Surrey Fusion Festival
Featuring more than 70 acts on four stages, and 45 pavilions representing diverse world cultures, this free outdoor festival celebrates international cooperation and harmony. The highlight has to be Victoria-bred superstar Nelly Furtado, performing synth-rock and pop&B tunes from her comeback album Ride, which Billboard calls "the most slept-on release of 2017." But Classified, the Juno-winning rapper from Nova Scotia, should also elevate proceedings with his catchy, hooky beats. BC Alliance member City of Surrey Culture & Recreation produces BC's largest free multicultural event.
(Surrey: Holland Park, Jul. 22 - 23)
VSO School of Music Jazz Faculty Concert
Think you’ve mastered your jazz chops? Then blow away the pros at free jam sessions with VSO School of Music’s Jazz Faculty starting this fall. But first, you should hear how good the staff is: check out Frankie's Jazz Club, where these instructors, some of Vancouver’s most in-demand players, perform a free happy hour concert July 19.
(Vancouver: Jul. 19)
Canada 150: Canada Goes Pacific
Don’t be surprised if your market shopping gets interrupted by a posse of surreal puppets performing zany vaudeville this weekend. It’s just Big Nazo, one of 40 acts taking over Granville Island as part this free Canada 150 event. Curated by Vancouver Francophone Cultural Centre, the program highlights francophone artists with ties to Asia-Pacific regions. Other acts include tribal dance quartet Troupe Du Wetr, from New Caledonia, and Vancouver music groups Jou Tou and the 11-piece Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra.
(Vancouver: Jul. 21 - 23)
Canada 150+: Drum is Calling Festival
Major talents like Buffy St. Marie and Tanya Tagaq perform as part of free daily events built around themes like matriarchs, friendship and youth. Throat singer Tagaq performs on Matriarch Day, not Warrior Day, as might be expected given her fierce performance and attitude. Warrior Day headliners? Snotty Nose Rez Kids, the charged hip-hop duo from Northwest BC. Two 2017 Juno winners, folk artist William Prince and rocker George Leach are among other headliners. But the fest offers more than music, including theatre for young people, carving workshops, film screenings and the first Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week. For fans of thoughtful discussion, BC Alliance was involved in the planning of "While Having Soup": in the time it takes to consume a bowl of soup, participants engage in a “three-course” dialogue about the issues surrounding Canada 150+.
(Vancouver: Larwill Park and other locations, Jul. 22 - 30)
25 Ways to Heritage
Vancouver Heritage Foundation turns 25 on July 24. To celebrate, the organization has created 25 ways to appreciate the details and craftsmanship of Vancouver heritage. Number one on the list: mention “VHF 25 Ways" at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and enjoy two-for-one entry.
(Vancouver: until Jul. 30)
African Descent Festival
Feel irie at this free showcase of Afro-beat and reggae acts, including Princess Nkulee Dube (daughter of Lucky Dube, South Africa's top-selling reggae artist) and Vancouver artists Dawn Pemberton, Ndidi Cascade, Mad Riddim, Kara Kata Afrobeat Group, Mostly Marley and more. Co-produced by BC Alliance members City of Vancouver Cultural Services.
(Vancouver: Thornton Park, July 22 - 23)