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Category "Vancouver"

12Aug

Lyft confirms plan to launch ride-hailing service in Vancouver

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Lyft plans to start serving the ride-hailing market in Metro Vancouver in the fall of 2019.


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The ride-hailing company Lyft intends to operate in Vancouver, according to a prepared statement released by the company on Monday.

Lyft, which competes globally in the ride-hailing market with Uber, has also appointed Peter Lukomskyj as its general manager in B.C. The managing director of Lyft in Canada is Aaron Zifkin.

In the prepared statement, Lukomskyj thanked the NDP government and provincial Green party for allowing ride-hailing in B.C.

Last month, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena revealed its long-awaited regulations on licensing and insurance for ride-hailing, saying it was now possible for ride-hailing companies to enter the market this fall “with vehicles on the road later this year, while ensuring the safety of passengers and promoting accessibility options in the industry.”

“British Columbians have been asking and waiting for these services after more than five years of delay by the former government,” Trevena said at the time. “We took action to allow for the services people want and we’re delivering on that promise. Our plan has made it possible for ride-hailing companies to apply to enter the market this fall.”

Ride-hailing companies have to apply to the Passenger Transportation Board for permission to operate, with applications being accepted starting Sept. 3. The board also sets guidelines for fares, boundaries and numbers of vehicles.

All drivers will have to have a Class 4 commercial driving licence in order to drive for one of these companies.

At the time of Trevena’s announcement, Zifkin said this ruling would limit the number of drivers available in the Vancouver market.

“Ninety-one per cent of the drivers on our platform drive less than 20 hours a week. These are people like single moms, students in school and people trying to supplement their incomes. As soon as you introduce that Class 4 commercial licence, these people tend not to apply for that type of work,” Zifkin said.

In Monday’s statement, Lukomskyj said the company would work with all levels of government in the region — including the Ministry of Transportation and the Passenger Transportation Board — “to be a part of the province’s transportation network and help create a frictionless experience for British Columbians.”

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Lyft was founded in the U.S. in 2012 and operates in Toronto and Ottawa.

26Jul

Everything you need to know about the 2019 Celebration of Light fireworks

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So you want to see some fireworks, hey?

First off, it’s going to be crowded. You’ve been warned. If you still insist on seeing the fireworks live, then read on.

Here’s what you need to know about watching the Honda Celebration of Light in downtown Vancouver this summer.


Map


Here’s a handy map for navigating the 2019 Honda Celebration of Light in Vancouver, B.C.

HANDOUT


When are the fireworks? Who’s competing this year?

In 2019, the Celebration of Light will take place over three nights:

• Saturday, July 27: India: Amir Morani Fireworks
• Wednesday, July 31: Canada: Firemaster Productions Inc.
• Saturday, Aug. 3: Croatia: Mirnovec Fireworks

The fireworks begin around 10 p.m. each night, with the winning team being announced on Aug. 6.


Where do the fireworks take place and how can I watch them?

The fireworks are set off from a barge located in English Bay, with the show visible from several vantage points in and around the West End, Kitsilano and some spots along the downtown Vancouver False Creek area.

Your best bet will always be to transit, walk or cycle. TransLink will be offering more frequent service, modified routes and extended hours for buses, SkyTrains and SeaBus. You can find all that information here.

Some viewing points are more crowded than others, and some are easier to access than others. Take your pick.

English Bay Beach

This is by far the busiest spot from which to watch the fireworks but also where many of the official festivities take place, including music stages, the Pete McLeod airshow, the judges, VIP seating and official Celebration of Light PA system where the fireworks soundtrack will be broadcast.

For a good view, you’ll need to park yourself on the beach early in the day with a beach blanket to wait for the show. The buzz is undeniable but be warned — it will be crowded and could be a challenge meeting up with friends close to showtime. The exit afterward is usually slow-moving as well.

Crowded? Very. VERY.

Food? Great West End selection nearby or pack your own. Food trucks will be parked along the beach.

Bathrooms? Beach bathroom facilities and portable toilets.

Best way to get there? Take transit downtown and then walk from central downtown into the West End; it’s a 20- to 40-minute walk, depending on where you start from.

Cycling in along the seawall is good too — there will be complimentary bike valets set up from 6 p.m. onwards along the beach, though leaving with a bike could be a challenge if crowds take over the pathways.

Don’t bother trying to drive — it’s usually a nightmare unless you park far away from the beach, and nearby roads shut down beginning at 7 p.m.

Second Beach

This is a partially obstructed view of the fireworks but that also means it’s a bit less crowded than English Bay Beach. A good spot if you’re exploring Stanley Park before hunkering down at Second Beach to watch the fireworks.

The Second Beach Stage will host official festival entertainment, as well as other family-friendly activities nearby. A site-wide liquor licence means you’ll be able to enjoy a cold brew at this venue.

Crowded? Bearable.

Food? Food trucks will be parked nearby but your best bet is to pack some food and snacks since restaurants aren’t within walking distance.

Bathrooms? Beach bathroom facilities and portable toilets.

Best way to get there? Take transit downtown early in the day and walk into Stanley Park. Cycling would work well too since the beach is located on an easy riding route. You could drive into Stanley Park, but be mindful of parking fees and the lots will likely fill up quickly.

Kitsilano / Vanier Point

This is a great alternative if you want the atmosphere but don’t want to be trapped downtown, or if you’ve got kids and want to keep out of the downtown fray. There’s both sand and grass, as well as some benches if you’re lucky enough to snag one.

You’ll be able to see the fireworks happening downtown, though there usually aren’t any loudspeakers broadcasting the show’s soundtrack. For that, you’ll have to bring your own radio to tune into LG 104.3 FM or a smartphone equipped with the festival’s mobile app to play the simulcast.

Crowded? Yes.

Food? There are a few restaurants and bars nearby and will likely be some food trucks, but your best bet is to pack a picnic.

Bathrooms? Beach bathroom facilities and portable toilets.

Best way to get there? Take transit along Broadway or West 4th and get off between Burrard and Arbutus, then walk about 20 minutes down to the beach.

Cycling is also a good bet, but driving will be a challenge. If you plan to bring a car, you’ll have to park in the nearby residential area and walk in. Nearby road access shuts down at 6 p.m. and reopens around 11 p.m.


What else is there at the Celebration of Light Festival?

Before the fireworks, there is live music and entertainment throughout the afternoon.

The Park Stage at Second Beach will host live music beginning at 2:15 p.m. and wrapping just after 9 p.m., while the Z-Fest Stage at English Bay will have music beginning at 7 p.m. and ending around 9:30 p.m. To see the full lineup of bands expected on each day of the festival, click here.

There’s also the Honda Zone at English Bay from 2 to 6:30 p.m., where family-friendly activities will take place along with the Pete McLeod Airshow above the English Bay Beach at 7:45 p.m.

As for food, there is no shortage of food trucks that will be located near English Bay Beach and Second Beach as part of the festival. Those who prefer a less crowded experience can purchase dining packages. There are VIP lounges offering live music, food and drinks if you’re so inclined.


Crowds gathered for the fireworks display from team USA Disney at the Honda Celebration of Light at English Bay, Vancouver, July 30, 2016.

Gerry Kahrmann /

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What’s with the tickets? I thought the festival was free?

The Celebration of Light is free to watch, but those who prefer can buy a ticket for a dining package. The package includes food and drinks through a partner restaurant and a seat in the VIP section during the show. There are several packages:

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar Lounge: This ticket gets you into the party on top of English Bay’s Bathhouse Roof beginning at 6:30 p.m. and is 19+ only. There’s music, panoramic views of the beach, live music, two complimentary drinks and access to a private bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and grill station and VIP washroom facilities. Tickets are $159 and up.

Concord Lounge: This ticket puts you into an exclusive sectioned-off area of English Bay near the Inukshuk sculpture. It’s the closest viewing spot and your ticket includes live music, two complimentary drinks and a private bar, a BBQ and VIP washrooms. Tickets start at $169 with reserved tables starting at $209.

YVR Observation Deck: This ticket does not include complimentary food or drinks but does get you a reserved seat in the VIP viewing bleachers, access to dedicated washroom facilities and an all-ages licensed area. Tickets are $44 and up. There is a cash bar available as well as alcohol-free zones by request.

Air Canada Business Class Cabanas: If you’re rolling in with a big crew, then this spot is for you. Private cabanas complete with complimentary appetizer platters and bar service; dedicated washroom facilities and bar access are available for rent, allowing you to host up to 24 of your friends and colleagues.


What should I bring and what should I leave at home?

