August 2017 Vancouver Area Free Events

July events are below August entries. Don’t forget I’m always adding events as I hear/read about them so check back often.  Ongoing Events and Inexpensive Events are at the end.  Please let me know of any free events not listed here.  Thanks!

to Aug 31, Thurs, Waterfront Cinema at Canada Place, North Point.

Aug 2 Honda Celebration of Light: U.K.’s Fireworks 10 pm.  Live entertainment starts at 4 pm.

Aug 3 – 7 Squamish Days: Loggers Sports Festival 9 of 12 events are free:

Aug 4 – 13 Harmony Arts Festival, West Vancouver:

Aug 4 – 15 Free Roundtrip Shuttle from Canada Place to Park Royal and Harmony Arts Festival.

Aug 5  Int’l Sailor Moon Day 12 – 5 pm, Vancouver Convention Centre. Free event. However, admission is required if attending Anime Revolution.

Aug 5  Vancouver Street Dance Festival 11 am – 8 pm, Robson Square.  Live music, D.J.s, dance battles, and free dance workshops:

Aug 5, 20 and 27  Dancing in the Street, Roundhouse Turntable Plaza, Vancouver.  Free live jazz music and swing dance lessons.

Aug 5  Korean Cultural Heritage Festival  10 am – 8 pm, Swangard Stadium, Burnaby:

Aug 5 Honda Celebration of Light: Canada’s Fireworks 10 pm.  Live entertainment starts at 3 pm.

Every Fri, Sat in Aug plus Aug 6, Oh!  9 – 11 pm Chance to light up Science World Dome:

Aug 5 – 6  White Rock Sea Festival

Aug 5 – 6  Powell Street Japanese Festival, 11:30 am – 7 pm, Oppenheimer Park area, Vancouver.

Aug 5 – 6  Maple Ridge Caribbean Days

Aug 5 – 7  Tsawwassen Sun Festival, Winskill Park, Tsawwassen:

Aug 6  Vancouver Pride Parade and Sunset Beach Festival

Aug 6 and 13  Robson Square Dancing  Free salsa lessons 3 – 3:30 pm, salsa show 5 pm. After Party: 7 – 7:30 pm free dance lesson, different style every week; 7:30 – 9:30 pm dancing.

Aug 7 – 12  Vancouver Mural Festival

Aug 9 – 19  Vines Art Festival. 3rd annual eco-arts festival is held at various venues:

Aug 11 – 13  African Soccer and Cultural Festival 9 am – 9 pm.  Burnaby Lake Sports Complex East 

Aug 11 – 20  Crankworz Whistler  Billed as world’s largest mountain bike festival. Most events are free:

Aug 12  SeaWheeze Sunset Festival, 4:30 – 10:30 pm.  Sorry, the free portion of this festival was only at Jack Poole Plaza.

Aug 12  Coquitlam Kaleidoscope Festival, Town Centre Park 2 – 10 pm.  Bif Naked will highlight the entertainment portion.

Aug 12  Bioblitz  2 – 6 pm, Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park.  Stanley Park Ecology Society, Vancouver Aquarium, etc. offer fun, hands-on exploration of the park’s ecology.   2 of the events require registration: Let’s ID Invertebrates and Owl Prowl.

Aug 12 – 13 Richmond Maritime Festival, Britannia Shipyards, Richmond.  Sat: 11am-8pm; Sun: 11am-5pm.

Aug 12 – 13  Fun City Festival 10 am – 7 pm, Lonsdale Ave from Keith Rd to foot of Lonsdale, North Van.  Festival free but 1000 ft long water slide costs $20-$53.  Purchase tickets now!

Aug 12 – 13  TD Vancouver Chinatown Festival, noon-6pm:

Aug 12 – 13  New West Cultural Crawl

Aug 13  Vancouver’s largest water fight, Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park, 1 – 4 pm

Aug 13  Pinoy (Filipino) Fiesta, Memorial South Park, 41st Avenue & Ross St, Vancouver:

Aug 13  Pakistan Festival 12-8pm, Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver:

Aug 13, Aug 27, Sep 10  Ladner Village Market, 10am -4 pm, 160 artisans and live music:

Aug 15 – Sep 3  Nomadic Tempest by Caravan Stage Company presented by Canada 150+  75 min rock opera show about the effects of climate change on monarch butterflies (the acrobats). Show held on Amara Zee, a tall ship, moored west of Olympic Village, 299 West 1st Ave, Vancouver.  Starting time has changed to 9:35 pm after the finish of Interrupted across the water. Registration for free tickets required:

Oops! I forgot to publicize these earlier:

Aug 18, Nov 24  Il Mercato Italian Market, 5 – 9 pm, Italian Cultural Centre, Vancouver:

Aug 18 – 20  KitsFest, Kitsilano Beach, billed as Vancouver’s hottest sports and healthy living beach festival:

to Aug 25 Weekdays CBC Musical Nooners Free concerts 12 – 1 pm, CBC outdoor stage, 700 Hamilton.  Best of Canadian indie, R&B, folk, etc.

