Things to Do in Vancouver the Labour Day Long Weekend

PNE; Evanessence Photography

Labour Day, which takes place the first Monday in September (September 5, 2022), has been a Canadian statutory holiday since 1894. Not only did it originally commemorate workers’ causes but in more recent times, it represents a big summer hurrah before the return to school and work. In Vancouver, there are so many different ways to take advantage of the upcoming long weekend.

Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)

PNE Summer Concerts 2019

Image courtesy of PNE/Playland

The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is a beloved institution in Vancouver. This year’s PNE runs from August 20 to September 5, 2022. It has everything you could possibly want from a fair: plenty of fun rides for squealing in thrill (tip: make sure to try out the wooden rollercoaster), an assortment of tasty eats and drinks for grazing all visit long, farm animals, games for trying to win a stuffed toy, and plenty of vendors selling unique items. The live entertainment is particularly popular, including The Stars of the Peking Acrobats and the beloved SuperDogs. During the long weekend, you can catch one of the Summer Night Concerts: Nelly (September 2), Bachman Cummings (September 3), The Beach Boys (September 4), and Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle (September 5). Paid tickets are required for the concerts.


From September 3-5, 2022, TAIWANfest is taking over šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square, north of the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well as Granville Street and the Annex Theatre (823 Seymour Street). There is also virtual programming. The annual festival is a celebration of Taiwanese food, art, and culture while also embracing the stories of other cultural communities in Vancouver. The theme of this year’s events is “The Stories of Independence,” spotlighting Indonesia and Malaysia. A highlight of the festival is their street eats, offering quintessential Taiwanese dishes such as fried chicken, grilled squid tentacles, dumplings, and oyster omelettes.

Expect lively performances, such as the band Kanatal, who perform the evening of September 3, in addition to various vendors and organizations with interactive booths lining the streets.

Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival kicks off Labour Day Long Weekend (September 3) and runs until September 25, 2022. September 3 and 4 features free performances by flamenco dance and music artists at the Picnic Pavilion (267 Old Bridge Walk) on Granville Island. Artists include Jhoely Triana (September 3, 4pm), Mozaico Flamenco (September 3, 1pm; September 4, 1pm), and Bonnie Stewart and friends (September 3, 3pm; September 5, 5pm). On September 4, both adults and kids can take part in free taster workshops at the Picnic Pavilion (children 12pm-12:20pm; adults 12:20pm to 12:50pm). Register ahead of time.

Italian Summer Festival and Car Show

Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre (3075 Slocan Street) is hosting their annual Italian Summer Festival and Car Show September 4, 2022, from 11am to 4pm in their parking lot. This outdoor food festival features plenty of Italian eats and drinks, a mercato with vendors selling artisan goods, and activities for the whole family. Plus, Johnny’s Car Show will be back, showcasing muscle cars to admire. Registration is free.

Vancouver Art Gallery: The Big Recycle with Evelyn Roth

mage: Evelyn Roth in her “Video Armour,” 1972, outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery, during the exhibition Pacific Vibrations, 1973

Multimedia artist Evelyn Roth, who combines work in performance, textiles, dance, and sculpture, will hold an exciting and interactive event on September 4, 2022, from 1pm to 3pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery Annex (750 Hornby Street). Roth will engage in storytelling in a performance called Vancouver Slide Dress, accompanied by dancing by Christine Elsey and music by Ray Fuse. After, Roth will facilitate a weaving project with the audience using upcycled materials. The event is free for kids 18 and under, as well as Gallery members or those who have paid for Gallery admission. Book your spot.

Mount Pleasant Outdoor Concert

Photo: Mount Pleasant BIA

The Mount Pleasant BIA (Business Improvement Area) hosts their final Live Music at the Plaza (14th Avenue and Main Street) for the summer. On September 2, 2022, from 6pm to 8pm, stop by to enjoy a free pop-up concert. Expect a relaxed community vibe and some great music.

Bard on the Beach

Bard on the Beach

Bard on the Beach is holding matinee and evening performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet September 2-4. Since 1990, this popular theatre company has been offering interpretations of Shakespeare’s iconic works in addition to more contemporary related works to audiences in the city. The plays happen in tents in Vanier Park with the mountains and water as a backdrop. Have a picnic before or after the performance.

Orpheum Tour

The opulent Orpheum Theatre. (Flickr/Colin Knowles)

The BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, in partnership with the Downtown Vancouver BIA, is offering 90-minute tours of the historic Orpheum Theatre. You can reserve a spot on a tour taking place on September 3, 2022, from 11am to 12:30pm. You’ll learn about the history of the building as well as some of its entertainment secrets.

