Some BC Day long weekend events (add more)

It’s the annual BC Day long weekend again and as usual, there are more events than you can go to. Here are a few. Feel free to highlight more via the comments.
(Update: added in more events since the original posting, just because.)
bcculturalcrawl.pngchinatownvancouver.pngvancouverdykemarch.pngpowellstreetfestivalmatsuri.gifcelebrationoflightlogo.gifmelafestivals.pngwreckbeachbarebunsrun.pngVancouver Pride and Joy logo


The 5th Annual BC Cultural Crawl kicks off on Friday 4 August and goes on to the 31st. The festival covers all of BC (not just Vancouver), and the idea is to get local, to find arts and culture in your own community. Or to explore another community that you normally don’t visit. For the Crawl itself, the BC Cultural Crawl website is the place to begin, but there’s also the annual printed Arts &amp Cultural Guide (list of Guide distribution venues; warning: PDF) as a year-round guide.


7th Vancouver Chinatown Festival, Satunday 5 and Sunday 6 August, 12 noon to 5 pm, Columbia &amp Keefer streets. This is a huge celebration (40,000 attendees over the two days last year). There’s the usual stuff you’d expect in a cultural festival–the food stalls and marketplace, folk art demonstrations, stage performances (lion dances, martial arts demos, dances), and other. But the highlight for me would probably be the opportunity to tour Chinatown heritage buildings, clan associations, temples, and other buildings usually not open to the public.

Oh, and since it’s the weekend, the Chinatown Night Market will be on in the evening, conveniently starting not long after the day events end. (As seen on Metroblogging)


The Vancouver Dyke March is of course one of the events in Vancouver’s Pride Week. It begins at 12 noon on Saturday 6 August at McSpadden Park (Victoria & 5th). The march is billed as being an all-inclusive, female / family, dog-friendly march and festival. What’s not to like about that? Following the march is a free music festival (starting at 1 pm) at Grandview Park on Commercial (lineup: FRUiT, Ashleigh Flynn, Jill Newman, No No Spots, Doria Roberts, Carly Thomas, with performances by DKV & Rayne).


The Powell Street Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary year on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August, 11:30 am to 7:00 pm. The Powell Street Festival is the long-running cultural festival that showcases Japanese-Canadian performances, arts and crafts, and food.

On the main stage at Oppenheimer Park (400 Powell Street) will be performances from the traditional (ju jutsu and karate demonstrations, taiko groups) to the modern (participatory dance, fusion hiphop, butoh). The other main venue for the festival is the Firehall Theatre (280 East Cordova Street), which will host, among others, video shorts and contemporary dance on its stage, with readings in its upstairs studio, plus an ongoing photo exhibit, Tango Japones. Also happening: tea ceremonies and an archery demonstration at the Vancouver Japanese Language school (487 Alexander Street) and a Powell Street Walking Tour (sign-up required at the Buddhist Church at 200 Jackson Street). Check out the full festival programme.


Just for completeness, I’ll mention the last night of the Celebration of Light here, though it’s thoroughly well-known by now and has already been mentioned before.

This night will be different because it’s (I believe) the first time that there has been a fourth competitor in this fireworks competition. (While there’s always been a fourth night, it typically has been only a finale, put on jointly by the three countries participating.) This year’s bonus entry is a first-timer to the contest too: Mexico. I for one will be looking forward to see if they bring anything new, a distinctive style or different types of boom and bang and bursts, to the party.

There’ll still be a Celebration Finale, but unlike other years, it’s going to be short (only 6 minutes) and, also unlike other years, is not going to be made up of components from the participating countries. This year’s finale is being designed by Jaroslav Štolba, the designer of the Czech Republic’s entry. (This pleases me, because Rhapsody in Blue, the Czech entry is my favourite of the three so far. I was particularly impressed by their use of low fireworks, including ones streamed from the barge instead of being shot high into the air. My favourite was their rainbow arc near the end, an impressive display of colours and control over position.)


