Taming of the Shrew is one of four shows on this summer during the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare festival in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. bardonthebeach.org

TESS ON TOUR: Festivals and attractions make it Vibrant Vancouver

Monday columnist Tess Van Straaten crosses the water to check out what’s hot in the big city

By Tess van Straaten

Monday Magazine columnist

There’s nothing quite like a perfect summer day in Vancouver. The sun is shining and the water is glistening, people are strolling and biking along the seawall, and the whole city seems to sparkle.

I’m watching the action from the water, as we drop anchor in English Bay and wait for the sky to explode in colour.

Tess Van Straaten

The Honda Celebration of Light is about to begin and it’s one of my favourite Vancouver festivals. The musical fireworks competition, which began in 1990, is all about sparking fun. It’s now B.C.’s largest live event and this summer will see a thrilling lineup of pyrotechnic performers from India, Canada and Croatia mesmerize the crowds as well as jam-packed days of free live music, food trucks and different dining options before each show.

You can also catch world-class theatre along the stunning backdrop of the sea and mountains. With four plays invoking laughter, love, magic, music, rebellion and reunions, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare festival is celebrating its 30th season this year.

“It’s become the thing to do in the summer in Vancouver for locals and visitors,” says Bard on the Beach artistic director Christopher Gaze. “There’s nothing else quite like it in the world.”

With tents set up in Vanier Park overlooking English Bay, the casual vibe and unique experience – you can even pre-order a picnic and dine outdoors before the show – make it a ‘must-do’ when visiting Vancouver in the summer.

“Almost two million people have attended over 30 years; every age, background and from all over the world,” Gaze says. “They mingle, enjoy each others’ company and friendships are formed in the moment, and often for life!”

Just a short stroll away, along the waterfront path, is stunning Kitsilano Beach. A summer hot spot, Kits is famous for its outdoor swimming pool. Almost three times longer than an Olympic pool, it’s North America’s longest pool and Vancouver’s only heated salt water pool. There’s also beach volleyball or you can just lean up against a log on the beach and chill.

“From the beaches of English Bay to exploring Stanley Park, world-renowned restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, shopping and so much more, Vancouver has everything,” says Gaze. “It’s one of the great destinations in the world.”

And it’s a destination I’ll need to return to soon, to take in more exciting summer festivals.

*****

FIVE CAN’T MISS VANCOUVER FESTIVALS:

  1. Bard on the Beach, June 15 to Sept. 15
  2. Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 19-21
  3. Mission Folk Music Festival, July 26-28
  4. Honda Celebration of Light, July 27, 31 and Aug. 3
  5. Indian Summer Festival, July 4-11


editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The Kitsilano Pool is the longest in North America, almost three times longer than an Olympic-sized pool. Photo kitsilano.ca

Just Posted

Roller skating fever taking over Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Learn about a life of luxury at Victoria’s historic Point Ellice House

New political exhibit part of grand reopening at the House this weekend, July 20-21

World of electronic musical wonders await at long weekend festival

Wonderment ambient/downtempo music festival slips into bridge plaza, Banfield Park Aug. 3-4

Solid foundation key to Charles Porlier’s longevity as a TV/film makeup artist

Learn to KRE8 from experts in the world of makeup, voice acting, animation and more, Aug. 9-18

A passing of the torch for Victoria’s rock music history archives

Royal City Music Project co-founder Glenn Parfitt wants valuable cultural material preserved

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Esquimalt Ribfest in need of volunteers for September weekend

The three-day celebration of barbecue, music and more happens Sept. 6 to 8

Fashionable ode to the sea goes Friday at Fort Common

Local sustainable fashion retailers to strut their latest as part of ocean conservation fundraiser

Brentwood Bay brings $5 concerts every Wednesday evening

Variety of music on offer: picnics, good vibes and family friendly

Schitt’s Creek and its stars among Canadians with Emmy nominations

Co-creator Eugene Levy thought they had chance for one nomination, ‘then they kept rolling in’

Most Read