26 things to do in Vancouver this B.C. Day long weekend

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Image: Yonathan Wezeli Photography

Here are some of the top events to check out in Vancouver between July 31 and August 3, the B.C. Day long weekend. For a complete list of events, check out our Vancouver Events Calendar.

Harmony Arts Festival

  • What: The 10-day festival attracts over 130,000 people. You can expect 70 free concerts this year from some of Canada’s most memorable artists.
  • Where: John Lawson Park, West Vancouver
  • When: Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 9

Davie Street Block Party

  • What: A great way to start off this year’s Pride Weekend; a number of Djs will have you dancing all night, in addition to carnival games, food and booths with giveaways.
  • Where: Davie Street from Burrard to Jervis streets
  • When: Friday, July 31; 6 p.m. to midnight

Ballroom dancing lessons at Robson Square

  • What: DanceSportBC’s Robson Square sub-committee will be hosting 10 nights of free dancing, lessons and performances beginning in June.
  • Where: Robson Square Ice Rink – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Friday of the summer, beginning June 26; 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.

International Summer Night Market

  • What: Each weekend over 20,000 visitors hit up this massive summertime night market in Richmond and experience the diverse array of booths, food and drink vendors, kids’ play area, and live entertainment.
  • Where: 12631 Vulcan Way (behind Home Depot on Sweden Way), Richmond
  • When: Friday, May 8 to September 27; Fridays and Saturdays 6 to 11 p.m. and Sundays 6 to 10 p.m.

Richmond Night Market

  • What: Drawing crowds from all over Metro Vancouver, the Richmond Night Market is located within easy access of the Canada Line’s Bridgeport Station. Roam the aisles to find games, food, and all sorts of wares for sale. Late nighters take note, this is the only local night market open until midnight (Fridays and Saturdays).
  • Where: 8351 River Rd. (nearby Bridgeport Station)
  • When: May 15 to October 12, 2015; Fridays and Saturdays 7 p.m. to Midnight, Sundays and holiday Mondays 7 to 11 p.m.

Shipyards Night Market

  • What: The Shipyards Night market features food trucks, live music, numerous vendors and a beer garden.
  • Where: Shipbuilders’ Square – 138 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver
  • When: May 1 to September 25; Fridays, 5 to 10 p.m.

Surrey Night Market

  • What: Surrey Night Market is an open air event for local residents to sell and consume a variety of local foods, services and goods.
  • Where: Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds – 17726-62 Ave., Surrey
  • When: Friday, May 29 to Sunday, September 20; Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 6 to 11 p.m

Vancouver Street Dance Festival

  • What: The free dance event takes place at Robson Square (our city’s apparent dance mecca), where people get together for workshops, dance battles and live music performances.
  • Where: Robson Square Ice Rink – 800 Robson St., Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 1

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market

  • What: This is the farmers’ market that started up in 1995 and became the cornerstone of the Vancouver Farmers’ Market collective of markets.
  • Where: Lakewood Drive and 13th Avenue, East Vancouver
  • When: Saturdays; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; May 9 to October 24

West End Farmers’ Market

  • What: The West End’s relaxed Saturday market is a great meeting spot for locals. Grab a cup of coffee, peek at the adjacent community gardens, and take a stroll with your purchases at Nelson Park.
  • Where: Comox Street (between Bute and Thurlow), Vancouver
  • When: Saturdays, May 30 to October 24; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kerrisdale Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Kerrisdale Farmers’ Market lines East Boulevard every Saturday, bringing out the locals in one of Vancouver’s oldest communities. Stroll, shop, and eat at this vibrant weekend gathering.
  • Where: East Boulevard (between 37th and 41st Avenues), Vancouver
  • When: Saturdays, June 10 to October 13; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

River District Farmers’ Market

  • What: This market offers a unique riverfront gathering place in a burgeoning local community. Shop from vendors and artisans, and soak up some local colour.
  • Where: Kerr Street Plaza, 8683 Kerr Street
  • When: Saturdays, May 30 to October 10; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Powell Street Festival

  • What: This yearly festival is a celebrating of all things Japanese-Canadian. According to their website, their annual programming includes “collaborative and/or intercultural explorations between Japanese Canadian and Asian Canadian artists”. Events usually include performances, art and food booths.
  • Where: Various locations  
  • When: Saturday, August 1 to Sunday, August 2; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m

Cates Park Concert Series

  • What: Visit Cates Park in North Vancouver and spend a beautiful summer day enjoying some of the finest entertainers North Van has to offer. Featuring performances from local bands and headliners, the free concert series will run Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m. until August 29.
  • Where: Cates Park – 4141 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver
  • When: Saturdays in August; 2 to 5 p.m.