You should definitely bring:

• Radio or smartphone with Celebration of Light app to broadcast fireworks soundtrack.

• Beach blanket to mark your territory and some cushions/seat mats for comfort.

• Water, food and snacks.

• Sunscreen and bug repellant — when it gets dark and you’re watching the show, it’s a bug’s feast.

• Playing cards or a book to pass the time while waiting for the show.

• If you plan to take videos or photo, you’ll want a good camera for low-light settings and a small tripod.

You should definitely not bring:

• Alcohol — you can be sure police will be on the lookout.

• Lawn chairs — heavy to carry in and out and you’ll likely obstruct someone’s view.

• Beach umbrella — the idea of having shade is great but an umbrella is a challenge in a crowd.

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27Jun

Thousands of tabs of addictive opioids stolen from VGH last year

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Over 2,000 doses of opiates were stolen from Vancouver General Hospital by staff last year, according to documents obtained through a freedom of information request.

Over 1,600 tabs and 853 millilitres of hydromorphone were reported stolen from the hospital in two unrelated incidents last January.

“The diversion or misuse of narcotics is rare,” spokesperson Matt Kieltyka explained in an email to Postmedia. “Vancouver Coastal Health takes this issue seriously and has several systems in place to ensure narcotics are dispensed and accounted for as prescribed.”

Kieltyka said staff were involved in both instances, but he was not able to give details on what disciplinary measures were taken.

Such theft, known as “drug diversion,” has been a rising concern in recent years.

Data from Health Canada shows 13,221 doses of opioids were reported stolen from medical facilities in 2018.

Over 3,200 of those were in B.C., which is more than any other province except Ontario, where over 9,700 were taken.

Theft of hydromorphone, which is sometimes sold under the name Dilaudid, jumped sharply in B.C. between 2017 and 2018, according to Health Canada data, with 3,211 units stolen in 2018 compared to just 12 the year before.

Mark Fan, a researcher at North York General Hospital who studies drug diversion, said data on stolen drugs is likely incomplete and that rates of diversion as “probably underestimated.”

“At any point in the medication use process, it’s possible for it to be transferred away from legitimate use,” said Fan.

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He said diversion usually occurs when a staff member manipulates documentation or falsifies prescriptions to over-order medication. They also may physically steal the substances.

In such cases, the theft may not be discovered until an audit is conducted.

Drug diversion made headlines in 2015 after a VGH aide overdosed on stolen opiates. Since then, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority have adopted measures that Kieltyka said include “dispensing machines, vaults, locked cabinets and security cameras.”

The authority says they have also piloted use of “containers that contain a solution that renders the drugs unusable” at two units within Vancouver Coastal Health and may implement them province-wide.

Const. Steve Addision with the Vancouver Police Department says hydromorphone is fairly common in the city’s illicit drug market, and that a 2-mg pill usually sells for around $10.

But the major driver of diversion is addiction.

Dr. Shimi Kang, an addictions psychiatrist who has worked with hospital staff involved in drug diversion, said workplace stress and access to potent opioids creates a “perfect storm” for substance use.

“We have to recognize that healthcare practitioners are human too,” she said.

She said nurses often face high levels of stress and violence in the workplace and that adequate sleep, time off and support are the best ways to prevent addiction.

“We get so caught up in being the healer that we forget to heal ourselves,” said Kang.

Dr. Mark Haden, a professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health and a supervisor with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, said it shows the indiscriminate nature of addiction.

“Being employed by the system does not protect one from addiction,” he said.

Hydromorphone is sometimes used in opiate-replacement therapy as a substitute for stronger street-level drugs. Last month, Canada became the first country in the world to approve use of injectable hydromorphone in treating opioid use disorder.

Haden said making the drug legally accessible could prevent thefts — and deaths.

“If hospital staff who are also addicted to opiates had (open) access to them, they wouldn’t steal them,” he said. “I think the solution to the fentanyl crisis and people stealing from hospitals is the same.”

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21Jun

City of Vancouver makes plans for a smoky summer

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The City of Vancouver is preparing for a smoky summer, making plans to create “respite areas” at several communities centres, libraries and non-market-housing units.

The public spaces could act as clean air havens for people who have health concerns and lack access to an air-conditioned space during air quality advisories. The rooms would be equipped with portable HEPA filters and some would also serve as cooling centres, according to a statement from the City of Vancouver.

Experts are warning that it’s likely to be another hot, smoke-filled summer in B.C. this year. B.C. Wildfire Service information shows the province has seen increased drought and higher-than-average temperatures in 2019, with the trend expected to continue.

“Obviously, we expect increased wildfire and smoke risk, and that includes in the southwest … And increased temperatures are likely to drive higher ozone formation, and so we expect there may be more potential for that this summer as well,” Metro Vancouver air-quality engineer Francis Ries told Postmedia on Tuesday.

Ozone, a pollutant that when mixed with fine particulate matter creates smog, often irritates the eyes, nose and throat, and over time can cause permanent lung damage.

Ries said more studies, including ones that focus on B.C., are making a strong link between climate change and the exacerbation of wildfire seasons.

“As we continue to see further warming, we expect that the patterns we are seeing now are likely to continue or perhaps even get more extreme,” he said.

The summers of 2017 and 2018 were the worst on record for smoky skies across B.C.

In Metro Vancouver, there were 22 days last July and August under air-quality advisories, three more than in the summer of 2017.

The last two summers have far exceeded the number of advisories issued in any other year since 1996, the first year for which data is available. Several years, including 2016, had zero air-quality advisories.

University of B.C. public health professor Dr. Michael Brauer said many public buildings are already equipped with air conditioning and filters that provide effective relief on smoky days. Simply closing windows can significantly improve air quality, while even a small filter can remove particulate matter. Higher-quality filters may require more energy, but buildings could swap them in on days when the air quality is poor.

Brauer said the long-term health impacts of one or two weeks of smoky skies each summer are likely very small, but if that time stretches into one or two months — as it is threatening to do in some parts of the B.C. Interior — it would be “concerning.”

“We know that day-in-day-out exposure (to pollution) can be life-shortening,” he said, alluding to studies in other countries where pollution is a significant problem. “It can causes diseases to get worse, and accelerates the progression of disease.”

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With files by Lori Culbert

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20Jun

Reschedule Vancouver fireworks if air quality poor? Not so fast

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Team U.K. puts on a show at the 2017 Honda Celebration of Light in Vancouver.


Francis Georgian / PNG files

When wildfire smoke settles over English Bay this summer, as experts predict it will, there’s not much Vancouver can do about it.

But the city shouldn’t be adding any more ingredients to the “toxic soup,” says Kitsilano resident Judith Maxie, who wants council to reschedule fireworks events if the air quality is poor.

“You don’t have to be a scientist to see that tossing all those fireworks into the soup isn’t a good thing,” she said Thursday. “This is something we can actually change.”

Maxie doesn’t want to ban fireworks altogether — “over the years we’ve loved attending them,” she said — but wants the city to hold events like the Honda Celebration of Light at a different time of year, or put a contingency plan in place in case it’s smoky during the annual Canada Day fireworks.

Dr. Christopher Carlsten said he considers fireworks pollution “a significant issue,” particularly for people who are sensitive to poor air quality. A number of case reports have shown an increase in asthma attacks and irritation in people with lung disease during fireworks events.

“There’s not a lot of good defences for them in a health sense,” said the Vancouver physician. “If we’re just talking about health, I’d say don’t do it.” But the University of B.C. professor and head of respiratory medicine admitted that argument doesn’t factor in the “cultural equation” or the enjoyment derived from the spectacle.

Carlsten, who holds the Canada research chair in occupational and environmental lung disease, said much of the research on fireworks pollution has been done in countries where festivals last for days and fine particulate pollution accumulates at ground level.

“It’s quite clear that fireworks do affect air quality, but in Canada the events do tend to be short,” he said.


Vancouver’s Honda Celebration of Light show. ‘It’s quite clear that fireworks do affect air quality, but in Canada the events do tend to be short,’ says Dr. Christopher Carlsten, a UBC professor and head of respiratory medicine.

Francis Georgian /

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University of B.C. public health professor Dr. Michael Brauer said Vancouver’s fireworks shows happen high above the ground, which can help the particulate dissipate sooner, especially if wind conditions are favourable.

“It’s a transient increase,” he said of the rise in fine particulate pollutants associated with fireworks. “For most people, it shouldn’t be a concern, but for those with asthma or heart and lung concerns, it would be best to minimize exposure.”

