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Vancouver's Celebration Season: July - September

It’s getting hot out here! Summer has arrived and our ocean-side city is ready with long days of sunbathing on the beach and with shady tree-lined paths and hideaways. Grab a bicycle and spend an entire day along the water, sampling boisterous patios of fresh international cuisine, icy cocktails, and chilled craft beer. Stop to sit on some driftwood with your feet in the ocean, or hit up a park – there’s bound to be a live show going on in at least one of them.


Vancouver's Celebration Season Sweepstakes

Enter by September 30 and you could win a Celebration Season jaunt in Vancouver, including a two-night stay at The Loden Boutique Hotel, passage for two on a Prince of Whales Ocean Magic Adventure and brunch for two at Tableau Bar & Bistro.
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Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival | June 3 – September 24

What do you say to watching a live production of Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet or Pericles in a custom-built tent on the beach while sipping wine, beer, and munching on a picnic lunch themed to the play? Yes! Right? After 27 years, this festival has hit a stride of near perfection (and don’t even get us started on the amazing costumes.) Learn more.
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The Seriousness of Play | April 20 – October 2

Haida Manga is a contemporary art form that offers a playful way of viewing and engaging with social issues as it seeks participation, dialogue, reflection and action. Influenced by both the tradition of Haida iconography and contemporary Asian visual culture, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas has created an artistic practice celebrated for its vitality and originality by an international audience engaged in issues of ethnicity, identity and relationships. Learn more.
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Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun: Unceeded Territories | May 10 – October 16

Vancouver artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, of Coast Salish and Okanagan descent, is showcased in this provocative exhibition of works that confront the colonialist suppression of First Nations peoples and the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights to lands, resources, and sovereignty. Learn more.
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Richmond Night Market | May 15 – October 12

Touted as the largest night market in North America since 2000, find all kinds of foods, trinkets, entertainment and more all weekend. Learn more.
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The Big Picture: An Improvised Movie | June 24 – August 27

This is a live, improvised-adventure featuring lightning-fast comedy that can hold its own with any on-the-edge-of-your-seat big screen thriller or frothy romcom. The actors on stage, and the audience in the seats, will together create a different ‘overnight smash hit’ each and every night of the show’s run. Learn more.
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Picasso and his Muses | June 11 – October 2

Known for his enormous contribution to the canon of great art in the 20th century, Pablo Ruiz y Picasso (1881—1973) is one of the masters of Modernism. This exhibit explores six women: Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque, who were all principal figures in Picasso’s personal life and strongly influenced the development of his career. Learn more.
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Rock of Ages | June 16 – July 30

Fans of ’80s music will dig this self-referential musical filled with classic rock and glam metal hits from bands such as Poison, Styx, Twisted Sister, and David Bowie. It’s 1987 and aspiring rocker Drew Boley works at a Hollywood’s Bourbon Room, where he meets and falls madly in love with Sherrie, a fresh-faced Midwesterner who is chasing movie star dreams. Learn more.
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Theatre Under the Stars | July 6 – August 20

Cozy up with the whole family and enjoy live theatre favourites in the natural setting of Stanley Park. This year's productions are Beauty and the Beast and West Side Story. Now in its 70th season, “TUTS” is a Vancouver tradition.
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Ensemble Theatre Company’s Repertory Festival | July 14 – August 20

This year will be productions of Betrayal, which shows a heartless take on the capacity for love; The Romans in Britain, which ties Julius Caesar's Roman invasion of Celtic Britain, the Saxon invasion of Romano-Celtic Britain, and Britain's involvement in Northern Ireland during the late 20th Century; and The Country Wife, a satire on marriage and infidelity. Learn more.
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Adele | July 20 – 21

Returning to North America for her first tour in five years. Learn more.
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The VSO plays Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone | July 21 – 23

Into Harry Potter? Would you like to re-play the entire movie in your head just by listening to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra perform every note from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? This one’s for you because that’s exactly what’s going on here. Learn more.
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Honda Celebration of Light | July 23, 27, 30

An annual musical fireworks competition held every summer in Vancouver since 1990. Three companies representing their country each perform a 25 minute fireworks display set to accompanying music. Cited as being the longest-running offshore fireworks competition in the world, this year the competitors are Netherlands, Australia, and USA. Learn more.
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Crystal Castles | July 23

Experimental, chaotic, noisy, crunchy, and electronic. Pairs well with strobe lights, black clothing, dancing and angst. Learn more.
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Caribbean Days | July 23 – 24

The Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Society of BC draws a crowd of exuberant fun-lovers for a weekend of parading, dining, socializing (liming), and dancing in the sunshine to tropical rhythm, cuisine, carnival and culture as only the Caribbean can offer. Learn more.
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The Tragically Hip | July 24 & 26

