2014 Festivals in Vancouver


Vancouver has a lot to celebrate and it often celebrates with a festival. For 2014, here is a list of the festivals you can enjoy. From the International Jazz Festival and the International Film Festival to the Fringe Festival and the International Children’s Festival you can experience a diversity of events.

If you know of other local festivals, please send an email and we’ll add your festival to the list.

January

In The House Festival – January 5
A wide range of performances, including music, dance, theatre, storytelling and spoken word, inside people’s living rooms and backyards.

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival – January 20 – February 8
Now in its eleventh year, the PuSh Festival showcases work in the live performing arts. This year’s Festival includes works by artists and companies from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, and the United States. The 2015 Festival features almost 200 performances and events over 20 days. The work is adventurous and visionary, and encourages the best in contemporary performance.

Dine Out Vancouver – January 17 – February 3
Have fun eating cuisine that defines Vancouver’s regional and international restaurants. The over 200 participating restaurants offer discounted prix fixe menus for mostly dinner and some for lunch.

Street Food City – January 23 – 27 from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM Wednesday through Friday and 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Saturday & Sunday
Sample a selection of delicious food from Vancouver’s street carts on the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery. There are some innovative chefs creating downright tasty food.

Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival – January 19 – February 14
The Hot Chocolate Festival features 15 Vancouver participants, offering 50+ crazy hot chocolate flavours in 27 days.

Vancouver International Boat Show – January 22 – 26
Held at BC Place and Granville Island, this year’s boat show offers all sorts of information about boating and some of the highlights include the latest products as well as seminars dedicated to sports fishing.

February

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival – February 8 – 17
The VIMFF showcases films, slides and speakers on subjects related to outdoor adventures. VIMFF is unique to North Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada, with the Banff Mountain Film Festival being the only other festival in Canada comparable in size and reputation.

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival – January 14 – February 2
Now in its eleventh year, the PuSh Festival showcases work in the live performing arts. The work is adventurous and visionary, and encourages the best in contemporary performance.

Vancouver Mountain Film Festival – February 8 – 17
The International Mountain Film Festival features climbing and adventure films and events. The program is held at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver and at Pacific Cinématheque in downtown Vancouver.

Chutzpah! FestivalMusic Theatre & Dance: February 19 – March 9
Now entering its 14th year, the Chutzpah! Festival features a wealth of extraordinary work by emerging and established artists from across Canada and around the world.

March

St Patrick’s Day Event – March 16, from 1-3 PM
Starting at 1:00 PM, Lonsdale Quay Market will be bustling with the sound of traditional Irish dance, as the Eire Born Irish Dance Society performs their high-paced, inspiring Celtic style dance in the Rotunda. At 2:15 PM, the North Shore Junior Celtic Ensemble will take the stage to perform traditional Irish folk music. There will also be Kid’s Crafts in Kid’s Alley for the duration of the event and a special visit from the Market Leprechaun, who will be handing out gold coins.

Baker’s Market – March – May various dates and Sundays from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Baker’s Market Vancouver came to exist because they felt there are so many talented bakers and artisans in the Vancouver community who do not have a venue and opportunity to sell their delicious baked goods.  The market started with just a handful of vendors…

Vancouver International Dance Festival – March 7 – 29
The 14th annual Vancouver International Dance Festival features companies from Spain, China Germany, the US and Canada informed by techniques and styles as diverse as Butoh flamenco and ballet. The organizers bring over three weeks of performances, workshops and other activities to venues including the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, the Vancouver Playhouse, and to neighbourhood landmarks throughout Vancouver such as the Woodward’s atrium and the Roundhouse turntable plaza.

