
Website: sundayafternoonsalsa.com

Outdoor movies in Stanley Park

Presented by Evo and FreshAirCinema, come down to Stanley Park every Tuesday night this summer starting July 7 for a free outdoor movie. Stay tuned for the announcement of movies on June 16 here on Vancity Buzz.

Date: Every Tuesday night, July 7 to August 25
Location: Stanley Park

Theatre Under the Stars

In the heart of Stanley Park, come to see both amateur and professional actors present Oliver and Hairspray on alternating nights, right under the stars.

Date: July 10 to August 22
Location: Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park, Vancouver
Website: tuts.ca

Queer Arts Festival

Viewed as one of the top five queer arts and culture festivals worldwide, the Queer Arts Festival (QAF) is an annual artist-run professional multi-disciplinary arts festival at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver.

Date: July 23 to August 7
Location: Vancouver, Roundhouse Theatre
Website: queerartsfestival.com

Harmony Arts Festival

This West Vancouver festival features great music, family fun, showcases visual arts and delicious food.

Date: July 31 to August 9
Location: West Vancouver
Website: harmonyarts.ca

Vancouver Street Dance Festival

The Vancouver Street Dance Festival (VSDF) represents our vision of the ideal Vancouver summer – a great day at a free festival that caters to all stripes of dance and music lovers in the city. 

Date: August 1
Location: Robson Square, Vancouver
Website: www.vanstreetdancefest.com

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

For 27 years, this festival has run in hopes to illuminate the transformative moments in the lives of queer people by showcasing queer films.

Date: August 13 to 23
Location: Various locations, Vancouver
Website: queerfilmfestival.ca

Arts Alive Festival 

With over 200 visual and performing artists, this festival has become a signature event in the Lower Mainland. This free, family event features live musical performances, artists and artisans showcasing a myriad of mediums, live demonstrations, a children’s venue and special performance surprises throughout the day.

Date: August 15
Location: Langley
Website: artsalivefestival.com

Anime Revolution

This annual convention celebrates everything Anime. With cosplay contests, a panel with your favourite artists and vendors selling Anime memorabilia, this is the place for any Anime fan.

Date: August 14 to 16
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver
Website: animerevolution.ca

Vancouver Fringe Festival 

This annual festival showcases a plethora of artistic work encompassing disciplines like theatre, dance and comedy. It is hosted on and around Granville island.

Date: September 10 to 20
Location: Granville Island and other locations, Vancouver
Website: www.vancouverfringe.com

 

Street festivals

summer festivals 2015

Photo Credit: Guilhem Vellut/Flickr

Eastside Block Party

Every Sunday at the Waldorf, come for live entertainment, food trucks and more on the patio and in the parking lot. This is a 19+ event.

Date: Every Sunday, Ends August 30
Location: The Waldorf, Vancouver
Website: eastsidebp.com

Image: The Waldorf Hotel

SEE ALSO: Eastside Block Party every Sunday until end of summer

Car Free Days 

This event is proudly free of charge and is a day-long street party with artisan booths, great food and live entertainment.

Date: June 20 and 21
Location: All over Metro Vancouver
Website: carfreevancouver.org

Velopalooza

Velopalooza is a community-run bike fun festival. There are over 50 rides and events to be found.

Date: June 12 to 28
Location: Metro Vancouver
Website: velopalooza.ca

Khatsahlano Street Party

This event stretches along West 4th, featuring live music on eight stages, street performers and, new this year, a licensed beer garden.

Date: July 11
Location: West 4th, Vancouver
Website: khatsahlano.com

Powell Street Festival

Hosted by the Powell Street festival society, this event celebrates Japanese Canadian arts and culture since 1977. In its 39th year, the festival has an amazing lineup of music, food and more in the Powell Street Arena.

Date: July 31 to August 2
Location: Powell Street Arena, Vancouver
Website: powellstreetfestival.com

Vancouver Pride Festival

Every year this event celebrates diversity and the LGBTQ+ community with a beautiful parade and is one of the cities’ flagship events. Attracting crowds of more than 650,000, this event isn’t to be missed.

Date: August 2
Location: Sunset Beach, Vancouver
Website: vancouverpride.ca

 

Music

summer festivals 2015

Photo credit: Rosalee Yagihara/Flickr

Vancouver Jazz Festival

The largest music festival in Vancouver, it features over 300 concerts by 1800 musicians. Some events are free but most require tickets for the larger venues.

