The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, July 30, 2007


By Tamara Lee

This is my favourite part of year in Vancouver.

The weather is usually at its best, and we’ve been getting great Indian summers in recent years thanks to global warming (keep those air conditioners going, Eastern folks, Vancouver needs you!). And the idea of fall is just enough to get us out and doing as much as we can before SAD sets in.

It seems, too, the only time we’re allowed to have fun here in Van-town is this time of year.

The civic government in Vancouver has a history of red-taping live events and festivals, especially those where alcohol is likely to be consumed. We’re a city borne out of loggers and miners and prohibitionists and tea-totallers. A city dubbed locally as 'No-Fun City.'

Still, there are some great events to check out. Because come winter, when we could really use a festival or two and they’re especially hard to find (with the exception of that new-ish cleverly-named Winterruption, but more on that later, like in late-fall), we'll be kicking ourselves for not getting the most out of the sunny days.

So, for now, it’s all about summer.

Here are a few of my favourite things to do in August, when in Vancouver:

*Visit one of the many Gulf Islands for the day. Or splurge and spend the night, say at this great little place we found on Salt Spring Island last year; Lakeside Gardens, a little cabana (well, they’re really just fancy sheds, but very cute and cosy) on St Mary’s Lake.

This year, I’ve a hankering to visit Gabriola Island.

*Go to the Fair at the PNE! It’s the ultimate in cheesy good fun for silly city folks. Aging music legends; slice-em, dice-em guys; SuperDogs; mini-donuts; a motorsport extravaganza; caged livestock; and the incessant sound of whirring rides and ‘Win a House, Win a Car!’… Ah, summertime good times.

*For a good time of a different sort, there’s the Vancouver Pride Parade. What more do I need to say? It’s crazy fun, and the livestock is (rarely) caged.

*The Powell Street Festival, celebrating Japanese Canadian arts, culture and heritage. Great food, great crafts, taiko drums, and an amateur Sumo wrestling competition that is just priceless. Well, so is the whole event.

*Bard on the Beach is doing Taming of the Shrew, among others. Beach, starry skies, Shakespearean comedy: so that’s definitely on my list.

*Quasimodo, Boca del Lupo’s live roving theatre spectacular is long sold out, but I’m still hoping to get a ticket for it.

This last one proves, to any civic government types who might care to pay attention, how much Vancouver is gagging for culture that's not pre-packaged and massively sponsored by corporations. (But then Vancouver civic governments also have a long history of not paying attention to what its citizens want.)

Nevertheless, there you have it. Some things to do in limited-fun city, Vancouver. Enjoy!

(photo credit: Cyprien on flicker) nd the co


Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Don't forget golf! I love Vancouver. Kits beach, and Stanley park...all the cool architecture and shopping. Not too mention the buses!

Mon Jul 30, 06:23:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

One of these years we're gonna make it to The Bard on the Beach. The Taming of the Shrew isn't my favourite, however.

Tue Jul 31, 03:47:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

they have films outside at night at white rock, hugely fun and totally family night, I love vancouver in the summer, I may move come the rain again. I need to get in my fill of sun.

Wed Aug 01, 03:36:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Sounds great! Where's my lottery win? I want to come visit.

Wed Aug 01, 03:55:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Oh, yes. So many options. I'm not much of a golfer, Steve, but my dad sure loved it. Jericho is my favourite beach, I think.

Tricia, there are other BotB shows, but I'm in a 'comedy' mood these days; I've never seen TotS.

I love the outdoor film thing, too. There's been outdoor with live music here in a park on Commercial Drive; excellent stuff. And yes, I am trying to figure out how to escape for a month in the sun come January.

All you need, Andrew is a few hundred bux to fly on over here and sleep on my couch. Anytime, the door's open for you!

Wed Aug 01, 04:14:00 pm GMT-4  
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