Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for July 12 to 18

This week: take in the sounds of summer with Symphony in the Park, race to Science World for the science of sports, check out Douglas Coupland's new exhibit and more

Whistler Children’s Art Festival – July 12-13

If the so-called “Mozart Effect” can make kids smarter, we’re guessing the same must be true of early exposure to arts and crafts. Maybe that’s why the Whistler Children’s Art Festival has proven so popular year after year. On July 12 and 13, this 30th-annual kiddie carnival includes everything from roving musicians and interactive games to acrobatics and art workshops, along with shows by award-winning children’s performers, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Harrison Festival of the Arts – July 12-20

Restorative waters and sand sculptures are only two of the reasons tourists visit Harrison Hot Springs each summer. Another great reason is the Harrison Festival of the Arts, a 36th-annual community carnival taking place July 12 to 20. Called “the best little fest in the West,” it lives up to the hype with a hip hodgepodge of theatre, art, literature and music from around the world, held at various local venues including Harrison Memorial Hall. 

Burnaby Symphony in the Park – July 13

Think a night at the symphony sounds stuffy? Then you’ve never been to Burnaby’s Symphony in the Park, a free outdoor concert on July 13 on the grounds of Deer Lake Park. Starting at 7:30 p.m., the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performs a two-hour program of light classics and popular faves to a standing-room only crowd. Bring a blanket and a few bucks for on-site refreshments then sit back and enjoy the show! Word of advice: come extra early or take transit because parking is limited.

Pemberton Music Festival – July 16-20

Missed the Pemberton Music Festival? After a lengthy hiatus, it’s back and better than ever! From July 16 to 20, check out big-name acts like Nine Inch Nails, Outkast, Frank Ocean, Snoop Dogg, Soundgarden and Kendrick Lamar, along with stand-up comedians like Lisa Lampanelli, Bob Saget, Tom Green, Norm Macdonald and The Trailer Park Boys. Buy tickets online, and check out the camping opportunities, too.

Aldergrove Fair Days – July 18-20

If the only time you’ve been to Aldergrove is to visit the Greater Vancouver Zoo, you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for the town’s rustic roots at the 102nd annual Fair Days. Held from July 18 to 20, this country carnival unleashes a weekend full of fun in the form of an agricultural expo, lawn-mower races, antique tractor pull, fastdraw competition, classic car show ‘n’ shine and live mainstage entertainment. And did we mention the fireworks, street parade, beer gardens and midway, too? Buy tickets at the gate of Aldergrove Athletic Park, and bring Fido, too!

Vancouver Folk Festival – July 18-20

If Kitsilano streets look a little deserted from July 18 to 20, that’s because all the cool kids are at the 37th annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival at Jericho Beach Park. This year’s offerings include more than 60 performers from around the world, including Joan Baez, Mary Lambert, Typhoon and Grievous Angels, as well as an up-and-coming crop of indie artists. And while you’re there, check out the vendor marketplace, sponsor giveaways, kids’ zone and international food fair, too! Go online for tickets.

Science of Sports at Telus World of Science – Until September 1

The thrill of victory; the agony of defeat! Step into the shoes of world-class athletes and test your skills in challenges from all across the wide world of sports at Telus World of Science’s latest exhibition, Science of Sports, on now until September 1. Can you run faster than a T-Rex? How fast is your baseball pitch? You’ll find the answers to these compelling questions at this popular exhibit, as well as learn how health, fitness and technology can make you stronger, swifter and smarter.  

Credit: Kathleen Almeida

Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything – Until September 1

The Vancouver Art Gallery’s landmark exhibition Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything presents the first in-depth look at the Vancouver artist’s visual art. Taking place until September 1, the exhibit addresses the singularity of Canadian culture, the power of language and the ever-pervasive presence of technology in everyday life. But the exhibit doesn’t end there: a 7-foot-tall self-portrait of the artist himself, appropriately entitled Gumhead, has been installed at the Art Gallery Plaza, and passersby are encouraged to stick their own chewed gum to the surface – eventually obscuring Coupland’s face.

Food Cart Festival Vancouver – Sundays Throughout Summer

Indecisive eaters will be in a pickle at the Food Cart Fest Vancouver, a gathering of over 20 of the city’s top food carts at Olympic Village every Sunday throughout the summer. Will you pick Holy Perogy, Taser Grilled Cheese, Chili Tank, the Aussie Pie Guy or one of the other equally tasty options? It’s a delicious dilemma, and it’s made all the more fun by live music, community markets, kids activities, ping pong, urban gardening, and more. Admission is free.

Chevron Summer Cinema Series – Tuesdays September 2

Who says nothing in life is free? That old rule doesn’t apply at the Chevron Summer Cinema Series, offering free outdoor movie nights on massive three-story inflatable movie screens all summer long at Second Beach in Stanley Park. Movies are shown every Tuesday night throughout July and August, but check out the official website for the line up, reserved seating, and upcoming specials!