5 Events to Celebrate in Vancouver This Week (July 30 – Aug 5)

The last week of July means rainbows, fireworks, and taiko drummers—it’s time to celebrate!

(Photo: Early Music Vancouver.)

Get Bach in the Groove

July 30 – August 10

The Vancouver Bach Festival is a dozen-day festival made up of a series of concerts celebrating the work of everyone’s favourite white-wigged composer and father of 20, Johann Sebastian Bach. Free film screenings accompany each concert—they’ll give some historical context to those of you who don’t know your Baroques from your bagatelles. For Gen X and Z’ers (those 35 or younger), tickets are 50% off. Remember to conduct yourself appropriately.When: Monday, July 30 – Friday, August 10Where: Christ Church Cathedral and the Chan CentreCost: from $18 per eventMore Info: earlymusic.bc.ca

Ooh and Ahh

August 1

Join a million other sparkle enthusiasts for the second round of this year’s Honda Celebration of Light. Swing in early for food trucks and live local music, and stay for a stunning sundown fireworks display presented by team Sweden. The displays are judged on everything from design to synchronization to the quality of the soundtrack (is Katy Perry’s 2010 hit too on the nose?), with the winner securing ultimate pyrotechnic bragging rights. Spread out for free on English Bay or Kits beach, or purchase guaranteed seats at the Keg, Concord, or YVR Observation Deck.When: Wednesday, August 1, fireworks from 10 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.Where: Second BeachCost: FreeMore Info: hondacelebrationoflight.com (Photo: Carpe Diem.)

See Martin Squared

August 1 & 2

OK, so this isn’t officially a celebratory event, but we rewatched The Pink Panther this week and are feeling a little nostalgic. See comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short showcasing their stand-up, film clips, musical bits, and grade-A banter, playfully titled An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. The pair will be joined onstage by the award-winning bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers and renowned jazz pianist Jeff Babko. One thing’s for certain: this show certainly won’t be Short on Martins (apparently comedy isn’t for everyone).When: Wednesday, August 1 & Thursday, August 2, 7:30 p.m.Where: Queen Elizabeth TheatreCost: Tickets from $182More Info: vancouvercivictheatres.com (Photo: Powell Street Festival.)

Have Sumo Fun

August 4 & 5

If you’ve ever been given four sets of chopsticks with your take-out even though you only ordered sushi for yourself, this might be the event for you. The Powell Street Festival is kicking off its 42nd year of celebrating Japanese Canadian arts and culture with taiko drummers, artisan sake, and of course, the annual sumo competition. The competition is free to enter, but make sure you pre-register online for your chance to be the next sumo supreme. There’s also walking tours, martial arts, ikebana (flower arranging), a children’s tent—and all the ramen and takoyaki your heart desires.When: Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5, 11:30 a.m.– 7 p.m.Where: Oppenheimer Park and other venuesCost: FreeMore Info: powellstreetfestival.com (Photo: Min-Kuang-Lee.)

Ride to Pride

August 5

Some insider advice: skip the car, and instead pedal to the Vancouver Pride Parade, one of the largest LGBTQAI2S+ events in the world. Watch floats, marching groups, and dancers decked out in their personal expressions of pride. Later, the parade party continues at Sunset Beach, where you can enjoy live music, vendor booths, a beer garden and some serious festival fabulousness. This year’s pride theme is “Be You,” so dress up or down and get ready to paint the town rainbow.When: August 5, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.Where: Route starts at the intersection of Robson and Bute streetsCost: FreeMore Info: vancouverpride.ca