Date: June 20 to July 1
Location: Vancouver
Website: coastaljazz.ca

Plaza of Nations Saturday Concerts 

Starting this summer, Plaza of Nations will be transformed into a brand new concert series at the best venue in the city.

Date: Starts June 20, every Saturday
Location: Plaza of Nations, Vancouver
Website: northshoregreenmarkets.com

Make Music Vancouver 

A free live music event hosted in Gastown on Water street with local bands in hopes to bring people and music together.

Date: June 24
Location: Gastown, Vancouver
Website: makemusicvancouver.ca

makemusicvancouver_0149

SEE ALSO: Make Music Vancouver returns to Gastown next week

Ambleside Live Concert Series

A one-day festival takes over Ambleside Park in West Vancouver to host country music star Kenny Chesney with opening acts Jake Owen and Chase Rice. With food trucks and great music, this event isn’t to be missed.

Date: June 25
Location: Ambleside Park, West Vancouver
Website: amblesidelive.com

Image: Ambleside Park

SEE ALSO: All the country music and food at Ambleside Live 2015

Vancouver Busker Fest

Showcasing street performers from all around the world, this festival is hosted in Downtown Vancouver and features an array of entertainment by some of the most talented buskers doing what they do best.

Date: June 26 to 28
Location: Downtown Vancouver
Website: vancouverbuskerfest.com

Cates Park Concert Series

Bring a picnic and listen to original, local bands and artists.

Date: TBA
Location: Cates Park, North Vancouver
Website: www.musart.ca

Ryerson Summer Music Festival

An affordable music festival hosted by Ryerson United Church is held over three days in July with acts like Victoriana with organist John Mitchell, Cellissima the Cello Octet and Whirlwinds with the Vancouver Wind Quintet.

Date: July 3 to 5
Location: Ryerson United Church, Vancouver
Website: ryersonunited.ca

CBC Musical Nooners

Free live music concerts will be happening every weekday on the CBC Plaza on Hamilton Street (between West Georgia and Robson) from noon to 1 p.m.

Date: July 3 to 9
Location: CBC Plaza, Vancouver

Clean Up the Ocean Concert 

This year marks the first ‘Clean up the Ocean Concert’ set to be held in Stanley Park featuring bands, live DJs, food and more. Organized by the Upcycle the Gyres Society, this event will happen at Prospect Point.

Date: July 4
Location: Prospect Point, Stanley Park, Vancouver

East Van Summer Jam

East Van Summer Jam presents a day of concerts and live entertainment in Strathcona Park. This is a 19+ event with a beer garden, soccer games and BBQ.

Date: July 4
Location: Strathcona Park, East Vancouver
Website: timbreconcerts.com/event/east-van-summer-jam-2015

Waterfront Concert Series

The Waterfront Concert series showcases local musicians every Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer at the White Rock Pier.

Date: July 4 to August 8
Location: White Rock
Website: inwhiterock.com/event/concerts-at-the-white-rock-pier-2015

MusicFest Vancouver Island 

The annual music festival is hosted in Comox Valley’s fairgrounds, showcasing an array of music styles and artists.

Date: July 10 to 12
Location: Comox Fairgrounds, Vancouver Island
Website: islandmusicfest.com

Music on the Wharf

This summer music series held on Monday evenings celebrates historic Port Haney. Concerts are held bi-weekly at Port Haney Wharf.

Date: July 13, 27 and August 10, 24
Location: Port Hankey Wharf, Maple Ridge

Pemberton Music Festval

With headliners like Kendrick Lamar, The Black Keys and Tiesto, this weekend-long music festival is well worth the price of admission.

Date: July 16 to 19
Location: Pemberton
Website: pembertonmusicfestival.com

Vancouver Folk Festival

In its 38th year, Vancouver Folk Festival brings old favourites as well as provides the perfect atmosphere for an introduction to new music, all on the shores of Jericho Beach.

Date: July 17 to 19
Location: Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver
Website: thefestival.bc.ca

Early Music Summer Festival Series

A summery series of concerts for those with a taste in classical music (and those wanting to start) at the Roy Burnett Recital Hall at the University of British Columbia.