Metro Vancouver air quality advisor Geoff Doerksen said pollution from fireworks is “short-lived and dissipates quickly,” and most years it doesn’t reach the ground. Any localized impacts to air quality tend to return to normal levels within a few hours.

Doerksen advised people who are concerned to avoid viewing areas and close their windows if they live in the area.

In a statement, the City of Vancouver said it did not receive any complaints about air quality during last year’s fireworks events and “is not considering cancelling or rescheduling fireworks that occur on Canada Day or at the Celebration of Lights.”

The summers of 2017 and 2018 were the worst on record for smoky skies across B.C.


Dr. Christopher Carlsten.

In Metro Vancouver, there were 22 days last July and August under air-quality advisories, three more than in the summer of 2017.

The last two summers have far exceeded the number of advisories issued in any other year since 1996, the first year for which data is available. Several years, including 2016, had zero air-quality advisories.

In 2015, a U.S. study published in Atmospheric Environment found that levels of fine particulate matter are elevated in urban areas by an average of 42 per cent during the 24-hour period starting with a fireworks event.

“That was a national average across 315 monitoring sites; it actually varies from place to place and year to year,” lead author Dian Seidel, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told Postmedia at the time.

One monitoring station located near the site of a display registered a 370-per-cent increase in fine particles.

Meanwhile, a study led by researchers from the University of Montreal took recorded PM2.5 concentrations as much as 1,000 times normal on single readings within the smoke plume.

Readings from monitoring stations set up at “breathing level” near the ground showed PM2.5 concentrations about 50 times normal levels during the display. Elevated concentrations of fine particles were detected as far away as 14 kilometres, suggesting the particles remain in the atmosphere for “a long period of time,” probably days.

With Postmedia files

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9Jun

Moms-to-be ‘fearful’ as Chilliwack maternity ward to close for summer

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Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove has requested a meeting with Health Minister Adrian Dix to express his concerns about the temporary closure of Chilliwack Hospital’s maternity ward.


Francis Georgian / PNG

The mayor of Chilliwack is requesting a meeting with B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix to express concerns about a plan to close the maternity ward at Chilliwack Hospital for an indeterminate amount of time starting later this month.

The closure is caused by an “unexpected shortfall in obstetricians,” said Jennifer Wilson, medical director for Chilliwack Hospital. Due to a medical leave, the hospital is no longer able to ensure there is an on-call obstetrician available for emergency interventions and C-sections at all times.

Fraser Health is working on a plan to address the problem, but women who expected to give birth in Chilliwack after June 24 will have to go to Abbotsford Regional Hospital instead, said Wilson. “Our goal is to be up and running again as soon as possible.”

The doctor said the decision to close the maternity ward was not made lightly and she “respects” the concerns of women who are now faced with travelling outside their community to deliver. “We are really committed to making things as safe as possible for women.”

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But Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove said it is “insane” that his community of 100,000 people will not have a maternity ward this summer. On average, there is between one to two births per day at Chilliwack Hospital.

“I understand that it’s difficult (for Fraser Health), but there should have been a plan in place,” he said.

The mayor said he is asking for a meeting with the provincial health minister to discuss the situation. He has also spoken to the mayor of Hope who is worried about the health of women who will have to travel more than an hour — possibly in rush-hour or long-weekend traffic — to reach the hospital in Abbotsford.

“It’s an hour on a good day. What happens if there’s an accident?” asked Popove.

The mayor said he hasn’t been told when Fraser Health plans to reopen the maternity ward. But he has been hearing from families in his community who are worried and anxious.

Former Chilliwack mayor and B.C. Liberal MLA John Les called the closure “a kick in the head” in response to a Chilliwack Progress news story about the closure.

“This is a bloody outrage,” he said in a Facebook post.

“If implemented, this two- to three-month suspension of deliveries will become permanent,” he speculated. “This has been Fraser Health’s dream all along: centralize everything in Abbotsford.”

Wilson said the hospital plans to maintain its maternity ward and is looking for long-term solutions to the staffing problem. It is also working to address transportation concerns from women who may have trouble reaching Abbotsford.

“We have reassurances from Abbotsford … (that) they have the capacity,” she said.

But registered midwife Libby Gregg said the closure is making women “fearful” about their deliveries.

“They are really suffering,” she said, explaining that some women will lose the doctor who has cared for them through their entire pregnancy because the doctor doesn’t have hospital privileges at the Abbotsford hospital.

“These women will be in an unfamiliar situation with people they don’t know,” she said.

Gregg said an increase in stress and anxiety in the late stages of pregnancy and during delivery can have negative impacts on mothers and babies, including a possible increase in inductions and C-sections.

“The implications are huge and far-reaching.”

Gregg said Chilliwack midwives are stepping up to offer their services to women who are scrambling to find a caregiver ahead of the closure, adding “we’re here to support as many families as we can.”

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7Jun

B.C. Summer Festival Guide: 80+ events happening around Metro Vancouver

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Summer festival season is back, so grab your calendar and get ready to plan some summer fun. Our list of more than 80 festivals happening around Metro Vancouver is sure to keep you busy.

READ MORE:Stuart Derdeyn’s Top 5 festivals to check out this summer.


Bard on the Beach Festival
This annual celebration of The Bard is back, celebrating 30 years with four productions on two stages, plus a host of special events. This years shows include: The Taming of the Shrew, until Sept. 21: The 2007 ‘spaghetti western’ version of show – one of Bard’s most beloved productions – is the inspiration behind this hilarious Wild-West love story, where two fierce kindred spirits finally meet their match in each other. • Shakespeare in Love, June 12-Sept. 18: Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block. The deadline for his new play is looming and he’s in desperate need of inspiration. And then he finds his muse – Viola. She’s Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to appear in his next play. Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms but their road to romance runs into plenty of speed bumps.  • All’s Well That Ends Well, June 26-Aug. 11: This new, bold staging is set in India during the waning days of British occupation and the cusp of Indian independence. Helena, a privileged young Indian woman, secretly loves Bertram, an officer in the British Army. Cultural, social and political barriers stand between them. But Helena doesn’t give up, and her journey takes her into the heart of her own culture and identity.  • Coriolanus, Aug. 21-Sept 15: Political warfare – and war within a family – drive Shakespeare’s compelling story of the ruthless fighter, Coriolanus, as she fights for honour without compromise. The themes of pride and arrogance are at its core, as Coriolanus examines what it means to be loyal to a parent, to a leader and to a country. • Bard Village, Vanier Park • 604-739-0559, bardonthebeach.org


Charlie Gallant and Ghazal Azarbad in the Bard on the Beach production, Shakespeare in Love.

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Fraser Valley Children’s Festival: Fairy Tales
Bring out your fairy’s, dragons and fairy tale characters for the 23rd Annual Children’s Festival with arts and crafts, music workshops, entertainment and much more for the young and young at heart. • Fraser River Heritage Park, Mission • June 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • Free admission, mission.ca

Italian Day on The Drive
A vibrant cultural street festival celebrating Italian culture, heritage and community. The Drive comes alive in green, white and red with piazza-style animated zones, live music, food vendors, patios, lifestyle attractions, fun family activities and more. • Commercial Drive, June 9, noon-8 p.m. • Free, italianday.ca/


Diane Garceau and Lindsey Shepek, on stilts, entertain people enjoying Italian Day on Commercial Drive.

Arlen Redekop /

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5X
A South Asian millennial festival showcasing the best of music, art, film and fashion. This multi-day, multi-genre event celebrates creativity through art, fashion, live music, club nights, film, and a block party, plus a conference to build connections and capacity in our communities. • June 12-16, 5xfest.com

2019 Festival d’été francophone de Vancouver
One of Western Canada’s biggest celebrations of Francophone music and culture. • June 13-23lecentreculturel.com

88th B.C. Highland Games & Scottish Festival
Wear your kilts, plaids and tartans and enjoy two days of piping, live Celtic music, free entertainment, competitions, kid’s activities, a whisky school, vendors, food, massed pipe bands and a few surprises. • Lafarge Lake Park, 1290 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam • June 14 and 15 • $15, bchighlandgames.com

20th Annual Surrey Fest Downtown
As many as 4,000 people visit this festival each year to view the exhibits and enjoy food and live entertainment. • Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd., Surrey • June 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. • surreyfest.com/

Breakout Festival 2019
Canada’s only all hip-hop outdoor music festival. Price of admission includes ride pass to Playland. • PNE Amphitheatre • June 15 and 16, 3 p.m. • Single day tickets: $99-$149, two-day tickets: $189-$269, breakout-festival.com

Car Free Day Vancouver
Car Free Day celebrates the vibrancy of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods by organizing a multi-site annual arts and culture festival that reclaims traffic thoroughfares as community focused public spaces. Artists, local residents, performers, artisans, non-profits, and businesses re-imagine spaces normally reserved for vehicle traffic. • West End, June 15, noon-7 p.m., Denman Street from Davie to Robson • Main Street, June 16, noon-7 p.m., Main Street from Broadway to 30th Avenue • The Drive, July 7, noon-7 p.m. Commercial Drive from Venables to N. Grandview. • Free, carfreevancouver.org


Dani Barnes of Village Vancouver enjoys Car Free Day on Main Street.

