5 Free, Fun Things To Do in Vancouver In June 2013

5 free fun things to do in Vancouver

Photo credit: Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Fest

Happy first day of summer, folks. Looking for free summer activities in Vancouver? Browse our list of the top 5 free things to do in Vancouver in June below. From street festivals, to outdoor sporting events and romantic date nights, we’ve got your fun covered.

5 Free Fun Things To Do in Vancouver In June 2013

1) Shout “opa” and dance at Greek Day on Broadway, June 23
Don’t miss this free Vancouver summer festival produced by Vancouver’s longstanding Greek immigrant community in Kitsilano. Every year the party draws over 100,000 Vancouverites to West Broadway between MacDonald and Blenheim. Expect tasty Greek food, wine and olive oil tasting, cooking demos, folk dancing, live music, art, a kids’ zone with craft stations and an Athenian Agora with handicrafts for sale. Don’t worry, you’ll burn off the honeyed loukoumades by dancing in a circle.

2) Cheer on the competitors at Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, June 21-June 23
From Remy’s round-up of free Vancouver summer festivals: Even though this fest is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, it’s still a bit of a hidden gem.  For two days, the shores of False Creek around Science World are packed with spectators taking in North America’s largest dragon boat race.  While paddlers in brightly painted boats churn up the water, landlubbers enjoy free live music and soak up the sun in the beer garden. Continue reading:
5 Free, Fun Things To Do in Vancouver In June 2013

Nowruz 2013 Guide – Celebrate Persian New Year in Vancouver

Spring flowers. Photo credit: Flickr user tejvan

Spring flowers. Photo credit: Flickr user tejvan

Iranian Canadians and some 300 million more people worldwide celebrate the start of spring with Nowruz – an international holiday falling on March 21, 2013.

Nowruz (meaning new day) marks the vernal equinox when day and night are exactly equal. For many cultures this 3,000-year-old holiday is not only the start of spring, it’s the start of the new year. Naturally, the new year means a proper party. You’ll find month long celebrations taking place in Iran, the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East.

In Vancouver, where we have a strong representation of Iranian Canadians (like me), there are many events to help you get out of the house and celebrate more daylight, spring blooms and the renewal of nature.

From bazaars to galas, picnics and fire jumping (!), here are the events and activities you need to know about for Nowruz 2013 in Vancouver. Continue reading:
Nowruz 2013 Guide – Celebrate Persian New Year in Vancouver

40th Annual Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade – February 17

Photo credit: Flickr user scazon

Photo credit: Flickr user scazon

Chinese New Year falls on Sunday, February 10 this year. But Vancouver has to wait until Sunday, February 17 for the Chinese New Year Parade - the ultimate Chinese New Year event – to celebrate the start of the Year of the Snake.

As you probably know, Chinese New Year (a.k.a. Lunar New Year or Spring Festival) is one of the most significant traditional Chinese holidays and it gets a heck of a party going in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown – the third largest Chinatown in all of North America.

Over 3,000 people participate in the parade, creating a seriously vibrant spectacle. The parade boasts the largest assembly of traditional lion dance teams in Canada, Chinese Canadian dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts experts, the Vancouver Police Department motorcycle drill team and various other multicultural and community groups. Some 50,000 Vancouverites turn out in the streets, rain or shine to cheer them on.

Before we go into the parade route, which is longer this year to accommodate all the new participants, it’s worth noting that the Chinese New Year Parade is one of the largest non-commercial annual parades in Vancouver. It’s pretty cool that the Chinatown neighbourhood institutions including the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver and the Chinese Freemasons have worked together to keep this going for 40 years.

Find details on the parade route after the jump. Continue reading:
40th Annual Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade – February 17

Top 5 Free Events at Heart of the City Fest: Downtown Eastside, Oct 24-Nov 4

Photo courtesy of Heart of the City Festival

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is considered by many the city’s founding neighbourhood.  For more than 125 years, people have lived, loved and laughed on  Downtown Eastside streets.  In a city as new and changing as Vancouver, it’s a well of history and culture – even though it’s often dismissed as Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood.

The annual Heart of the City Festival this Oct.24-Nov. 4 gives locals and visitors a chance to celebrate and explore the Downtown Eastside.  Over the course of 12 days, the neighbourhood will host more than 80 cultural events: music, stories, poetry, art exhibits, films, theatre, history walks, workshops and more.  Many of the events highlight local talent right from the neighbourhood itself.

Here are 5 can’t-miss free events at this year’s Heart of the City Fest:

  • Barrio Flamenco, Flamenco for the People: Fiery flamenco music is a people’s art form – played and dance with as much spirit and passion as technical know-how.  This event features some of the city’s best flamenco artists, celebrating the joy and struggles of the Downtown Eastside.  Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main. Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. 

Pop-Up Yoga Brought to You By lululemon Athletica Robson Street, August 23

photo: OPUS Hotel Vancouver

Grab your yoga mat and strike a pose with an intimate group of yogis and yoginis while stretching it out in trendy Yaletown. Yes, that’s right! The next Pop-Up Yoga series will be held at the OPUS Hotel Vancouver on Thursday, August 23rd.
Continue reading:
Pop-Up Yoga Brought to You By lululemon Athletica Robson Street, August 23

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