Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland Festivals Listing information, listings and links

Vancouver ites love festivals, be it spring, summer, fall or winter. Throughout the year, over 30 different festivals and annual events are put on by various local groups. From boat races in the summer to the Festival of Lights in the winter, there's no better way to enjoy yourself than to take in a festival.

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We also have serpate Festivals lists for Whistler, White Rock and Surrey, as well as any events in the Fraser Valley (from Langley & Pitt Meadows eastwards)




Polar Bear Swim

Jan 1

Dive the ice-cold waters of English Bay & start the New Year with a crisp new outlook. English Bay 604-665-3418

Chinese New Year

late January

Traditional 15-day celebration of food, family, gods and ancestors. Parade, live music, storytelling, and fortune analysis. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (604) 662-3207

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

late Feb

Offers a wild blend of mountain films and live presentations of local and international world class climbers, skiers, paddlers, travellers and outdoor activists Centennial Theatre, , North Vancouver and Pacific Cinématheque, Vancouver

Chutzpah! Festival.

Mid March

More than 25 performances and workshops with over 100 international, Canadian and local artists. Designed to celebrate professional artists from around the world, Chutzpah! continues to excite and has earned a highly regarded reputation for its innovative and eclectic programming. Since 2000. Norman Rothstein Theatre, Norman Rothstein Theatre

Vancouver Jewish Film Festival

late March

The Vancouver Jewish Film Festival is the longest running Jewish film festival in Canada. We have an established track record of being one of the best festivals of its type in North America. The Festival is inclusive and encourages multi-cultural interaction and presents high quality entertainment. Comedies, feature dramas, thrillers, hot and timely documentaries and whimsical shorts are programmed to appeal to a wide audience base. Pacific Cinematheque and Norman Rothstein Theatre. (604) 266-0245

Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

End Mar

This festival serves 1,600+ wines from over 183 wineries representing 15 countries at a 61 events. No attendees under tha age of 19 are admitted. Vancouver Convention & Exhibition CentreVancouver Playhouse 604.257.5145

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

End Mar - Late April

Put on your Pink and come celebrate Spring and our cherry blossoms with Sakura Days and Under the Cherry Tree in Floral Hall and the Covered Walkway. VanDusen Botanical Gardens features Haiku Cherry Tree Installations by Designers from Bing Thom Architects, Cherry Artisan Crafts, and a Japan Fair (Japanese Cultural Arts, Products and Food) VanDusen Botanical Garden, and various locations around Vancouver

Festival du Bois

Early Mar

A celebration of traditional and world music, all with a French twist! The largest and most attended francophone festival on the west coast, with performances from Canada and beyond, and great food and its unique hospitality. SInce 1991, in Coquitlam's Maillardville, the oldest and largest francophone community in B.C, Various locations around Maillardville, Coquitlam 604.936.0039

Hyack Easter Antique Car Parade

late April

This popular parade, in New Westminster, features over 120 antique cars. (604) 522-6894

Kerrisdale Carnival Days

late April

This annual spring festival is one of the Lower Mainland's largest free admission family events, including the "Biggest Little Community Parade in Vancouver " on Saturday morning. The fun includes clowns, magicians, pony rides, music, children's entertainment and sidewalk sales. Kerrisdale Village (604) 266-9875

Earth Day Richmond

late April

Join community members in cleaning up East Richmond´s beautiful parklands as your contribution to Earth Week & environmental protection. Some of the cleanup activities will include litter pickup, invasive species cutting, graffiti removal & permanent structure maintenance. King George Park, Richmond 604-233-8399


end Apr-early May

Teams compete under the sails of Canada Place, with teams including an engineer, architect, or graphic designer to create scuptures. Sculptures are judged and winner competes at the national level. This event is the singular largest fund raising event for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Admission fees are by donation. Vancouver Convention Centre East 604-323-3403

Richmond Regional Heritage Fair

early May

Local students will publicly present their projects on Canadian heroes, legends, milestones & achievements. Come & enjoy multicultural heritage activities, workshops & performances. Richmond Cultural Centre, Richmond 604-247-8300