Arlen Redekop /

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Croatia Days 2019
Celebrate one of the most vibrant communities in the Lower Mainland! Enjoy live entertainment, folk dancing, music, choir performances, a children’s play area, futsal, video entertainment, a variety of fresh food, video entertainment and a beer garden. • Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Dr. • June 15, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. • Free admission, 604-879-0154, croatianculturalcentre.com

Gathering Festival Celebration in the Park
Following four weeks of festival programming for Vancouver’s inner-city community, the festival wraps up with a free all-day event featuring two stages, arts, crafts, community booths and family activities, including a headline performance by Canadian power-pop legends Odds. • Emery Barnes Park, Davie & Seymour Streets • June 15, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. • Free, gatheringfestival.wordpress.com

Hillcrest Summer Festival
Enjoy amusement rides, inflatables, games, activities, stage performances, a vintage car show and entertainment such as face painting, balloon art and musical performances. (In event of rain the event will take place at the Vancouver Curling Club, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way). • Riley Park, 50 E. 30th Ave. • June 15, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free, 604-718-5885, hillcrestcommunitycentre.com

Langley: 25th Annual Community Day
This year the event will feature two stages, a food truck festival, beer garden, a kids and youth zone, fire rescue kids challenge, marketplace community organizations, and more. • Douglas Park, 20550 Douglas Crescent., Langley • June 15, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. • Free, 604-514-2940, langleycity.ca

Pacific Rim Kite Festival
This colourful annual extravaganza transforms Garry Point Park into two wind-whipped days of demos, kite battles, and individual and team flying shows. • Garry Point Park, Richmond • June 15 and 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • bcka.bc.ca


Beautiful kites in a kite festival

Queer Arts Festival
The Vancouver Queer Arts Festival is recognized as one of the top five festivals of its kind in the world (Melbourne Herald Star). This year’s theme rEvolution gathers together artists who dissemble, push and transgress; art as the evolution of the revolution and will tie together nearly 100 artists and more than 20 events and programming including receptions, curated visual art exhibition, performing arts series, workshops, artist talks, panels, and screenings, parties and more! • Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews • June 17-28queerartsfestival.com

Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival
North America’s flagship dragon boat festival returns to Vancouver. Kick off summer with three days of some of the continent’s best dragon boat racing, headliner music shows, cultural installations, interactive performances, local artisans and shopping, food, and family-friendly activities. • Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park, and the waters of False Creek, 1455 Quebec St. • June 21-23 • Free, concorddragonboatfestival.ca


The Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival returns June 21-23.

Point Grey Fiesta
West 10th Avenue and Trimble Park are turned into a start-of-summer neighbourhood celebration with a parade followed by amateur stage performances, exhibitors, vendors and the only carnival in a Metro Vancouver park. The festivities kick off Friday afternoon with bike decorating at 4502 West 10th Avenue, and carnival rides start as soon as school is out at 3 p.m. in Trimble Park. Led by Fiesta’s mascot, Ole the Bull will start the Saturday morning parade at 10 a.m. Activities in Trimble Park include local businesses and artisans exhibiting and a variety of acts performing on stage. Carnival games and rides run until Sunday afternoon, and as a homage to Father’s Day, dads ride free with a child all day Sunday. • June 21-23 • Free, pointgreyfiesta.org/

TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival
One of the largest jazz gatherings in Canada brings together jazz legends, emerging musicians and contemporary visionaries from different countries. This year’s featured events include performances by Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, and Herbie Hancock. • June 21 until July 1coastaljazz.ca/


Wu-Tang Clan will perform at this year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

24th annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival
Celebrate Midsummer with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. There will be cultural displays, along with artisans, events for all ages and the best of Scandinavian foods. • Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas St., Burnaby • June 22 and 23 • $10/adult, under 16/free, scandinavianmidsummerfestival.com

Cultus Lake Day
Kick the day off with Pancake Breakfast by donation at Cultus Lake Fire Hall, followed by a parade, an artisan market, food vendors, activities and more, all wrapping up with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. • Cultus Lake Park, 4165 Columbia Valley Hwy., Cultus Lake • June 22, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. • Free admission, cultuslake.bc.ca

Driediger Farms 6th Annual Strawberry Festival
Whether you are in the market for B.C.’s best berries, delicious artisan foods or a day in the sunshine with your family, this is the event for you. Shop local brands and eat local food! • Driediger Farms Market, 23823 72nd Ave., Langley • June 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. • facebook.com


Fresh local strawberries.

East Side Pride
Celebrate Pride on the East Side! Throw down a picnic blanket and take in an array of diverse performances, visit the Community Market with over 30 vendors and community partners, and grab a bite to eat at a food truck. • Grandview Park, Commercial Drive • June 22, noon • Free, vancouverpride.ca

Lynn Valley Day
The day starts with pancake breakfast (8:15-9:45 a.m.) followed by a local parade and a full day of family fun. Highlights include games, inflatables, Maypole dancing, face painters, live entertainment, food and a beer garden. • Lynn Valley Park, 3590 Mountain Hwy., North Van • June 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • Free, lvlions.com

McBurney Plaza Summer Series
McBurney Plaza Summer Series will be filled with live entertainment, fun activities and amazing give-aways. • June 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Kick off summer with live music by Side One Band, backyard games and gourmet ice pops. • July 13, 6-10 p.m.: Enjoy an evening of live entertainment, local craft beer and wine, and delicious street food. Enjoy entertaining opening acts and an all request Dueling Piano Show. (Dueling Pianos in the Plaza is a 19+, adult only event). • July 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Downtown Langley will be the hub for celebrity spotting as we welcome a lineup of talented Legend impersonators to perform live. Enjoy popcorn as you watch the show, plus a paparazzi photobooth and face painting. • Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Prepare to be amazed! A unique and talented line up of magicians are ready to entertain you with live shows and roving magic. Enjoy magical balloon twisting, cotton candy and activities. • McBurney Plaza, 20518 Fraser Hwy., Langley • June 22 until Aug. 10 • Free, downtownlangley.com

National Indigenous Peoples Day: Langley
The Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society invites you to come out and celebrate their unique heritage, diverse culture and many aboriginal achievements. • Douglas Park, 20550 Douglas Crescent, Langley • June 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free, langleycity.ca

Strawberry Festival
Enjoy a celebration of summer days with the West End Community. Presented by the West End Seniors Network, this event will feature local vendors, community organizations, food, music, activities, free horse carriage rides and the best strawberry shortcakes in town! • Barclay Heritage Square, 1433 Barclay St. • June 22, 1-4 p.m. • Free, 604-669-5051, wesn.ca

Greek Day on Broadway
Live a day the Greek way and immerse yourself in a world of delicious Greek food and drink, market vendors, entertainment, and live music. • West Broadway from MacDonald to Blenheim • June 23, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. • Free admission, greekday.com/


Greek food is the fare at Greek Days festival on West Broadway.

