Free Ballroom Dancing in Robson Square Starts Friday, June 29, 2012

Photo: DanceSportBC

When it comes to free summer events and activities, Robson Square is the place to be! Not only will Robson Square host the free, two-day kick off of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2012 (Downtown Jazz Weekend, June 22 – 23), it will also host free ballroom dancing every Friday starting June 29 and free salsa every Sunday starting July 1.

The free, Friday-night ballroom dancing is organized by DanceSportBC and includes  a ballroom dance lesson at 8pm, show dances at 9pm and 10pm, and a chance to dance the night away in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s all free, and all skill levels are welcome; you don’t have to have any prior ballroom dance experience to participate!

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Free Ballroom Dancing in Robson Square Starts Friday, June 29, 2012

Free Vancouver Water Parks for Kids: Granville Island & Stanley Park

Granville Island Water Park. Photo: Dana Lynch

As usual, summer weather is taking a while to heat up in Vancouver. But even if the weather isn’t super hot, beautiful sunny days are warm enough for most kids to have fun running, splashing, sliding, and getting soaking wet at Vancouver’s two free water parks for kids.

Open in the summer season only (June 1 – September 3), Vancouver’s free kids’ water parks are both located in hotspots that are full of other kid- and family-fun activities, making it easy to enjoy a day full of outdoor play.

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Free Vancouver Water Parks for Kids: Granville Island & Stanley Park

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

Italian Day on Commercial Drive – June 10, 2012

This weekend, Vancouver kicks off the summer season of free multicultural events—including June’s upcoming Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival and Greek Day on Broadway—with Italian Day on Commercial Drive, a full day of free fun with Italian food, fashion, entertainment, games, and Euro Cup 2012 festivities that will transform the always-happening Drive into a street fair for all ages.

Newcomers to Vancouver may be surprised to learn that Commercial Drive—today an urban hub of multiculturalism and counterculture—used to be Vancouver’s “Little Italy;” you can see evidence of that cultural history in the Drive’s large number of Italian restaurants and delis (not to mention the wide spread support for Italy during the World Cup). For 15 years, from 1977 – 1982, Italian Day was an annual tradition on the Drive, but the event went on hiatus after the crowds became too much for the original organizers to handle.

Thankfully, Italian Day made its comeback in 2010, and over 50,000 people came out to celebrate. Now, thanks to Mayor Robertson’s 2011 designation of June as Italian Heritage Month, Italian Day on Commercial Drive looks like it’s here to stay!

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Italian Day on Commercial Drive – June 10, 2012

10 Things to Do on Father’s Day in Vancouver 2012

Dads can "Monkido" at Wildplay Element Parks. Photo: Wildplay Element Parks

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, and there are lots of things to do in Vancouver to celebrate Dad, from taking him out for brunch or beers (or brunch with beers, if that’s how Dad rolls) to celebrating with the Whitecaps on Grouse Mountain or with the whole community at Vancouver’s Car-Free Festivals!

10 Things to Do on Father’s Day in Vancouver 2012

1. Join the Party at Vancouver’s Car-Free Festivals
June 17 is both Father’s Day and Car-Free Day, which means the whole family can celebrate with street-fair fun, games, food, and entertainment at any of the Vancouver Car-Free Festivals happening on Commercial Drive, Main Street, and in the West End.

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10 Things to Do on Father’s Day in Vancouver 2012