1st ever Summer MELA! Festival, Sun 6 August, 10 am – 10 pm, Deer Lake Park / Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby.

Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning get together (according to Wikipedia). In the UK, it is a term for a Asian-focused cultural festival. The coming Mela in Burnaby aims to both unite the South Asian community in the Lower Mainland and explore its diversity. (A South Asian person could be from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and that’s not a complete list.) The events: the usual: music, dance, food, marketplace, but also movie screenings, storytelling, and a cricket demonstration. (MELA! Festival 2006 event list)

(To the organizers: seriously though, is it really necessary to have your name both in all-caps and with an exclamation mark?)


10th Annual Bare Buns Run, Sun 6 August, 10 am, Wreck Beach. This is the last of a series of three bare buns runs in the region. Though small compared to other runs (the dress code might have something to do with it), it’s a competetive, officially-timed 5 km run, with medals for the winners. (Though like many other runs, walkers are welcome too; it’s a recreational event as well as a competition.)

Vancouver Pride and Joy logo

The 28th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade is the highlight of Pride Week. Sunday 6 August, 12 noon to 2 pm, starting on Denman and Robson streets, going down Denman, on to Beach, then Pacific, ending on Pacific and Thurlow (see the map). It attracts over 185,000 spectators over the route, and this year, there are over 130 floats in the lineup.

Immediately following the parade is the Sunset Beach Festival, which begins where and when the parade ends–2 pm to 6 pm, Sunset Beach. There’s a large outdoor stage with (at last count) 21 performers scheduled, with over 110 vendors covering food, retail, and community groups.

Too many things happening! Too many!

Just a quick round-up of a few (update: not quite so few now, after the additions) events for the long weekend. More events in total than you can go to, of course, but I figure it never hurts to know what’s out there so you can decide. As I said at the beginning, feel free to highlight more in the comments of this entry.

Have a fun and safe long weekend and BC Day.

4 Comments so far

  1. Chris (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 4:06 am

    Hi Keith, many thanks for the listing. I searched the internet for a website of all events happening in Vancouver at a specific date but couldn’t find a site that covers ALL events. Do you know if such a website exists?

  2. keith lim (unregistered) on August 5th, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

    There’s not even a site that comes close to dreaming about starting to scrape the tip of the iceburg of all events in the region.

    It’s because there isn’t anything like such a site that I went about compiling my own list of events on the weekend, for my personal use, which I subsequently decided to make into a metblog entry, in the belief that it might be of use to others too. I restricted it to ‘large’ festivals in the end; not wanting to fill the list with small or niche-interest events.

    Most events I heard of from non-Internet sources in the first place–personal contact with people organizing or participating, tv, flyers, printed events listings–and then had to search out their websites myself to get more info.

    Anyway, to reiterate, there isn’t an all event calendar around that I know of, nothing even slightly close. It wouldn’t be a trivial task to produce one. Also, should it really be all events? Should an event be left off the list if it’s too special-interest? And who would decide that?

  3. (unregistered) on August 6th, 2006 @ 8:20 pm

    I’m looking for things happening over at Granville Island on Monday the 7th, 2006 (august). I’m almost positive there was something going on there last year but I haven’t seen any information for it this year… could you get back to me?

  4. keith lim (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

    Granville Island is indeed having a BC Day celebration. The schedule is available only as a PDF, unfortunately:

    which is a webpage containing a link to the PDF)

    There’s the usual buskers, and many artists’ galleries, studios and workshops will be open plus a few open houses, craft demonstrations, information displays, an art contest, and other stuff. I’m not going to type in the contents of the PDF here; please read it yourself.

    I don’t know if my pointing to the Granville Island BC Day activities comes in time for you, but hope you find something interesting to do for the holiday.

    An all events calendar is hard, really hard. There is the info out there, but so much of it is, not hidden, but not distributed, and sometimes in an inconvenient form (q.v. the Granville Island PDF). So often, it has to be searched for, mined, scavenged, and really, who wants to do that?

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