CelticFest – March 8 – 16
With over 70 live Celtic performances over 9 days, the CelticFest showcases the best of Celtic music, dance, spoken word as well as film, food and fare and the much-anticipated St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

April

Easter at Lonsdale Quay Market – April 20  10:00 – 12:30
Hundreds of eggs will be hidden throughout the Market for your little ones to find and some will be filled with a voucher to redeem a delicious and fresh hot cross bun. Other Easter activities include face painting and balloon art for a nominal fee, an Easter-themed craft, and a special visit from the Easter Bunny who will be at the Market and available for pictures, from 11:00-12:00 in Kids Alley. 604 985-6261

Earth Day at Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver – April 22 – 1:00 PM
This year’s campaign focuses on four important actions: “Eat, Grow, Transform, and Share.” Lonsdale Quay Market will partake in this year’s theme by giving away an edible planter to one lucky attendee (eat), the Market will be giving out a custom Earth Day surprise, while supplies last (grow), Railtown Revivals have generously a donated a prize to win (transform), and The Market Environment facts will be on display (share). 604 985-6261

Earth Day – April 26
Earth Day Volunteers will plant 1500 native trees and shrubs at Everett Crowley Park (entrance at Kerr Street and 64th Avenue) in Southeast Vancouver on Saturday, April 30th – from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Earth Day at Everett Crowley Park offers a wide range of free family-oriented fun including professional performers, music, dancing, cultural and ecological exhibits, and very special children’s activities.

Artists in Our Midst - April 29
Artists in Our Midst was the first open studio tour in Vancouver. The event kicks off with The Roundhouse Exhibit, a dynamic group exhibit at the Roundhouse Community Centre featuring over 60 artists. This is followed by Open Studios, a weekend of touring studios and artist-created galleries throughout Vancouver’s west side. The Roundhouse Exhibit is April 29th 10:00 – 9:30 PM, and the reception is from 7 – 9:30 PM. Open Studios May 3 -4, from 11:00 – 6:00 PM

Baker’s Market –  March through May – various dates and Sundays from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Baker’s Market Vancouver came to exist because they felt there are so many talented bakers and artisans in the Vancouver community who do not have a venue and opportunity to sell their delicious baked goods.  The market started with just a handful of vendors…

Projecting Change Film Festival - April 24 – 27
Vancouver’s Projecting Change Film Festival is forum for film and dialogue about social and environmental issues. Our marquee six-day event features inspiring, eye-opening, and often award-winning films from around the globe, each followed by a dynamic speaker and panel discussion. The unique festival format is a platform for audience engagement, with all proceeds donated back to local initiatives.

May

Victoria Harbour Boat Show - May 1 -4
The 2014 Victoria Harbour Boat Show takes place in the waters of Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

Vancouver Web Fest – May 2 – 4
The Vancouver Web Fest (VWF) celebrates the progressive evolution of entertainment and programming created exclusively for the Internet. This uniquely diverse festival is the first of its kind in Canada. VWF will bring together International and Canadian web series creators, producers and viewers through an engaged and responsive forum that acknowledges the cultural significance of this revolutionary genre.

Vancouver International Marathon - Sunday May 6
The Vancouver Marathon began in 1972, and since has become the second largest international marathon held in Canada with 14,000 participants in 2010.

DOXA Documentary Film Festival - May 2 – 11
DOXA, Documentary Media Society, is a Vancouver based non-profit, devoted to presenting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences so they may come to see documentaries as an art form.

Baker’s Market –  March – May various dates and Sundays from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Baker’s Market Vancouver came to exist because they felt there are so many talented bakers and artisans in the Vancouver community who do not have a venue and opportunity to sell their delicious baked goods.  The market started with just a handful of vendors…

Upintheair Theatre: Revolver Festival - May 13 – 25
Upintheair Theatre is an emerging artists festival bringing together playwrights, performers, and directors to create original theatre. Held at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.

City of Bhangra Festival - May 29 – June 7
Every spring, VIBC presents the City of Bhangra Festival, a ten-day all-out dance party and music-fest showcasing the music and dance of the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. On indoor and outdoor stages, in parks, in clubs, and even right smack downtown in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Festival features hundreds of local and international artists in a series of dynamic performances designed to thrill audiences of all ages.

