Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for September

From cultural celebrations to comedy events and more, here are our top picks for September

From cultural celebrations to comedy events and more, here are our top picks for September


1. Nanaimo Big Band Festival – Friday, September 2 to Sunday, September 4

Nanaimo Big Band FestivalNanaimo Big Band FestivalDance the weekend away at Nanaimo’s Big Band Festival, with three days of live music in the park. The lineup includes “King of Swing” featuring the Music of Count Basie with the Vancouver Island Repertory Jazz Orchestra; Ken Lavigne presenting “Let Me Be Frank” with the Vancouver Island Repertory Jazz Orchestra; Joëlle Rabu in Come to the Cabaret! with the Nico Rhodes Jazz Orchestra, plus more. Put on your dance shoes, take in the sights and sounds, and fully immerse yourself in the classics. 
Maffeo Sutton Park, 100 Comox Road, Nanaimo; tickets from $20 to $149; details online


2. Vancouver International Flamenco Festival – Saturday, September 3 to Sunday, September 25

James O'MaraPhoto credit: James O’MaraDust off those castanets! As one of the few festivals devoted to flamenco art outside of Spain, the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival nurtures this dance style’s hybridized roots in Sephardic, Persian, Gypsy and Indian cultures. The event will feature live performances, events workshops and masterclasses at Granville Island from both local and national performers.  
Details online


3. Light Up Chinatown – Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11

Light Up ChinatownLight Up ChinatownCelebrate Vancouver’s iconic neighbourhood with a special two-day, family-friendly event. Light Up Chinatown! festival-goers can expect live performances, entertainment, food trucks, pop-ups, as well as illuminated and vibrant lanterns to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival.
Details online


4. The Chutzpah! Festival – Saturday, September 10, Sunday, September 11 and Saturday, September 24

Gili YaloGili YaloThe Chutzpah! Festival! “is an annual festival of world-renowned dance, music, theatre and comedy, through a lens of Jewish experiences.” Kicking off the fall festival season as part of the Chutzpah! PLUS event series is the world premiere of Take This Waltz, a celebration of the music of Canadian legend Leonard Cohen, created by Israeli choreographer Idan Cohen; and a performance by Gili Yalo, one of the most intriguing musicians in Israel’s world music scene. 
Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre, 950 West 41st Avenue; tickets from $40 (adults) and $34 (students/seniors); details online


5. Surrey Civic Theatres: To Perfection – Wednesday, September 14 to Saturday, September 17

credit Sarah RacePhoto credit: Sarah RaceIn association with Surrey Civic Theatres, Shameless Hussy Productions presents the world premiere of To Perfection. Written by Meghan Gardiner during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the production tackles issues of modern life and family conflict in a relatable and hilarious way. Gardiner notes, “Although this is a fictional story with fictional characters, I drew inspiration from my own family’s journey. Every child comes with their own personality—their own everything. They’re born who they are, and we can’t change that, we just have to adapt and love them. My philosophy is love first and let them be the guide.” 
Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre, 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey; $22 to $29; matinee for students and seniors $15; details online


6. Iliza: Back In Action Tour – Friday, September 16

Iliza ShlesingerFacebook/Iliza ShlesingerIliza Shlesinger is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, producer and author, who has a devoted fan base known for creating their own Iliza-inspired swag to wear to her shows. Unveiling a new itinerary and name for her tour originally scheduled for 2020, Iliza: Back in Action, Iliza is just that in 2022back in action. 
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver; 9:30 p.m.; details online


7. The Cultch Fall 2022 Season – Tuesday, September 2022 to January 2023

Rolline-LaportePhoto credit: Rolline LaporteWith six incredible shows hitting stages around Vancouver from September until the new year, The Clutch is kicking things off by partnering with the Vancouver International Children’s Festival to present Animal (September 20 to 24) at the Vancouver Playhouse, a multidisciplinary circus show for all ages from Quebec’s Cirque Alfonse. And the fun doesn’t stop there! Australia’s Quiet Riot is bringing Hot Brown Honey (September 23 to October 8) back to the York Theatre after sold-out shows in Vancouver in 2018 and 2019.
Details online


8. BC Culture Days – Friday, September 23 to Sunday, October 16

Photo: Adiran OrtegaPhoto credit: Adiran OrtegaB.C. Culture Days’ 13th-annual celebration will reignite creative spirits and connect communities from coast to coast. As Canada’s largest public participation campaign for the arts, Culture Days allows you to get hands on and behind the scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities. 
Details online


9. The Bloom Inspiration Summit – Saturday, September 24

jann ardenReconnect, get inspired and live out loud at the Bloom Inspiration Summit. Hosted by Simply Beautiful and Evalina Beauty, the Bloom Inspiration Summit features an extraordinary lineup of brilliant women speakers who will inspire you to live your best, brightest and fullest life. Topics will include everything from grief to joy, sleep to intimacy, home organization and how to reach your potential, plus so much more. The highlight of the event will be an intimate conversation with eight-time Juno award-winning Canadian entertainer and bestselling author Jann Arden.
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver; tickets from $199; details online


10. Carousel Theatre for Young People – Wednesday, September 28 to Sunday, October 16

Carousel Theatre for Young PeopleCarousel Theatre for Young PeopleCarousel Theatre for Young People is excited to announce its 2022-2023 season of live productions at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. The September season begins with Frozen River | nîkwatin sîpiy (September 28 to October 16), a presentation by Manitoba Theatre for Young People, which tells the story of two 11-year-olds born under the same moon, but in different parts of the worldwith the public opening coinciding with the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, Vancouver; ages 5+; details online