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Vancouver's Festival Season: April - June

Canopies of lush greenery are at their most radiant this season as the city shakes off the winter rain. The days bring warming sunlight that is perfect for afternoon patio dining, beer tastings, street parties, and shopping strolls in various neighbourhoods. The nights often hold their refreshing chill these months as you move between all the music festivals, concerts, and plays, but a unique cocktail served by one of the city’s award-winning bartenders will warm you from the inside out.  

Vancouver's Festival Season Sweepstakes

Enter by June 30 and you could win a Festival Season jaunt in Vancouver, including a three-night stay at the Carmana Plaza, a Pirate Adventure, dinner at The Keg, a hop to three of Vancouver’s best art galleries (The Bill Reid Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Contemporary Art Gallery), and a delectable tea service from the Urban Tea Merchant.
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Capture Photography Festival | April 1 – 28

High-profile exhibitions as well as emerging talent and community participation are in the lens. There will be events in Vancouver’s leading public and commercial galleries, as well as public installations and a series of community-based photo workshops, tours, artist talks, films, and panel discussions. Learn more.
Book a stay during the Capture Photography Festival

Throne and Games – A Chance of Snow | April 7 – May 28

Inspired by the popular HBO series, VTSL’s improvised parody, Throne and Games – A Chance of Snow, embarks on speculative, uncharted territory. Is a certain popular character from the TV series really dead … or not? Improvisers will go to “The Wall” to give patrons an exceptionally entertaining evening of improv comedy. Learn more.
Book a stay during Throne and Games

The Valley | April 7 – May 7

A teenage boy’s arrest on a SkyTrain platform is the catalyst for this topical story about the contradictory attempts to balance care and public safety. Meet Connor, who has recently dropped out of college; his mother, Sharon, who is struggling with her son’s recent behaviour; Dan, the police officer involved in the SkyTrain incident; and Dan’s wife, Janie, whose own state is driving a wedge through their relationship. Learn more.
Book a stay during The Valley

The Vancouver Opera: Evita | April 30 – May 8

Winner of 7 Tony Awards™ including Best Musical, Evita is the story of the charismatic and controversial Eva Perón, whose beauty and ambition vaulted her from poverty to power as the First Lady of Argentina. Learn more.
Book a stay during The Vancouver Opera: Evita

The Age of Electric | April 30

Where’s my remote control? Yes, with hits from 1996, it’s a Canadian alternative rock group who may or may not have caused everyone who lived through the 90s to break out into song whenever they’d like to change the channel, but can’t find the proper device. Learn more.
Book a stay during The Age of Electric

BMO Vancouver International Marathon | May 1

Get ready to run! Named a Top 10 Destination Marathon by Forbes and one of the world’s most exotic marathons by CNN Travel, the BMO Vancouver Marathon is a Boston Qualifier that takes runners on a 42.2 kilometre (26.2 miles) adventure past beaches, through natural parks, and along Vancouver’s bustling Seawall. Learn more.
Book a stay during the BMO Vancouver International Marathon

Napalm Death and The Melvins | May 2

The Birmingham grindcore of Napalm Death meets American metal-garage classics, The Melvins. Learn more.
Book a stay during Napalm Death and The Melvins

DOXA Documentary Film Festival | May 5 – 15

Ten days of international documentaries give you the opportunity to see through someone else’s eyes, into other worlds, and you might even learn something along the way. Genres such as activism, sexuality, race, sports, war, science, art, docudrama and animation weave through shows you may not get to see on the big screen anywhere else. Learn more.
Book a stay during DOXA Documentary Film Festival

Vancouver International Burlesque Festival | May 6 – 7

The largest and longest running burlesque festival in Canada is back to seduce the city for its eleventh year, welcoming special guests seen on stages around the world and on the silver screen. Learn more.
Book a stay during the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival

Ballet BC Program 3 | May 12 – 14

Work by two audience favourites and a newcomer who is making waves around the world. Celebrate the spring, the season, and the spirit of dance with these three amazing works. Learn more.
Book a stay during Ballet BC Program 3

Billy Elliot | May 12 – July 10

Based on the acclaimed film, and supported with music by Elton John, it’s 1984 and County Durham’s coal miners are set to go on strike when 11-year-old Billy finds his way into Mrs. Wilkinson’s ballet class following his boxing lesson. Enthralled with dance and showing inherent ability, Billy is encouraged to audition for the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London. Learn more.
Book a stay during Billy Elliot

The Who: Hits 50 | May 13

They exploded conventional rhythm and blues structures, challenged pop music conventions, and redefined what was possible on stage, in the recording studio, and on vinyl. As they enter their 50th year, the band is still going strong, winning rave reviews. Learn more.
Book a stay during The Who: Hits 50

Spot Prawn Festival | May 13 – 15

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia celebrates 10 years of the Spot Prawn Festival. Head to Fisherman’s Warf for cooking classes, a prawn boil, a gala, and to pick up your own fresh spot prawns. Learn more.
Book a stay during the Spot Prawn Festival