Vancouver International Marathon

early May

held the first Sunday in May.The 42 km marathon takes participants from BC Place Stadium through False Creek to Stanley Park & the Kitsilano neighbourhood. Downtown & Kitsilano

Doors Open Richmond

early May

For 2 days May 2-3, visitors are granted free access to an array of sites from heritage landmarks to modern structures, hidden gems, places of worship, artists' studios, museums, national historic sites, & more. Over 40 venues participate to showcase Richmond's diverse & multicultural nature. The must-see attraction list is long & includes the International Chinese Buddhist Temple, London Heritage Farm, & the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic site. Various Locations around Richmond 604-247-8300

Sea to Sky Regional Heritage Fair

early May

Hundred of students' history projects will be showcased with dozens of heritage-themed activities & performances. See Yukon Dan, the Goldpanning man; the North Shore Celtic Ensemble; the Eagle Song Dancers & much more! 3203 Institute Rd, North Vancouver. Community History Centre, North Vancouver 604-990-3700

Annual Burnaby Rhododendron Festival

early May

Observe flower trusses of many beautiful rhododendron varieties which are grown locally. See boquet competitions, silent auction, antique garden tools, and tours of Deer Lake Park. Since 1988. Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby (604) 291-6864

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

May - September

S Bard on the Beach presents 3 professional Shakespeare productions in open-ended tents on the waterfront. Vanier Park. Box Office: 604-739-0559 Admin: 604-737-0625 Fax- 604-737-0425

New Music West Festival

mid May

International music festival and conference including club crawls, seminars, workshops, and industry forums. Robson Square Conference Centre and various venues (604) 684-9338

9th Annual Taste of the Nation

Mid May

Anti-hunger food and wine tasting benefit includes gourmet samplings from some of Vancouver ’s top restaurants and beverage suppliers. Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre. (604) 691-7764

Hyack Festival, New Westminster

late May

Starting on the Victoria Day weekend in May, the Hyack Festival Association presents its traditional project: the Hyack Festival. This annual spring community festival mixes some of New Westminster's best-loved traditions with a kaleidoscope of modern events. Dozens of events occur during the Hyack Festival - some are organized by the Hyack Festival Association, and others are organized by our fellow community groups. There's Bandshell entertainment, parades, fireworks, sporting events, rides and carnival games. New Westminster (604) 522-6894

Annual Sheep Fair

late May

Maplewood Farm celebrates the "Rites of Spring". Come watch sheep professionally shorn & "worked" by a Border Collie dog. A food concession & pony rides also available. Admission. Since 1980. Maplewood Farms, North Vancouver 604-929-5610

Up in the Air Theatre: Third Annual Walking Fish Festival

late May-early June

The Walking Fish is an emerging artists festival bringing together playwrights, performers, and directors to create original theatre. Upintheair created Walking Fish to provide opportunities for these artists to work together in an accessible, affordable production process and introduce their art to the wider community. The festival is presented in late May/Early June. Upintheair produces nine to twelve short one-act plays written, directed, and performed by artists covering the full spectrum of emerging talent. Granville Island 604) 715-7580

Vancouver 's International Children's Festival

late May-early June

This family festival features theatre, music, dance and puppetry from around the world. Vanier Park (604) 708 5655

In The House Festival

early June

A wide range of performances, including music, dance, theatre, storytelling and spoken word, inside people's living rooms and backyards various venues around Vancouver 604-874-9325

MEC Paddlefest Vancouver

early June

An urban celebration of paddling, this free event celebrates canoeing & kayaking with on land & on water workshops. Everyone from absolute beginners to enthusiasts are welcome, this family friendly event offers opportunities to test boats & equipment. Ambleside Park, West Vancouver 604-876-6221

West Vancouver Community Days

early June

This event includes a community beer garden, and Community Day Parade, displays by artisans and community groups, with an excellent variety of musical and dance entertainment, food and crafts, kids and youth activities and amusement park rides at the COmmunity Centre. Ambleside Park & various locations 604-925-7000

