New West Culture Crawl
Dubbed “the Brooklyn of Vancouver,” the trendy and more affordable New Westminster is home to a self-guided tour of 37 art-filled venues, including home studios, galleries, shared warehouses and more. Opening night at Anvil Centre features live music and a sneak peak of some of the art you’ll see on the Crawl.
(New Westminster: Aug. 12 - 13)
An apt exhibition for heat-stroked Abbotsford: a show all about hotness — although not just temperature-wise. The 22 works by members of the Fraser Valley Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists are all inspired by lust, fire and the colour red.
(Abbotsford: Kariton Art Gallery, opening reception Aug. 12; show runs to Sept. 12)
Richmond Maritime Festival
The free festival celebrating Steveston’s waterfront heritage has plenty of nautical-themed activities, like mini-boat building, paddle painting and exploring wooden ships at the dock. But culture here is diverse so you can also take in performances by Vancouver Chinese Choir, Bhangra Royal Academy and Eagle Song Dancers, in addition to a host of acts that play salty jigs, like Tiller’s Folly and Halifax Wharf Rats.
(Richmond: Aug. 12 - 13)
Vancouver Queer Film Festival
This year's striking festival poster illustrates a fist imposed on a heart and the message: "Your heart is the same size as your fist. Love. Resist." Something to keep in mind as you take in 35 films celebrating queer culture from around the world. Variety describes festival opener I Dream in Another Language, about the loss of an Indigenous language, as “entrancing” and “lovely” — so viewers should be properly blissed for the gala afterparty under the stars at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Fans of local film should check out the Aug. 18 double bill, featuring A Small Part of Me, about a transgender teen as he prepares for his acting debut, and Antoinette Rea, the documentary about the star of recent PuSh Festival hit Miss Understood. (Vancouver: Aug. 10 - 20)
Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival
Burnaby's best summer event fills a beautiful park with funky, jazzy and soulful blues music performed by top notch international acts. The horn player Trombone Shorty, known for his phenomenal circular breathing technique, and his energetic band of funksters, Orleans Avenue, headline the party. Priming the crowd before that are some of Canada's finest talents, including Matt Andersen, Leeroy Stagger and Little Miss Higgins. Here's a finger-snapper by the latter swingin' with her band The Winnipeg Five.
(Burnaby: Deer Lake Park, Aug. 12)
Kaleidoscope Arts Festival
The musical line-up for this community festival aims for wide appeal as it spans jazz, country-rock and punk by Jennifer Hayes, Matinee, Bif Naked and others. Expect pop punk vet Naked to road-test tunes from an upcoming new album. The event also features Métis dancers and circus performers.
(Coquitlam: Town Centre Park, Aug. 12)
Blackout: Night Sky Festival
Museum of Anthropology's newest event should be experienced under a clear night sky, not one that has been shrouded by smoke for weeks. Still, the event, inspired by the dark sky movement — a global campaign to reduce light pollution in order to increase the number of stars visible at night (as well as to cut down on energy use) — should glow with celestial vibes, courtesy of musicians, storytellers and artists performing nocturnal works, as MOA's totem-filled halls and special exhibition galleries remain open for exploring until midnight. The musical acts fall mainly within downtempo, ambient and tribal-beats realms and include the muted abstractions of You’re Me, the duo signed to lauded Vancouver electronica label 1080p. (Vancouver: Aug. 12)