Ric Ernst /

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Golden Spike Days Festival
One of the oldest and longest running family events in B.C. this annual event features live entertainment, including headline performances by Big Sugar, Harlequin and Prism; plus special events; food and activities for all ages. The event commemorates the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway line and its arrival at the original Western terminus in Port Moody where the last spike was driven. • Rocky Point Park, 2800 Murray St., Port Moody • June 28 until July 1 • Admission by donation, goldenspike.ca/

Vancouver International Guitar Festival
Join guitar builders, players, collectors and aficionados for live music, master classes, special events, and the opportunity to see, hear and play some of the world’s finest handmade stringed instruments. • Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way • June 29-30vancouverguitarfestival.com/

Evo Summer Cinema Series
Enjoy an outdoor screening of your favourite films on the four-storey inflatable movie screen. Come early to enjoy lots of fun pre-show activities including games, giveaways and prizes, and grab some delicious bits at one of the food trucks. games, prizes, and giveaways, as well as the weekly offering of food truck fare and classic movie treats. This year’s film lineup includes: Wayne’s World, July 2, 9 p.m. | Beetlejuice,July 9, 9 p.m. | Shrek,July 16, 9 p.m. | Sleepless in Seattle,July 23, 8:30 p.m. | Moulin Rouge, July 30, 8:30 p.m. | Finding Nemo, Aug. 6, 8:30 p.m. | Harry Potter 3, Aug. 13, 8:30 p.m. | Jurassic Park, Aug. 20, 8 p.m. • Grand Lawn at Ceperley Meadows, Second Beach • Lawn seating if free, VIP reserved tickets available for a fee, eventbrite.ca

9th annual Indian Summer Festival
Bringing locally and internationally renowned artists to venues across the city with the provocative theme of Tricksters, Magicians, and Oracles; the 2019 festival lineup features futurists, novelists, stand-up comedians, musicians and storytellers from around the world. Highlights include: July 4: Indian Summer Festival Opening Party • July 5: International speakers series 5×15 • July 6: Conjuring the Future – a galaxy of potent musical voices from across Canada • July 7: Pico Iyer on Life, Love and Mortality. Writer, world-traveller and TED sensation Pico Iyer has spent his life answering the great questions of humankind • July 8-14: PAUSE Free Programming • July 12:Amjad Ali Khan & Sons with Sharon Isbin: Strings for Peace • July 4-14, indiansummerfest.ca


Amjad Ali Khan and Sons with Sharon Isbin – Strings for Peace.

Photo by SuvoDas

The Dancing on the Edge Festival
Canada’s longest running festival of contemporary dance is an eagerly anticipated highlight of the Lower Mainland’s dance season. This year’s DOTE presents extraordinary dance productions from Canada, Brazil and Korea, offering high calibre, challenging and gorgeous dance. The innovative and spell-binding work features World Premieres, North American and Western Canadian debuts, and works-in-progress from some of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers. • July 4-13, dancingontheedge.org/

Vancouver Greek Summerfest
This annual celebration of food, entertainment, and family fun features the famous barbecued lamb and Loukoumades, as well as hundreds of live singers and dancers on the Performance Stage. • 4641 Boundary Rd., July 4-14 • Free admission, vancouvergreeksummerfest.com/

Burnaby Arts Council: Summer Arts Festival
An outdoor festival celebrating summer, this fun and engaging event offers thrills, excitement and culture! The festival showcases local artists competing in a live art tournament, a variety of entertainment, artists and artisans and much more. • Outdoor event at Deer Lake Gallery, 6584 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby • July 5 and 6 • 604-298-7322, burnabyartscouncil.org

Cinema Under the Stars
Start your weekend off with a Friday night experience at Cinema Under the Stars! Leigh Square will showcase recent movies on their enormous, 26-foot tall silver screen at Sun Valley and Gates parks. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, round up some friends and bring the whole family. • July 5, 9 p.m. at Gates Park: Mary Poppins ReturnsJuly 19, 9 p.m. at Sun Valley Park: The Hidden WorldAug. 2, 8:45 p.m. at Gates Park: Ralph Breaks the InternetAug. 16, 8:45 p.m. at Sun Valley Park: Avengers: Endgame • Various venues, Port Coquitlam • July 5 until Aug. 16 • Free, in the event of rain, movie will be moved to the next available Friday. Movie subject to change so check for updates on the city website or call 604-927-8400 for confirmation., portcoquitlam.ca

Theatre Under the Stars: Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies
Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) invites audiences to a summer of inspiration with Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies, running alternate evenings from July 5–August 17. A beloved Vancouver tradition since 1940, TUTS’ 2019 season offers two exuberant musicals: one that tells the lighthearted tale of a mother and a daughter who embark on a hilarious quest to discover the identity of the daughter’s true father; the other shares the stirring account of a ragged band of newspaper boys in 1899 in New York City who strike for fair pay and humane working conditions. • Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park • 604-631-2877, tuts.ca


TUTS is back for another season of outdoor theatre at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl.

Photo by Lindsay Elliott.

Whistler Children’s Festival
Fuelled by imagination, creativity and giggles, the Whistler Children’s Festival is the resort’s longest-running event, now in its 36th year. • July 5-7, whistlerchildrensfestival.com

10th Carnaval del Sol
The biggest Latin festival in the Pacific Northwest, featuring two days of live music, art, dance, sports, and poetry in celebration of Latin American Culture. Carnaval del Sol, recreates the atmosphere of a vibrant city plaza in Latin America. The arts showcased during this event include live musical bands, Native Canadian and Latin American visual art, traditional folk dances from different countries, arts and crafts displays, dancing and culinary lessons and a Latin American inspired fashion show. • Concord Pacific Place, 88 Pacific Boulevard • July 6 and 7 • carnavaldelsol.ca


Carnaval del Sol is the largest Latin festival in the Pacific Northwest.

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Khatsahlano Street Party
Ten blocks of amazing music, merchants, food and fun, including performances by Hey Ocean!, The Boom Booms, Harlequin Gold, and many others. • West 4th Avenue from Burrard to MacDonald • July 6, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. • Free admission, khatsahlano.com

7th Annual Summer Repertory Festival
An uplifting comedy set in a doughnut shop, a classic political satire for the age of Trump and a celebration of the power of storytelling make this year’s Annual Summer Repertory Festival from Ensemble Theatre Company one of its most thrilling yet. Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, Garson Kanin’s Born Yesterday, and Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy and brought to life by Ensemble’s talented group of actors, directors, and designers. • Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St. • July 10 until Aug. 16 • From $25, Festival Pass: $88, ensembletheatrecompany.ca

Harrison Festival of the Arts
From the world stage to local artists there’s something for everyone at this annual 10-day festival. Other highlights include an Artisan Market, workshops and an art exhibit. • Harrison Hot Springs, July 12-21 • harrisonfestival.com

Punk In Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival
This outdoor festival features craft beer and punk rock performances by NOFX, Bad Religion, The Real McKenzies, Anti-Flag, Chixdiggit, and The Last Gang. • PNE Amphitheatre, July 13 • Passes start at $69.50, ticketleader.ca


NOFX is one of the featured performers at this year’s Punk In Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival.

Dario Ayala /

Montreal Gazette

Wind Festival for the Arts
Paddle, play and soar at this free three-day art and music festival celebrating all things wind and water. From amazing workshops to local artists and live performances, to the biggest artisan market we have ever seen, this is the largest free festival in Squamish. • Downtown Squamish, July 18-20 • Free, squamishwindfestival.com

107th annual Aldergrove Fair Days
One of B.C.’s best small-town fairs features world-class fun for the whole family. Highlights include musical performances including headliners Loverboy, a Show ‘n’ Shine Car Show, a chili cook-off and much more. • Aldergrove Athletic Park, July 19-21 • Admission by donation, 604-418-9507, aldergrovefair.ca

42nd annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Explore an amazing array of artists gathered from around the world. This year’s festival includes performances by Sam Roberts Band, Corb Lund, Charlotte Day Wilson, The Hamiltones, Larkin Poe, Basia Bulat, and many others. Other festival highlights include an Artisan Market, Folk Bazaar and the Little Folks Village for kids under 12. • Jericho Beach Park, July 19-21thefestival.bc.ca/


Catch the Sam Roberts Band at the 42nd annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival.

Surrey Fusion Festival
This two-day festival showcases and celebrates the cultural diversity of Surrey. The event brings together cultural and community groups from around the world, along with 150+ artists and performers. Live entertainment, food pavilions and interactive cultural activities will keep you busy throughout the weekend. • Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd., Surrey • July 20 and July 21 • Free admission, surreyfusionfestival.ca

Squamish Constellation Festival
This brand new festival features three days and nights of music, art, food and fun featuring two stages and more than 40 acts of multiple genres. Headliners include Jessie Reyez, Bahamas and Serena Ryder. • Hendrickson Field, Squamish • July 26-28 • constellationfest.ca/


Serena Ryder headlines the brand new Squamish Constellation Festival.

Kayle Neis /

Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Mission Folk Music Festival
Staged in one of B.C.’s loveliest parks overlooking the Fraser River, the Mission Folk Music Festival is renowned for its mix of accessibility and easygoing comfort, affordability and small-town friendliness, and some of the finest folk, world, roots and blues music from across Canada and around the world. • Fraser River Heritage Park, Mission • July 26-28 • 604-309-6079, missionfolkmusicfestival.ca

Honda Celebration of Light
For three action-packed days and mesmerizing nights, the Honda Celebration of Light brings people together for a musical fireworks competition. This year features competing teams from India (July 27), Canada (July 31), and Croatia (Aug. 3). • English Bay, hondacelebrationoflight.com


India, Canada and Croatia will compete at this year’s Honda Celebration of Light.