Alcan Dragon Boat Festival

mid June

A weekend of racing and cultural activities. Highlights include stage entertainment for the whole family. Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park and on False Creek. (604) 688-2382

Le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver

Mid-Late June

The Vancouver Festival d’été francophone invites you to share in the biggest season in its history. Vancouver will rock to the beat of francophone music Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver , 1551-7 Ave W. 604.736.9806

Hellenic Cultural Extravaganza & Greek Day

late June

Greek Heritage Month and Greek Day have musical and dance acts performing on 2 stages, a health-conscious cooking demonstration tent, and activities for Children in our Kid's Zone 604 738 7126

Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

late June

This annual festival celebrates the arrival of the Vikings to Canada over 1000 years ago and the longest day of the year. The festival displays Nordic Villages with shopping kiosks from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Festival will feature cultural displays, singing and dancing, beer garden, Scandinavian food, free miniature horse rides, 40' Viking ship and many more kids activities and crafts. Scandinavian Community Centre, Burnaby 6450 Thomas St. off highway #1 and Kensington Ave. 604-294-2777

Pipes by the Sea

late June

Police and Military Bagpipe and Brass bands will perform at this annual musical event. Entry by donation, proceeds to the West Vancouver Fire Fighters Charitable Society. Seating is limited - come early and bring your lawn chairs. Since 2004. Ambleside Park, West Vancouver 604-999-9291

Magnetic North Theatre Festival

The premier festival of new Canadian theatre. Like the Magnetic North Pole itself, the festival moves around the country, treating Canadians to the best of English theatre from across Canada. Magnetic North Theatre Festival is one of Canada’s most significant annual cultural events. 604.638.7489

Vancouver International Jazz Festival

late June

For 10 days and nights extraordinary music electrifies the entire city. From Gastown to David Lam Park, from hip bistros to great concert halls you can hear a wide variety of jazz, blues, groove, world music, improv and popular artists. Featuring 1,800 musicians from Canada and around the world. Many free performances including large outdoor concerts, eight major indoor concert series, and a host of nightclub shows. Since 1985. various locations around Vancouver 604 872 5200 Fax: 604 872 5250

Jazz Festival at Capilano Suspension Bridge

late June

For 2 weekends in June, 7 pm - 9 pm, the Pioneer Garden grooves to the cool sounds of jazz. As a free venue for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Capilano Suspension Bridge offers the most stunning backdrop of any venue. Capilano Suspension Bridge , North Vancouver 604-985-7474

Canada Day Celebrations in West Vancouver

July 1

Afternoon activities & fireworks at night. Live entertainment, lots of kids activities, free birthday cupcakes at 1:30 pm & fireworks at 10:30 pm. Other features: Taste of West Vancouver ; Visit the Balloon Artist, make a Canada Day Kite & more. Ambleside Park, West Vancouver 604-925-7000

Canada Day Celebrations at Canada Place

July 1

Non-stop entertainment on three stages. The outdoor Canada Place Corporation Plaza stage, indoor Celebrate Canada Main Stage & Inspirationally Canadian Presentation Stage will keep you busy celebrating Canada Day from start to finish. Canada Place, Vancouver waterfront 604-775-8025

North Shore Canada Day Celebration

July 1

This is a fun filled family event commemorating our nation's birthday, our communities & our diversity. Pancake breakfast & parade at Grand Boulevard from 8-10 am. Festivities to follow at Waterfront Park with lots of activities, crafts & entertainment. Grand Boulevard & Waterfront Park 604-990-3801

Steveston Salmon Festival

July 1

Celebrate Canada in Steveston, highlights include a parade, the Japanese Cultural Show, craft fair, Childrens Festival, carnival rides, Youth Festival, food fair, art show & exhibit & more. Our famous salmon grilled over open fire pits sells out every year. Steveston Village, Richmond 604-718-8094

Cates Park Concert Series

July & August

Bring a picnic & listen to original, local bands & artists. Cates Park, North Vancouver 604-924-6871

