KitsFest Brings Sports Tournaments and Public Yoga to Kitsilano Beach, August 10-12

Photo credit: KitsFest

Does the 2012 Summer Olympics coverage leave you craving live sports action? Get your (free) fill of basketball, beach tennis and volleyball at KitsFest, which returns to Kitsilano Beach, August 10-12.

The annual summer sports and wellness festival is the brainchild of Howard Kelsey, a two-time Olympian who represented Canada on the men’s basketball team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and partner Julien Phipps.

KitsFest is known for attention grabbing stunts. In 2010, they introduced Vancouver to beach tennis. In 2011, they put an ice hockey rink on the beach.

In addition to sports tournaments for kids and adults, KitsFest 2012 has partnered with lululemon’s SeaWheeze Half Marathon to host Public Sunset Yoga on Kits Beach August 11. A record-breaking 1,000+ participants are expected. KitsFest attendees will also enjoy a Kids’ Zone, DJs and a Baseline Bistro with eats from local restaurants.

Get the full event details after the jump.   Continue reading:
KitsFest Brings Sports Tournaments and Public Yoga to Kitsilano Beach, August 10-12

20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in August 2012

Vancouver Pride Parade. Photo credit: Flickr user *_*

Sultry August is your last chance to have that fling with summer fun, before it’s too late.

With the August long weekend, dazzling Celebration of Light fireworks and the fabulous annual Vancouver Pride Parade, there are plenty of good reasons to get out and celebrate.

Outdoor entertainment continues through August before disappearing until next summer. Catch a free cult-fave film at Second Beach or David Lam Park in Yaletown. Take in some twilight, beachfront Shakespeare at Bard on the Beach. Bring the family to the much loved Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) musicals in Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park.

For festival fiends, there’s no shortage of cost-free opportunity. Start with the Sunset Beach Pride Festival with beer garden. Don’t miss Veg Fest Vancouver, the Japanese Canadian Powell Street Festival, the Vancouver Chinatown Festival or Latin Summer Fest at Trout Lake.

And that barely scrapes the surface of all August has to offer. Get the full list of unmissable August events after the jump.   Continue reading:
20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in August 2012

Everything You Need to Know About Khatsahlano! Music and Art Festival, July 21

Musician Ali Milner will perform at Khatsahlano!, July 21. Photo credit: Vanessa Heins for Ali Milner

What are you doing this weekend? Is it free? For the second year in a row, the hotly-anticipated Khatsahlano! Music and Art Festival will transform Kitsilano into a multi-block party of live music, food trucks and shopping, Saturday, July 21.

The emphasis is on free live music. Many of us eat local and shop local. Are you familiar with Vancouver’s local musical talent? 40 local bands will perform free shows on 7 stages between 12pm and 8pm. There should be a new artist to discover/watch/hear about every 15 minutes.

Fans are buzzing about appearances by The Zolas, The Ballantynes, Ali Milner (pictured above) and Kathryn Calder. Find out more about the Khatsahlano! Music and Art Festival program after the jump. Continue reading:
Everything You Need to Know About Khatsahlano! Music and Art Festival, July 21

Everything You Need to Know About Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2012, July 13-15

Somali-Canadian rapper K’naan will appear at Folk Fest 2012. Photo credit: Vancouver Folk Festival

Vancouver Folk Music Festival returns to Jericho Beach Park for its 35th anniversary this Friday, July 13, through Sunday, July 15.

If you’ve never been, Folk Fest is the kind of grassroots, community-driven live music event where you’ll find old timers who’ve attended for 30 years rubbing shoulders with a fresh crop of university students who won’t miss a Dan Mangan show. It’s the mix of guests and performers that makes Folk Fest what it is.

The hotly anticipated Vancouver Folk Festival line up includes such talents as Dan Mangan, Ani DiFranco, Lucinda Williams, Hey Rosetta! and K’naan. The food cart line up is almost as impressive with 30 local vendors serving everything from organic ice cream to roast corn and jerk chicken.

Find out everything you need to know to attend after the jump. Continue reading:
Everything You Need to Know About Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2012, July 13-15

20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in July 2012

Fresh Air Cinema. Photo credit: Flickr user Yaletown BIA

July starts out right with Canada Day pyrotechnics lighting up the summer night sky. And is there anything more summery than free outdoor movies – launching in Stanley Park, July 3?

Meanwhile summer festival season is in full swing by mid month. Catch folksy tunes at the annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 15. The lovely Illuminares Lantern Festival lights up Trout Lake, July 21. Also July 21, Khatsahlano! Music Festival transforms Kitsilano into a block party with 30 local bands performing on multiple stages.

Among the quirkier happenings, I’m particularly intrigued by Scout’s Barkeep of the Year showdown at the Keefer Bar, July 2. Then there’s spectator-friendly robot racing (I’m not kidding) and clothes-free celebration at the nudie paradise Wreck Beach.

Of course July ends with a bang too. Celebration of Light, the most highly-anticipated summer event, brings fireworks back to the Vancouver skyline, July 28.

Find the full line-up of July events below. Continue reading:
20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in July 2012

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

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