Vancouver Farmers Markets

Photo: Vancouver Farmers Markets (Casa de Nata)

The farmers markets have amazing produce at this time of year, as well as a wide variety of artisan vendors selling everything from soap to jewelry. There are a host of markets to choose from over Saturday and Sunday of the long weekend, including Riley Park, Trout Lake, West End, Kitsilano, and Mount Pleasant. Food trucks are usually also in attendance, making it a lovely outing.

Polish Festival Vancouver

Photo: Polish Festival Vancouver

North Vancouver’s Shipbuilders’ Square and Pipe Shop (115 Victory Way, North Vancouver) will again be the site of Polish Festival Vancouver. On September 4, 2022, from 1pm to 8pm, attendees will enjoy a range of Polish culinary delicacies, such as pierogies, pastries, and sausages, as well as Polish beer. Performances will include a Polish folk dance ensemble, as well as the musical group Zabavva Band from Oregon and Hay Ziuta, a local Polish band. There will also be a lottery to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.

Nikkei Matsuri

Photo: Nikkei Matsuri

Japanese arts and culture are joyously celebrated at Nikkei Matsuri, taking place September 3-4, 2022, at Nikkei Centre (6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby). Proceeds go to Nikkei National Musuem and Cultural Centre. There will be plenty to see, do, and taste at this Japanese arts and culture festival. The Nikkei Garden will feature a food and games zone, with vendors such as Hachan Takoyaki, Potato-San, and Ichiyos Matcha Bar, as well as games like wanage (ring toss) and balloon darts. You can find food trucks such as Japadog and WakWak Buger at the new food truck plaza. Meanwhile, a beer and sake garden will have beverages from Studio Brewing and the Sake Association of BC. Other highlights include a marketplace with artisan crafts, a judo demonstration, an exhibit about Japanese paper (Washi), and a workshop on Japanese flower arranging by the Vancouver Ikebana Association.

AHFOMAD Festival


AHFOMAD Festival, the African Heritage Festival of Music and Dance, takes place at Surrey’s Civic Plaza (13495 Central Avenue, Surrey) September 2-4, 2022. This seventh annual festival invites everyone to share in the arts and culture of the African diaspora. September 2 features pop up markets and workshops, while September 3 and 4 have performances by artists such as Fally Ipupa and Clear Mortifee. The first two days are free and the third day is $50-$65.

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

Children on swings at the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

Photo: Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival (41310 Royalwood Drive, Chilliwack) wraps up September 5, 2022, so the long weekend is a great time to put it on your calendar. The organizers of the annual and very Instagram-friendly tulip festival now put on a festival devoted to sunflowers. You can look forward to acres of blooming sunflowers in addition to cosmos, zinnias, gladiolas, and dahlias. There’s a U-pick section, a farm shop, and food trucks for when you get hungry.

Britannia Mine Museum: More Than A Mine

Photo: Britannia Mine Museum

Britannia Mine Museum’s exhibit More Than a Mine: Recreation in a Mining Town wraps up on September 5, 2022. Take a field trip to the museum (150 Cooper Drive, Britannia Beach) located off the Sea-to-Sky Highway. The exhibit recreates the lives of Mount Sheer Townsite and The Britannia Beach to give an immersive sense of what social and recreational life was like for these communities.

Sea to Sky Gondola: Cat Madden Performance

Aerial view of the Sea to Sky Gondola and the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge; Destination BC/Heath Moffatt

The Sea to Sky Gondola’s (36800 BC-99, Squamish) Mountain Music Series continues with a performance by Cat Madden on September 2, 2022, from 5pm to 8pm at the Summit Lodge. It’ll be an evening of music blending rock, soul, and jazz. Free with pass or lift ticket.

Richmond Night Market

Photo: Richmond Night Market

If you haven’t made it to the Richmond Night Market (8351 River Road) this season, the Labour Day Long Weekend is the time to do so since it’ll be open from September 2-5, 2022. Gorge on an array of inventive eats, such as flying noodles or crayfish fried chicken tacos, in addition to browsing vendors, checking out live performances, and doing fun activities.

Shipyards Live

Photo: Shipyards Live

The final Shipyards Live event is set for September 2, 2022. The Shipyards in North Vancouver transform into a bustling street party with live performances by the Shenanigans and Lambsbreath. Food trucks and a beverage garden add to the festivities.

Bands on the Beach

Photo: Tourism Harrison

Harrison Hot Spring is hosting Bands on the Beach from September 3 to 4, 2022. On the shores of Harrison Lake, you can enjoy some stellar performers, including Ryan Fischer, an indie folk artists; Natalie Faith, a bluesy singer; and Todd Richard and the TR Band, who play country music.


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