Local markets, museums, and more
By Caroline Ho, Arts Editor
Summer is a fantastic season for finding free events and entertainment around Metro Vancouver. With Arts events and shows at Douglas winding down, it’s the perfect time to explore, enjoy the sunshine, and check out some budget-friendly, community-based offerings that you’ve always been too busy for during the fall and winter semesters.
Galleries and museums
Douglas College isn’t completely Arts-free in the summer! On the fourth floor of the New Westminster campus, the Amelia Douglas Gallery is open for most of the summer. Its newest exhibit The Pacific and Other Stories, featuring glass and canvas artwork by Robert Gary Parkes and Denise Dupre, runs from April 26 to June 23, with a free opening reception on April 26.
After that, the gallery reopens on August 11 with Landlocked? And Flotsam Fixation by Tiki Mulvihill, filling the space of the gallery and adjacent wall of the Laura C. Muir Theatre with nautical-themed sculptures and installations. Mulvilhill’s show is part of the New Westminster Cultural Crawl, a free festival from August 10 to 12 celebrating arts and culture in the city.
Just down the hill from the New Westminster campus, Anvil Centre houses the New Westminster Museum & Archives, the cutting-edge, technologically innovative New Media Gallery, and the Community Art Space. Other cities in the Lower Mainland also have their own (usually free or by donation) heritage museums and small art galleries, which are always worth a visit to immerse yourself in some local history and culture.
The Metro Vancouver area has a plethora of outdoor music festivals, with large occasions like the Canada Day celebrations and the PNE Fair’s lineup, but also plenty of smaller-scale events, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s outdoor concert at Deer Lake Park (July 8 this year) and Coquitlam’s summer concert series at Town Centre Park Plaza on several dates in July through September.
It’s also the season for open-air markets, most of which offer live performances of music, dance, and more. The huge Richmond Night Market opens in May, and there’s also the Lonsdale Quay Shipyard Night Market on Fridays, the fully-licensed Fridays on Front market at New West opening in July, and the many farmer’s markets that crop up around these months. These markets offer the complementary—and often complimentary—atmosphere of wandering through open-air stalls and stopping to appreciate the live entertainment.
Many municipalities host outdoor movie nights for anyone to attend—all you really need is a blanket, maybe some snacks, and good company (or not!). Last year, New Westminster hosted movies on Fridays throughout July and August in Queen’s Park, and just about every other city does something similar.
A lot of these tend to be general-audience-friendly films, with a lot of Disney classics and other family favourites. The Stanley Park Summer Cinema series looks to have a particularly fun set, starting with The Lego Batman Movie on July 4 and ending with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on August 22. Keep an eye out for news of movie lineups, and for other more local events of a similar sort, from cities and community centres.