By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
While the storm clouds remain persistent, they’ve failed to slow the summer season down. May has come and gone, so let’s keep the ball rolling on taking some much needed rest and relaxation in Vancouver this June!
Bard on the Beach (May 31–September 22) (www.bardonthebeach.org)
It’s time again for some merry olde entertainment from Vancouver’s favourite Shakespeare festival, Bard on the Beach. This year’s season features performances of The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King John, and a number of special events lined up throughout the summer. As the shows are performed seven days a week, ticket prices fluctuate based on the time and day of the performance and whether you’re qualified as “youth” (ages 6–25). Get a taste of some culture and be sure to check out one of these wonderful performances—take your time, they’re here all summer long!
Music Waste (June 7–10) (www.musicwaste2012.sched.org)
Ah, Music Waste, one of the more unique annual events in Vancouver. For one long weekend, local bands, comedians, and artists will be displaying their works throughout the city for our viewing pleasure. Music Waste offers these local talents opportunities to showcase themselves (largely non-profit) in a way that offers to give back to the community through great music, tons of laughs, and even some food for thought. The schedule is packed with shows and events (some sneaking into the early hours of the morn), so be sure to check it out (link above)—I guarantee there will be something for everyone.
Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival (June 15–17) (www.dragonboatbc.ca)
Free to the public, the yearly Dragon Boat Festival offers three days of viewing intense, waterside sporting events. Teams compete by racing across False Creek, where the surrounding areas will also feature activities such as music, shopping, and a beer garden! Enjoy the opening ceremony on June 15, or wait until the weekend and jump straight into the action from there.
Car Free Vancouver Day (June 17) (www.carfreevancouver.org)
What better way to support a greener Vancouver than having fun with your friends and neighbours this June? Car Free Vancouver Day is entering its seventh year in attempting to build a healthier community (from Commercial Drive to Main Street to Kitsilano) by encouraging participants to get around whichever way they feel like—bicycle, roller blades, hand stands, any way but by car! Block parties will be held in Kitsilano throughout the whole weekend in support of the event, so be sure to check it out and, most importantly, enjoy yourselves!
Vancouver International Jazz Festival (June 22–July 1) (www.coastaljazz.ca)
The Vancouver International Jazz Festival returns with a fantastic lineup of jazz artists heading in from all over. This year’s festival features amazing musicians ranging from 10-time Grammy award winner George Benson (June 23) to Canadian turntablist Kid Koala (who will be bringing his album/graphic novel Space Cadet to animated life at his June 27 show) to the young, lively, and lovely Janelle Monáe (June 29). In what are sure to be a number of wildly entertaining performances, this year’s Vancouver International Jazz Festival is sure to be one hell of a good time.