City Name
Home » Recent posts » Vancouver Festivals 

Vancouver Festivals 

Stacey Naglie Photography's Homepage
We extensively test and research all services we review. Here's why you can trust us.

Vancouver Festivals 

Vancouver hosts various events annually to celebrate its culture, heritage, and community. There are always new and exciting things to do in the city, from international film festivals to community events.

Keep reading as we highlight some of Vancouver’s best and most well-known festivals. If you’re interested in knowing more about any of these events, please do not hesitate to check out their individual websites!

Vancouver International Film Festival

Vancouver International Film Festival
Hosted byGreater Vancouver International Film Festival Society
Festival dateSeptember to October
Location1181 Seymour Street Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 3M7

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), founded in 1982, encourages filmmakers to portray the world’s cultures through cinema. This non-profit cultural organization presents year-round programming at the VIFF centre at 1181 Seymour Street.

The festival takes place from September to October each year, and film submissions are accepted as early as January. They host over 1,500 screenings and events annually, making them one of Vancouver’s most interactive cinematic institutions.

The VIFF is ideal for filmgoers looking for a high-quality, big-screen experience. Their theaters are Dolby-certified, with comfortable seats and excellent projection.

They also have fairly priced popcorn, and beverages at the concession stand if you want something to eat or drink while watching a movie.

VIFF is regarded as the Pacific Northwest’s prestigious arthouse. They are home to some of the most impressive movie theaters in the city, including the deluxe Vancity Theatre, Studio Theatre, Media Lab, VIFF Connect, and Education Suite.

Tickets for full-length films range from CAD 10 to CAD 15, and you can see what’s currently showing on their website.

Before You Go

Know Your Films

So, the VIFF has announced the dates for the upcoming screenings. You should go to their website’s ‘What’s On‘ section and choose the films you want to see immediately.

Purchase Tickets Online

When you’ve decided on the films you want to see, buy your tickets online to ensure you get your preferred seats and avoid long lines at the box office.

If you plan to see multiple films, we recommend you buy the VIFF festival ticket packs in 6 and 10-ticket loads to save money over purchasing individual tickets.

You can also buy festival passes to be among the first people through the doors at each screening to get a good seat.

Save Your Barcode and Stand in Line

Following your purchase, a PDF copy of your ticket barcode will be emailed to you. All you have to do is save it to your phone and wait in line for the movie you’re watching. Just make sure you’re on the right line by asking a staff member or the person in front of you.

Things to Do at The Vancouver International Film Festival

While the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is known for showcasing exceptional local and international films; you can also volunteer at the VIFF.

Join the community of film enthusiasts by volunteering to receive free ticket vouchers, volunteer passes, invitations to exclusive events, and much more.

We also recommend stopping by the concession stand outside the cinemas before going inside.

Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival

Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival
Hosted byThe Vancouver Pride Society
Festival dateJuly to August
Location1204 Beach Ave, Vancouver, BC V6E 1V3, Canada

The Vancouver Pride Society strives to create and host inclusive events that advocate for the 2SLGBTQAI+ community. 

The Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival is one of them. It’s an annual Vancouver event celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies. The festival takes place between the end of July and the beginning of August.

This festival is one of Vancouver’s most relaxed and enjoyable events, as people demonstrate inclusivity, diversity, and self-acceptance.

Instead of fancy floats or marching bands, the parade features various groups singing, waving flags, and enjoying each other’s company.

The festival is held at Sunset Beach, close to the Burrard Street Bridge. There are numerous stands where you can purchase various products from different organizations. There are also food trucks in case you get hungry and live music for entertainment. Keep up to date on their festival by visiting their website.

Before You Go

Use Sunscreen Religiously

The Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival takes place from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and participants parade through Vancouver’s West End, down to Robson Street, Denman Street, and Beach Avenue.

While numerous shuttle options are available, we recommend putting on your strongest sunscreen because this outdoor event requires you to parade with pride under the sun.

Stay Hydrated

BE READY FOR THE HEAT. Since it’s going to be hot, we strongly advise you to bring a water bottle with you to stay hydrated throughout the festival. There are also plenty of water stations along the route.

Get There Early!

The Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival can get crowded, so arrive early, around 9 to 10 a.m. We recommend taking public transportation because driving into the West End during this time is difficult because there aren’t enough parking spaces for everyone.

Things to Do at the Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival

While you’re here, we strongly advise you to take the Really Gay History Tour with Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours.

This tour has an LGBTQ theme, and it’s not only thrilling and enjoyable, but you will also learn about the rich history of the LGBTQ movement, which will provide a comprehensive background of the Pride Festival’s origins.

Vancouver International Wine Festival

Vancouver International Wine Festival
Hosted byVancouver International Wine Festival Committee
Festival dateApril to May
Location1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3

The Vancouver International Wine Festival is regarded as North America’s largest wine festival. The festival’s headquarters is located at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, where wine enthusiasts gather annually.

The Tasting Room is the core of the festival, where visitors can sample over 750 wines at four international festival tastings and an additional 160 wines at two trade tastings. 

