Summer Festivals – Get Out Your Calendar!

Photo: Tourism Vancouver / John Sinal

Is it just me, or is there an abundance of cultural festivals coming up over the summer? Not that I’m complaining of course! We’ve already had Italian Day and the Car Free Days, but it doesn’t end there! It’s time to get planning….

Greek Day – Sunday, June 27th – West Broadway between Macdonald and Blenheim Streets

This year’s theme is Unearthing Our Legacy and was chosen to showcase how Greek Legacy has shaped culture around the world. There are lots of new things for 2010 to look out for, such as: Athenian Agora (a marketplace where vendors and dressed in togas and ready for you to bust out your haggling skills); Super Paradise Disco (Get your groove on to DJs spinning Euro House and Greek Music); and a Cooking Demo Zone (featuring roaming celebrity chefs and members of the community). Of course there will be lots of delicious Greek to munch on! Moussaka, spanakopita, loukoumades…. the list goes on. But stay away from the roast lamb stand – it’s all mine!

Canada Day – Thursday, July 1st – Various Locations

I’m not going to go into too much detail here regarding Canada Day as Dana has already blogged about this very recently with some great ideas on where and how to celebrate your Canadian pride!

Powell Street Festival – Saturday, July 31st and Sunday, August 1stOppenheimer Park

The Powell Street Festival (in the heart of Japantown) is an annual celebration of Japanese Canadian arts, culture and heritage that features something for everyone: dance, music, film and video, visual arts, martial arts demos, amateur sumo tournament, craft vendors, traditional displays and Japanese food. I am definitely hanging out for the fresh takoyaki (octopus fritters) and okonomiyaki (savoury grilled pancakes with cabbage and other delights). You can even walk around the festival with your ipod on without people looking at you like you’re being antisocial – the festival will have a site-specific PodPlay by Neworld Theatre aka your very own private audio play!

Photo: Alex Dobson


Latin Summer Fest – Sunday, August 15thTrout Lake Park

Expect a lot of colour and spontaneous dancing at this one! Shop your way through the import market, eat your way through the food pavilions and then dance it all off at the outdoor stage where artists from Flamenco to Cuban Rueda will be performing. I can’t wait to get my hands on my new favourite street snack, pupusas (stuffed tortillas).

Philippine Summer Festival – Saturday, August 28th & Sunday, August 29thRichmond Olympic Oval

Get on board for the first Philippe Summer Festival to be held in British Columbia. Three years in the making, this festival is expected to be the largest province-wide celebration of the Filipino community. The festival will feature over 100 food and merchandise stalls, rides, stage, a children’s play area and a trade and arts corner. Of course there will be plenty of singing, dancing and parades galore. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the food – plenty of bbq chicken and pork, chicken adobo and beef stew in peanut sauce.

TaiwanFest – Saturday, September 4th to Monday, September 6thPlaza of Nations and Saturday, September 4th to Wednesday, September 8thVancouver Public Library

Look forward to plenty of fashion runway shows, music from rockin’ Taiwanese indie bands, and famous chefs creating famous Taiwanese dishes using West Coast ingredients. Don’t miss tasting some delectable Taiwanese treats – oar jien (oyster omlettes), tempura rolls, taro balls and tung-yi (similar to crème brûlée)

It’s quite possible that both my mouth and my wallet will need to go on a diet after this summer!

What other fun festivals are happening over the summer that we should all know about?

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7 Responses to Summer Festivals – Get Out Your Calendar!

  1. Thanks for the list, saves a ton of time.

  2. Kristen

    You’re welcome! Also, don’t forget the TD Canada Jazz Festival which kicks off tomorrow, Friday June 25th to Sunday, July 4th.

    They’re offering a whole bunch of free gigs as well, so be sure to check that out:

  3. what about davie day in september

  4. Kristen

    Oh great! Thanks Carolin – I will be attending this one to my calendar for sure (especially since I live in the neighbourhood)!

  5. Thank you for posting this! I have a few Canada Day things here you can do:

  6. Barbara Eich

    What about Caribbean Days coming up later this month in N. Van. Really enjoyable event. Have been going to this for a few years.

  7. KristenWehlow

    That looks really great Barbara – thanks! I will definitely be going to that one! Looks like a great atmosphere.