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Events and Conferences

Events: Free Events Around Vancouver, Summer 2015

June 08, 2015

Summer is our favourite season in Vancouver — there are so many fun (and free) things to do around the city! Here is a list of what we'll be doing this summer. Please feel free to add your own in the comments below.

Ongoing Events

International Summer Market: Friday to Sunday nights until September 27
Called "one of the top 4 night markets in the world" by Travel and Leisure Magazine, the night market offers delicious food, cool merchandise, and nightly entertainment. Free admission and parking.

Shipyards Night Market: Fridays until September 25
Featuring local artisans, entertainment, and beer, this North Vancouver market is sure to become a new favourite.

Farmer's Markets Around Vancouver: Various dates and times
From Trout Lake to Kitsilano, Vancouver Farm Markets have something for everyone whether it's local jams, or yummy artisan breads. Free admission. Check out for more information.

Vancouver Art Gallery: Every Tuesday night
The gallery is a great place to spend a Tuesday night, perusing the local and international art collections. Although not technically free, from 5-9 entrance is by donation. only.

Trottier Observatory: Various nights
Right here at SFU's Burnaby campus, gaze at the stars at one of the observatory's starry nights events, or attend a Royal Astronomical Society of Canada meeting. Dates and times available on the observatory's website,

Summer Cinema Series: Every Tuesday from July 7 to August 25
This super popular event taking place at Second Beach in Stanley Park over the summer features a giant outdoor screen playing movie favourites from The Breakfast Club to The Avengers.

Outdoor Movies at Canada Place: Every Thursday from July 9 to August 27.
Take in movies like Mean Girls and Austin Powers right on the edge of the inlet. Remember to bring blankets and chairs to sit on!

Hike Vancouver's Trails
Vancouver Trails offers a great resource for finding out the best trail for you, based on skill level and location. Get a great workout and explore the amazing nature trails Vancouver has to offer.

Find your Beach
The Vancouver area has many fantastic beaches to offer, and it would be a shame not to explore each one. Tourism Vancouver has compiled a great list of some of the most popular ones, including information on which beaches have lifeguards or are dog friendly.


Fifa Women's World Cup Fan Zone: June 6 to July 5
Next to BC Place where the matches will take place, a giant free fan zone featuring live music, food trucks, and sports demonstrations that will double as a massive beer garden will be open every game day. Take in the matches live on screen with 5,000 other fans.

Italian Day on the Drive: June 14
Spanning 13 blocks of Commercial Drive, this festival celebrates the contributions Italians have made to Vancouver. This year's theme is art and features music, dancing, exhibits, food, and other activities. For more information visit

Vancouver International Jazz Festival: June 18 to July 1 
Entering its 30th year, this classic Vancouver festival is hailed by music critics and fans alike as the greatest jazz festival in the world,  featuring more than 100 free concerts. See their website for more information.

Rio Alto Alto Dragon Boat Festival: June 19 to 21
Starting with a blessing of the boats and opening concert and continuing with world-class dragon boat racing all weekend, this festival is a Vancouver tradition. Come cheer on the teams and check out the entertainment at False Creek.

Vancouver Draw Down: June 20
Artists of all ages and skill levels are invited to check out free workshops put on by professional artists around the Vancouver area. Taking place all day, participants can explore everything from doodles and sketches to textures and faces.

Car Free Day: June 20 and 21 
Taking over Commerical Drive, Main Street, and the West End, Car Free Day is a community and volunteer-based festival celebrating community and the environment. Vendors, performers, and spectators take to the streets to reclaim public space for the weekend.

Make Music Vancouver: June 21 in Yaletown, June 24 in Gastown
From 5-10 pm, more than 100 local musicians of all genres take to the streets for an outdoor dance party. For locations and more information visit

Greek Day on Broadway: June 28
Try authentic Greek food, haggle a price at the market, and check out the Hellinic experience tent at this event that attracts more than 100,000 spectators annually.


Canada Day at Canada Place: July 1
Celebrate Canada's 148th birthday under the white sails at Canada Place with 13 hours of free entertainment finished off with an amazing fireworks display.

Surrey Canada Day: July 1
Can't make it downtown? Head to Bill Reid Millenium Ampitheatre for food, activities, and performances from Blue Rodeo, The Zolas, Zerbin, and more.

Steveston Salmon Festival: July 1
Featuring a parade, Japanese cultural show, open pit salmon BBQ, and more, this event is a more low key option for those interested in celebrating Canada Day.

Canada Day at Burnaby Village Museum: July 1
Celebrate Canada's birthday while discovering how Burnaby appeared in the 1920's. This event features a parade, carousel rides and cupcakes.

Other Canada Day Events: July 1
Burnaby: Family fun with Charlotte Diamond at Edmonds Park, Free 54/40 concert at Swanguard Stadium.
Granville Island: Parade and other entertainment.
Pitt Meadows: Pancake breakfast, a charity run, and a watermelon eating contest at Pitt Meadows Spirit Square.
North Shore: Parade, performances at Waterfront Park, picnic at John Lawson Park.
Delta: Events at the Delta Museum, Diefenbaker Park, Kirkland House, and Chalmers Park.
New Westiminster: Live music at Queen's Park and fireworks at The Quay at dusk.

Drive-In Outdoor Movie Series: July 8, 15, 22
Check out Clueless, a Knight's Tale, or Big Hero 6 in front of the big screen right in your car. Food trucks and pizza delivered to your seat are a tempting option.

Khatsalano Music and Art Festival: July 11
Taking over West 4th Avenue, Khatsalano is Vancouver's biggest free arts and music festival, featuring more than 50 musical performers as well as local artisans and street performers.

Gastown Grand Prix: July 15
Over the last 42 years, this spectacular bicycle race has gone from a fun idea to an elite competition. Cheer on competitors as they zip over the cobblestones in this historic part of Vancouver.

Celebration of Light: July 25, 29, and August 1
The event of the summer, join 500,000 spectators to admire world class fireworks displays set to music as three countries compete for firework supremacy. See Team China July 25, Team Brazil July 29, and Team Canada August 1 at English Bay.

Davie Street Block Party: July 31
Focused on making pride celebrations more accessible, this year's block party features all ages events such as carnival games and performances during the day, and 19+ events at night. Davie Street.

Powell Street Festival: July 31 to August 2
Celebrating all that is Japanese-Canadian culture, this festival features dance, origami making, and much more. Covering much of Powell Street, all daytime events are free.


Vancouver Street Dance Festival: August 1 and 2
Dance battles, workshops, and performances are just some of the things you can expect from this event, featuring styles like breaking and locking. For more information see

Vancouver Pride Parade: August 2
Join the 650,000 Vancouverities who take in this parade annually for one of the world's largest celebrations of acceptance and diversity, featuring creative and awe-inspiring floats and participants. Bring your sunscreen and wear rainbow for this summer favourite event.

Vancouver Water Fight: August 8
Beat the heat at this unoffical event in Stanley Park where participants are free to soak thousands of others with water guns, balloons, and anything else they come up with.

Pet-a-palooza: August 23
This year's event features a racing of the bulls...bulldogs that is. Bring your furry friend and check out games, cool down stations, and pet related exhibitors on Mainland Street in Yaletown.


Vancouver Fringe Festival: September 10 to 20
Designed as "theatre for all", the Fringe Festival draws performers out of a hat to give all local artists a chance to showcase their productions. Free shows take place in various locations, but you have to find them first!

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