10 Free Things to Do in Vancouver in August

 

Vancouver Chinatown Festival

Summer fun in Vancouver continues through August with loads of great, free events and activities for the whole family!

10 Free Things to Do in Vancouver in August

1. Watch the Fireworks! The Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition continues with two more nights of amazing fireworks displays on Wednesday, August 3, and Saturday, August 6, 2011.

2. Party before the fireworks at SHOREfest, the free concert series that runs from 7pm – 10pm on August 3 and August 6 at three of the best fireworks-watching spots: Vanier Park, Kitsilano Beach, and English Bay Beach.

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10 Free Things to Do in Vancouver in August

Britannia Copper & Fire Arts Festival at Britannia Mine Museum

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the re-invented Britannia Mine Museum—it recently had a $14.7 million makeover and now boasts lots of fun activities, including panning for gold and an underground mine train—the annual Britannia Copper & Fire Arts Festival is the perfect excuse to visit.

The Britannia Copper & Fire Arts Festival is the signature summer event at the Britannia Mine Museum. The festival showcases local artists, artisans, musicians, and performers and features arts and crafts with a “copper, fire and mined materials” theme. The art works are displayed throughout the museum and range from copper and bronze sculptures to jewelry to gunpowder paintings.

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Britannia Copper & Fire Arts Festival at Britannia Mine Museum

Illuminares Lantern Festival at Canada Place – July 30, 2011

Illuminares Lantern Festival. Photo: Public Dreams

If you’re in Vancouver for the long weekend (August 1 is BC Day, a public holiday), you have lots of major, free events to choose from: Along with the first night of the Celebration of Light Fireworks on July 30 and the Vancouver Pride Parade on July 31, this Saturday, July 30, is the Illuminares Lantern Festival at downtown Vancouver’s Canada Place.

Organized by the uber-imaginative Public Dreams, the annual Illuminares Lantern Festival is a series of “glowing handmade lantern processions, performances and fantastical happenings.” Now in its 22nd year, the Lantern Festival has moved from its traditional home at Trout Lake to a stunning new outdoor venue along the seawall at Canada Place.

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Illuminares Lantern Festival at Canada Place – July 30, 2011

Celebration of Light 2011 – Best Spots to Watch the Fireworks

Vancouver's Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition

Vancouver’s seminal summer event, the annual Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition, is starting in less than a week: the first day of fireworks is Saturday, July 30!

The Vancouver Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition is more than just three nights of phenomenal pyrotechnics over Vancouver’s English Bay; it’s one of the world’s most prestigious fireworks competition, attracting the world’s best fireworks pyrotechnicians and designers as well as over a million spectators, making it the summer event in the Lower Mainland.

So, which countries are competing in 2011 and where are the best places to watch?

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Celebration of Light 2011 – Best Spots to Watch the Fireworks

BC Cultural Crawl – August 1 – 31, 2011

It’s a big year for Vancouver. Not only is 2011 the City of Vancouver’s 125th birthday and Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary, it’s also the 10th birthday for the BC Cultural Crawl. Launched as a B.C. Day celebration in 2001, today’s BC Culture Crawl is a huge arts festival that spans the province and the entire month of August.

The BC Cultural Crawl is a collection of arts and cultural events at 70 cities and towns throughout British Columbia, including outdoor theatre, art walks, annual festivals, and special events that demonstrate the unique “footprints” of the various B.C. communities.

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BC Cultural Crawl – August 1 – 31, 2011

Theatre Under the Stars 2011 – Stanley Park’s Outdoor Musical Theatre

Seth Little as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh & Andrew Cownden as Moonface Martin in TUTS 2011 production of Anything Goes.

Last night, when my partner and I went to the opening night of Stanley Park’s Theatre Under the Stars’ (TUTS) Anything Goes, it was raining. It wasn’t raining terribly hard—more of drizzle, really—but it was wet enough that the TUTS crew gave out complimentary rain ponchos. So there we are, my partner and I, holding hands under our plastic-bag ponchos, listening to star Irene Karas (playing Reno Sweeney) belt out Cole Porter hits like “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and thinking that it doesn’t get any more Pacific Northwest than this: watching outdoor theatre in July in the rain and loving it.

The smiles on our faces lasted long after the show ended. It’s experiences like that that make TUTS a Vancouver summer tradition, rain or shine.

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Theatre Under the Stars 2011 – Stanley Park’s Outdoor Musical Theatre

Vancouver Folk Music Festival – July 15 – 17, 2011

Named one of the ten best outdoor concerts in North America by USA Today, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival is one of the highlights of the summer music season. This three-day festival at Jericho Beach Park features an eclectic range of folk and roots music performed on eight outdoor stages, all overlooking the picture-perfect vistas of downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains.

At this festival, “folk” has an expansive meaning, covering an enormous range of sounds, from gospel to blues, rock, world music, spoken-word poetry, and African- and Latin fusion. The diverse 2011 artist line-up includes Dan Bern, Jim Bryson and the Weakerthans Band, Rosanne Cash, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Freshlyground, The Fugitives , La-33, New Country Rehab, Tim Robbins & The Rogues Gallery Band, and Mary Gauthier, to name just a few.

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Vancouver Folk Music Festival – July 15 – 17, 2011