Live in Lynn Valley

July & August

Each Friday evenings from mid-July to mid-August at the Lynn Valley Library Town Centre Plaza. Lynn Valley Library Town Centre Plaza, North Vancouver 604-987-7529

Richmond City Centre Celebration

mid July

Richmond's only festival just for kids. This free event is for families & children of all ages. A variety of entertainment including; bouncy castles, kids swap meet, face painting, storytelling, crafts, entertainers & more. Full of excitement & surprises. Minoru Park Oval, Richmond 604-233-8910

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

mid July

Music from local and international folk singers, songwriters, musicians, and storytellers. Daytime and evening performances and special children's programs. Since 1978. Jericho Beach Park (604) 602-9798

Annual Burnaby Discovery Day Festival -

late July

Burnaby's largest community grass roots festival showcases a variety of organizations involved in arts and culture, heritage, sports and leisure. Visitors of all ages will enjoy music, live theatre, street performances and interactive visual arts activities throughout the day. Since1984. Deer Lake Park 604-291-6864

Vancouver Pride Festival

end July-early Aug

Festivities include festival at Grandview Park& Gay Day at the PNE Playland, and Picknic in the Brockton Oval at Stanley Park, and a Movie Night at VanCity Theatre. The highlight is the Pride Parade, held since 1978, which runs along Tobson St, Denmand and Beach Aven to Sunset Beach. various locations around downtown Vancouver 604-687-0955

Festival of Contemporary Dance

early-mid July

Festival of dance, featuring BC and Canadian dance companies. Since 1988. Firehall Arts Centre and Scotiabank Dance Centre 604-689-0926

Annual Hyack Fraser Fest

mid July

The festival kicks off on Friday night with a concet. The old favourite musical mascot parade will be back on Saturday, followed by waterfront fireworks Saturday night. Sunday features tug boats on the Fraser River with the annual Lucille Johnstone Work Boat Parade. New Westminster (604) 522-6894

Caribbean Days Festival

late July

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Caribbean, including limbo, steel band music, food, dance, arts and crafts. Waterfront Park, North Vancouver Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of B.C. (604) 515-2400

Vancouver Chamber Music Festival

late July

This year’s festival features 17 extraordinary musicians from around the world performing an eclectic mix of repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Martinu and Messiaen. Crofton House School. (604) 602-0363

Vancouver Lantern Festival

late July

This exciting community event showcases hand made lanterns created by individuals and community groups. The evening begins with an interactive drum circle, followed by a musical lantern procession that winds its way around the park. Trout Lake ParkPublic Dreams Society (604)879-8611

Powell Street Festival

early Aug

A celebration of Asian Canadian arts, history and culture. The festival features dance, music, theatre, exhibits, martial arts, crafts and delectable foods. At locations throughout Japantown (604) 739-9388

Celebration of Light.

early Aug

Three competing countries will try to amaze us all with a spectacular display of fireworks in this international competition. The city’s annual free fireworks tradition held over four evenings at English Bay. The largest international fireworks competition in the world . Music simulcast begins at 10:00 p.m. on radio station ROCK 101 (101.1 FM). English Bay (604) 738-4304

Vancouver Early Music Festival

early Aug

An annual event sponsored by Early Music Vancouver and the School of Music, University of British Columbia. (604) 732-1610

MusicFest Vancouver (formerly Festival Vancouver )

early-mid Aug

Each year for two weeks in August, concert venues throughout Vancouver play host to unforgettable musical experiences that bring enthusiastic and adventurous music lovers together with some of the most talented artists in the world. Over two weeks see over 50 events, and diverse musical repertoire various venues around Vancouver 604 688 1152

Vancouver Chamber Music Festival

early Aug

This year’s festival features 17 extraordinary musicians from around the world performing an eclectic mix of repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Martinu and Messiaen. Crofton House School and Vanier Park (604) 602-0363

Annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival

mid-late Aug

For 11 days each August, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival brings the very best in queer independent cinema from around the world to Vancouver. As the city's second largest film festival, we privilege creative innovation and audience experience. Since 1989. various venues in Vancouver 604.844.1615