This iconic Canadian band plays a sold-out series of shows in support of Man Machine Poem, the group’s 14th studio album. Learn more.
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Weezer | July 28

Almost every kid of the 90s had their album – listen to hits like Buddy Holly and Sweater live and outdoors surrounded by trees at Deer Lake Park. Learn more.
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Davie Street Party | July 29

Celebrate Pride with LGBTQ+ community groups and artists from around Vancouver, as well as the businesses of Davie Street with beer gardens and entertainment. Learn more.
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Powell Street Festival | July 30 – 31

Vancouver’s largest festival of Japanese arts and culture celebrates 40 years with a weekend full of live performances, martial arts, crafts, and Japanese food. Performers include Australian koto virtuoso Miyama McQueen-Tokita, Tutchone-Japanese Tlinget-Scottish folk singer Diyet, and the premiere of Chordophone, the violalooping electronica brainchild of brothers Marcus and James Takizawa. Learn more.
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Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival | July 31

The Vancouver Pride Society brings together members of the LGBTQ community and their allies to celebrate the unique spirit and culture of the rainbow community by producing quality, inclusive events. Join in for one of the most beautiful and diverse parades in the world. Learn more.
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The Cat Empire | August 2 – 3

An Australian ska and Jazz band is here to play you some very summery music. Learn more.
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Vancouver Entertainment and Comic Expo | August 5 – 7

A pop-culture convention. Attendees can meet their favourite celebrities (such as Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre III), shop a variety of vendors and exhibitors, check out panels and workshops, and celebrate what makes them geeky with thousands of other fans in cosplay. Learn more.
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YVR Food Fest | August 5 – 7

Local and international culinary talent collaborate on long table dinners, food talks, private dinners, and cocktail parties. The flagship event is the Street Food Showdown: a two-day gathering of 80+ food carts, restaurants, wineries and breweries in the Olympic Village. During this event participating food vendors will be offering up an unlimited tasting menu for a two-hour feeding frenzy. Learn more.
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Foals | August 7 – 8

Indie music from Oxford, with hits such as What Went Down and Mountain at my Gates. Learn more.
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Vancouver Queer Film Festival | August 11 – 21

This festival is set to once again illuminate the transformative moments in the lives of queer people – telling stories of the journeys we have taken to find ourselves, each other and our place in the world. This year continues the movement of creating change through film, education and dialogue. Learn more.
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Awolnation | August 11 – 12

Catchy electronic alternative music that’s got cheer, doom, cynicism and optimism all rolled into one. Learn more.
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SeaWheeze Half Marathon | August 12 – 13

It’s a half marathon, but it’s also a party! On the first day, warm up during the package pick-up party with some marketplace browsing and nooner yoga. The next day, get up early for a full day of activity with a half-marathon, brunch, and an afternoon festival that keeps going after sunset at Stanley Park. Learn more.
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Pinoy Fiesta | August 14

This one-day event showcases the energy and talent of the Filipino community. Head out to the party for a street parade and tons of tasty Filipino food. Browse Filipino crafts and goods, as well as watch performances by local and international artists. Learn more.
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Museum of Vancouver Happy Hour: Undressing Drag | August 18

Vancouver collector and All Together Now exhibition contributor, Willow Yamauchi will speak to the history of her father’s drag queen ensemble and the handmade costumes once featured in their act. Local fashion historian Ivan Sayers will contextualize the fashion sensibilities of Canadian drag performance with historical narratives and illustrative charms. Drag performances from Peach Cobblah and Isolde N. Barron will follow the presentations. Learn more.
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The Fair at the PNE | August 20 – September 5

The PNE, which has been on for over a century, offers a range of new and classic family entertainment, including more than 55 thrilling rides (including Canada’s largest pendulum ride, “The Beast,”) the Summer Night Concert series (featuring headliners such as Culture Club, A Tribe Called Red, Chris Isaac and The Monkees), an Angry Birds exhibit, a craft beer festival, mouth-watering food from around the globe, the beloved Superdogs and more. Learn more.
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The Book of Mormon | August 23 – 31

This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Learn more.
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Gwen Stefani | August 25

Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Gwen Stefani will return to the road this summer as she launches her This Is What the Truth Feels Like 2016 tour. Visit W3Schools!.
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Americas Masters Games | August 26 – Sept 4

An inclusive 9 days of celebration in the summer of 2016. The Masters Games are about promoting an active and healthy lifestyle by encouraging any and all participants aged 30 to 100+ to continue to strive towards sporting success, and have fun in the process. Register yourself or a team to compete – it is open to all levels! Learn more.
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Duran Duran | August 28