Francis Georgian /

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Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest
North America’s largest one-day Food Truck Festival features food trucks, beer gardens, live music and much more. • Columbia Street, downtown New Westminster • July 27, 4-10 p.m. • Free admission, downtownnewwest.ca

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest
Enjoy 4H livestock shows, horse shows, home arts and gardening competitions, and backyard farming demonstrations. The daily entertainment includes live music, multicultural/community acts, roving entertainers and much more. • Albion Fairgrounds, 23448 Jim Robson Way, Maple Ridge • July 27 and July 28 • Free admission, mrpmcountryfest.com

Punch Bowl: Festival of Cocktails
Join more than 50 vendors sampling their finest summer spirits, beer and cider cocktail creations, plus live music and a barbecue. • PNE Fairgrounds • July 27, noon-3:30 p.m. or 5-8:30 p.m. • punchbowlfest.com/

Richmond Maritime Festival
Landlubbers and sea-goers of all ages will enjoy activities that delight one and all. Discover local lore, visit beautiful wooden boats, create works of art, bring your picnic blanket and enjoy the tasty treats. Take in music, painters, potters, stilt performers, puppets, story tellers and much more! • Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, 5180 Westwater Dr., Steveston • July 27 and July 28 • Free admission, richmondmaritimefestival.ca/

Caribbean Days
Get ready to soak up some tropical rhythm, culture and food at one of the largest cultural events in B.C. Kick off the day at the Multicultural Street Parade, followed by a day of live entertainment, an international food fair, a craft market and a family zone with face painting and other activities. • Waterfront Park, North Van • July 27 and July 28 • caribbeandays.ca


Samba Dancers dance to the beat of Caribbean music on Esplanade Ave of North Vancouver.

SAM LEUNG /

PROVINCE

South Surrey Festival
A fun, family friendly event that offers safe, creative and inclusive activities for the whole community. Join us for a variety of activities and attractions like stage entertainment, face painting, crafts and games, artisans and vendors, food trucks and more. • South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre, 14601 20th Ave., Surrey • July 27, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. • Free, 604-592-6970, surrey.ca

Vancouver Bach Festival
The Vancouver Bach Festival is one of the largest festivals of its type in North America, featuring a superb series of concerts with guest artists from all over the world. Concerts are held downtown at Christ Church Cathedral and at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on the UBC campus. • July 30 until Aug. 9earlymusic.bc.ca

62nd annual Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival
Five days full of fun, excitement, action, and entertainment for the whole family. There is music, children’s activities, a kettle boil, a parade, wacky bed races, chainsaw chair carving, an 8km run, pancake breakfast, two world class Loggers Sports Shows, and so much more. • Al McIntosh Loggers Sports Grounds, 39555 Loggers Lane, Squamish • Aug. 1-5 • squamishdays.ca

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival
Features more than three acres planted in the giant Mammoth sunflower that can reach heights of 12 feet and taller. There will also be 1.5 acres planted in a cut flower orange variety which will reach heights between five and six feet. The fields are completed with an acre of show garden featuring 15 different varieties of different heights, colours and bloom sizes for guests to enjoy. • 41310 Yale Rd., Chilliwack • Aug. 1 • chilliwacksunflowerfest.com

Rockin’ River Music Fest
An impressive lineup of distinguished country music alumni featuring Jason Aldean, Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Kane Brown and Brett Kissel. Over 30 acts performing across multiple stages as well as an expanded Party Zone, increased riverside and XL campsites, free-flow party patios, and more onsite amenities including food options, bars, and bathrooms. A new Entertainment District will be located in the Chattahoochee campground featuring added music, breakfast options, and late-night entertainment. • Merritt Festival Show Site, Neilson Street, Merritt • Aug. 1-4 • 4-day pass: $275-$425; 1-day pass: $60-$200 at rockinriverfest.com/tickets, rockinriverfest.com

Vancouver Mural Festival
The city’s largest annual free public art celebration brings artists and murals to Mount Pleasant and Strathcona, as well as a week of events including the Strathcona Street Party. • Aug. 1-10 • Free, vanmuralfest.ca


A man walks past a mural in the alley between Quebec and Ontario at the Vancouver Mural Festival.

Gerry Kahrmann /

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Wanderlust
This festival brings together a remarkable group of yoga and meditation instructors, musical performers, speakers, artists and chefs for a transformational retreat. Choose your own adventure with multi-level yoga and meditation sessions, mouth-watering organic foods, heart-pumping music, inspiring lectures and workshops, and boundary-pushing outdoor activities. Find your true north. • Whistler • Aug. 1-4 • wanderlust.com

29th annual Harmony Arts Festival
The District of West Vancouver celebrates summer with free concerts, signature culinary events, movie nights, children’s programming, art markets, an Indigenous Showcase and more. This annual festival features 10 days of events and activities designed to showcase arts and culture and celebrate summer on the North Shore. An extensive array of programming includes more than 50 free live musical performances and concerts on two stages, art markets, al fresco culinary experiences on the waterfront, art demonstrations, talks, and exhibits, outdoor cinema nights in the park, fun activities and interactive art experiences for kids. • West Vancouver’s waterfront, between 14th Street and 16th Street on Argyle Avenue, West Van • Aug. 2-11 • Free admission, harmonyarts.ca/

Abbotsford Agrifair
The 109th annual Abbotsford Agrifair is set to return for another weekend of summertime fun in the country. Returning this year will be the popular midway rides, the Demolition Derby, the Laughing Logger Show, 4-H shows, the Country Horse Classic, the Global FMX Motorcross Show, Cannon Top Gun Logger Competition, the pig and duck races, nightly concerts and roving entertainers. New events include a Pirate Ship Show, a Tank car-crush event, a Tractor/Truck Pull Show, Yule Kids and so much more! • Abbotsford Exhibition Park, 32470 Haida Dr., Abbotsford • Aug. 2-4 • agrifair.ca

Tsawwasen Sun Festival
A three-day celebration of fun in the sun, jam packed with special events, games, friendly competitions and many other attractions. There’s antique hunting and skateboarding at the South Delta Recreation Centre and BINGO at KinVillage, while the bulk of the events take place at Winskill Park. The pride of the event is the annual Rotary Parade which heads down 56th Street from 16th Avenue to Winskill Park. • Tsawwassen • Aug. 2-5 • sunfestival.ca

19th annual Caribbean Festival
There is no shortage of reggae, ska, Soca and Cuban Salsa performances at this annual festival celebrating Caribbean culture. Enjoy two large stages offering continuous music, a wide variety of food vendors offering authentic Caribbean foods, street vendors and a large Kid Zone. • Albion Fairgrounds, Maple Ridge • Aug. 3 and 4 • 604-467-5535, caribbeanfest.ca

43rd annual Powell Street Festival
The largest Japanese Canadian festival in the country returns for its 43rd year. This year’s lineup of performers includes a wide variety of local and international talent. Enjoy stage performances, music, visual art exhibits, literary events, interactive installations, children’s activities, a craft market, martial arts demonstrations, amateur sumo tournament, historical walking tours, tea ceremonies, ikebana and bonsai demonstrations, and delicious Japanese cuisine. • Oppenheimer Park and surrounding areas, 400 block of Powell St. • Aug. 3 and 4 • Free, powellstreetfestival.com


The Powell Street Festival takes place August 3 and 4.

Studio by Jeanie /

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Brigade Days
Explore the encampment of re-enactors showcasing the Hudson’s Bay Company era as they swap stories, play music, and show off traditional skills. Don’t miss the Arrival of the Fur Brigades canoe re-enactment at the river at 1 p.m. on Monday. • Fort Langley National Historic Site, 23433 Mavis Ave., Fort Langley • Aug. 3-5 • Regular admission applies, 604-513-4777, pc.gc.ca

Pride Parade & Festival
The three-hour parade route features approximately 150 entries offering non-stop entertainment. Enjoy floats, marching groups, dancers, community groups and performances. Immediately following the parade is the Sunset Beach Festival – a jubilant event featuring live music, beer gardens, vendor booths and more. • Starts at Robson & Thurlow, continues through the West End, finishing at the Sunset Beach Festival site • Aug. 4, starts at noon • Free, vancouverpride.ca


Scenes from the 2018 Pride Parade in Vancouver.