Richmond Dragon Boat Festival

late August

The Richmond Dragon Boat Festival is a premier summer dragon boat festival & is produced & hosted by the John MS Lecky UBC Boathouse in Richmond, BC, Canada. John MS Lecky UBC Boathouse, Richmond 604-247-2627



Street performers will have you stitches

Tslei-Waututh Nation Cultural Festival

mid Aug

A celebration of Aboriginal culture through the arts with a particular focus on the people of the Tsleil-Waututh. Event includes performance groups, cultural village area with artists & traditional skills workers & a family stage. Food & art vendors on-site. Cates Park, North Vancouver 604-924-4156

Deep Cove Daze

end Aug

Enjoy this annual festival complete with midway rides, face painters, kids entertainers, local artisans, a main stage full of entertainment, kid's stage with a variety of events, beer gardens & much, much more. Admission by donation Panorama Park, North Vancouver 604-924-6871

Richmond Maritime Festival

late August

Celebrate Richmond's traditional connections with the sea at the Annual Richmond Maritime Festival. This free family event will give you the opportunity to see a variety of maritime exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, view boats & participate in hands-on demonstrations. On the water, there will be a floating exhibition of boats for your viewing pleasure. Many boats will be at the docks of the shipyard, including historic fishing boats and classic power and sail boats Britannia Heritage Shipyard National Historic Site, Richmond 604-718-8050

Pacific National Exhibition

late August

A variety of concerts, folk, and country music, agricultural exhibitions and an amusement park highlight this family fair. Pacific National Exhibition Grounds at Hastings Park. (604) 253-2311

Wooden Boat Festival

late August

Seafaring folk from up and down the Pacific coast gather at the Island Os west docks (Granville Island ) to show off their boats in a nautical open house. (604) 666-5784

Aboriginal Cultural Festival


Arts and culture from Canada's native people. Since 2003. Pacific Coliseum and the Plaza of Nations

North Vancouver Coho Festival

Early Sept

A celebration of natures annual miracle of salmon returning to the North Shore. This popular family affair attracts large crowds of local residents & visitors. Join in & help restore North Shore salmon streams for present & future generations. Ambleside Park, West Vancouver 604-926-6956

Southlands Riding Club Country Fair

mid Sept

Enjoy a day in the country without leaving the city" Lots of fun for children & adults. Pony rides, horse entertainment, petting farm, vendors, live music, thrift & book sales, & much more. Entry by donation. Rain or shine. Southlands Riding Club, 7025 Macdonald Street 604-263-4817

Vancouver Fringe Festival

mid September

Over 65 groups from around the world present 500 shows over 11 days on eight indoor and outdoor stages.Since 1984. various locations. (604) 257-0350

Funky ART CAR Festival

mid September

Noon - 6pm all ages family fun Temporary Tattoos, Face Painting, Raffle, ART CARS galore, and lots of fun! Greater Vancouver Foodbank Society 604-608-6914

Annual Farm Fair

mid September

Craft exhibitors, pony rides, colouring contest, straw play areas, food, music, dancing, story telling and more. Since 1982. Maplewood Farm, North Vancouver (604) 929-5610

Vancouver International Film Festival

late September

This festival presents 300 films from 50 countries making it one of the largest film festivals in North America. Centered around Crowne Plaza Hotel Georgia and various theatres around Vancouver. VanCityTheatre (604) 685-0260

North Shore Heritage Weekend

late September

A host of historical events including walking tours, harbour & home tours. various venues, North Vancouver 604-990-3700

Burnaby Night of Lights

late September

This exciting community event showcases hand made lanterns created by individuals and community groups. The evening begins with an interactive drum circle, followed by a musical lantern procession that winds its way around the park. Deer Lake Park, Burnaby (604)879-8611

