Things to do in Vancouver this Summer

Oh how we look forward to the lazy hazy crazy days of summer. When you’ve had enough of just laying on the beach and are looking for other things to do in Vancouver, here are a variety of interesting artistic activities to participate in.

The Blind Pig Festival - Things to do in Vancouver

The Blind Pig Festival: Vancouver has a brand new music festival, the Blind Pig Festival, which offers 80 consecutive days of diverse music from June 22 to September 2 at Granville Island.  From June 22 to August 6, and August 24 to September 2, the music is held in either the lounge or the mainstage at the Waterfront Theatre, and from August 7 to 24, it’s at Performance Works.  All of the daytime shows are free, and the evening mainstage shows are $10 each.  You can also tip the musicians, even at the free shows. Check out their website at for more information.

Thank Granville It’s Food Trucks: Also happening on Fridays from June 2 to August 25 at Fir and 10th  by the Teachers’, enjoy this weekly food truck event in South Granville.  Foodies can sample a variety of culinary offerings including Mexican, Persian, Japanese and desserts.  Different trucks will rotate in two shifts each day from noon to 3pm and 4 to 7pm.

Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra Summer Concert Series: For chamber music fans, this series is held on June 27, July 1, 7 and 7.  Some of the exotic instruments you may hear played include the sitar, erhu, pipa, zheng, and the table.

Jazz in Coal Harbour Park series: Jazz fans can enjoy the free Jazz in Coal Harbour Park on Wednesday nights in August on the 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 7 to 830 pm.  Music ranges from latin, swing to Django gypsy jazz.

Music on Main Music: In Mount Pleasant, this set of shows is held from August 14 to 16 and 21 to 23 at Mount Pleasant Park at 630.  The free concerts feature a range of musical styles.

music in the plaza series - Things to do in Vancouver

Music in the Plaza Series: On Friday nights, catch this free live series of shows in Kitsilano at Maple Street and West 4th  Avenue from May 26 until August 18 at 5 to 7.  It is curated by the Katahlano Krew and Zulu Records.  Bring your own lawn chair or sit at the picnic tables in the parkette, and grab some take out pizza from La Ruota Pizzeria, poke from the Hoke Poke, or iced coffee from 4ith Parallel Café. For the complete lineup, check the website.

Bard on the Beach: This year, Bard on the Beach offers four productions until September 30 at Vanier Park.  As You Like It features the Beatle’s music and Julius Caesar are performed on the BMO Mainstage.  The other productions are Henry V and a hilarious interactive comedy called Goblin:Macbeth.

Theatre Under the Stars: The perennially croud pleasing Theatre Under the Stars at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park runs from July 6 to August 26.  The Prom follows four struggling actors having an activist adventure, and for children there’s Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical.

The Arts Club: The Arts Club is putting on two summer musical productions. Beautiful is a tribute to singer songwriter Carole King from June 8 to August 6 at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

The production chronicles her rise from a teenage college student writing songs with her boyfriend Gerry Coffin to her successful solo career with her platinum album Tapestry.  Her fans will enjoy hearing some of her many hits including One Fine Day, The Locomotion, You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling, and Will You Love Me Tomorrow.

On the Granville Island stage, Million Dollar Quartet is performed from June 22 to August 6.  The musical recreates the one and only legendary recording session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins on December 4, 1956, at Sun Dog studios in Memphis.  Hits performed include Blue Suede Shoes, Great Balls of Fire, Folsom Prison Blues, and That’s Alright.

Indian Summer Festival - Things to do in Vancouver

The Indian Summer Festival:  The Indian Summer Festival delivers an eclectic roster of events including standup comedy, traditional dance, and a discussion with activists.  It runs from July 6 to 16 in various venues.

Back to the 80s film festival: For fans of eighties films, VIFF is offering festival running from June 29 to August 31.  Enjoy sixty screenings including Hairspray, Scarface, Ghostbusters, and Do the Right Thing.  The series opens with the classic Back to the Future.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival: It’s the Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s 35th season from August 10 to 20 both at various cinemas and online.  More information will be available shortly.

Vancouver Mural Festival: In Mount Pleasant, perennial favourite the Vancouver Mural Festival returns from August 4 to 13.  The festival takes place at the City Centre Artist Lodge on Main Street, and nearby 5th and 6th Avenues and alleys with live music and DJs, food trucks, and an artisan market.

Vine Arts Festival: At Trout Lake and other parks, the Vine Arts festival from August 9 to 19 presents performances and art created by Indigenous, Black, gender diverse artists. The finale is held at John Hendry Park at Trout Lake.