Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for June 14-20

This week: celebrate his special day with Dad, row hard at the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, get your fiesta on in Point Grey and more 

Father’s Day at Playland – June 15

If dad’s just a kid at heart, why not bring him to Playland this Sunday to take advantage of the fair’s Father’s Day Special. On June 15, dads get in for free from 10 a.m. to noon, providing papa with access to over 30 rides and attractions, including guy-friendly fun like bumper cars, a shooting gallery and an arcade. Beats getting a new tie any day.

Wine & Swine Father’s Day Fundraiser – June 15

Dudes and dogs go together like cats and crazy ladies. So if you have a pooch-loving pop, you can treat him to some fun with Fido at Township 7 Vineyard’s (21152 16th Ave, Langley) Father’s Day fundraiser. Held this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m, the third annual Wine & Swine soiree includes live music, great food and a chance to sample summer wine releases. And, of course, Dad will have plenty of time to pet the pups, on loan from BC Guide Dog Services.

Safeway Do It For Dad Father’s Day Walk/Run – June 15

The 16th annual Safeway Do It For Dad Father’s Day Walk/Run takes place in Burnaby and beyond on June 15 to raise funds to fight prostate cancer, a disease afflicting approximately one in six men. The Lower Mainland event, emceed by CTV News weathercaster Marke Driesschen, kicks off at Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion from 8 a.m., followed by a barbecue, performances by Norman Foote and hundreds of prize draws and giveaways.

Night at the Aquarium – June 19

Eco-conscious eaters have developed an appetite for sustainable seafood. It’s a taste endorsed by the Vancouver Aquarium, hosting a gala fundraiser on June 19 to support ocean-friendly conservation, research and education efforts. You can help, too, by purchasing a $300 ticket to Night at the Aquarium, the eighth-annual soiree that features fine wine, Ocean Wise tasting plates by Vancouver’s top restaurants, music and live and silent auctions, starting at 7 p.m.

TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival – June 20 to July 1

More than 100 years after it originated in America’s Deep South, jazz hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to seducing generations of new fans. Why else would the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, running from June 20 to July 1 at various local venues, incite thousands of music lovers to tussle for tickets to shows featuring the likes of Jason Marsalis, Jill Barber, Cassandra Wilson and Maceo Parker? There are some free performances, too, with all the details on this annual jazz jamboree available online.

Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival – June 20 to 22

There’s not one single reason to go to the 26th annual Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival this year. That’s because there are several reasons, starting with the fact that this sea-faring fest is widely recognized as North America’s biggest and best, thanks to more than 180 top dragon boat teams from around the world competing on the waters of Vancouver’s False Creek from June 20 to 22. And if that’s not enough, this free fest also features live music, a vendor marketplace, international food fair and a beer garden. 

Credit: Flickr/Matana_and_Jes

Point Grey Fiesta – June 20 to 22

Point Grey’s claim to fame is that it’s among Vancouver’s most exclusive enclaves. But thankfully that exclusivity doesn’t extend to the annual Point Grey Fiesta, where everyone’s welcome to kick it up at this free, family-friendly festival from June 20 to 22. Swing by to catch everything from a street parade, sidewalk sale and pancake breakfast to carnival rides, midway games and food vendors at Trimble Park and along West 10th Ave, starting Friday at 3 p.m.

Deer Lake Park

On sunny summer days, you don’t have to be among the thousands of suburbanites flocking to the Stanley Park seawall. You’ll find a crowd-free contingency plan at Deer Lake Park (6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby), where you can rent canoes, kayaks and pedal boats daily throughout summer. And, if you prefer slower-paced pastoral pleasures, you can always unpack a picnic on acres of manicured lawn or snap photos in the flower garden.


Move over, Mexican. The latest palate-pleasing cuisine to hit Vancouver is Peruvian. Chicha restaurant (136 E. Broadway) dishes up modern tapas with a Latin American twist, including ceviche, sliders, skewers, salads and sandwiches inspired by classic Peruvian ingredients (think lima beans, mangos and avocado). Top it all off with gluten-free chocolate cake or raspberry-glazed doughnuts made from sweet potato and pumpkin, and find out why Chicha was just named best tapas in town.

Saturna Island

Dubbed “the isle of tranquility,” Saturna is considered the most pristine of the southern Gulf Islands. So it’s a perfect setting for cityslickers craving serenity. And while camping is always an option, we prefer stepping it up in style at Saturna Lodge, a heritage property that’s as quaint as it is comfortable. Loll in the flower-filled gardens, soak up the sun on the deck, but don’t forget to check out the chef-created specialties at the new Mill House Restaurant, already receiving rave reviews for its wild salmon and fresh-baked cinnamon rolls.