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Things to Do in Vancouver – August 2023

July 31, 2023 |
Wendy Underwood
Ambleside Park, West Vancouver

August is the peak of summer in Vancouver, and you better believe that we’re going to be outside the whole month just soaking it in! There are so many festivals, one-offs, and once-a-week event series that there really is something for everyone. Below are our top picks for things to do in Vancouver during August.

Outdoor Movie Nights
Throughout August
Think your popcorn tastes best al fresco? Throughout the city you’ll find a wealth of options for catching a movie outdoors this summer. Downtown, Sunset Cinema takes place on the plaza outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with choices that range from family-friendly (Puss in Boots, Aug 16) to more adult (Top Gun: Maverick, Aug 2) – all for free. In Stanley Park, Summer Cinema offers free general admission with a paid option to upgrade to the VIP section. Located in the meadow right by Second Beach, August screenings include The Birdcage (Aug 8) and Shrek (Aug 15). Other options for catching a flick outside include Summer Movie Nights outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Deckchair Theatre on the North Shore by the Polygon Gallery.

Vancouver Mural Festival
August 4 – 13
Vancouver Mural Festival is back, and while you can walk around and see the murals (both the new ones and those from previous years) at any time, the festival includes a whole calendar of events, parties and tours. Guided walking tours are available by donation throughout the festival, and there’s also a free Curators Talk on August 10. Grab your dancing shoes to join one of two Public Disco events, as well as VMF After Dark. And then it all culminates in the huge Mount Pleasant Street Party, August 10 through 13, radiating out from the City Centre Artists Lodge into the streets around it. Expect lots of murals, open artist studios, live entertainment, market stalls, beer gardens and lounges.

Powell Street Festival
August 5 & 6
As the city’s celebration of Japanese culture, the Powell Street Festival has everything from martial arts demonstrations to live music, arts and crafts, and fun (and Instagrammable!) food. The festival takes place in Oppenheimer Park on the Downtown Eastside, historically the base for Vancouver’s Japanese community. Along with musical and dance performances, you can also participate with the chance to try sumo wrestling, take an interactive walking tour exploring the 1907 Japanese Riots in Vancouver, and experience a tea ceremony.  

Vancouver Street Dance Festival
August 5 – 7
Bringing together dancers from across the city’s communities, Vancouver Street Dance Festival sees competitors do battle in six distinct styles: waacking, locking, breaking, hip hop, house, and popping! The first day is dedicated to preliminary rounds and takes place at the BMO Theatre in Olympic Village. The next day is the main event down at Robson Square (just a five-minute walk from The Burrard) with a full day of dance battles, showcase performances and more – all for free! The last day is your chance to polish your own moves with a series of dance workshops.

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Photo Credits:
Feature Image: Ambleside Park: A_Melnyk / Getty Images
Sunset Cinema: Vancouver Civic Theatres website
City Centre Artist Lodge: Vancouver Mural Festival website
Powell Street Festival: Powell Street Festival Instagram account
Vancouver Street Dance Festival competitor: VSDF Facebook page