Aug 19  India Live, 12 – 8 pm 700 Granville St Block Party: music, dance, visual arts, marketplace.

Aug 19 YVR Community Chill Out Day, Flight Path Park, 11 am – 3 pm, Russ Baker Way, Richmond.

PNE, 2nd largest fair in Canada. Free or $1.50 Days: 

  • Aug 19 – 20 Heroes Weekend: free admission for all First Responders + 1 guest all day
  • Aug 19 – 20 Canada 150 weekend, 11 am – 1 pm : wear red or maple leaf to pay $1.50 admission
  • Aug 22 & 29 Free admission for all, 11 am – 1 pm.  Re-entrance hand stamps will only be given after 1 pm.
  • Aug 24  Free admission whole day for seniors 65+ yrs
  • Other ways to save:

Aug 20  Ratha Yatra: Feel the Bliss Festival, Second Beach, Stanley Park.  Formerly known as Chariot Fest of India.  Free yoga, Sunday parade, entertainment, free veggie lunch, cooking demos, etc.:

Aug 20  Quilt Walk & Car Show, Ladner Village  10 am – 4 pm  2nd largest car show in BC along with over 150 quilts, live music, pin-up girls pageant, etc.

Aug 20  Garlic Festival, 10 am – 3 pm, Terra Nova Rural Park, 2771 New Westminster Hwy, Richmond. By donation.

Aug 21  Solar Eclipse, 9:10 am Vancouver. Vancouver, apparently, is the best place to view the solar eclipse in Canada since we will see about 86% of the sun going dark vs ~60% in the Maritimes. Head south to Oregon to S. Carolina if you want to see total solar eclipse. Last North American solar eclipse was in 1918; next one will be in 2024. Looking at the sun is like looking at a 1 million watt bulb one metre away, so sunglasses will be useless. You need proper protective wear!  Check out the 4 places in Vancouver having solar eclipse events:

Aug 24  Bobs & Lolo 8 pm, Coopers Park, north side of Cambie St Bridge.  This duo have written a song and produced an app about salmon. After this children’s entertainers’ performance is Interrupted at 9 pm.  Interrupted is a Canada 150 25-min “cinematic spectacle” of the incredible migration of Pacific Salmon running until Sep 26,  Tues to Sat:

Aug 24 – 27  Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival, Granville Island, 10 am – 5 pm.

Aug 25  Explore Historic West Hastings Street 12:15 – 1 pm Registration starts at noon at foot of Hornby St at West Hastings. First come, first serve. Normally, tours with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation cost $15, but Hastings West is sponsoring this:

Aug 26   Steveston Dragon Boat Festival, 9 am – 5 pm, Steveston Village by Britannia Heritage Shipyard to Imperial Landing:

Aug 26  Canada 150: Celebrate Our Journey, 12 – 9 pm, Port Coquitlam.

Aug 26  Zombiewalk  3 pm: undead meets at Vancouver Art Gallery.  4 pm: zombies limp down Robson, Denman to English Bay. 

Aug 27  Vancouver Pink Salmon Festival, 12 – 4 pm, Vanier/Hadden Park across from Maritime Museum. Enjoy pink salmon samplings and salmon BBQ by donation.

Aug 27   Pet-A-Palooza, 11 am – 4 pm, 1100 Mainland Street, Yaletown, Vancouver.  Westcoast’s largest pet festival.

Aug 29  Young Women In Business Vancouver Open House, 9 am – 6 pm.  Free registration:

Ongoing Free Events:

to Sep 26  Kids See Free Loblaw stores (eg. Superstore) are offering children aged 4 to 10  yrs a free pair of glasses with a prescription dated within the last 3 months. Children may not have already received a free pair from Loblaws within the last 365 days.

Explore This Vancouver app.  Vancouver Public Library’s free app connects people with images and stories of Vancouver’s past.  Just download the tour of your choice, put on your walking shoes and earbuds, and get intimate with Vancouver:

Register your kids (15 yrs and younger) for free bowling all summer long.  Two free games per day per child at participating bowling allies, usually July to early Sep:

All Parks Canada sites, not provincial ones, offer free admission in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday as a nation eg. Fort Langley, Gulf of Georgia Cannery.  Note: you don’t actually need to get the pass to receive free admission.