EAT! Vancouver, Food + Cooking Festival – May 30 – June 1
Twelfth Annual EAT! Vancouver will be at BC Place Stadium. Celebrity chefs, popular local restaurants, wineries, food and beverage manufacturers, cookbook authors, retailers, artisans, and many others from the culinary world will come together for a three day public extravaganza.

European Festival - May 31 – June 1
The 16th annual European Festival is being held at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. Experience the cultural booth displays, taste delicious European cuisine, watch traditional dancing & singing and let children enjoy the activities that are just for them. A family festival with something for everyone!

Vancouver International Children’s Festival - May 27 – June 1
Since 1978, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival festival offers music, theatre, dance, acrobatics, puppetry and more. Held at Granville Island, and little kids and big kids are welcome!

JUNE

Vancouver International Children’s Festival - May 27 – June 1
Since 1978, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival festival offers music, theatre, dance, acrobatics, puppetry and more. Held at Granville Island, and little kids and big kids are welcome!

City of Bhangra Festival – May 29 – June 7
Every spring, VIBC presents the City of Bhangra Festival, a ten-day all-out dance party and music-fest showcasing the music and dance of the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. On indoor and outdoor stages, in parks, in clubs, and even right smack downtown in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Festival features hundreds of local and international artists in a series of dynamic performances designed to thrill audiences of all ages.

European Festival - May 31 – June 1
The 16th annual European Festival is being held at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. Experience the cultural booth displays, taste delicious European cuisine, watch traditional dancing & singing and let children enjoy the activities that are just for them. A family festival with something for everyone!

VelopaloozaJune 5-22.
Velopalooza is a community run bike fun festival. There are over 50 rides and events to be found.

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire – June 7-8
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.

Greek Day – June 22
This award-winning family-oriented one day event brings together over a dozen Greek cooking tents, over two dozen artisans, and dozens of local merchants who all cater to the over 100,000 people who attend. Admission is FREE! The event runs 11am to 9pm, along West Broadway from Blenheim to Macdonald.

Vancouver Shakespeare Festival, Bard on the Beach - June 11 – September 20
This year sees the return of two audience favourites: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Dean Paul Gibson and The Tempest, staged by Meg Roe. Presented on the BMO Mainstage, they will be re-imaginings of Gibson and Roe’s hugely successful 2006 and 2008 productions and. On the Howard Family Stage, Bard presents a bold adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, directed by Anita Rochon and Equivocation, written by contemporary playwright Bill Cain and directed by Michael Shamata.

Vancouver International Jazz FestivalJune 20 – July 1
Vancouver International Jazz Festival is the largest music festival in British Columbia, offering over 300 concerts. It features more than 1800 musicians and 300 concerts at many major and minor venues, including many for free.

Alcan Dragon Boat Festival - June 20 – 22
The Dragon Boat festival was created to showcase Vancouver’s cultural diversity and to promote racial harmony among Canadians. At the heart of the Festival is dragon boating – the fastest-growing team sport in North America and a sport that’s fun to do and fun to watch.

Busker Festival – June 28 – 29
Busker festivals are all about bringing people together from all walks of life, with interactive comedy, hypnotic music and great stunts.  It showcases performers from all over the world in downtown Vancouver.

July

Vancouver International Jazz FestivalJune 20 – July 1
Vancouver International Jazz Festival is the largest music festival in British Columbia, offering over 300 concerts. It features more than 1800 musicians and 300 concerts at many major and minor venues, including many for free.

Canada Day at Canada Place - July 1
10:00am to 7:00pm -Have fun at the all day celebration, then watch the Canada Day Parade at 7:00pm before the Canada Day Fireworks at 10:30 PM.

