Harmony Arts Festival
This year's new features focus on Indigenous culture. Calling it the first of many, the Indigenous Feast opens with a blessing on the food, which includes bannock with butter and syrup, salmon, halibut, clams, oolichans, bison berry ribs, and more, catered by Salmon 'n' Bannock, the Vancouver restaurant specializing in First Nations cuisine. In addition, the inaugural Indigenous art market lines Ambleside Landing for the duration of the fest. Check out dozens of other art, food, film, music and kids' program highlights of West Vancouver's favourite summer event here.
(West Vancouver: Aug. 3-12)
Vancouver Bach Festival
Early Music Vancouver’s festival’s largest ever line-up performs 15 concerts, ranging from solo keys (French harpsichordist Benjamin Alard putting his stamp on The Goldberg Variations), to duets for voice and guitar (Colin Balzer accompanied by Lucas Harris), to large orchestra (Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Swiss Baroque ensemble Gli Angeli Genève performing Bach’s mournful Trauer Ode). Previews of these concerts on EMV's website make one wonder, which 21st century music will endure like the music of the 18th century master J.S. Bach? At Christ Church Cathedral and the Chan Centre.
(Vancouver: Jul. 30-Aug. 10)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Carousel Theatre for Young People’s annual Teen Shakespeare Program stages outdoor productions on Granville Island amid a festival-style village, with activities for kids before the show and during intermission. The program's grads have gone on to grace some of Canada’s top stages including the Stratford Festival and Bard on the Beach. The Bard's tale of mischief and magic is one of his funniest.
(Vancouver: Jul. 27-Aug. 11)
The Rogue Folk Club throws a free afternoon party featuring four swinging bands—Sue Malcolm's Slow Pitch Jam, the Rocket Revellers, Viper Central and Van Django—along with a beer garden and food trucks, at Granville Island's newest public space Chain & Forge.
(Vancouver: July 29)
Fireworks at Bard on the Beach or the Vancouver Maritime Museum
Two BC Alliance member organizations make the most of their stellar views of the Celebration of Light fireworks. Bard on the Beach serves up a salmon barbecue catered by Emelle's, a choice of two plays, As You Like It or Timon of Athens, and a pipe band performance, followed by the spectacle of light. Next door at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, ABBA fans can boogie to ABRA Cadabra, indulge in a catered dinner, then take in the fireworks from the beachfront grounds.
(Vancouver: Aug. 4)
Powell Street Festival
Besides a smorgasbord of Japanese delectables and scores of taiko drum bands, Canada's largest festival of Japanese culture at Oppenheimer Park and surrounding venues also offers plenty of unique acts. The peppy, five-member Seishun Youth Academy is "the Canadian sister group" of Japanese idol pop band Seishun Gakuen; their videos and live shows mimic the original band's style and delivery in fun and surreal ways.
(Vancouver: Aug. 4-5)