Vancouver events run the gamut from food and wine festivals and musical productions, to parades and film festivals, to name just a few. The city is rich in cultural diversity with a population that represents countries from all over the globe. The resulting social and cultural mix produces an alluring array of exciting annual events throughout the year. Vancouver is the third largest city in all of Canada (behind only Toronto and Montreal). It is also a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists. The wide selection of Vancouver cultural events ensures that there is something going on pretty much anytime of the year that you may be considering a vacation. If you are planning an upcoming trip, it is good to know about some of the best Vancouver festivals and high-profile happenings around the city.
The Vancouver International Festival is one of the most highly anticipated of all the Vancouver festivals throughout the year. It is one of the five biggest film festivals in all of North America along with other amazing festivals like the one held in Toronto in the beginning of September. Most recently, the film festival screened some 400 films from approximately 75 countries. The film festival is one of the most important Vancouver cultural events for a variety of reasons. Besides bringing critical praise and tourist revenues to the city itself, it is also the largest showcase for Canadian filmmakers in the world, as well as the largest showcase of East Asian films outside of the continent of Asia. The Vancouver Film Festival takes place every October. Film screenings and other events are held at a number of destinations around the downtown core.
The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival takes place the third week of April. This is one of the Vancouver events that is perfectly suited for food and wine lovers and those people who wish to learn more about each. You will need to make your plans as far in advance as possible, as the seminars, workshops, tastings, and other events fill up fast. The events are held at a variety of locations, including fine restaurants and wine cellars around the city.
Bard on the Beach is one of the most unique of all the Vancouver cultural events. Every summer, both in June and then again in September, the Bard on the Beach professional Shakespeare company stages dozens of productions in Vanier Park. Enjoy classics such as Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V while taking in awe-inspiring views of the mountains and ocean in the backdrop. There are two separate stages including the Main Stage that accommodates over 500 people. For lovers of play productions, this is one of the Vancouver events not to miss. You get to be out in nature enjoying a professional production of Shakespeare in one of the most beautiful cities on the west coast of North America.
There are a wide variety of other Vancouver events that are celebrated every year. Some other major events and Vancouver festivals of special note include: the Vancouver International Jazz Festival (held every June and July), the Celebration of Light on English Bay (July), and Bright Nights in Stanley Park (November and December).
Image: Dave Niddrie