Dancing on the Edge – July 3 – 12
Created in direct response to the local dance communities’ need for a supported place to perform their work, the festival has evolved into an annual event which presents on average thirty performances in mixed programs and full length works from over twenty different dance companies and choreographers from across Canada each festival. The festival is recognized for its support of new works through its presentations, commissions and residencies programs.

Carnaval Del Sol - July 5 -6
This annual Latin Festival features international bands, a market filled with authentic cuisine and craft, a street soccer tournament, and outdoor Zumba & Salsa lessons – all for free.

Indian Summer Festival – July 3 – 12
An array of international performers and authors share the stage with Canadian counterparts in a series of fascinating events spanning music, dance, literature, film, yoga, and cuisine at this annual event.

Summer Craft Market - July 24 – 27
Circle Craft is Western Canada’s largest artisan show, the winter show is known across Canada. Combined with a long list of talented artisans, this will be a wonderful opportunity to admire true craftsmanship.

Theatre Under the Stars
– July 11 – August 23
Theatre Under the Stars presents a pair of toe-tapping, laugh-inducing productions this summer with Shrek: The Musical and Legally Blonde: The Musical, running July 11 – August 23, (performances alternate evenings) at Stanley Park’s picturesque Malkin Bowl. A beloved Vancouver tradition since 1940, Theatre Under the Stars promises a blonde-tastic, ogre-ific season filled with surprise, delight, and non-stop fun for the whole family.

Vancouver Shakespeare Festival, Bard on the Beach - June 11 – September 20
This year sees the return of two audience favourites: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Dean Paul Gibson and The Tempest, staged by Meg Roe. Presented on the BMO Mainstage, they will be re-imaginings of Gibson and Roe’s hugely successful 2006 and 2008 productions and. On the Howard Family Stage, Bard presents a bold adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, directed by Anita Rochon and Equivocation, written by contemporary playwright Bill Cain and directed by Michael Shamata.

Vancouver 37th Annual Folk Music Festival - July 18 – 20
Held each year at Jericho Beach Park, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival with bring back old favourites and introduce you to new music and artists. The folk festival is celebrating its 37th year.

Vancouver Early Music Festival Various dates  starting July 25 – August 9
A superb series of summer evening concerts at the UCB campus

Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition – July 26, July 30 and August 2
Come sit on the sand at the beach and watch the best fireworks you’re ever likely see. This year, see USA, France and Japan over 3 nights light up the sky in a wonderful competition.

Queer Arts Festival – July 24 – August 9
The Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver is an annual showcase of queer arts, culture and history. It celebrates the unique creative expressions of visual and performing artists who identify as part of the queer communities. QAF features a curated visual arts show, a community art show, and 3 dynamic weeks of cutting-edge performances and workshops from all artistic disciplines, including music, dance, theatre, literary and media arts.

August

Theatre Under the Stars – July 11 – August 23
Held in Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl under the stars, this year, TUTS presents Legally Blond and Shrek: The Musical

Vancouver Early Music Festival - Various dates  starting July 25 – August 9
A superb series of summer evening concerts at the UCB campus

The Yellow Crane Festival of Art & Design – TBA
Watch the creative process in action! A chance to go behind the scenes and see Emily Carr University students working in open studios and selling their art on Granville Island. Emerging artists’ pieces will be on display and available for purchase – choose from vibrant paintings, stunning designs, unique ceramic pieces, and more.

Harmony Arts Festival – August 1 – 10
This festival is a popular community-based celebration of music, performance, cinema and art that celebrates the best of the North Shore, regional and national performing, visual and culinary arts.

Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival – TBA
This year is the 10th Anniversary of the 2013 Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival — a free, volunteer-run event that embodies the literary community spirit of the Vancouver. The festival features readings by Joy Kogawa, the Vancouver Poetry Slam Team, music by the Madman’s Gospel Band — with 3 stages, a children’s area, a market place, 90+ performers, and free workshops.

