Make a splash as outdoor pools around Vancouver – including Second Beach, New Brighton Park, Maple Grove and the stunning 125-metre Kits Pool – open their gates on a summer of cool, sunny fun (until Labour Day, vancouver.ca).
Celebrate the Man in Motion as Paralympian and spinal-cord-injury advocate Rick Hansen rounds out his cross-Canada 25th anniversary relay by wheeling alongside Sarah McLachlan, Patrick Chan, John Furlong and other local luminaries and appearing at community events from White Rock to Richmond, then wrapping it all up with a huge concert Tuesday (rickhansen.com).
Vancouver Craft Beer Week
Raise a glass of local brew at Vancouver Craft Beer Week, which includes sudsy pub crawls, beer pairing dinners, a night of “beerlesque,” a beer cocktail competition, the must-do Hoppapalooza III – and a licensed double-bill screening of Strange Brew and Slapshot (through May 26, vancouvercraftbeerweek.com).
Chinatown Night Market
Savour ethnic foods, take in live music, dance, martial arts and magic, and pick up goods from decor to electronics at the buzzing Vancouver Chinatown Night Market (weekends until Sept. 9, vcma.shawbiz.ca). In Richmond, head for the Summer Night Market (through Sept. 16, summernightmarket.com) or the Richmond Night Market (until Oct. 8, richmondnightmarket.com).
Welcome the Vancouver Aquarium’s latest residents as a group of African penguins go on show at Penguin Point, where you can discover how the flightless birds have adapted to the sea, watch them waddle and lounge on their private beach and find out why they give you The Stare (vanaqua.org).
Victoria Highland Games
Watch grown men hurling haggis, playing tug-of-war and running a kilted mile at the tartan-heavy Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival, where you’ll also find pipe bands and drummers, highland dancers, tasty whiskies and ales, and don’t-try-this-at-home demos of everything from sword fighting to hammer throwing (victoriahighlandgames.com).
All British Field Meet
Head for VanDusen Garden and check out spring colours of a completely different sort as more than 400 classic British cars from Aston Martins to Minis fill the Great Lawn at the All British Field Meet – which then takes a Sunday drive up to Whistler (Saturday, westerndriver.com).
Nordic Trax Anniversary
Shake a tail feather and celebrate the 15th anniversary of renowned Vancouver record label Nordic Trax with a concert featuring Mark Farina, DJ Sneak, Jay Tripwire and more (at the Commodore Sunday, ticketmaster.ca). More unforgettable beats? Don’t miss Scottish whiz kid Rustie at the Electric Owl Saturday (ticketweb.ca).
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Catch “King of Qawwali” Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who was musically trained by his uncle, Pakistani singing legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (at the Queen E Theatre Saturday, rahatinvancouver.com). Or travel even further east and treat your ears – and your taste buds – to Balinese, Javanese and Sudanese Gamelan at Gong!, featuring live music, dance and tasty Indonesian food (at SFU Woodward’s, sfuwoodwards.ca).
Loudon Wainwright III
Catch legendary troubadour Loudon Wainwright III – also dad to Rufus – as he makes his only Canadian West Coast tour stop at Hermann’s in Victoria (Monday, hermannsjazz.com). Want to really rock out? Catch Bad to the Bone guitarist and singer George Thorogood at the Red Robinson Saturday (ticketmaster.ca).
Victoria Day Parade
Fête the namesake of B.C.’s capitol and take in marching bands, floats, dancers and more at the 150th anniversary edition of the Victoria Day Parade, which draws more than 120,000 spectators (Monday, victoria.ca). Across the strait, don’t miss Fort Langley’s Victoria Day celebrations, which include a parade, a historic weapons demo, first nations performances and more (Monday, parkscanada.gc.ca/fortlangley).
Check out the latest cinéma de la francophonie as award-winning French-language films from France, Belgium, Canada, Congo and more – including the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar – go on show at DiverCiné (through May 26, cinematheque.bc.ca). Then head for Sentimental Geometry, a showcase of francophone composers by the VSO (at the Orpheum Annex Saturday, vancouversymphony.ca).
Roundhouse Turntable Plaza
Climb aboard Engine 374 and celebrate the official opening of the Roundhouse Turntable Plaza – a new outdoor hangout and community performance space – with aerial dance performances, a brass band, kids’ activities and of course, free cake (Sunday, roundhouse.ca).
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