SHOREFEST

  • What: More than 20 free concerts will take place at English Bay and Sunset Beach Park in conjunction with the city’s 25th annual Honda Celebration of Light.
  • Where: English Bay and Sunset Beach, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 25, Wednesday, July 29 and Saturday, August 1; 2 p.m.

Taylor Swift

  • What: Queen Taylor Swift brings the celebrated 1989 Tour to Vancouver for one night only at BC Place. Openers include Vance Joy and Shawn Mendes.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 1; 7 p.m.

Honda Celebration of Light (final night)

  • What: Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flood English Bay to watch different countries compete using fire in the sky. Competitors this year are China, Brazil and, of course, Canada.
  • Where: English Bay – corner of Denman St. and Davie St., Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 25, Wednesday, July 29 and Saturday, August 1; 10 p.m.

Plaza of Nations Saturday Night Market

  • What: The Plaza of Nations transformed into an outdoor marketplace, complete with food trucks, craft beer, and local bands
  • Where: Plaza of Nations – 750 Pacific Boulevard
  • When: Every Saturday, June 20 to September 12, 2015; 5 to 10 p.m.

Food Cart Fest

  • What: Over 20 of Vancouver’s most popular food carts will gather in one spot every Sunday this summer for the return of the Food Cart Fest in Olympic Village.
  • Where: 215 West 1st Avenue, Olympic Village, Vancouver
  • When: Sundays, starting June 28, 2015 from noon to 5 p.m.

Kitsilano Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Kits market takes place Sundays in the parking lot of the Community Centre, and has a Bike Valet for shoppers on two wheels, and lots nearby for families to do.
  • Where: West 10th Ave (between Larch and Balsam), Vancouver
  • When: Sundays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; May 10 to October 25

Mt Pleasant Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market is one of the newer kids on the Vancouver Farmers’ Market’s block, but it has quickly become a focal point of the community, bringing familiar vendors and neighbourhood faces together Sundays.
  • Where: 2300 Guelph Street, Mount Pleasant, Vancouver
  • When: Sundays, June 14 to October 11; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m

Vancouver Pride Parade

  • What: The Gay Pride Parade Vancouver 2015 kicks off with all the rainbows, glitter, bubbles and flamboyant party atmosphere that you can expect from this massive celebration. Embrace community diversity, creativity and unity once again as the Pride Parade celebrates its existence for 37 years.
  • Where: Parade begins at noon at the intersection of Robson and Thurlow. It runs along Robson Street, Denman Street and Beach Avenue in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood.
  • When: Sunday, August 2; noon to 3 p.m.

Free Yoga at Dude Chilling Park

  • What: Yoga instructor Solomon Montijo, along with ten other teachers, hosts free classes daily at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Dude Chilling Park.
  • Where: Dude Chilling Park – 2390 Brunswick St., Vancouver
  • When: Daily; 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Free salsa dancing at Robson Square

  • What: Free lessons begin earlier on in the day taught by professional salsa dancers, which are followed by a dance show at 5 p.m. filled with some of Vancouver’s best performers.
  • Where: Robson Square Ice Rink – 800 Robson St., Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday from July 5 to August 30, 3:30 to 7 p.m.

Vancouver Longtable Dinner

  • What: This communal dining experience will take place outside in striking natural settings and award-winning Executive Chef James Walt will prepare exclusive four-course menus of his signature farm-to-table dishes. Wine pairings will be selected by 2013 Sommelier of the Year Samantha Rahn, and service organized by Restaurant Director Neil Henderson.
  • Where: Bard on the Beach in Vanier Park
  • When: Monday, August 3; 4 p.m.

Free Yoga at Kits Beach

  • What: Free yoga classes held at Kits Beach Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Kits Beach, between the swimming pool and tennis courts – Cornwall Ave. and Yew St., Vancouver
  • When: Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night until August 31, 2015; 7 to 8 p.m.

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
@jillslattery

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