One of the benefits of living in Metro Vancouver is that there are countless opportunities available to learn about various cultures countries from numerous local ethnic groups. And while the city may host individual performances by international artists throughout the year or have restaurants specializing in various cuisines, festivals offer the chance to bring together all of those elements at gathering focal points for communities.
Today (July 14) is a prime example, as residents could potentially spend the entire day going around town to take part in several festivities celebrating diverse cultures from around the world.
Here’s a quick roundup of some festivals being held today that offer a sample of what a handful of countries from across the globe have to offer.
Bastille Day Festival 2018
Where: Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews)
When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Known in English-speaking countries as Bastille Day, today is France’s Fête nationale. This free and family-friendly celebration in Yaletown offers French food and drink, arts, music, fencing and soccer, children’s activities, vintage cars, and more.
Greek Summerfest 2018
Where: 4541 Boundary Road, Burnaby
When: noon to 11 p.m.
This free, weeklong Greek party has been on since July 5 and continues until Sunday (July 15). Saturday promises live music (including a bouzouki performance), Greek dancing, belly dancing, and other entertainment. The menu spans souvlakia, gyro, barbecue lamb, spanakopita, tyropita (cheese pie), baklava, loukoumades, bougasta, and many other Greek classics.
Indian Summer Festival
Where: multiple venues
When: noon onwards
Now in its eighth year, this interdisciplinary arts festival has also been on since July 5 and will wrap up on Sunday (July 15). Today’s program includes a mandala workshop, a free film screening of the animated film Sita Sings the Blues, an interactive installation, a concert by master flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia, and a performance by the all-female Allegra Chamber Orchestra.
Indonesia Fest 2018
Where: Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre (6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby)
When: noon to 4 p.m.
As Indonesian events and restaurants are limited in Metro Vancouver, here’s a chance to take in what the diverse regions of this Southeast Asian archipelago have to offer. There’ll be traditional dances, musical performances, crafts, a fashion show and a batik workshop, and food and drink, including coffee (after all, consider where java comes from).
Vancouver Korean Film Festival
Where: Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street)
When: 6 p.m. and 8:10 p.m.
After a day of being on your feet out and about, here's a good option to chill out at. This inaugural festival, a showcase of one of the world’s most vibrant film industries, started on July 12 and today’s the final day of programming. Tonight’s screenings include How to Steal a Dog, a family film based on a children’s novel, and On the Beach at Night Alone, about an actress recovering from an affair with a married film director.
Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival
Where: Queen Elizabeth Plaza (630 Hamilton Street)
When: 3 to 9 p.m.
This two-day festival (July 14 and 15) highlights the culture of Taiwan and will feature paper-crafting, performing arts, visual art, snacks, and more. But the festival also incorporates many cross-cultural elements too, including Zumba, line dancing, Scottish dancers, and more.