At the dawn of the 80s, a group of young men in Birmingham, England had a sound in their ears, one with echoes of glam, art-pop, and dance. The band they formed quickly became a household name and, three decades later they continue to perform for screaming fans all over the world. Learn more.
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Shanghai Acrobats | September 1

One of the original Cirque-style performance troupes, the world-famous Shanghai Acrobats continue to astonish audiences around the globe with their amazing displays of artistry and athleticism. Learn more.
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TaiwanFest | September 3 – 5

Celebrate Taiwanese culture during this weekend festival that takes place in both Vancouver and Toronto. Learn more.
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Swans | September 6

Experimental alternative art-rock with a solidly 90s underground sound. Learn more.
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Vancouver Fringe Festival | September 8 – 18

A celebration of theatre for everyone, featuring more than 800 performances by over 90 artists. The Fringe employs an “everyone welcome” selection technique—the mainstage shows are literally drawn out of a hat, giving all artists a chance to participate. There are also unique site-specific theatre where artists stage their work in the nooks and crannies of Granville Island. Learn more.
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Accordion Noir Festival | September 8 – 11

Accordion of the dark, the campy, the creepy, the sorrowful, the bitter, and the tongue-in-cheek. Experience accordion-driven acts that are best heard in dimly lit bars, paired with a stiff drink. Learn more.
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Bakersville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery | September 8 – October 9

Five actors play over 40 comical characters, filling the stage with suspects, allies, and heirs in this zany whodunit based on the Arthur Conan Doyle classic. When the wealthy Henry Baskerville is threatened by the fable of a bloodthirsty hound on the moors, Holmes and Watson are on the case to sniff out the culprit. Learn more.
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Keith Urban | September 10

A New Zealand-born Australian country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, musician, TV show judge and record producer. Learn more.
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Juliette Lewis | September 14

From delivering some of the most emotive screams in cinema to high-energy pop-rock on stage, I’m not even sure what to expect from this queen of some of the best quirky dark characters from the big screen. Learn more.
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Drake | September 17 – 18

A Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor with hits such as “Hotline Bling” (you know, the one about someone who used to call him on his cellphone.) Learn more.
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Sigur Ros | September 18

Icelandic post-rock that’s ethereal, beautiful, soothing and contemplative. Learn more.
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Dolly Parton | September 19

This timeless classic country superstar pairs well with denim and drinking Chardonnay in the garden while singling along to “Jolene”. Learn more.
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A Good Way Out | September 23 – October 15

Joey is a hardworking mechanic who operates as the front man for a biker gang. He joined for protection, but a few bad decisions have him looking for an escape that may not exist. The world premiere of a fierce, compelling look into the precarious world of crime and compromise. Learn more.
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The Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses | September 23

Re-live 30 years of Legend of Zelda video gaming history as the music is played by a live symphony. Learn more.
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VSO Season Opening: The Rite of Spring | September 24 – 26

The 2016/2017 Season opens with a bang, starting with award-winning Composer-in-Residence Jocelyn Morlock’s first VSO commission. Maestro Tovey and the VSO welcome back Vancouver favourite Alexander Gavrylyuk to perform the most famous piece in the piano repertoire, and the concert wraps with the wild, exciting orchestral showpiece that is Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Learn more.
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Echo & the Bunnymen | September 24

Straight from the puffy-haired 80s, this pop-gothy group is responsible for The Killing Moon and Lips Like Sugar. Learn more.
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A Night with Janis Joplin | September 26 - 27

Conceived, written, and directed by Randy Johnson, the rock musical features choreography by Patricia Wilcox and musical direction by Tyler Evans. The show is a musical journey celebrating Janis Joplin and her biggest musical influences – trailblazers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, all of whom inspired Joplin to become one of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s greatest legends. Learn more.
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Peaches | September 28

Hard edged, thumping, grinding, electronic and full of attitude – Peaches is known to put on a killer show that is all of the above. Learn more.
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Vancouver International Film Festival | September 29 – October 14

The 35th annual Vancouver International Film Festival will once again welcome some of the world's finest films to one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. In 2015, VIFF had over 140,000 admissions, presented 370 films from 70 countries and hosted guests from around the world. Learn more.
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The Flick | September 29 – October 29

Set in a run-down movie theatre, this Pulitzer Prize–winning comic drama follows three underpaid ushers who’ll do anything to keep the beloved and endangered local landmark running. As they share their hidden hopes for the future, an intimacy forms among these outsiders who at first glance have only one thing in common. .
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Psychic TV | September 30

Fronted by 80s industrial band Throbbing Gristle’s founder, Psychic TV is particularly known for its intense and visceral live performances and for a creative lineage that includes cultural luminaries such as William S. Burroughs, Derek Jarman, and Timothy Leary. Learn more.
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Next season is Vancouver's Entertainment Season! Check back on September 30 for a new list of events. 

 

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