What to Do in Vancouver This Summer: The Best Arts and Culture Events July and August 2021

Wings and Wizards

Date Through September 2021
Venue BC Place
Price From $65

This 7,000-square-foot nerdy dreamscape is a walkthrough audiovisual experience devoted to the magical world of wizards. A ticket purchase comes with a magic wand you can use to “cast spells, solve riddles and move through space and time”… technology, eh?

Art Downtown

Date June 16 to September 30
Venue Vancouver Convention Centre and Vancouver Art Gallery
Price Free

Here’s a real breath of fresh air—this weekly outdoor event features live music and local artists showing off their work (including some painting right before your eyes).

Indian Summer Festival

Date June 17 to July 17
Venue Online and in-person
Price Varies

This mostly virtual fest also offers food delivered to your door (the menu includes Vij’s,
of course) and special gift boxes, plus a self-guided walking tour of the Punjabi Market. Catch the online musical performances every Thursday and Saturday.

Interior Infinite

Date June 25 to September 5
Venue The Polygon Gallery
Price By donation

Normal is hard to define, and these artists did just the opposite. Interior Infinite is an art exhibition that embraces the humour and chaos of identity through sculpture, photography and video. It’s carnivalesque, grotesque and wonderfully weird.

Carnaval Del Sol

Date July 1 to 24
Venue Online and in-person
Price Varies

The largest Latin American festival in the PNW is hosting a hybrid fest this year, with both online events and live outdoor performances. The 2021 Carnaval is focused on reconnecting through art and food—something we’re definitely hungry for.

Queer Arts Festival

Date July 24 to August 13
Venue Various
Price Varies

This year’s theme is it’s not easy being green, and it’s all about turning apocalyptic fear into art. The lineup includes BYOB (bring your own blanket) rooftop film screenings, performance art in a cemetery, a pillow-making workshop and more.

Introduction to Chocolatemaking and Confectionery

Date July 24
Venue Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
Price $220

PICA alum chef Rebecca Chen teaches this beginner’s class on chocolate. Participants will get an intro to tempering techniques and methods, and make truffles, mendiants and more. Definitely don’t let your dog eat this homework.

Powell Street Festival

Date July 31 & August 1
Venue Online
Price Free

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.

Vines Art Festival

Date August 4 to 15
Venue Various
Price Free

This arts festival was outdoors before it was cool—it celebrates site-specific works at local Vancouver parks, so every play, dance and musical performance on offer is designed to take place outside.

Schoolyard Harvest Dinner: Still at Home Edition

Date August 19
Venue Online
Price $175 for a Harvest Dinner Box for two

This dinner benefits Fresh Roots, a local nonprofit that runs urban schoolyard farm programs for kids and teens. Feast on the splendours of the summer at home and get a to-go box of locally grown goods, then join their virtual event.

My Father Is the Greatest Man in the World

Date September 15 to May 15
Venue Online
Price $10

The Arts Club’s audio play series continues with this show by Tai Amy Grauman. It follows Rose, a Métis country singer with roots in Alberta, as she journeys home to uncover her father’s past.

Chapter 21

Date September 29 to October 3
Venue Firehall Arts Centre
Price From $15

A combination of dance and theatre, this show tells the story of an active young artist grappling with a devastating collision of events. Get ready to feel a lot of feelings.

Waves of Innovation: Stories from the West Coast

Date All summer
Venue Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Price $12

This national historic site’s newest exhibit features stories and interactive displays (think: a boat you can row) that tackle the commercial fishing industry. It highlights the voices of Indigenous, Chinese Canadian and Japanese Canadian fishers and cannery workers, and the impact the industry had on them and their families.