The tasting room hosts over 45 special events, including brunch spots, winery dinners, seminars, and many other activities.

This festival offers a diverse selection of wines from vineyards worldwide. They also serve a wide range of local and international wines and food, including cheese plates, handmade gelato, organic Iberico ham, and many others. 

Moreover, they have educational and interactive wine seminars.

The festival takes place every April, and ticket prices range from CAD 59 to CAD 575, which includes wine, food, gratuities, taxes, and service charges.

If you’re still looking for a late-night hangout after the event, the Vancouver Convention Centre West is close to plenty of the best happy hour spots.

Before You Go

Read a Book about Wine Tasting

So you’re going to the Vancouver International Wine Festival; first, do some research. Read up on tips and guides to make the most of your wine-tasting experience.

Clean Your Palate

Though it’s enticing to consume a big meal before wine tasting to avoid getting tipsy immediately. To properly clean your palate, most sommeliers recommend not eating for at least an hour before wine tasting.

Things to Do at the Vancouver International Wine Festival

While attending the Vancouver International Wine Festival, don’t miss the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner, which features over 100 wineries worldwide.

There is live music and silent auctions throughout the evening, and the evening concludes with music and dancing.

We also suggest stopping by International Festival Tastings, which has an excellent selection of gourmet items. We especially recommend trying the Spanish meat samples at ARC Iberico Imports.

Don’t forget to stop by the Wine Shop as well. Just remember to bring a bag with you so you can carry all of your purchases home.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
Hosted byCity of Vancouver
Festival dateMarch to April
Location5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1, Canada

The Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver is an annual spring event celebrating cherry blossoms. This event is based on the Japanese cultural tradition of hanami, which translates to “flower viewing.”

The festival showcases gorgeous ikebana, which means flower arrangements, a diverse food selection, and entertaining stage presentations such as taiko drumming.

This festival is a must-see if you enjoy gardens because it is surrounded by beautiful cherry blossom trees, lush greens, shrubs, and more.

It’s the ideal festival for learning more about Japanese culture, which made us want to stop by a Japanese restaurant afterward.

In Vancouver, cherry blossoms bloom between late March and early April, making us regret not hiring a professional photographer because this is the best month to capture them in full bloom.

Before You Go

Take a Photography Class

While it’s not required for everyone, if you want to make the most of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, you should think about taking photography classes to capture the full beauty of cherry trees.

Be Respectful

While it may be tempting to rush to get the perfect photo, be mindful of the residents in the area and avoid running or stopping in the middle of the street to take a picture. 

In addition, keep your visit to a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes to give other people a chance to appreciate the beauty of the trees.

Bring Your Own Picnic Blanket

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a beautiful place to picnic under full-bloom cherry trees, so be sure to bring your picnic blanket and a basket of snacks and drinks. Just make sure to clean up after yourself.

Things to Do at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

A trip to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is not complete without attending the Cherry Jam concert at Burrard Skytrain station. 

This festival includes musical performances such as drumming, singing, and dancing using the Japanese percussion instrument Taiko.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has also added the Big Picnic event at David Lam Park and Sakura Days Japan Fair, so watch out for that.

Vancouver International Children’s Festival

Vancouver International Children’s Festival
Hosted byVancouver International Children's Festival Society
Festival dateMay to June
LocationSutcliffe Park, 1398 Cartwright St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival is an annual performing arts festival that highlights young people’s talents in music, theater, dance, puppetry, acrobatics, and storytelling.

This festival is ideal for families to witness extraordinary talents and a wide range of entertainment. They also offer hands-on craft opportunities for children to get creative. These workshops include dance sessions, mask-making activities, and many more.

In addition, the music and performances are entertaining for both parents and kids, making it an ideal tradition for families.

A day pass to the Vancouver International Children’s Festival ranges in price from CAD 12.50 to CAD 22. However, if you want to participate in other activities such as workshops and variety show performances, these may cost between CAD 5 and CAD 19.

Before You Go

Pack Snacks and Drinks

Let’s face it, you’ll be spending a lot of time at this festival, which runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s best to bring snacks and drinks for the whole family so you don’t have to worry about them going hungry during the festival.

Bring a Change of Clothes

Because the festival takes place in the afternoon, you and your children are bound to perspire due to all of the activities, so bring a change of clothes.

Things to Do at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival

While at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival at Granville Island, check out the Public Market. This indoor market offers a variety of dining options, retail shops, fresh produce, and other amenities.

Parking may be difficult, so we recommend parking elsewhere and renting a bike instead. You’ll be rewarded with a scenic bike ride along the False Creek Seawall.

Also, bring your camera because there are plenty of adult Canada Geese and their goslings roaming around.

Vancouver is a city that hosts many popular festivals throughout the year. From international film festivals to community events, there are always new and exciting things to do in Vancouver.

If you have any suggestions or know of another festival in Vancouver that should be on this list, please contact us, and we’ll review it. 

Meanwhile, here are some articles that we think you’d enjoy if you’re looking to explore the city’s diverse culture.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

The Best Vancouver expert reviews directly to your inbox (and absolutely no spam!)