Date: July 26 to August 7
Location: Roy Burnett Recital Hall
Website: earlymusic.bc.ca/series/summer-festival

MusicFest Vancouver 

Each year for 10 days in August, Vancouver concert venues host Musicfest, a series of jazz, classical and world concerts.

Date: August 5 to 11
Location: Vancouver
Website: musicfestvancouver.ca

Squamish Valley Music Festival

Drake, Sam Smith, and Mumford and Sons headline this music festival set in the heart of the Squamish Valley.

Date: August 6 to 9
Location: Squamish
Website: squamishfestival.com

Burnaby Blues Festival

Held in Deer Lake Park, this daylong event features a multitude of bluesy concerts set in the outdoor theatre.

Date: August 8
Location: Deer Lake Park, Burnaby
Website: burnabybluesfestival.com

Summer Concert Series at the PNE 

This beloved fair is over 100 years old and hosts an amazing array of talent and live entertainment with a concert every night, free with admission.

Date: August 22 to September 7
Location: PNE Vancouver
Website: pne.ca

Mad Decent Block Party

A great way to wrap up your summer with a lineup featuring Dillon Francis, Grandtheft, Humans, Lunice, Major Lazer, Netsky and Part Favor. This is an all ages event with a 19+ VIP option for ticketing.

Date: September 6
Location: PNE Ampithetre, Vancouver
Website: maddecentblockparty.com

 

Fireworks

summer festivals 2015

Photo Credit: Thomas Quine/Flickr

Celebration of Light Fireworks Festival

Whether you’re sitting on the sand, out on the water or tucked away on a balcony, this gorgeous display of fireworks isn’t to be missed. This year’s competition features Team China, Team Brazil and Team Canada.

Date: July 25, 29 and August 1
Location: Vancouver
Website: hondacelebrationoflight.com

 

Hobby

summer festivals 2015

Photo Credit: Ruth Hartnup/Flickr

Dragon Boat Festival

This free event invites you down to the waters of False Creek to watch three days of Dragon Boat races and other non-stop entertainment like live music on the World Beat Stage, access to the Urban Tea lounge, shopping and more.

Date: June 19 to 21
Location:  False Creek, Vancouver
Website: dragonboatbc.ca

Abbotsford Air Show

Hosted in Abbotsford, this is the region’s biggest celebration of flight, complete with hundreds of airplanes and dozens of air displays.

Date: August 7 to 9
Location: Abbotsford
Website: abbotsfordairshow.com

Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival

Hosted on Granville Island, the Vancouver Wooden Boat festival is a series of cruises for wooden boat owners. As well, it gives the public the chance to visit booths and exhibits about wooden boats. The festival also has sponsored a Family Boatbuilding area where families work with groups to build their own Bevin’s Skiff onsite.

Date: August 27 to 30
Location: Granville Island, Vancouver
Website: vancouverwoodenboat.com

 

Night markets

International Summer Night Market 

Open every weekend (Fri-Sun) in the summer, the summer International Night Market prides itself with being one of the top night markets in the world. With free admission, free parking and entertainment as a bonus to the amazing vendors, this is a great way to have a night of fun all summer long!

Location: 12631 Vulcan Way, Richmond
Website: summernightmarket.com

Shipyards Night Market

With live music until 10 p.m, this weekly night market hosted at Shipbuilder’s square. With local artisans, live entertainment, great shopping, beer garden and more!

Date: Every Friday night, until Sept 25
Location: Wallace Shipyard, North Vancouver
Website: northshoregreenmarket.com

Richmond Night Market

The Richmond Night Market features over eighty food stalls and over two hundred vendors, and is well known for its amusement park rides and a zip line.

Date: Friday, Saturday, Sunday all summer long
Location: 3063-8700 McKim Way, Richmond
Website: richmondnightmarket.com

Surrey Night Market

The inaugural Surrey Night Market will be held at the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds as an multicultural event that celebrates community inclusion.

Date: May 20 to September 20 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Location: Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds, Surrey
Website: surreynightmarket.com

Image: Facebook/Richmond Night Market

SEE ALSO: Guide to Metro Vancouver Night Markets 2015

 

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About the author

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Cassady Ranford Cassady is a musical theatre actor who writes novels on the side. She is also a tea enthusiast. Cassady hopes to one day be a published author. Keep up with Cassady on Twitter @Cassadyshea or on her blog adventuresofanintrovert.com or her personal website cassadyranford.com
@Cassadyshea

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