Arts events to look forward to this summer

The Peak highlights some must-see arts happenings

Chris Ho / The Peak

By: Alex Bloom, Melissa Campos, Gabrielle McLaren, Natasha Tar, and Eva Zhu

Welcome to summer, the time of slacking off and generally being lazy. This may be your plan, but if you are thinking of venturing outside of your house in the next few months, consider checking out these incredible arts events that are happening around and outside Vancouver.

Definitely Dali Sculpture Exhibit

May 5–September 1

Chali-Rosso Art Gallery

Photo courtesy of Chali-Rosso Art Gallery

This exhibit will host pieces ranging from paintings to massive sculptures until September 1. Most of us are familiar with Dali as the father of surrealism, AKA the art of representing how fucked up the mind is through art. However, chances to see his work in person are rare, especially chances that are as close, personal, and free as this exhibit is. Bring your spare change, though, because public donations help bring art to underprivileged kids. – GM


Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

May 19–20

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre

VANCAF is one of my favourite comic events of all time. The artists are incredibly friendly, the comics themselves are reasonably priced and gorgeous, and there’s always a few interesting panels. Long story short: it’s a good time for any comic nerd. – NT


Bard on the Beach

June 6–September 22

Vanier Park

Photo courtesy of Bard on the Beach

I will never forget watching Puck twerk in a rainbow tutu in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Despite the cost, Bard on the Beach is a worthwhile event, and every year brings something new. This year’s plays are Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens, and Lysistrata. – NT


Italian Day on the Drive

June 10

Commercial Drive from Venables Street to Grandview Highway

14 blocks of food, fashion, and fun return to Commercial Drive this year for Italian Day. Past years have featured a variety of Italian performers as well as some of your favourite foods (gelato, pasta, pizza, you know, the good stuff). In the wise words of Mario, “Mamma Mia!” – NT


Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer Tour

June 12

Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Monáe is finally coming to Vancouver! I’ve been wanting to see her live since she released The ArchAndroid, and Dirty Computer is just as strong of an album. If you aren’t able to attend the concert, fear not; you can watch the “emotion picture” — essentially a 48-minute long music video for the entire album. Until then, you can find me blasting “Django Jane” on repeat. – AB



July 7

West 4th Avenue from Burrard Street to Macdonald Street

Khatsalano is a block party, but better. Not only does it span several blocks, but it also has food trucks (think: perogies, ice cream, pies, things on sticks . . .), live music, and an obstacle course. Additionally, if you want to shop ’til you drop, Kitsilano is known for its fashionable clothing and accessory stores. This feels like a win-win: go to a party with your friends, then lowkey destroy your bank account and gain new clothes. – EZ


The Summer Festival

July 14

Image courtesy of The Summer Festival

SFU Burnaby Convocation Mall

Before I went to SFU, I went to Summer Fest. This free event has a cosplay contest and a yukata show, alongside raffles, shaved ice, watermelon smashes, and vendors selling all the anime art you’ll ever need in your life. – NT


MiniComi Vancouver

July 21

115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver

If you’re into supporting small-scale artists and fandoms, this event is for you! Held near Lonsdale Quay, MiniComi invites everyone from newbies to seasoned pros to table and sell their wares. It’s an anime-focused event, but I got a pretty sweet Dungeons and Dragons magnetic poetry set from there last year. – NT


Celebration of Light

July 28, August 1, and August 4

Sunset Beach, English Bay, Second Beach, Vanier Park, and other vantage points

Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Sometimes I feel like this is the only event (other than 4/20) that really brings Vancouverites together. No matter who you are, staring at fireworks has an appeal that doesn’t seem to get old. Claim a prime spot early in the day, have a picnic, then wait for the colourful explosions to begin. – NT


Chasing Summer Festival
August 4–5
Max Bell Centre Festival Grounds, Calgary

I would consider myself to be a regular raver, and as such, I am ecstatic about the Chasing Summer Festival. With a lineup featuring DJs such as Dillon Francis, RL Grime, DJ Snake, and Martin Garrix, this festival’s entertainment is hard to top. While there are also several festivals taking place locally, such as Fvded in the Park, I’m excited to escape the town for a while and go enjoy the EDM artists I love in a different province. – MC