Summer is officially here! And with British Columbia in Step 2 of its COVID-19 restart plan, there are a plethora of fun things to do around Vancouver.
1. 35th Annual TD Vancouver Jazz Festival – June 25 to July 4
The annual Jazz Festival has become a staple for music fans in Vancouver. This year’s edition boasts more than 100 events, both virtual and in-person with small audiences. The year’s lineup includes both local artists and international stars streaming from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Amsterdam and Paris. Participants can also take part in free online workshops and club performances.
For more information, visit coastaljazz.ca.
2. Take a wild ride at Playland
Vancouver’s amusement park, Playland, is open again this summer attracting thrill-seekers from around the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley! Main attractions this summer include the AtmosFear, The Beast, Breakdance, Enterprise, Gladiator, Hell’s Gate and the famous Wooden Roller Coaster, which at more than 60 years old is Playland’s most historic and spectacular attraction.
The park is operating with several COVID-19 health and safety measures in place, including reduced capacity, enhanced cleaning procedures and sanitization, and masks are required while lining up and on rides.
Tickets must be purchased in advance.
3. Celebrate Pride with the Decentralized Pride Parade – Aug. 1
Usually, a big, crowded party, Vancouver’s Pride Parade is looking a little different this summer. But don’t let that damped your Pride!
Participants are invited to tune in online to see a digital broadcast of this year’s parade, celebrate and bring the community together.
The Decentralized Pride Parade runs from noon to 2 pm.
4. Get your art on with Paint in the Park Vancouver – July 13 and Aug. 10
Paint in the Park is a beginner-friendly painting workshop hosted by Art From the Heart.
The two-hour outdoor interactive workshop at John Hendry (Trout Lake) Park takes place rain or shine as an instructor guides participants through recreating a painting.
The event includes music, interactive installations and outdoor décor. No experience is necessary, and all materials are included.
Paint in the Park runs from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and costs $50. Register online.
5. Talking Stick Festival: Summer Sojourn – on until July 1
This showcase of Indigenous performing arts and Indigenous artists is marking its 20th anniversary this year. Summer Sojourn includes a lineup of online concerts, dance and theatrical performances, exhibitions and more, plus some unique and unexpected experiences.
Check it out now until July 1 at fullcircle.ca.
6. Indian Summer Festival 2021 – on until July 17 (except July 1)
The Indian Summer Festival is celebrating its 11th anniversary with a series of 10 curated online and hybrid events, including music, performing arts and literary discussions. There are two in-person events this year - a self-guided walking tour of Vancouver’s Punjab Market and Vox.infold, an immersive sound experience, at Lobe Studio, the only 4D sound studio of its kind in North America.
Visit indiansummerfest.ca for more information.
7. 2021 BIKEnnale/WALKennale – on all summer
The Community Arts Council of Vancouver presents BIKEnnale/WALKennale, a series of self-guided cycling and walking tours. For a one-time donation, participants are sent a new tour route every week until Oct. 11.
Donations will support Vancouver Biennale public art installations, exhibitions, artist residencies and educational programs. For more information or to register, visit vbbike.ca.
8. Go berry picking
Nothing says summer like a bowl of freshly picked berries enjoyed in the sun, and luckily there are many berry-picking options around the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.
Daily Hive Vancouver recently rounded up the top 12 places to go berry picking around Vancouver this summer.
Note: many of the farms across the Lower Mainland still have strict COVID-19 guidelines in place to protect employees and visitors. Make sure to check the website of each farm for its protocols before heading out.
9. Ride the Stanley Park Urban Forest Train
Take a trip through Stanley Park and learn a little something about the forest’s resident wildlife and the history of one of the largest urban parks in North America. The Stanley Park Railway, which runs a two-kilometre circuit through the park, has been running since 1947. Initially, it featured only a child-sized train. The current train, which can accommodate adults as well, has been running since 1964.
For more information and hours of operation, visit vancouver.ca.
10. Vancouver Mural Festival – Aug. 4 to 22
Since its inaugural event in 2016, the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) has become the city’s largest public art festival, creating more than 250 murals in 11 neighbourhoods. And this year’s event will see more than 60 new murals unveiled across the city.
While the murals can be enjoyed year-round, from Aug. 4 to 22, VMF will host daily mural tours, in-person and online public talks, and more than 40 live performances at an open-air, pop-up patio in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, where the festival started.
For more information, visit vanmuralfest.ca.
Please note: While British Columbia is in Step 2 of its COVID-19 restart plan, it is important to continue practicing COVID-19 health and safety measures, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing a mask in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.
Published on June 25, 2021.