This week: have cocktails on the pier, check out an eco-arts festival, learn about wildlife + more
1. Powell Street Festival – Saturday, August 4 & Sunday, August 5
Powell Street FestivalVancouver’s Powell Street Festival celebrates the heritage and culture of Japanese Canadians. You’ll find live music, dance and theatre performances, art exhibits, kids activities and delicious Japanese food at this amazing two-day event. Shop the craft fair and marketplace as you nosh on Japanese specialties like takoyaki and ramen.
Oppenheimer Park, 400 block of Powell Street, Vancouver; 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; free to attend
2. Parade Viewing and Brunch at the Boathouse – Sunday, August 5
Flickr/Kyle PearceThe Pride Parade will take over downtown Vancouver on Sunday—and you catch the colourful celebrations from the ultimate vantage point at the The Boathouse Restaurant in English Bay. You’ll be able to see the parade from three floors: check it out street level through the restaurant's open windows, enjoy it from the second floor with live feeds (and air conditioning), and take in a bird's-eye view from the rooftop deck. Arrive early to indulge in the brunch buffet and leave plenty of time to watch the fabulous festivities.
The Boathouse Restaurant, 1795 Beach Avenue, Vancouver; 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Parade starts at 12 p.m.; Tickets $45 + fees
3. Wild Things: Critter Clues and Regional Parks – Sunday, August 5
Facebook/Museum of VancouverIf you haven’t checked out the new Wild Things exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver, then visit this Sunday for the ‘Critter Clues and Regional Parks’ night. You’ll learn how to identify the signs of wildlife in your neighbourhood and see what animals share our regional parks with us. Staff from Metro Vancouver will be on-site to talk about critters and answer all your questions.
1100 Chestnut Street, Vanier Park, Vancouver; MOV hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Interactive Station from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tickets $19
4. Sip & Savour: Summer Winemaker Dinner with Burrowing Owl Estate Winery – Tuesday, August 7
Nita Lake LodgeHead up to Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler after the long weekend to indulge at Aura Restaurant. This summer, Aura is hosting a winemaker dinner series where award-winning wineries pair their finest offerings with a multi-course meal prepared by executive chef James Olberg. This week's Sip & Savour dinner will feature selections from Burrowing Owl Estate Winery and promises the best B.C. flavours of the summer and a spectacular lakeside view.
2131 Lake Placid Road, Whistler; $89 per person, book your reservation by calling 604-966-5700
5. Vines Art Festival – Wednesday, August 8 to Saturday, August 18
Facebook/Vines FestivalUnifying eco-arts across disciplines, this grassroots festival hosts over 70 free interactive events, including poetry readings, herbal walks, performances and talks in communities across Vancouver. Vines Art Festival marries fun with environmental activism and transforms public park spaces in Vancouver into centres of change and creation. The festival kicks off on Granville Island on Wednesday, August 8 and Thursday, August 9 with two full days of workshops and performances.
See website for festival events and schedule, free to attend
6. You Better Work, Fish! Vancouver Aquarium After-Hours Pride Party – Thursday, August 9
Vancouver AquariumReady to meet the fiercest creatures in the sea? This Pride edition of After Hours at the Vancouver Aquarium is your chance to see drag performances, hear about the shocking sex lives of aquatic animals, and grab a drink while visiting the aquarium in an adults-only setting. You’ll also get a chance to see Douglas Coupland’s Vortex exhibit about ocean plastic pollution and Shark: A 4-D Experience. Get creative with your outfit—fishnets are strongly encouraged as there will be an inaugural Fishiest Drag Performer contest!
Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way; 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; tickets $35
7. Vancouver Queer Film Festival Opening Gala: 1985 – Thursday, August 9
Queer Film FestivalThe Vancouver Queer Film Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary and this year’s theme focuses on the evolution of queer cinema. The VQFF showcases groundbreaking films while inviting filmmakers, directors and performing artists to attend parties and talk-back sessions. The Opening Gala features a screening of the black-and-white film 1985 followed by an open-air party nearby at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn, formerly Queen Elizabeth Plaza.
Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver; film at 7 p.m.; Tickets $12, open-air gala free with VQFF membership
8. Night on the Pier – Thursday, August 9
Harmony Arts FestivalPart of the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver, Night on the Pier is a can’t-miss cocktail event. Star bartenders from around the Lower Mainland will show off their skills as they create ambitious cocktails and flavour combinations you’ve never tried before. Celebrate the revival of cocktail culture and sample creative drinks paired with a catered spread all on the stunning oceanfront.
Ambleside Pier, West Vancouver; 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Tickets from $75 + fees
9. Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts Opening Night Reception – Thursday, August 9 to Sunday, August 19
Monsoon Arts FestivalThe small but mighty Monsoon Festival showcases South Asian theatre in Vancouver and Surrey. Join the Opening Night Reception for preview performances of the festival entertainment, including Paneet Singh's powerful play The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson, which tells the story of a shocking chapter in Vancouver’s South Asian history. The evening includes drinks, appetizers and dancing with a DJ spinning a generous helping of Bollywood and Bhangra music.
Culture Lab at The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver; 7 p.m.; Tickets $20
10. Abbotsford International Air Show – Friday, August 10 to Sunday, August 12
Abbotsford Air ShowFeaturing diverse aviation and aerial displays, the Abbotsford International Air Show is a summer tradition in the Fraser Valley. Live demos and performances will play out in the skies above the fairgrounds and you’ll also get a chance to get up close with the planes.
Vancouver International Airport, 1595 Townline Road, Abbotsford; various dates and times; Tickets from $35