Nick Procaylo /

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Anirevo: Summer 2019
Celebrate anime and Japanese pop culture in the heart of downtown. Join us this summer as we bring you even more amazing surprises and boatloads of memories! Highlights include cosplay, voice actors, panels and the Exhibitor’s Hall. • Vancouver Convention Centre • Aug. 9-11 • summer.animerevolution.ca

The 147th Annual Chilliwack Fair
This fair is the cornerstone of the summer event schedule in Chilliwack, where you can find family entertainment and friendly competition. The Fair’s widespread appeal makes for a truly community event, with attractions ranging from the crowd favourite BCRA Rodeo, the Laughing Logger shows, live music, pig racing and bouncy rides, to artist and cooking demonstrations, home and garden displays and a marketplace. • Heritage Park Chilliwack, 44140 Luckakuck Way, Aug. 9-11 • chilliwackfair.com

Abbotsford International Airshow
Canada’s National Airshow features all kinds of vintage planes and military aircraft, static displays and lots of performers including the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. • Abbotsford International Airport, Aug. 9-11 • abbotsfordairshow.com


Post media reporter Larry Pynn takes flight with the US Navy’s Blue Angles, prior to the 2018 Abbotsford international Air Show.

Francis Georgian /

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Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival 2019
Officially celebrating its 20th anniversary this family-friendly event returns to Deer Lake Park with performances by Feist, Lord Huron, Dan Mangan, The War and Treaty, William Prince, and Southern Avenue. • Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park • Aug. 10, 1 p.m. • $60/$70, ticketmaster.ca, livenation.com

Clover Valley Beer Festival
40+ breweries, 80+ brews, live music, food trucks and a kick-ass time! Partial proceeds go towards Twins Cancer Fundraising. • Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 17728 64th Ave., Surrey • Aug. 10gibbonswhistler.com

Kaleidoscope Arts Festival
With plenty to explore and site-wide beverage licensing, the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival will look and feel like an urban street festival. Includes performances by indie artists Current Swell, Royal Canoe and Terra Lightfoot. Try your hand at the arts, browse handcrafted wares in the artisan market, watch performing artists Blink Acro, Disco Funeral, Hip Hop Hoop, and visual artists Richard Tetrault and Sandeep Johal. ​Enjoy delicious food truck fare and sip craft beer and spirits. Music will fill the site, with DJ Emilita getting the festival vibe going at 2 p.m. and live concert performances hitting the TD Community Plaza stage starting at 4:30 p.m. • Town Centre Park, Coquitlam • Aug. 10, 2-9 p.m. • coquitlam.ca

RibFest Langley
For three hot days and nights, Langley will host the summer party of the year! Join us at McLeod Park for live music, cold beverages, and delicious Southern-style barbecue ribs, pork, beef and chicken, plus fresh local corn and a full offering of entertainment. • McLeod Athletic Park, 56th Ave and 216th St., Langley • Aug. 16-18 • Free admission, ribfestlangley.com

Rock Ambleside
This year’s classic rock festival will feature performances by Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Honeymoon Suite, Quiet Riot, Blue Oyster Cult, Pat Travers, The Romantics, The Headpins, Streetheart, SAGA, Sass Jordan and David Wilcox. • Ambleside Park, West Van • Aug. 16-18 • rockamblesidepark.com

The Fair at the PNE
One of B.C.’s most beloved summer events and an annual tradition for thousands of families across the province. Showcasing a diverse entertainment line-up, internationally acclaimed musical performances, and rides and attractions, this year’s Fair delivers another exciting line-up of new exhibits and top-tier entertainment. Highlight’s of this year’s Fair include Reveen: The Superconscious Experience, Knights of Valour, The SuperDogs and a new line-up for the Summer Night Concerts. • Renfrew and Hastings St. • Aug. 17 until Sept. 2, open 11 a.m. till late • pne.ca/fair/


The SuperDogs are one of the many featured highlights at this year’s Fair at the PNE.

Jess Bell /

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Richmond Garlic Fest
Highlights include fresh local garlic, garlicky delights from local restaurants, an expanded Farmers Market, live bird of prey flying demos, a Kid’s Zone with tons of farm & nature-themed activities, live music, farm tours, workshops and more. • Terra Nova Rural Park (The Sharing Farm), 2771 Westminster Highway, Richmond • Aug. 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. • By donation, 604-227-6210, richmondgarlicfest.com

Steveston Dragon Boat Festival
Steveston comes alive for one of B.C.’s biggest dragon boat races and one of Richmond’s most popular community festivals. Enjoy dragon boat races, live music, vibrant visual arts, entertainment, children’s activities, and culinary offerings, while kicking back and enjoying a relaxing summer’s day by the water. • Britannia Heritage Shipyard to Imperial Landing in Steveston Village, Richmond • Aug. 24 • Free, stevestondragonboatfestival.ca

Deep Cove Daze
This local community arts festival features entertainment on the waterfront, mainstage entertainment, a fun play zone for kids, a food court, a beer garden, an artisan/vendor alley, a sponsor area, and various events such as a kids parade, pie-eating contest, and a cardboard kayak contest. • Panorama Park, Deep Cove, North Van • Aug. 25-26 • Free, musart.ca/deep-cove-daze

Richmond World Festival
Features more than 90 artists on nine stages including headliners K-pop star Verbal Jint, Tokyo Police Club and Dragonette. Other highlights include Your Kontinent Digital Carnival, more than 50 food trucks in the FEASTival of Flavour, a culinary stage and Global Village, an artisan market place, the Bamboo Theatre and much more. • Minoru Park, Richmond • Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 • Free, richmondworldfestival.com

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30May

Bike lanes to nowhere: Fraser Valley communities working to create cycling networks

by admin

It’s GoByBike week in B.C. But in Mission, most go by car.

A “pop-up” bike lane along 7th Avenue appears to be doing little to change that, as it was almost deserted Thursday afternoon.

“It’s just a pain,” said Michelle Leggett as she walked her six-year-old daughter Madeline Lutz home from school. “I think I’ve seen four bikers all week, and I’m pretty sure they’re regulars.”


Michelle Leggett and daughter Madeline Lutz.

Francis Georgian /

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To create the lane, city staff closed one side of the street to parking from Monday to Friday. As a result, the side streets around the high school have been overwhelmed with parents dropping off their kids.

“We’re just too far out here,” said Leggett. “People commute to Vancouver or Burnaby, and they need a car.”

But despite public reluctance, bike lanes are being built in some of B.C.’s most car-centric communities. Earlier this week, the provincial government announced $10 million in cycling infrastructure funding across the province. It will be up to municipalities to change public perception — and tackle the challenges that come along with building a cycling network in the suburbs.

Mission’s pop-up bike lane is part of that. Council has already approved a permanent bike lane along 7th Avenue, and the temporary lane is designed to increase public engagement and gauge public reaction to the idea, said  Mission Community Cycling Coalition member Rocky Blondin.

“The design work on a permanent bike lane will be informed by what happens this week,” said Blondin, who is president of the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association.

The lane’s usage was “modest” at the start of the week, but seems to be increasing as people realize there is another option to get to school or the recreation centre. It’s the city’s first east-to-west bike lane and its first protected bike lane.

“It takes time for people to start thinking differently,” said Blondin.

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There are several challenges to increasing cycling in the Fraser Valley, according to advocates. While the number of bike lanes in cities outside Vancouver is increasing, many communities still lack a comprehensive network that can safely and efficiently take cyclists where they want to go.

“The strength in Vancouver is in a cycling network that’s connected and can get people from Point A to B,” said Erin O’Melinn, executive director of non-profit advocacy group, HUB Cycling. “The Fraser Valley is not yet at that point.”

Unused bike lanes give critics fodder for their fight against more cycling infrastructure during public consultation on the issue, she said.

“But cities need to understand that you can’t build a north-to-south route and expect it to be used. You need east-to-west too. The network is the game-changer.”

Some Fraser Valley cities are also challenged by the fact that their main roads are highways. Many cyclists aren’t comfortable biking on the shoulder of King George Highway or Lougheed Highway. Side roads often end in cul-de-sacs.


The “pop-up” bike lane along 7th Avenue in Mission.

Francis Georgian /

PNG

In Mission, where up to 70 per cent of residents leave town for work, it’s difficult to increase bicycle commuting when people must travel long distances.

But O’Melinn said progress is being made. With funding contributions from other levels of government, many cities are beginning to create cycling infrastructure, which remains cheap compared to other transportation options.

Surrey, in particular, has made significant strides in connecting its downtown core, she said, although the municipality’s size presents a challenge for linking the entire community.

Abbotsford signalled its intentions to make cycling a priority earlier this year with a new pedestrian and cycling bridge over Highway 1 connecting the University of the Fraser Valley to a main thoroughfare. The bridge is adorned with dozens of recycled aluminum bike wheels.

