While the standard and choice of entertainment and nightlife is good in Vancouver and, to a lesser degree, Calgary and Victoria, most Western Canadian towns simply don’t have the populations to support a thriving cultural scene comparable to European cities. Generally you will find a cinema or two, a theatre, a museum full of pioneer artefacts, gold-rush relics and stuffed animals, maybe an art gallery, a nightclub of dubious merit frequented by teenagers, and an arena for ice hockey, Canadian football, basketball, baseball or curling. On the other hand, summer in Western Canada is a time for non-stop festivals, and even the smallest towns hosts wonderful events that might focus on music (jazz, folk, blues), street entertainment, storytelling, food, or Native American culture (powwows).
Sep Vancouver Fringe Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival Sandcastle Festival, Harrison Hot Springs Fall Wine Festival, late Sep/early Oct throughout the Okanagan International Film Festivalin Calgary
Oct Vancouver ComedyFest
Dec Festival of Lights at Vancouver’s VanDusen Gardens
Jan Brackendale Winter Eagles Festival , near Squamish, celebrates the world’s biggest gathering of bald eagles p.
Feb Chinese New Year, Vancouver All Native Basketball Tournament, Prince Rupert, a massive and popular event that celebrates its 50th year in 2009
Mar Pacific Rim Whale Festival, held around Tofino, to celebrate the migration of up to 24,000 grey whales
Apr Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler. The biggest winter sports event in North America, featuring the world snowboarding championship
May International Children’s Festival in Vancouver. Spring Wine Festival, Okanagan
Jun Jazz festivals in Vancouver and Victoria Mid- to late Jun is the best time to see orca (killer whales) in the Johnstone Strait off Vancouver Island, where they stay until Oct
Jul Dancing on the Edge Festival, Vancouver, Canada’s largest showcase of independent North American choreographers Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Celebration of Light, late- Jul to early Aug, Vancouver, a 2-week international fireworks competition The annual salmon migration occurs Jul-Sep, with peaks varying in different areas Merritt Mountain Music Festival is a huge country music event. Starbelly Jam Global Music Festival, East Shore, West Kootenays. Williams Lake Stampede, weekend closest to 1 Jul, is one of the biggest and oldest of its kind in BC Calgary Stampede, a 10- day cowboy extravaganza and Calgary Folk Music Festival, Calgary Banff Festival of the Arts, throughout the summer, showcases young artists in various media,a nd includes a Jazz Festival Great Northern Arts Festival, Inuvik, a 10-day bonanza featuring over 100 artists from north of the Arctic Circle Dawson City Music Festival, one of the best
Aug Vancouver’s Pride Season the biggest Gay event in Western Canada culminates in the Gay Pride Parade Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival, the most important festival of its kind in BC, and Victoria’s major event Filberg Festival, Comox, Vancouver Island. A massive 4-day expo of the best arts and crafts in BC Beach Festival, Parksville, features the Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition Squamish Days, a loggers’ sports festival Kamloops Powwow, one of the best in the country Peach Festival, Penticton, is a massive party Ironman Triathlon, Penticton, a very serious event Jazzfest, Kaslo, enjoys one of the most spectacular locations of any festival Shambhala, a one of a kind rave in Salmo near Nelson Calgary Fringe Festival Yukon International Storytelling Festival in Whitehorse Discovery Days Celebrations in Dawson City feature the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival.