chilliwack sunflower festival
Credit: Chilliwack sunflower festival

1. The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

Opens July 26

Whether you're in it for the photo op or the idyllic view of flowers as far as the eye can see (or both), it's hard not to be a sucker for the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival. This year they've grown 42 varieties of sunflowers, 50 kinds of dahlias, eight kinds of gladiolas, and more wildflowers than you can count. There's also a food truck a day—and two on weekends.

When: Monday July 26 to Labour Day weekend (or longer)
Where: Chilliwack Sunflower Festival
Cost: From $15
More Info: chilliwacksunflowerfest.com

railtown tailgate bbq
Credit: Leila Kwok

2. Railtown Cafe's Tailgate BBQ

July 27 to 29

Have you ever seen a 12-foot barbecue barrel? Now's your chance. Railtown Cafe is hosting a barbecue series this week with eats like 35-hour Texas-style beef brisket, Applewood-smoked pork shoulder and beer-brined Maple Hill Farms chicken. They've got a host of local breweries and BC wines in the lineup, plus their own signature Lynchburg Lemonade and Railtown Ruby Sangria.

When: Tuesday July 27 to Thursday July 29
Where: 460 Railway Street
Cost: From $26
More Info: eventbrite.ca

Chen Wenling

3. Chen Wenling's Allegory

July 30 to September 21

You've probably heard about artist Chen Wenling's controversial Boy Holding a Shark. But before you decide to plaster your own angry opinion about it all over the internet (Oh, you already did? Cool! Did that make you feel good about yourself?) you might want to get a little context—and what better way than to check out Wenling's new local exhibition?

When: Friday July 30 to Tuesday September 21
Where: Sunzen Art Gallery
Cost: Free
More Info: sunzen.shop

music in the courtyard

4. Music in the Courtyard at the Firehall Arts Centre

July 30 to September 15

Get some fresh air and local live music at this outdoor concert series—starting this Friday, it's on all summer long. First up this weekend is M'Girl, a percussive hand drumming group, and then there's Haram, an Arabic avant-garde ensemble (both pictured above). Attendance is limited to 50 (you know the drill) so snag your tickets now.

When: Wednesdays to Sundays starting Friday, July 30
Where: The Firehall Arts Centre's courtyard
Cost: From $20
More Info: firehallartscentre.ca

powell street festival
Credit: Powell Street Festival

5. The Powell Street Festival

The 45th annual Powell Street Festival’s virtual events include taiko drumming, dance and a martial arts showcase, but the celebration of Japanese Canadian culture isn’t all on screen: there’s also takeout available from local vendors and cool festival merch for sale. Find more info here.

When: Saturday July 31 and Sunday August 1
Where: Online and in-person (see schedule)
Cost: Varies
More Info: powellstreetfestival.com