Vancouver Shakespeare Festival, Bard on the Beach - June 11 – September 20
This year sees the return of two audience favourites: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Dean Paul Gibson and The Tempest, staged by Meg Roe. Presented on the BMO Mainstage, they will be re-imaginings of Gibson and Roe’s hugely successful 2006 and 2008 productions and. On the Howard Family Stage, Bard presents a bold adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, directed by Anita Rochon and Equivocation, written by contemporary playwright Bill Cain and directed by Michael Shamata.

Salmon Run Motorcycle Rally – TBA
The Salmon Run Motorcycle Rally is a celebration of the West Coast Aboriginal heritage and culture for all riders on a ride up the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway to Squamish. The purpose of this ride is to celebrate motorcycling, Aboriginal cultures and history, local businesses and wild salmon and its habitat.

Queer Arts Festival – July 24 – August 9
The Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver is an annual showcase of queer arts, culture and history. It celebrates the unique creative expressions of visual and performing artists who identify as part of the queer communities. QAF features a curated visual arts show, a community art show, and 3 dynamic weeks of cutting-edge performances and workshops from all artistic disciplines, including music, dance, theatre, literary and media arts.

Vancouver Pride Festival - August 3
Vancouver Pride has become the most exciting parade and festival in the City of Vancouver. What began as a small local march has grown into a nationally and internationally recognized LGBT event bringing more than 650,000 people into the streets in one day! Our Pride is spectacular with the summer sunshine, the crowds in their colours, the music, the dancing and the fun inclusive, family friendly atmosphere. With the support of amazing sponsors and volunteers, Vancouver Pride is one of the world’s premier celebration of culture and diversity.

Vancouver Early Music FestivalJuly 28 – August 16
A superb series of summer evening concerts at the UCB campus

Anime Revolution – August 22 – 24
The Anime Revolution convention offers a wide range of activities, exhibits, panels, and performances for 3 days at the Vancouver Convention Centre. There will be art, animation, comics, costuming, cultural displays, dance, gaming, musical performances, and more.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition - July 26, July 30 and August 2
Come sit on the sand at the beach and watch the best fireworks you’re ever likely see. See 3 countries over 3 nights light up the sky in a wonderful competition.

Powell Street Festival – August 1 -3
The Powell Street Festival celebrate the arts and culture of Japanese Canadians and Asian Canadians

Vancouver Queer Film Festival – August 15 – 25
For 11 days each August, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival brings the very best in queer independent cinema from around the world to Vancouver.

September

Artists for Conservation Festival – September 26 – October 5
The second annual Artists for Conservation Festival is a 10-day international art and environmental education event, including guest lectures, workshops for youth and adults, film, live painting demos and a world-class art exhibit and sale, featuring the leading nature and wildlife artists and naturalists from around the world. It’s held up on Grouse Mountain.

Vancouver Fringe Festival - September 4 – 14
The Vancouver International Fringe Festival is BC’s largest theatre festival and North America’s most international Fringe Fest. More than 100 different theatre artists and companies come together for 11 days and 700 performances to share their creativity on stage, supported by 500 volunteers. The uniqueness of the Fringe comes from the “everyone is welcome” selection technique—the Mainstage shows are literally drawn out of a hat, giving all artists a chance to participate. The Fringe revels in its identity as part theatre, part party, and is is a cultural experience unlike any other.

Polish Festival Vancouver September 6-7
The event will feature Polish music, singing and folk dancing, with the second day celebrating children and youth with puppet shows, cartoons, face-painting, and a Talent Show. Vendors will be selling Polish T-shirts and accessories, jewelry, arts and crafts, as well as plenty of delicious traditional Polish food!  Get ready for an unforgettable weekend.  1:30-6:30 Saturday, and 1:00-5:00 Sunday in Lynn Valley Plaza.

Mexicofest - September 5 – 15
Celebrating its sixth year, Mexicofest’s free event will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on September 7th, and it will include music, food, dancing and arts & crafts.

