It's officially September 1, and as we mourn the last few days of summer, we're also looking forward to the incredible events our city has to offer this fall. Here is the best in theatre, music, arts and culture for September and October 2021.

vancouver international flamenco festivalLa Otra Orilla, photo by Marie-Andrée Lemire

Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

Date September 4 to 26
Venue Varies
Cost Varies, many events free

Outside and online, the Vancouver International Flamenco Fest is all Canadian this year. Live performances will take place at the Waterfront Theatre and at the Picnic Pavilion at Granville Island. If you can’t have fun at a flamenco show, seek treatment. vancouverflamencofestival.org

Vancouver Fringe FestivalIncluded in the great lineup at this year's Fringe is our editor-at-large Stacey McLachlan's sketch comedy show. See you there?

Vancouver Fringe Festival

Date September 9 to 19
Venue Various
Cost Varies

Vancouver’s weirdest theatre festival is back, and you can bet all the performers in the city have been itching to get silly (and serious) on stage. Expect both live performances and pre-recorded shows in this year’s hybrid fest. vancouverfringe.com

gateway theatre songs of summerSteffanie Davis and Krystle Dos Santos; photo by Kalia H./Simpatico Agency

Songs of Summer

Date September 11
Venue Gateway Theatre
Cost $20

In the conclusion to their outdoor concert series, Richmond’s Gateway Theatre is spotlighting dynamic duo Krystle Dos Santos and Steffanie Davis. Their upbeat contemporary funk and soul is the perfect mood booster for the greyer days ahead. gatewaytheatre.com

monstercat compoundA photo from 2019's Monstercat Compound; photo by Brandon Artis

Monstercat Compound

Date September 18
Venue 380 Railway Street
Cost Free with RSVP

This annual (save for last year) outdoor block party is an electronic music lover’s paradise, with live tunes, art and gaming. Entry is free, but for $25 you can treat yourself to a private bar and viewing area. monstercat.com

comedypantsAlistair Ogden at ComedyPants

ComedyPants

Date September 18 & October 2
Venue China Cloud Studios
Cost $15

This monthly comedy show returns to a newly renovated China Cloud (so they’ll be clowning around on an actual stage, rather than on the charming but small rug the performers used to stand on). ComedyPants is hosted by local jokesters Alistair Ogden and An-Te Chu and features special guests from around the city. eventbrite.ca

Transform cabaret festivalDuckie, a show at Transform Cabaret; photo by Manuel Vason

Transform Cabaret Festival

Date September 23 to October 2
Venue Online and the Historic Theatre at the Cultch
Cost From $15 online, from $29 in person

There’s something for everyone at this fest: think theatre, music, comedy, drag, burlesque and circus. The 10-day-long extravaganza spotlights both local and international Indigenous artists, with a focus on unity and empowerment. Catch it online at home or attend a viewing party at the Historic Theatre. transformcabaret.com

Teeth Loan and TrustAn Eric Metcalfe mural from Teeth, Loan and Trust Company, Consolidated: The Trylowsky Collection

Teeth, Loan and Trust Company, Consolidated: The Trylowsky Collection

Date September 24 to December 11
Venue Griffin Art Projects
Cost Free

This is a collection of dental office art (stay with us) from Dr. Zenon Trylowsky. But unlike most kitschy, seaside-focused dental decor, this is a gallery-like collection Trylowsky
curated through pro bono work. He’d get art as a thank-you—the ideal exchange for artists without dental plans. griffinartprojects.ca

back to the future

VSO’s Back to the Future in Concert

Date September 24 & 25
Venue Orpheum Theatre
Cost From $32

Sure, we can see movies in theatres again, but the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is doing us one better. Films with live orchestra music are back at the Orpheum, and first in the lineup is Back to the Future. A fitting choice, as we’re all now well aware that time is liquid. vancouversymphony.ca

harvest hausHarvest Haus

Harvest Haus

Date October 8 to 10
Venue PNE Agrodome
Cost From $35

It’s stein time. On the menu at this traditional German cele­bration is spaetzle, pretzels, bratwurst, schnitzel and, of course, plenty of beer (that includes both German bier and local craft brews). The oompah band plays bangers only. harvesthaus.com

yoko onoBjarke Ørsted

Yoko Ono: Growing Freedom

Date October 9 to May 1
Venue Vancouver Art Gallery
Cost $24 for adults

This new exhibit invites the viewer to take part in the artistic process, creating a unique collaborative method that Yoko Ono herself pioneered. Through mending broken china,
hammering nails and writing notes about your mom, you get to be part of the art. vanartgallery.bc.ca

Emergence: Out of ShadowsA still from Emergence: Out of the Shadows

Emergence: Out of the Shadows

Date October 10
Venue Online
Cost Free

KDocsFF, our city’s leading social justice film festival, brings you the premiere of this gripping documentary. It follows three South Asian queer people living in Vancouver, and how they resist silence—and find compassion—within their conservative families. kdocsff.com

Vancouver Fall Home ShowVancouver Fall Home Show

Vancouver Fall Home Show

Date October 14 to 17
Venue Vancouver Convention Centre
Cost $16 for adults

The ideal event when you’re looking for home inspo: hundreds of booths, home experts and swoon-worthy displays. You’ll need a blueprint to tackle this one. vancouverfallhomeshow.com

Grace Eiko ThomsonAuthor Grace Eiko Thomson, photo by John Endo Greenaway

Heart of the City Festival

Date October 27 to November 7
Venue Online and throughout the Downtown Eastside
Cost Varies

This Downtown Eastside community festival is bursting with talent. Highlights include a reading from author Grace Eiko Thomson, an extraordinary archival collection of Chinese Canadian social movements from Sid Tow Chan and ground-shaking performance from Indigenous grass dancers. heartcityfest.com