Cultural Highlights of Vancouver

Long deemed one of the world’s more liveable cities for its fabulous lifestyle, the vibrant Canadian west coast seaport of Vancouver could just be the perfect destination, blending outdoors activities and fabulous cuisine with a fantastic cultural scene that stems partly from its great ethnic diversity, including lively art, theatre and music scenes. We’ve picked out some cultural highlights.

Cultural Highlights of Vancouver

Museums and Galleries

It’s not all about the great outdoors in this seaside city; offerings in its cultural venues range from indigenous art to biodiversity, from fishing history to crime. Art lovers make a beeline for the Vancouver Art Gallery in its gorgeous neoclassical courthouse building (with a new state-of-the-art Herzog & de Meuron home slated to open in four years). Western Canada’s largest public art museum, it has photographs by masters including Ansel Adams, pieces by revered British Columbian artists, and much more besides.

Meanwhile, the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is Canada's only public gallery dedicated to the contemporary indigenous art of this region. Named after master goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer, broadcaster and spokesman Bill Reid, it features both permanent and temporary exhibitions designed to build bridges between Indigenous and settler populations and others.

Opened in 2021, the Museum of North Vancouver (MONOVA) showcases the fascinating history of its Lonsdale Shipyards site and surrounding area of the city. Don’t miss the guided walking tours around the Shipyards District with ‘Shipyard Pals’ in period costume, among the great displays and events for all ages.

Arts and Culture Experiences

The first Chinese or ‘scholars’ garden built outside China, the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in the city’s Chinatown is a unique registered museum with a whole array of entertainment and experiences ranging from tea exploration workshops to outdoor yoga, and from alfresco drag shows to classical music performances.

Another unforgettable thing to do in Vancouver is a Talaysay Talking Trees Tour. You’ll visit gorgeous locations in and near Vancouver with a local First Nations guide and cultural ambassador, who will point out local plants harvested by Coast Salish people and share their stories and harmonious ways of living.

The Vancouver Mural Festival is both a non-profit association – one dedicated to artistic and cultural development in the city - and an event. Having created more than 300 murals and reimagined public art in the city, it organises an annual (August) outdoor celebration of public art that includes 11 days of block parties, special tours and the creation/unveiling of more than 30 new murals.

Festivals

From outdoor music festivals to international fireworks competitions. Vancouver hosts all manner of events throughout the year. Among the standouts are the PuSh International Arts Festival, which showcases groundbreaking work by local and other Canadian performing artists plus international artists over three weeks each January.

In June, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, which goes back more than 40 years brings fantastic acts to the Jericho Beach Park on the west side of Vancouver. Community-based, if offers up traditional and contemporary folk and roots music from all over the world.

World-famous, Bard on the Beach is, as the name suggests, a Shakespearean theatre festival. Held in Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park across the summertime from May/June to September/October it is focused on three plays, and runs alongside special events such as opera and arias, Bard-B-Q & Fireworks (plays with dinner) and a performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

To book your trip to Vancouver, get in touch today. You’ll benefit from full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.

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