The festival season is soon to be upon us and 2017 looks likely to be a great year especially as we are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1st, so this festival season promises to be quite spectacular!
First up in June we have the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival which are annual favorites.
Vancouver International Jazz Festival – Friday June 23rd to Sunday July 2nd 2017
The Festival runs from June 23rd to July 2nd and there will be plenty of free shows to look out for, most notably the best Free concerts to check out for the whole family will be at Robson Square and the Vancouver Art Gallery where they will be showcasing The Downtown Jazz weekend from noon till 9pm, over the Saturday and Sunday of June 24th and June 25th.
The festival features 1,800 artists, 300 concerts, and 35 venues,making this one of the biggest and most prestigious summer festivals in Vancouver, this year there will be big name artists such as Ziggy Marley Seu Jorge, Branford Marsalis and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Thievery Corporation, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Antibalas, Tommy Emmanuel, Donny McCaslin Group, Kenny Barron and Jacob Collier and much much more!
Not only will there be live music but there will be plenty of family fun to enjoy featuring a Youth Stage, Artisan Markets out door bars selling alcoholic beverages and plenty of food too!
The venues are all over the city and you can purchase tickets here on their website: http://www.coastaljazz.ca/
The Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival – June 22nd to 25th
On June 22nd Vancouver will be hosting the Annual Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival.
This is a hugely popular event that has become something of an Institution down at False Creek and nearby Granville Island over the years.
Not only can you watch 100s of people taking part in the actual races themselves, there will be plenty of live music and vendors to really make this a fantastic occasion. The festivities will officially open up with an exciting opening ceremony that encompasses the Spiritual aspect of the occasion.
Vancouver has had a long history with Dragon Boat Racing, this is mainly due to the long standing relationship between Canada and China over the years. Since the 1940s where Vancouver was preparing for its 60th Jubilee anniversary, the idea was to create a Dragon Boat to commemorate the occasion, but it was also created to acknowledge that the City would be known as the Gateway to Asia, what better way to promote this than by having a dragon boat festival. Unfortunately the idea was temporarily shelved, it would finally come to fruition for the arrival of Expo 1986.
At Expo 1986, Vancouver would finally let the Dragon Boat festival see the light of day, and it was at this milestone in the history of Vancouver that the Festival was to be born.
So please head down False Creek and get immersed in this great festival, the designs of the boats (which traditionally are decorated colorfully with heads of dragons at the front of the boat and the back end showing the tail), you will likely get a sense of the cultural, spiritual and meaning behind the Dragon Boats.