Brazilfest – September 13-14
Brazilfest is an open-air festival at Shipbuilder’s Square in North Vancouver. Food, music and sports will be included in addition to other activities.

Terry Fox Run - September 14
In 1980, Terry Fox embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. His leg had been amputated as a result of cancer, and as the illness spread, it forced him to stop after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres. He died the following year. His heartfelt effort turned the run into an ongoing worldwide event.

Hapa-Palooza Festival - September 23-28
Hapa-Palooza is Canada’s largest celebration of mixed heritage offering 7 FREE public events during its festival. It encompasses story telling, films, discussions, art and more. Hapa-palooza is a very cool festival for all of our hapa/hybrid/half-blood/cross-bred/metis/mestizo/mixed-race/halved-and-doubled selves.

Vancouver International Film Festival - September 25 – October 10
VIFF is among the five largest film festivals in North America. We screen films from 80 countries on 10 screens. The international line-up includes the pick of the world’s top film fests and many undiscovered gems.

Vancouver Shakespeare Festival, Bard on the Beach - June 11 – September 20
This popular festival takes place in open-ended tents in Vanier Park. 2014 season: 12th Night, Hamlet, Measure for Measure and Elizabeth Rex.

October

Vancouver International Film Festival - September 25 – October 10
VIFF is among the five largest film festivals in North America. We screen films from 80 countries on 10 screens. The international line-up includes the pick of the world’s top film fests and many undiscovered gems.

Apple Festival – TBA
This is apple territory, and one of the best ways to enjoy the diversity and flavours of this wonderful fruit is at UBC’s annual apple festival. Every year, 44,000 pounds are sold to the visitors who come to taste the 70 varieties of heritage and new apples.

Artists for Conservation Festival – September 25 – October 5
The second annual Artists for Conservation Festival is a 10-day international art and environmental education event, including guest lectures, workshops for youth and adults, film, live painting demos and a world-class art exhibit and sale, featuring the leading nature and wildlife artists and naturalists from around the world. It’s held up on Grouse Mountain.

Lonsdale Quay Market’s food and beverage festival – October 2-5
Explore the array of fine foods and the experts who prepare them, from locally grown produce to imported delicacies. Rediscover the taste of Lonsdale Quay Market through a Culinary Showcase, themed Market Taste Tours, a series of educational seminars, and children’s activities.

Pumpkin Festival – October 5
Celebrate the harvest in West Vancouver with various activities including building a scarecrow competition, a dance, fun workshops and more.

Vancouver International Writers Festival - October 21 – 26
The Vancouver International Writers Festival is one of North America’s premiere literary events, held annually over 6 days in late October. It was inaugurated in 1988 as the brainchild of founding Artistic Director Alma Lee.

November

Vancouver Asian Film FestivalNovember 7 -10
The 15th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival is running from November3-6, 2011 at Cineplex Odeon and International Village Cinemas and celebrates diversity in film. Launched in 1996, it is Canada’s oldest Asian film festival, exhibiting films and videos by North American artists of Asian heritage. Passes are only $75 if you buy early, but only 100 passes are available, so purchase them early.

Christmas at Hycroft – November 21 – 24
The University Women’s Club of Vancouver holds this annual event in support of the club and its work. Members open Hycroft so everyone can enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations, many of which are unique and handmade to suit this Edwardian mansion. There’s a gift shop as well as an art gallery and a Christmas bistro.

Vancouver Eastside Cultural Crawl – November 14 – 16
You’ll discover painters, jewelers, sculptors, furniture makers, musicians, weavers, potters, writers, print makers, photographers, glassblowers; from emerging artists to those of international fame. Shop for original gifts and art right in the artist’s studios. It’s a fun way to look at art, speak to artists and see the spaces in which they work.

December

VanDusen Botanical Garden Festival of Lights - Last 3 weeks of December.