Tuesdays in August, Music at Civic Plaza, Surrey City Hall, 6:30 – 8 pm  Free outdoor music performances in celebration of Canada’s 150th.

Sundays in August, Open House of RCMP Patrol Vessel Nadon (aka St Roch II), 2 – 4 pm,

Sundays in August, Music at Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam, 2 – 4 pm:

to Aug 14 (Mondays except for Jul 31) Dancing in Stanley Park, Ceperley Meadow by 2nd Beach, 7-9 pm (cancelled at 5pm if wet).  Beginners welcome!  Look for bleachers and red fire engine.  To see which Scottish dancing club will be leading/teaching:

to Aug 20 Kitsilano Showboat, 7 pm,  2300 Cornwall at Kits Beach, Vancouver.  Free live performance theatre Mon, Wed, Fri, & Sat:

to Sep 2 (Fri-Sun)  Dance In Transit by Sam’s Dance. Free outdoor dancing downtown in various venues–Robson Square, Jim Deva Plaza, Queen Elizabeth Plaza, and Plaza of Nations–in the afternoon or evening.  For schedule:
to Sep 4  Burnaby Village Museum, free admission:
Bill Reid Gallery, first Friday of the month, 2-5pm, free admission thanks to partnership of Vancouver Airport.  SFU students are always free with student card.
to Sep 29 (Fridays)  North Vancouver Shipyards Night Market, 5 – 10 pm, Shipyard Plaza, 138 Victory Ship Way.  Admission always free.   
to Sep 24   Interrupted, under Cambie Street Bridge, new 9 pm start time, Tues to Sat, Coopers’ Park, north side of bridge. As part of Canada 150 celebrations, nearly one km of the underspan of Cambie Street Bridge will be transformed into a canvas to immerse the onlooker in a 25-min dramatic spectacle of the migration of the wild Pacific salmon:

Hiking trails

Free Geek Vancouver: Open Night Help Wednesdays, 6-9 pm, 1820 Pandora St, Vancouver.  Free drop-in tech-support workshops…Entry via back door.  Indoor bike parking. ..Assistance by donation”


Inexpensive Events:

Aug 16, Wed, 11 am – 7 pm Limit of 3 McDonalds hamburgers for 67 cents in celebration of McDonalds 50th birthday.  First McDonalds opened in Richmond in 1967:

Vancouver Walking Tours: Downtown & Waterfront, Granville St & Gastown, Chinatown, and Granville Island. Free, but please tip the tour guide if he/she did a good job.

Star gazing by donation every Fri, Sat 8 pm – midnight, 1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver.  Southam Observatory at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.

Saturday 11 am Cineplex $2.99 Family Favourites:

Vancouver Art Gallery, Tuesdays, 5 – 9 pm, admission is by donation ($5 posted minimum).

Maritime Museum, Thursdays, 5 – 8 pm, admission by donation.

Museum of Vancouver, last Thurs of every month, 5 – 8 pm, admission by donation.

Capilano Suspension Bridge.  If you’re a BC resident, show your photo ID and get an annual pass for just the price of a regular daily ticket (discounted tickets do not apply).  Annual pass provides you with 10%-15% off regular prices at site gift shops and eateries plus more!

BC Sports Hall of Fame  1/2 Price Admission “Be sure to save that ticket stub for all BC Place events, Vancouver Whitecaps, BC Lions and Vancouver Canucks games! Show it at the front desk for 1/2 price admission to the BC Sports Hall of Fame valid 2 weeks before or after the game day.”

to Sep 23  Sea to Sky Gondola–Half Price Sunset Saturdays  Only valid for individual tickets purchased at the ticket window from 5:00pm onwards every Saturday until September 23, 2017.

to Sep 10 (Weekends)  Illumination Summer Night Market, 12631 Vulcan Way (behind Home Depot on Sweden Way).  Fri–Sat 7pm – 12am; Sun 7–11pm. $3 admission. Enjoy the numerous lanterns, light displays, + 17′ tall lit Eiffel Tower!

to Oct 9 (Weekends)  Richmond Night Market, 8351 River Road (nearby Bridgeport Station).  Fri–Sat 7pm – 12am; Sun/Holidays 7–11pm. $3.75/adult, kids 10 and under, seniors 60 and up are free. Zoom pass (up to 7 visits) is $20.  Kids will enjoy the Dino Park!