Edgemont Village Harvest Festival

late September

This free street fair packs the community with 5,000 attendees who come to enjoy the all day event. With live music, Irish dancers, a ventriloquist, The Extreme Bike Show with Dangerous Dan, & more — there’s something for everyone. Edgemont Village, North Vancouver 604-988-8919

Lower Lonsdale Fall Festival

late September

Enjoy live music, dancing, roving performers, browse for treasures at the Community Flea Market, create a work of art at free craft stations. Lots of fun for little kids, big kids & everyone in between. 100 West 1st (outdoors) & Brathwaite Comm. Ctr., North Vancouver 604-982-8300

Harvest Festival at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Early October

A monthlong festival during October, Harvest Festival celebrates the season. On Thanksgiving weekend, enjoy games, the Rainforest Explorers Program, face painting, crafts & fortune telling. For Halloween, enjoy a jack-o'-lantern display, fortune telling, face painting, crafts, ghost tours & trick-or-treating. The park is decorated with a harvest theme & offers musical entertainment. Capilano Suspension Bridge , North Vancouver 604-985-7474

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Early October

This is the most romantic outdoor Chinese cultural celebration and includes a colourful lantern festival, myth telling, music, and complimentary tea and mooncakes. Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the Chinese calendar (the other being Chinese New Year). Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes together. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden. (604) 662-3207

Vancouver International Comedy Festival

late October

THis Montreal style festival, provides nearly two weeks of fun and laughter. It will involve primarily stand-up comedy and take place in various club venues. Since 2003. various venues around Vancouver 604-683-0883

Heart of the City Festival

late October / early November

The mission of the Heart of the City Festival is to promote, present, profile and encourage development of LOCAL artists, art forms, cultural traditions, history, activism, people and great stories about Vancouver ’s Downtown Eastside.Featuring over 80 events at over 25 locations inlcuding music, theatre, media arts, comedy, poetry, forums, workshops, visual arts, history walks. Since 2004. various venues 604-628-5672

Vancouver Asian Film Festival

early Nov

Vancouver 's multiculturalism is reflected in this burgeoning film festival highlighting the work of Asian filmmakers from around the world. Since 1996. Cinemark Tinseltown Theatres 604-251-6828

Christmas Carol Ship Parade


Boat owners from around Greater Vancouver decorate their vessels and parade around Vancouver Harbour. On peak evenings, this holiday tradition has grown to more than 80 decorated boats, with in excess of 150,000 lights, and carries over 45,000 people during the 23 night festival. Since 1961. (604) 878 8999

Park & Tilford's Christmas Festival of Lights


North Vancouver 's favourite holiday tradition, Park & Tilford Garden's Christmas Festival of Lights is back bigger & better than ever for December 2009. Open daily, lights come on at 4:30 pm. Admission by donations with all proceeds going to charity. Park & Tilford Gardens, North Vancouver 604-984-8200

Annual Seasonal Celebration

early Dec

This family event features music, dance & theatre, hands-on family activities & the ever popular wreath-making workshop to celebrate this festive season. Since 1996 Deer Lake Park 604-291-6864

First Night Vancouver

Dec 31

Family-oriented, alcohol-free new year extravaganza, which includes visual and performing arts, indoor and outdoor musical entertainment, street animation, discovery activities for children and adults and more. Science World (604) 688-4875

Hyack Christmas Parade of Lights


Christmas in New Westminster is truly magical, and the Hyack Festival Association is proud to kick off the Christmas season each year with Hyack's Santa Claus Parade in downtown New Westminster. From bands playing Christmas music and marching quickly to keep warm, to floats featuring reindeer, elves, candy canes and toys, the parade is a swirl of colour and lights that is not to be missed. Columbia St.(New Westminster) between 4th & 8th St., ending up at Hyack Square (604) 522-6894

Annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade

early Dec

Santa’s early visit to Vancouver on Sunday, December 6th, 2009 is the perfect kick off to the holiday season. Over 60 marching bands, dance troupes, festive floats & community groups, which entertain over 300,000 spectators. Come join in the magic, fun & festivities. Since 2003 Along West Georgia and down Howe St to Davie, Downtown 604-646-3573

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