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Where to Go Vancouver

Celine Dion comes to Rogers Arena

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

Our hearts will go on, thanks to Celine Dion (Photo by Brian Purnell)

Apr 17 to 18, 2020 After a 16-year residency in Las Vegas, Canadian superstar Celine Dion is taking her inimitable vocals on the road for her Courage World Tour, hitting Vancouver along with almost 100 other cities—near, far, wherever you are. The multi-award-winning diva fills Vancouver’s Rogers Arena with captivating power ballads, love songs and up-tempo hits from throughout her 35-year career. Definitely don’t think twice about snagging a ticket.

25 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities

Live music, outdoor movies and bathtub races—here are 25 of the best things in life that truly are free, and a few that come pretty darn close

Sunset Beach is home to ocean views and public art, including “217.5 Arx x 13,” a steel sculpture by French artist Bernar Venet (Photo by KK Law)

By CHLOË LAI

1. Braving the crisp waters of English Bay to reach the floating dock waterslide, which rockets you right back into the waves from whence you came.

2. Clambering all over public art pieces from the Vancouver Biennale, like the curved “217.5 Arc x 13” at Sunset Beach, cast-bronze “A-maze-ing Laughter” figures at English Bay and oversized “Public Furniture | Urban Trees” at Spanish Banks Beach.

3. Hiking the 2,830 steps of the Grouse Grind, locally known as the best way to build buns of steel, and gaining a new appreciation for the scenic (and sweat-free) gondola ride down Grouse Mountain afterwards. (more…)

Feel-Good Festival: Wanderlust Whistler

By CHLOË LAI

Photo courtesy Wanderlust

Aug. 2 to 5, 2018 Ever wondered what it might be like to meditate on top of a mountain? Head up to Whistler for Wanderlust. This four-day celebration of all things wellness includes guided meditations, yoga classes—hosted on stand-up paddleboards, aerial silks, slacklines and good old-fashioned mats—mindfulness-themed wilderness walks and more. And for music that moves your soul, find your zen on the dance floor, where local and international acts keep the good vibes going late into the night. Pure bliss.

Fireworks Festival: Honda Celebration of Light 2018

By CHLOË LAI

Fireworks light up English Bay (Photo by Rishad Daroowala/Tourism Vancouver)

Aug. 1 and 4, 2018 Summer nights kick off with a bang at the Honda Celebration of Light, when fireworks light up the sky over English Bay. Gaze up in awe as pyrotechnic pros from Sweden (Aug. 1) and South Korea (Aug. 4) compete for bragging rights by setting off stunning displays synchronized to music. Arrive early, because the party fires up in the afternoon: outdoor stages showcase hot acts like R&B queen Jully Black and fun-fuelled Five Alarm Funk. Plus, daredevil pilots blaze death-defying trails overhead during the nightly airshow. Talk about explosive entertainment.

Toto’s 40 Trips Around the Sun Tour Kicks Off in Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

It’s gonna take a lot to drag us away from you, Toto

Jul. 30, 2018 It was way back in 1978 that Toto burst onto the scene with the hit single “Hold the Line.” Their fourth album, the aptly named Toto IV, was released a few years later and featured the two biggest songs of their career: “Africa” and “Rosanna.” Now, the pop superstars are celebrating four decades in the music biz with their 40 Trips Around The Sun tour. Don’t miss the North American leg of the tour, kicking off at The Centre in Vancouver. Rock on.

Seaside Social: Vancouver Folk Music Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Sun, sea and sweet, sweet music at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival at Jericho Beach Park (Photo by Erik Price)

Jul. 13 to 15, 2018 Whether you’re inspired by indie rock or blown away by bluegrass, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival’s eclectic line-up will sweep you off your dancing feet. Jericho Beach Park comes alive with the sweet sounds of more than 50 world-class acts, including JUNO Award–winners The Dead South and Quantum Tangle, Canadian siren Neko Case of The New Pornographers, and Australian folk legend Archie Roach. Take a break from all the action to explore the artisan market, or go for a dip in the nearby ocean. The beach is so close, you can still hear the music. It’s true: there ain’t no party like a West Coast party.

Les Misérables Comes to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

By SHERI RADFORD

Les Misérables plays at the QE Theatre from Jul. 10 to 15, 2018 (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Jul. 10 to 15, 2018 “Do you hear the people sing?” Chances are good you’ve heard Jean Valjean and Cosette, because Les Misérables is the world’s second-longest-running musical. The story of how a corrupt society turns people into beggars and criminals is as relevant now as when Victor Hugo wrote the novel that the show is based on, back in 1862. At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

One Direction’s Harry Styles Plays Solo Show in Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

Harry Styles performs at Rogers Arena on July 6 (Photo by Helene Pambrun)

Jul. 6, 2018 In 2016, teens and tweens around the world plunged into a period of mourning when One Direction went on hiatus. Happy times are here again, at least for fans of 1D’s Harry Styles. The singer-songwriter released his first solo album last year, and this month his tour rolls into Rogers Arena. Expect to hear his mega-hit “Sign of the Times,” along with 1D chart-toppers such as “What Makes You Beautiful.” Music fans, rejoice!

Canada Day 2018: How to Celebrate in Vancouver

By CHLOË LAI

Perfectly punny cup from Indigo

Jul 1, 2018 Canada Day kicks off festivities across the city, many of them glorious and free. Swing over to Granville Island for live music courtesy of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, or to Creekside Park, where hopeful percussionists attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for most nationalities in a drum circle. Then dance your way down to Canada Place for crowd-pleasing concerts and a fireworks finale. Need Canuck swag? Indigo is a treasure trove of True North–themed souvenirs, from fun pillows to campsite-ready mugs.

Sounds of Summer: TD Vancouver International Jazz Fest

By CHLOË LAI

Crowds gather to enjoy free concerts at David Lam Park, one of the festival venues (Photo by Jon Benjamin Photography)

Jun. 22-Jul. 1, 2018 For 10 days and nights, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival puts a swing in the city’s step, with more than 1,800 musicians playing 300 concerts—150 of which are free. Get down to the legendary sounds of heavy hitters like Robert Plant (Jun. 29), Macy Gray (Jun. 28) and the undeniably sax-y Kamasi Washington (Jun. 24), or fall head-over-dancin’-feet for one of the many hot up-and-comers. Groove on.

Seaside Stage: Bard on the Beach

By SHERI RADFORD

Photo by David Cooper

Jun. 6-Sep. 28, 2018 If the last time you experienced Shakespeare was while dozing through a high school English class, then it’s time to give his plays another try. Every summer, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival breathes new life into classics such as Macbeth and As You Like It (pictured), this year’s two mainstage productions, by incorporating music and costumes from different eras. As You Like It has been transported to 1960s Vancouver, complete with more than 20 classic Beatles tunes. This just might be the summer of love.

Truck Stop Concert Series: Coleman Hell

By CHLOË LAI

Gather beneath the water tower at Red Truck Beer for live music and craft beer on Jun. 16

Jun. 16, 2018 Want to party with the locals? You’ll find 1,800 of them at Red Truck Beer’s Truck Stop Concert Series. This month, catch headliner and Juno-nominated artist Coleman Hell, creator of the impossibly addictive multi-platinum hit single “2 Heads.” Warming up the crowd for Hell’s latest dance-inciting tracks are Seattle-based Pickwick, self-described as “space soul,” and local rising stars Sam the Astronaut. Don’t miss Aviator Shades, winners of the 2018 Truck Stop Talent Search and cheerful ambassadors of classic rock. Two stages, top-notch tunes, food trucks and craft beer aplenty—this is how Vancouver does summer.