Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2012 – June 22 – July 1


There are a few events that really define summer in Vancouver: Canada Day, the Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition, Vancouver Pride, and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival (VIJF). Called the “hippest jazz festival in the world” by The Seattle Times, the VIJF is Vancouver’s biggest, greatest music festival of the year, and its as beloved by locals as it is by the hundreds of thousands of visitors it attracts.

Back for its 27th year, the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival features 1800 musicians and 400 concerts (100+ of which are free) at 40 venues across Vancouver. There are major headliners, five free mini festivals-within-the-festival, intimate concerts in Vancouver bars and restaurants (the 2012 VIJF Club Series), and music virtually everywhere you look. So get ready to fall in love with the Vancouver Jazz Festival all over again!

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Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2012 – June 22 – July 1

Vancouver Francophone Summer Festival – June 14 – 24, 2012

Piknic Électronik at the Vancouver Francophone Summer Festival. Photo: Vancouver Courier

Officially, June is Italian Heritage Month in Vancouver, but it could just as easily be “multicultural month:” There are so many multicultural events happening! Along with  North America’s Largest Dragon Boat Festival and Greek Day on Broadway, there’s also the 23rd annual Vancouver Francophone Summer Festival (Festival d’été), which starts this week.

Primarily a music festival, the Festival d’été, organized by Le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver, showcases the rich diversity of the francophone community through an eclectic line-up of musicians and artists. And tickets to the performances—which range from an outdoor techno dance party at Stanley Park to the annual “Children Fete”—are just $5 – $10!

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Vancouver Francophone Summer Festival – June 14 – 24, 2012

5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June

Coquitlam's Teddy Bear Parade. Photo: Festival Coquitlam

One of the best things about summer in Vancouver is the uptick in free things to do, from the free festivals this month that appeal to everyone (check out our list of 20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in June 2012) to free fun for families with kids (and the young at heart of all ages), including June’s Pacific Rim Kite Festival in Vanier Park, Coquitlam’s Teddy Bear Parade and free admission to the Burnaby Village Museum!

5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June 2012

1. Free Admission to the Burnaby Village MuseumMay 5 – September 3, 2012
To celebrate the 100th birthday of their famous 1912 wooden carousel and their 1912 interurban tram, gate admission to the Burnaby Village Museum is free for the entire summer 2012 season! That means visitors can explore this outdoor 1920s village—home to a working blacksmith and lots of authentic 1920s shops—for free and pay just $2.30 per carousel ride!

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5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June

Bard on the Beach 2012

Bard on the Beach performs Shakespeare with the northern mountains as a backdrop. Photo: Tourism Vancouver

Summer theatre season kicks off a little early this year with Bard on the Beach—Vancouver’s beloved annual Shakespeare festival—returning for 2012 this Thursday, May 31.

One of the largest Shakespeare festivals in Canada and a summer tradition for many Vancouverites (our own Suzanne Raikes goes every year), Bard on the Beach is famous for the high-calibre of its performances as well as its eye-popping location: set at Vanier Park, Bard’s two main stage tents have open-backs, allowing the majestic northern mountains and Vancouver city views to function as the literal backdrop for its plays.

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Bard on the Beach 2012

TaiwanFest 2011 & Vancouver’s First-Ever Street Banquet

Vancouver TaiwanFest. Photo: TaiwanFest.ca

The 2011 TELUS TaiwanFest returns to Vancouver Labour Day weekend with loads of free fun for the whole family.

A cultural celebration of all things Taiwanese, TaiwanFest aims to burst stereotypes by showcasing the rich diversity in both modern and traditional Taiwanese music, dance, film, food, and arts. This year’s festival includes fusion concerts, Techno Prince dance, Taiwanese Aboriginal artisans, inspiring documentaries, fabulous culinary shows, games for all ages, Chef Hung’s “best beef noodle on earth,” and Vancouver’s first-ever street banquet in honour of Vancouver’s 125th birthday.

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TaiwanFest 2011 & Vancouver’s First-Ever Street Banquet