Eat, Dance, and Celebrate at Summer Cultural Festivals in Vancouver

Photo: Carnaval del Sol Main Stage

Vancouver’s diversity gets particularly showcased during the summer months when streets and parks come alive with festivities. The backdrop of mountains, forest, and ocean adds unparalleled natural beauty to the city’s joyous cultural celebrations.

This summer, as always, is jam packed with cultural events. Here are 10 festivals to put on your calendar:

Festival d’été francophone de Vancouver

From now until June 22, 2024, Festival d’été francophone de Vancouver (Vancouver Francophone Summer Fest) has an exciting lineup of cultural and artistic concerts. Bleu Jeans Bleu, and Clay and Friends are performing at the Vogue Theatre on June 15 at 7pm, with other events including La Fête de la Musique Vancouver (free) at the Beaumont Studios June 21, 2024, 4:30pm to 11pm, and the free Ottoman Splendours with Lamia Yared and guests June 22 at 1pm at North Vancouver’s Civic Plaza. See here for further details and tickets, where applicable.

Greek Day on Broadway

West Broadway in Kitsilano has a long and proud history connected to the city’s Greek community. This history and continued vitality are on display at the annual Greek Day on Broadway, taking place this year on June 23, 2024, from 11am to 9pm. The festival, which celebrates all things Greek, spans West Broadway from Macdonald to Blenheim. The party will be particularly big this year as Greek Day is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. You can expect tons of food options, including souvlaki, baklava, and loukoumades (Greek honey doughnut balls). Live performers, such as traditional Greek dancers, take to the stage, and there are numerous activities for the whole family. Greek Day’s agora (marketplace) spotlights Greek products, while local vendors as well as boutiques along West Broadway offer items for browsing. Admission is free, and more details can be found here. 

Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival

Photo: Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival

Two Taiwanese festivals are slated for this summer. The first is the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival (TCCF), running from June 29 to July 1, 2024, primarily at he šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (north of the Vancouver Art Gallery). The three-day festival features 20 music and dance performers representing both Taiwanese and Canadian culture at both their Main Stage and Jazz Stage. Along with these live performances, there will be food vendors, exhibitions, workshops, and activities like face painting in the Square. In addition to online Taiwanese cinema from July 2 to July 6, the Festival will close with a performance by the Vancouver Formosan Singers on July 6 at 7:30pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. Admission is free to the TCCF, with more info available here.

Indian Summer Festival

Indian Summer Festival (ISF) runs July 4 to 14, 2024, with the guiding theme of “PARADOX,” exploring how contradictions inform artistic creation. This multidisciplinary festival is focused on celebrating South Asian arts and culture. ISF entails numerous events, including an opening party on July 4 (7pm to 11:30pm) at Performance Works with food and performances, and a night of poetry, story, and song called The Last Prayer Bead on July 10 from 7pm to 9:30pm at Ron Basford Park. More info and tickets can be found here.

Carnaval del Sol

Photo: Carnaval del Sol Main Stage performers

The theme for this year’s Carnaval del Sol is “harmony,” capturing this colourful festival’s bringing together of the best of Latin American culture. Organized by the non-profit Latincouver, Carnaval del Sol is the biggest festival of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. This year, the festival moves to Jonathan Rogers Park in Mount Pleasant for a three-day party from July 5 to July 7, 2024. Carnaval del Sol kicks off with a 19+ opening night party on July 5 (5:30pm) at the Granville Island Beer Plaza. Gambeat y la Grooving Familia headlines with other performers like DJ Hera and drag artists presented by Vancouver Pride Society also taking part. Enjoy the entertainment while noshing on empanadas and churros and drinking a special cerveza.

Then, on the Saturday and Sunday (July 6-7, noon to 11pm), Jonathan Rogers Park becomes an expansive and lively festival, spanning 11 plazas, which include a Main Plaza with performers on the Mucho Burrito Main Stage; a Food Plaza with over 20 vendors representing a wide range of Latin American food cultures; a Granville Island Beer Plaza; a new Cabrón Cocktail Plaza; an Indigenous Plaza with artisans, crafts, and talks; and an Artisans Plaza. NOTE: events are ticketed, with free admission for kids under 12 and seniors 65+ for July 6-7. See here for further info and tickets.

Vancouver Chinatown Festival

The 22nd Vancouver Chinatown Festival is set for July 13 and 14, 2024, from noon to 6pm, presented by the Vancouver Chinatown BIA Society. Festivities take place around the intersection of Keefer and Columbia Streets, and consist of all sort of programming to celebrate the culture and history of the neighbourhood. Visitors can expect live performances, such as tap dancing and taiko drumming; a Children’s Theatre with entertainment like lion dance demos; guided tours of Chinatown; a Cultural Diversity Corner with activities like lantern making and mahjong; a kids’ corner; an artisans’ market; and food trucks representing a variety of cultural cuisines. Admission is free, and more info can be found here.

Caribbean Days Festival

Since 1988, Caribbean Days Festival has been attracting huge crowds to its festivities. The 2024 edition is happening July 27-28 at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park and consists of a parade, tons of tasty food and drink (e.g., jerk chicken, Jamaican patties) from all regions and cultures of the Caribbean, live entertainment (for dancing), vendors selling various merchandise and artisanal goods, and games and activities for the kids. Admission is free, and more info can be found here.

Powell Street Festival

The Powell Street Festival Society invites everyone to the annual Powell Street Festival August 3-4, 2024 at Oppenheimer Park and surrounding streets. This festival is a feel-good community gathering that encompasses a range of different programming. Food trucks and food vendors (including ones representing community organizations) sell delicious items, such as takoyaki, yakisoba, and gyoza; there are tons of artisan vendors for purchasing everything from specialty food products to jewelry; performers entertain on the main stage; and everyone looks forward to the sumo tournament and lottery. Admission is free. See here for further details.

Festival of India – Vancouver Ratha Yatra

Creekside Park is the new venue for the Festival of India – Vancouver Ratha Yatra (chariot festival), scheduled for August 17 (noon to 6pm) and 18 (11am to dusk), 2024. The first day will involve kirtan (praising) and feasting while the second day features an elaborate and vibrant parade along False Creek, live entertainment, activities for the whole family, yoga demos, and a vegetarian feast. Admission is free; See here for further info.


Photo: TAIWANfest

Happening during the Labour Day long weekend, TAIWANfest is an annual event that represents the richness of Taiwanese culture, often in intersection with other cultural communities. It primarily takes place at and around the šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (north of the Vancouver Art Gallery), with events at other venues. This year’s festival (August 31 to September 2, 2024) is themed “Becoming Me” and is in dialogue with Spain, exploring questions related to de/colonization, cultural exchange, national identity, and language. TAIWANfest usually encompasses a diversity of programming, including food vendors selling Taiwanese specialities (e.g., popcorn chicken), live performances, exhibitions, vendors and booths, and family-friendly activities. Admission is free; see here for further info as it is released.

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