Vancouver has a strong musical tradition based on decades of home-grown performers, some great concert venues and a pitch-perfect – and surprisingly diverse – array of festivals. Sarah McLachlan, Michael Bublé, Dan Mangan and Bif Naked call the city home, while Diana Krall hails from across the water on Vancouver Island and now lives in West Vancouver with husband Elvis Costello.

Among the city’s leading live venues are the Commodore Ballroom (, specializing in rock and new bands; Orpheum Theatre, home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (; and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, home to the Vancouver Opera ( during its October to April season.

If you miss your favourite performer, it’s well worth checking out one of Vancouver’s great music festivals. These range from the giant summertime Vancouver International Jazz Festival (, combining free and ticketed live performances around the city; the weekend Vancouver Folk Music Festival ( at Jericho Beach; and MusicFest Vancouver (, a colourful multi-show celebration of everything from world to classical and jazz.


Story idea
Interview local musicians and get the lowdown on the Vancouver live scene. Ask them for their tips on what to see and where to go…then follow up with a visit or three to some great local venues, both large and small. Add in visits to some of the city’s great independent record stores and you’ll have a fun, insider story on Vancouver for travelling music fans.