Summer is officially here, and the city is kicking into high gear to make the most of the sunny season. There is no shortage of amazing events to check out in Vancouver this July, from street parties to concerts to open-air cinemas. We’ve put together a list of our favourite events coming up this month to encourage you to go out and make the most of your summer in the city.
Cycling is undoubtedly the best way to see it all in this city, so hop in the saddle and head out to any one of these great summer events!
Kitsilano’s biggest street party will be taking over West 4th Avenue on Saturday July 7th. Khatsalano features tons of live music, workshops, food trucks, and family-friend events, all in a laid-back atmosphere that encourages creativity and free expression. The name of the festival pays tribute to the First Nations that inhabited this area for millennia, specifically Squamish medicine man Chief August Jack Khatsahlano. This year’s festival features a diverse range of artists set across six stages.
Carnaval del Sol
Vancouver will be feeling the heat this weekend with the Carnaval del Sol, the Pacific Northwest’s largest celebration of Latin American culture. The two-day open-air event recreates the atmosphere of a vibrant Latin American city plaza, bringing live music, art, dance, sports, food, and poetry in celebration of our neighbours to the south. The festival features over 450 artists, Indigenous visual art, traditional folk dances, a fashion show, and dancing and culinary lessons. The Carnaval del Sol takes place from July 7-8 at Concord Pacific Place.
The photo featured above is courtesy of Carnaval del Sol.
Dancing on the Edge
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Dancing on the Edge, Canada’s longest-running festival of contemporary dance. The multi-day festival takes place at a number of venues across Vancouver, and features both paid and free events showcasing a unique array of talents and styles. Check out events like Crosswalk Hustle, a site-based dance installation at the intersection of pedestrians and cars; Windigo, a visceral, post-apocalyptic exploration of the violence of colonialism; and the Wreck Beach Butoh, a clothing-free dance performance with the background set by mother nature. Dancing on the Edge is running from July 5-14.
Car Free Day Commercial Drive
Vancouver’s original car-free day returns to Commercial Drive on Sunday, July 8. Stretching 15 blocks down East Van’s most eclectic street, Car Free Day celebrates culture, community, and the sustainable use of public spaces. Featuring live music, delicious food, handicrafts by local artisans, and tons of entertainment for children and adults alike, Car Free Day is a not-to-miss one-day event. Bike on over to join the masses in celebration of safe, sustainable streets!
Indian Summer Festival
The Indian Summer festival is a contemporary multi-arts festival that encourages the development of a global culture that is creative, diverse, inclusive, and innovative. The eleven-day festival brings together an eclectic range of talent, from Grammy Award-winning musicians to oral storytellers to Nobel prize nominees, for a combination of free and ticketed events. Expect live music, big ideas, visual art, and public engagement at one of Canada’s most multi-cultural festivals. The Indian Summer Festival takes place from July 5-15.
Symphony at Sunset
This year marks the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s (VSO) 100th anniversary, so to kick off this monumental occasion, the VSO is collaborating with the Vancouver Park Board to present a free, open-air concert at Sunset Beach Park. The “Symphony at Sunset” will feature will feature a pre-concert program by student ensembles from the VSO School of Music, followed by a sunset performance by the VSO from 8:30 – 10 pm, all set against the scenic backdrop of English Bay. There will be food trucks on site, and concert-goers are encouraged to bring picnics and to walk or bike to the site as parking will be limited.
The internationally renowned Vancouver Folk Music Festival returns to Jericho Beach park on July 13-15, continuing its decades-long tradition of showcasing incredible folk artists from Canada and around the world. Against a breathtaking backdrop of the North Shore mountains across the water, the Folk Festival brings together traditional and contemporary folk and roots artists from all corners of the globe, in a celebration of culture and community. Featuring both major and up-and-coming artists, the Folk Fest is a Vancouver cultural institution and a not-to-be-missed summer event. The Folk Fest provides supervised bicycle parking and encourages concert-goers to avoid driving to the event.
StrEAT Food Truck Fest
Canada’s largest one-day food truck festival is rolling into New Westminster this month. The 6th annual StrEAT Food Truck Fest is a free event taking place on New West’s historic Columbia Street, and features mouth-watering meals from 90 different food trucks, eight beer gardens, live music, and handicrafts crafts by 150 artisanal vendors. The StrEAT Fest takes place on July 28 from 4-10 pm. If you’re not hungry yet, may we suggest a bike ride to work up an appetite?
Public Disco Volume 1
Local record label Groundwerk Vancouver returns to the streets this month with Volume 1 of their summer Public Disco. The label is committed to pushing Vancouver’s music scene forward by hosting regular social meet-ups and creating spaces and opportunities for local artists to thrive. Their Public Disco brings the party to the streets, showcasing emerging electronic artists while encouraging city residents to reimagine what city streets can be. Volume 1 of Public Disco takes place from 1 to 7 pm in Alley Oop, at 688 West Hastings Street.
Fresh Air Cinema
Get your movie fix outside this summer with Fresh Air Cinema, an ongoing outdoor movie series presented at three locations around the city. Catch throwback classics and new films on Tuesday nights in Stanley Park with the Evo Summer Series, Wednesday nights at šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (formerly the Art Gallery Plaza) for the Summer Nights on the Square, or Thursday nights at Canada Place for the Waterfront Cinema.
Fresh Air Cinema is ongoing throughout the summer.
For those of us on the sportier side of cycling, BC Superweek brings ten days of races to six different locations around the Greater Vancouver area. The series consists of the Tour de Delta, New West Grand Prix, Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, Giro di Burnaby, PoCo Grand Prix, and the Tour de White Rock. Riders compete for over $140,000 in prizes over 9 races, and spectators can stand by to watch an incredible spectacle of athleticism on two wheels. BC Superweek takes place from July 7-15.
If you’re just visiting the city or your bikes’ in the shop, we offer a wide range of bike rentals out our Hornby St and Burrard St locations, daily from 9am – 9pm. Come by for a day’s rental to check out any of Vancouver’s great summer events, or grab a long-term rental and see them all. Happy pedalling!