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Events Vancouver

Light ‘Em Up: Honda Celebration of Light

By SHERI RADFORD

Fireworks erupt over the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Clayton Perry/Tourism Vancouver)

Fireworks erupt over the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Clayton Perry/Tourism Vancouver)

Get ready to ooh and aah as the Honda Celebration of Light illuminates city skies. This year, the United States (Jul. 26), France (Jul. 30) and Japan (Aug. 2) compete for worldwide bragging rights. Who will create the best fireworks display set to music? Find out when the winner is announced on Aug. 4.

Day at the Races: Deighton Cup

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Spectators donning floppy hats look on as horse races take place.

Spectators donning floppy hats look on as horse races take place.

Fancy frocks, dapper duds and mint juleps can mean only one thing: we’re off to the races. The Kentucky Derby–style Deighton Cup (Jul. 26) promises a day of high-stakes horse racing, fashion and cocktails. Dandies kick it off with The Big Smoke, for cigars, scotch and whisky tastings, while tipplers join the revelry at The Julep for the Mint Julep Craft Cocktail Competition. The rest don cufflinks and fascinators for a chance to win “Best Dressed,” take in the luxury car collection, and enjoy the action on the racecourse. Champing at the bit? We are, too.

Life’s a Beach

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Which way to the beach? With Vancouver’s wrap-around shoreline, a stretch of sand can be found in any direction

On a warm day, Kitsilano Beach is filled with sunbathers and people enjoying the waves. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Destination BC)

On a warm day, Kitsilano Beach is filled with sunbathers and people enjoying the waves.                                    (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Destination BC)

English Bay

This palm tree–lined sunbathing spot is popular with the downtown crowd, and for good reason: lively eateries vie for views along Beach Avenue and bustling Denman Street, and the seawall leads a constant stream of amblers, joggers and cyclists into nearby Stanley Park. Join the crowds for photo ops with public art, or just enjoy the views. (more…)

Sounds of Summer: Vancouver Folk Music Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Crowds gather at Jericho Beach for the annual music fest. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Tourism Vancouver)

Crowds gather at Jericho Beach for the annual music fest. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Tourism Vancouver)

July 18 to 20

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival may take place at Jericho Beach Park, but this is no ordinary day at the beach. Back for its 37th year, the much-loved fest brings a toe-tapping line-up of music to a seaside setting. Over 60 artists from 12 countries share their eclectic sounds, ranging from the folk songs of Joan Baez to the Afrobeats of Nigerian Seun Kuti and Egypt 80. It’s not only music, either: shop the artisans’ market, sample food-vendor fare, and keep wee ones occupied in the Little Folks area. It’s fun in the sun, guaranteed.

City of Douglas Coupland

By SHERI RADFORD

The local author, artist and visionary is taking over Vancouver, and there’s no sense fighting assimilation when it’s this much fun

Coupland contemplates items in his studio. He confesses to "straddling the line between collector and hoarder.

Coupland contemplates items in his studio. He confesses to “straddling the line between collector and hoarder”

Most folks know Douglas Coupland as an author. His first novel, 1991’s international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized the now-ubiquitous term “Generation X.” Since then he has published 13 more novels along with an eclectic assortment of non-fiction works, including City of Glass, a collection of essays about Vancouver; Souvenir of Canada, which covers experiences and objects unique to the True North Strong and Free, from Baffin Island to poutine to zed; and Terry, a pictorial biography of Terry Fox. (more…)

Weiner Takes All

By SHERI RADFORD

Owners meet their four-legged friends at the finish line. (Photo: Caroline Toth)

Owners meet their four-legged friends at the finish line. (Photo: Caroline Toth)

On Jul. 12 and 13, Hastings Racecourse is going to the dogs. At the annual Wiener Dog Races, a plethora of petite pooches vie for the title of top dog. How fast can dachshunds dash? Fast enough to work the crowd into a frenzy. Betting is encouraged; the toughest part is predicting which of the competitors will cross the finish line first—and which will get distracted and wander off the course. Win or lose, it’s doggone fun for all.

Pedal Power: Gastown Grand Prix

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Participants pedal their way through Gastown to the finish line.

Participants pedal their way through Gastown to the finish line

July 9

One day a year, the cobblestoned streets of Gastown transform into a thrilling racecourse for the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix. The challenging race attracts Olympic-calibre riders from around the world to a route that loops around landmarks such as the Gastown Steam Clock and the statue of Gassy Jack. The free and fast-paced excitement begins at 5:45 p.m., but arrive early to secure the perfect spectating spot.

Happy Canada Day!

By SHERI RADFORD

Annual Canada Day celebrations at Granville Island. (Photo: by Tim Matheson courtesy Granville Island)

Annual Canada Day celebrations at Granville Island. (Photo: Tim Matheson/Granville Island)

Grab a flag, don some red and white gear, and get ready to belt out the national anthem on our country’s 147th birthday.

On Jul. 1, free festivities—including parades, concerts and face painting—take over Canada Place, Granville Island, Burnaby and Whistler. The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival concludes its 29th fest with outdoor concerts on Granville Island. The Britannia Mine Museum has organized a LEGO scavenger hunt and an interactive storytelling experience to celebrate both Canada’s birthday and its own 110-year anniversary. (more…)

All That Jazz

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival had over half a million in attendance last year

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival had over half a million in attendance last year

To really tune into the rhythm of the city, take in the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival from June 20 to July 1. Now in its 29th year, the fest promises 300 performances that feature a lineup of musical luminaries such as Bobby McFerrin (Jun. 22), Jill Barber (Jun. 24), Hiromi: The Trio Project (Jun. 21) and the Charles Lloyd Quartet (Jun. 27). Plus, the festival jazzes up the opening weekend with free and family-friendly activities, including artisan markets, three music stages, a community fair and more in downtown’s Robson Square, Jun. 21 and 22. Guaranteed to have toes tapping, citywide.

26th Annual Dragon Boat Festival

By MICHAEL LEUNG

Participants race through the waters of False Creek for the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Tourism Vancouver)

Participants race through the waters of False Creek for the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival. (Photo: Dannielle Hayes/Tourism Vancouver)

The waters of False Creek are being overrun by dragons from Jun. 20 to 22 for the 26th annual Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival. The inaugural blessing ceremony on Friday evening kicks off two full days of exhilarating races, with plenty of family-friendly multicultural activities and entertainment throughout to celebrate the 2,000-year-old sport. Unleash your inner dragon!

Crooner Michael Bublé on Tour

By SHERI RADFORD

Vancouver-born crooner Michael Bublé kicks off his cross-country tour June 19 and 20

Vancouver-born singer Michael Bublé kicks off his cross-country tour June 19 and 20

Canada’s favourite crooner was born here in Vancouver, and he’s kicking off his cross-country tour at Rogers Arena on June 19 and 20. His newest album, To Be Loved, contains a song co-written by and performed with fellow Vancouverite Bryan Adams, as well as a mix of original tunes and hits made famous by the likes of Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, and Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Groovy, baby.

Cher’s Dressed to Kill Tour Hits Town

By SHERI RADFORD

Pop diva Cher gets ready to kick off her final tour, coming to Vancouver June 27

Pop diva Cher gets ready to kick off her final tour, coming to Vancouver June 27

Age hasn’t slowed Cher down a bit: at 68, the chart-topping singer has a new album to promote (Closer to the Truth) and a new North America tour underway. But since she insists the Dressed to Kill Tour really is her final one—simply ignore that pesky Living Proof: The Farewell Tour a decade ago—you’d better catch the pop diva Jun. 27 at Rogers Arena.