Festivals in Vancouver

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Rustic wood cabins interconnected by wooden walkways stand amid a network of fountains, mountain streams, and small waterfalls. Dense forest and blooms of emerald ferns spread out in all directions. The train whistle and drum beats echo through the trees. At Klahowya Village in Stanley Park, natural scenery opens up to authentic representations of British Columbia's First Nations and Métis cultures through its attractions, performances, and artisan marketplace. As guests arrive, knowledgeable First Nations guides in native dress usher guests into the park, where they can start by taking in the sights or boarding the miniature covered Spirit Catcher train for storytelling journeys past forest tableaus.

Young dancers and actors in traditional dress stage cultural performances every Friday through Sunday throughout the summer, and coffee by Spirit Bear Coffee Company keeps visitors warm year-round. In the indoor marketplace, First Nations and Métis artisans proffer pieces of handmade visual art, jewellery, apparel, and other crafts. The nonprofit Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia operates the park as part of its aim to create a sustainable and educational showcase of Aboriginal culture for visitors and local residents.

610 Pipeline Road
Vancouver,
BC
CA

Helmed by Artistic Director Leila Getz, the Vancouver Recital Society has drawn internationally acclaimed artists to British Columbia for more than three decades. Over the years, the society has dazzled audiences with concerts by celebrity cellist Yo-Yo Ma and recitals by violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman. With recitals spread across four of Vancouver’s most esteemed venues, the Vancouver Recital Society packs every season with esteemed and seasoned luminaries, while introducing audiences to future generations of classical royalty.

873 Beatty St
Vancouver,
BC
CA

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 22, more than 100 local and indie vendors will crowd Last Chance Craft Fair, selling handmade crafts amid seasonal festivities at the Croatian Cultural Center. Last-minute buyers can browse seemingly endless rows of vendors showcasing jewelry, housewares, children’s items, and clothing.

689 Abbott Street
Vancouver,
BC
CA

Palme’s Performing Society was founded in 1996 with the aim of preserving the culture of ex-Soviet Union countries. Well, preserve might not be the right word. The societies doesn’t try to immobilize history behind glass or in sterile displays, but rather breathes life into it through performances in those countries’ native tongues. They put on works by Russian and Ukrainian playwrights while projecting live English subtitles so that everyone can bond by sharing the experience of live theater or by shunning people who only speak pig latin.

The company typically takes the stage in Vancouver’s Russian Community Center, but every so often performances spill onto the streets. During summer festivals, such as Russian Day held in the heart of the Olympic Village, the society brings together artists, musicians, and chefs.

2114 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver,
BC
CA

In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.

The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.

1700 Mount Seymour Road
North Vancouver,
BC
CA

MAB Ventures Inc., an arts and entertainment agency, does whatever it can to expose the local community to art. In its staff's hands, that could mean connecting clients with a collective of artists seeking custom commissions, hosting art workshops, or organizing art exhibitions that allow the general public to interact with local artists.

One such exhibition is the annual Art World Expo, which showcases everything from painting and photography to fashion and jewelry. The exhibitions often follow a theme?such as 2014's circus theme?and feature live musical performances, fashion shows, and body-painting competitions. After browsing the wares of various artists, expo attendees can purchase their favourite pieces or award the creators with homemade Best in Show ribbons. Proceeds from the event support the Make and Break Arts Foundation.

1445 Quebec Street
Vancouver,
BC
CA