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Elsewhere in the Fraser Valley, progress on bike lanes is “hit and miss,” said University of the Fraser Valley urban geography professor John Belec. “It depends on the interest of each particular council to move forward on it.”

There is also significant backlash from a segment of the population that believes “roads are primarily for cars, and as a public space, cars have priority,” he said.

While councils may not be able to push through a comprehensive bike network all at once, many are beginning to lay the groundwork and put small segments in place.

“It takes courage and energy — and a faith that they will be used,” said Belec.

In Chilliwack, cycling advocates are working to fill in the “gaps on the map,” said David Swankey, co-chair of Cycle Chilliwack. Using a rail corridor that loops through the community, the challenge is to develop clear and safe routes from there. The city is still working to determine what those routes will look like.

Swankey said advocates want to see routes that are accessible and safe for everyone, including seniors and kids on their way to school, which would increase their use.

“It’s an ongoing to process to see how it will roll out in the years to come,” he said.

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BikeBC funding

Earlier this week, the provincial government announced $10 million in funding for cycling infrastructure projects across B.C. Municipalities must apply for the grants, which cover between 50 to 75 per cent of project costs, depending on population.

The BikeBC money helps communities pay for new bikeways, or improve safety and accessibility on existing pathways.

Several cities on the South Coast received funding for 2019-20, including:

• The City of Abbotsford is approved to receive $299,685 for a separated two-way cycle track connecting elementary, middle and high schools to the recreation centre, library and the Discovery Trail.

• The City of Chilliwack is approved to receive $437,263 to extend a separated pathway between Airport Road and Hocking Avenue on the Valley Rail Trail, providing a north-south connection for all ages and abilities.

• The City of North Vancouver is approved to receive $1 million toward the Casano-Loutet cycling and pedestrian bridge over Highway 1.

• The City of Pemberton is approved to receive $7,500 to develop a cycling network plan that addresses active transportation within the community.

• The District of Squamish is approved to receive $210,450 for upgrades to the Dentville section of the Discovery Trail, which will include a separated paved path with lighting.

• The City of Vancouver is approved to receive $150,925 for cycling and pedestrian safety improvements at the 800 Robson Street Permanent Plaza.

• The City of Vancouver is also approved to receive $1 million for upgrades to the downtown bike network.

• The District of West Vancouver is approved to receive $50,700 for separated bike lanes between the districts of West Vancouver and North Vancouver.

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29May

SPCA promotes human-pet bond after dog stolen from Vancouver homeless man

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Dave M., a homeless man who didn’t want his last name used, says his Alaskan Eskimo dog Cutiepie was stolen on Granville Street. He’s holding a poster he is hoping will help him find his dog.


Mike Bell / PNG

The bond between humans and animals is so powerful that the mental and physical health of a pet owner can be lifted just by having their animal in their life, according to the SPCA.

Despite that, there is still some stigma toward pet ownership by people who are living on the streets, spokeswoman for the B.C. SPCA, Lorie Chortyk, said Wednesday.

The animal welfare organization is among the groups that work to support relationships between homeless people — many of whom have been through tough times in their lives — and their pets.

“Often for these individuals this is the first time they’ve ever experienced unconditional love,” Chortyk said.

“I think anyone who’s had a pet understands how powerful that bond is. But if you haven’t experienced that unconditional love, that bond is even stronger. And those individuals protect that animal and protect that bond even more.”


Dave M., a homeless man who didn’t want his last name used, says his Alaskan Eskimo dog Cutiepie was stolen on Granville Street. He’s holding a poster he is hoping will help him find his dog.

Mike Bell /

PNG

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Chortyk’s comments came a few days after a white American Eskimo dog named Cutiepie was stolen from a man living on the sidewalk out front of the Hudson’s Bay department store on Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver.

Dave M, who declined to give his full last name, said he had left Cutiepie with his belongings while he used the washroom around 2:30 p.m. Friday. When he returned, the dog was gone. A frantic search of the surrounding streets was fruitless.

Cutiepie has been in Dave’s life for about six years. He presumed the then-eight-year-old dog had been abandoned before she arrived at his house in Mission, he said.

Asked if he knew who might have taken his dog, Dave said: “I’ve heard a couple people say (to the dog) ‘we’re going to give you a good home’, like, maybe four walls and a roof. … but I spend 24 hours a day with my dog. I take care of her. She’s my baby.”


Dave M., a homeless man who didn’t want his last name used, says his Alaskan Eskimo dog Cutiepie was stolen on Granville Street.

Mike Bell /

PNG

Dave, who has lived on the street for the past eight months, described Cutiepie as looking like a polar bear, with white hair, short little legs, a small head and a fat body. She’s a calm dog who loved being petted and she would spend hours in his lap being groomed, he said.

Dave asked anyone who has seen Cutiepie to alert the SPCA or the VPD, with whom he said he has filed a police report.

The SPCA has a program to help people who live on the streets care for their pets, and in Chortyk’s experience, people in that situation tend to be “so dedicated” to that cause.

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“Certainly, we’ve met a lot of people who will go without food themselves in order to make sure that their pets are well taken care of,” she said.

Through its Charlie’s pet food bank initiative, the SPCA offers things like nail trims, training tips, veterinary care, surgeries and referrals, as well as food, toys, carriers and leashes. The program is open to donations.

If anyone is concerned about the well-being of any animal they can contact the SPCA at 1-855-622-7722, and the organization can send out a staff member to assess the situation. If needed, they can either take the animal into care or try to help the owner, Chortyk said.

Studies and surveys around the world have repeatedly shown the importance pets can have in the lives of street-involved people, according to a 2014 research review written by Emma Woolley in her capacity as a research assistant with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness.

Woolley referenced a 2012 paper by Leslie Irvine, titled Animals as Lifechangers and Lifesavers: Pets in the Redemption Narratives of Homeless People, who conducted a series of interviews at pet clinics in the U.S. and found pets had led their owners to give up drugs, escape depression or even choose to continue living.

A Chihuahua was stolen from a panhandler around East Hastings and Nanaimo St. last year, according to CBC. The dog was later recovered by police after it was spotted by a good Samaritan.

Steve Addison, a VPD spokesman, encouraged anyone with information about a crime to call police. He said VPD did not have readily available data on the frequency of pets being stolen.

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28May

Feds announce $1 million for Pride Vancouver to encourage LGBTQ2+ tourism

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Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Melanie Joly recently announced $1 million in funding each for Pride events in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto over the next two years.


DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Organizers say new federal funding will make this summer’s Pride festivities better than ever — and cement Vancouver’s role as a leading LGBTQ2+ travel destination.

Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Melanie Joly recently announced $1 million in funding each for Pride events in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto over the next two years.

“It’s not only important for Vancouver Pride to become an international destination,” said Joly, “it’s a very strong message to everyone across the country that they can be themselves and they can feel safe and proud.“

Andrea Arnot, Pride Vancouver’s executive director, says the money will be used to bring back the Davie Street Party, install a licensed patio space and finance inclusivity training for local businesses.


Federal funding will be used in part to will be used to bring back the Davie Street Party, seen here in 2016.

Gerry Kahrmann /

PNG

The money will also support long-term projects like events for black, Indigenous, transgender, two-spirit and queer community members and a full accessibility audit of Pride. She says the organization will also look at hosting a powwow for two-spirit members.

“If people don’t see themselves represented at an event, they’re not going to come,” she said. “…. That helps people feel like they’re a part of and that they want to come and attend our event.”

The grant is part of the Canadian Experiences Fund, a $58.5 million investment to diversify and grow Canada’s tourism sector.

Joly says the investment capitalizes on Canada’s status as a destination for LGBTQ2+ tourism, an industry she says is worth as much as $200 billion USD.

“We’re viewed as a safe country to visit with lots of queer activities going on and safer spaces in our city that travellers might not have in their country of origin,” said Arnot.

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Vancouver’s Pride Parade, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, was ranked as the 42nd best pride parade in the world by travel website HometoGo.

A 2018 survey by Community Marketing and Insights, a San Francisco-based LGBTQ2+ marketing firm, found Vancouver was the third most-popular destination among gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women in Canada behind Toronto and Montreal.

The company, who partnered with the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and over a dozen other organizations, also found 79 per cent of LGBTQ2+ travellers with no plans to visit the United States were put off by the policies of the Trump administration.

Joly says events like Pride showcase Canada’s diversity and openness — one of many thing she believes will attract more visitors to the country.

“In Canada, you can be you,” said Joly. “And that’s why we can attract the world to come visit us.”

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