Selena Gomez | May 14

From Barney and Friends to an international pop star with hits like Good for You and Love You Like a Love Song, Selena is on her on her worldwide “Revival Tour.” Learn more.
Book a stay during Selena Gomez

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.
Book a stay during the Richmond Night Market

Violent Femmes | May 15

80s punk rockers responsible for “Blister in the Sun” have reunited, and made a new album. “We Can Do Anything” was released in March, after a 6-year studio album hiatus. Learn more.
Book a stay during Violent Femmes

Stars on Ice | May 19

Don’t miss this chance to see Canadian National Champion figure skaters Patrick Chan, Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford, Kaitlyn Weaver, Andrew Poje and 2016 European Champion Javier Fernández salchow, axel, and lutz their way around the ice. Learn more.
Book a stay during Stars on Ice

W;T | May 20 – June 11

Vivian Bearing approaches her cancer therapy with the same academic rigor she applied to her studies. As her treatments progress, however, her intellectual armour gives way to her need for human kindness. A poignant and exquisitely-written story of unwitting redemption. Learn more.
Book a stay during W;T

Hedley | May 20

The 2016 tour will be Hedley’s most impressive show to date, with staging elements that will bring the band closer to the fans than ever before. “Playing live is who we are, and going on tour is the ultimate way for us to interact with our fans,” comments frontman and creative force Jacob Hoggard. Learn more.
Book a stay during Hedley

Flicker | May 25 - 29

An innovative piece by the Dancers of Damelahamid that combines west coast graphic design with a unique sceno-graphic hybrid of projected environments and live-action shadow dance. Vividly rich imagery represents the spirit world; the mystical realm portrayed through coastal masked dance. Learn more.
Book a stay during Flicker

Art! Vancouver | May 26 - 29

Artists from all over the world, art that speak to all walks of life – make sure to join the creative and creatively-minded community for this week of shows, events, art talks, and inspiration you can take home with you. Learn more.
Book a stay during Art! Vancouver

Vancouver International Children’s Festival | May 30 – June 5

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival inspires and motivates young minds with professional artistic experiences that transform a child’s understanding of the world around them and what is creatively possible. Learn more.
Book a stay during the Vancouver International Children’s Festival

The Kills | May 31

Dark indie that pairs well with drinking wine right from the bottle, ennui, frustration, emotions and passive longing for apathy. Learn more.
Book a stay during The Kills

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.
Book a stay during Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Vancouver Craft Beer Week | June 3 – 5

With over 100 breweries & cideries pouring over 400 beers & ciders from across North America, including a US Brewers Association section filled with craft beers never seen before in Canada, The VCBW Festival is back with a vengeance! Learn more.
Book a stay during Vancouver Craft Beer Week

City and Colour | June 3

Dallas John Green is a Canadian acoustic folk singer-songwriter. He plays melodic acoustic and folk music and is accompanied on this tour by Shakey Graves. Learn more.
Book a stay during City and Colour

Vancouver International Bhangra Festival | June 11 - 18

For VIBC, bhangra is about bringing together dance, music and community to celebrate life, love and inclusion. Although it's not a part of the official definition, for them bhangra is a movement to help to build bridges across cultures and to strengthen the community through shared experiences. Learn more.
Book a stay during the Vancouver International Bhangra Festival

Italian Day on the Drive | June 12

Like a piazza in full swing in a sea of green, white and red, the street comes alive with Italian musical performances, hands-on activities and games, vendors, patios, food and beverage tastings, street performers, classic vehicle exhibits and so much more. Learn more.
Book a stay during Italian Day on the Drive

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.
Book a stay during Rock of Ages

Carol Burnett: An Evening of Laughter and Reflection Where the Audience Asks Questions | June 18

An evening of fun, nostalgia and true reflections as legendary comedian Carol Burnett shares memorable clips and moments from her illustrious career. Carol will take questions from the audience in a format that harkens back to The Carol Burnett Show where her audience had an unfiltered opportunity to engage Carol with questions and receive spontaneous answers. Learn more
Book a stay during An Evening of Laughter and Reflection

TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival | June 24 – July 3

Some of the world’s best Jazz musicians will be on stages throughout the city, indoors and out. The headlining cast includes Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band, Joe Jackson, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Sarah McLachlan and Oliver Jones Trio. Free concerts will be heard downtown as well as in city parks and on Granville Island. Learn more.
Book a stay during the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Greek Day on Broadway | June 26

A five block stretch on Broadway measuring almost one kilometer (from McDonald to Blenheim) is closed off to traffic to make room for a world of delicious Greek food and drink, market vendors, entertainment, and live music offering a laid back, yet lively Greek atmosphere. Learn more.
Book a stay during Greek Day on Broadway

Car Free Day | June 18 – 19

Sections of Kitsilano, West End, Commercial Drive and Main Street are blocked off for a big street party with music, vendors and entertainers from the neighborhood and the community. Learn more.
Book a stay during Car Free Day

Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon | June 26

A half marathon from UBC Thunderbird Arena all along the ocean to Stanley Park (or a 5K fun run at Stanley Park.) Learn more.
Book a stay during the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon

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Next season is Celebration Season! Check back on June 30 for a new list of events. 


Stories from Inside Vancouver