With summer just around the corner, Vancouver festivals emerge. From May through September, the city celebrates the arts with a variety of events sure to please all. Local residents and visitors alike enjoy fun-filled festivals that include everything from jazz to Shakespeare along with boat races and fireworks. All of this makes the city a fantastic place to visit during the summer. Here’s a few key events that are not to be missed, and would form the base of any excellent trip to Vancouver.
First off, if you’re coming in from the UK, check out great deals on flights from London to Canada on Air Transat. For all other international routes, check out Hip Munk for great flight comparisons.
Vancouver International Children's Festival
Scheduled from May 27 through June 2, the event lasts for an entire week. Located on Granville Island, the festival features performing arts programs specially designed to appease young guests. For 36 years, the event has provided an educational, entertaining and inspirational experience for kids of all ages.
HSBC City of Bhangra Festival
Spanning from May 30 to June 8, the festival offers numerous events that include hundreds of live performances provided by artists from India, the United Kingdom and the United States. The culturally diverse line-up of entertainment includes dance shows, free outdoor concerts and percussion presentations along with various conferences and workshops.
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
Shakespeare fans gather from June 12 to September 14 to celebrate the works of the Bard. This year’s presentations not only include traditional performances of Hamlet, Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night, but also feature the original play entitled Elizabeth Rex. The young stars of the UBC Opera Ensemble additionally offer a performance in full costume. The Bard B-Q and a fireworks competition are but some of the special activities occurring during the festival. Spectators also have the chance to attend a series of lectures and wine tastings.
Rio Tintin Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
This multicultural event begins on June 21 and extends for three days. The Creekside Community Center, the Creekside Olympic Village and False Creek serve as the locations for various activities that naturally include the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat races. Guests enjoy live performances, programs provided by local community groups and visual arts exhibits.
TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival
For 10 days, from June 21, the jazz festival welcomes music lovers to hear the sounds of numerous artists ranging from local talent to celebrity musicians. Herbie Hancock and Macy Gray are a couple of the headlining acts this year. From the noon hour, until the wee hours of the morning, jazz enthusiasts have the chance to attend concerts located at various venues throughout the city.
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Guests enjoy a bevy of concerts featuring traditional folk music when this festival begins on the weekend of July 19. The event attracts musicians from many different countries who perform at Jericho Beach to the delight of visitors. The festival additionally hosts an art market. Relax, enjoy the gorgeous sunsets, and grab a snack at one of the food vending locations.
Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition
This unique event offers three nights of amazing fireworks on the nights of July 27, 31 and August 3. Over one million spectators arrive for the fantastic presentations offered by pyrotechnic professionals representing three different countries. The competition promises amazing displays expertly choreographed to music. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner and watch the sky light up. Optimal viewing locations for the event include English Bay, Jericho Beach, Kitsilano Beach, Vanier Park and West Vancouver.
Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver-This family friendly hotel receives extremely high marks from guests. Modern, amenity-filled rooms welcome visitors and the venue features various child-orientated activities. The hotel has an indoor pool and an outdoor pool. The kid’s concierge entertains young guests with crafts and face painting fun so parents might sneak away for a few hours of fun. The Playzone game room provides numerous games including PlayStation and Wii. Kids even have the chance to work with the chefs in the kitchen to create the best cookies ever. Guests do not travel far to fulfill shopping needs, as the hotel stands atop 100 stores.
Coast Coal Harbour Hotel-Former guests rate this facility at 4.5 stars. Located right on the scenic waterfront, the Coast Coal Harbour offers a wide selection of rooms, each offering amazing views through floor to ceiling windows. Every spacious room provides wireless Internet and 36-inch flat screen TVs. The long list of amenities includes a fully equipped fitness center, hot tub and swimming pool along with the world-class Preston’s Restaurant.
Les Faux Bourgeois-Located on the east side of the city, the Les Faux serves authentic French cuisine in generous portions for reasonable prices. Surrounded by a contemporary atmosphere, the facility serves a number of traditional dishes that include canard confit, coq au vin and steak frites.
Vij's Rangoli-This equally budget friendly venue lies on the west side of Vancouver. The menu consists of a unique blend of Indian and Pacific/Northwest dishes. Relax in a casual setting and enjoy traditional or vegan dishes. The restaurant also offers guests the option of taking home and heat dinners.
Hawksworth Restaurant-When looking for a special night out on the town, the elegant Hawksworth remains one of the top choices. Situated in the downtown Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the venue offers breakfast, lunch or dinner. The chef creatively prepares dishes representing American, European or French cuisine along with a fine selection of fresh seafood.
Minami Restaurant-This upscale venue lies in Yaletown and offers Asian, Fusion and Japanese dishes along with Aburi style sushi. Sushi lovers must try the Aburi Salmon Ohsi or the Aburi Ebi Oshi, each uniquely prepared with a searing flame that enhances the natural flavours. The Minami also impresses guests with their fantastic sake menu.