August 10, 2023 edition - Are big bands skipping town?

Plus forest fires, wrestling, Heart of the City, and more

Good morning and welcome to a new newsletter!

We’re trying something different this edition with a new look and format. Here’s what you’ll find below:

  • A must-read feature

  • City & culture

  • Arts

  • Music

  • Food & drink

  • Things to do this weekend

We’d love to know what you think! Drop your feedback in the poll at the bottom and let us know.


Wrestling is art (and debauchery)

Vancouver’s indie wrestling scene has been steadily growing over the last number of years. While it may still be considered largely underground, there are a number of organizers bringing high-quality, riotously fun productions to venues across the city.

Our editor-in-chief Sara Harowitz attended a wrestling lesson to get a feel for the athletic art form, and the results were…entertaining.


Maybe we can fight fire with fire

As another BC summer unfurls in the shadow of massive wildfire devastation, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that all fires are bad. But a growing community of forestry experts, Indigenous firekeepers, and fire specialists are advocating for controlled burns—which can actually help keep our forests safe.


Roughcut Diamonds Tour featuring Willie Nile hits BC Aug 11-18

Starting with a sold-out show at Blue Frog Studio on Aug 11, the Roughcut Diamonds Tour featuring Willie Nile, David Gogo and Stephen Stanley from Lowest of the Low plays Wicket Hall Victoria, Sat Aug. 12, the Rickshaw, Wed Aug 16, Squamish Thurs Aug 17 and the Queens Nanaimo Aug 18.

Tickets on sale at, Killer line-up of real deal rock & roll.


Heart of the City Festival back for its 20th year

The Heart of the City Festival plans to host over 100 events in the Downtown Eastside and online, all with the continuing goal of learning from the cultural practices of the community—its ancestral memory, lived experiences, and artistic processes.

*sponsored listing


Don't miss the PNE Fair

The PNE Fair is back for 2023! Visit from August 19 - September 4, where you can get your fill of delicious food, experience the immersive Monet exhibit, see adorable farm animals, and enjoy Summer Night Concerts at the Amphitheatre.


Are bands skipping town, or do we need to calm down?

So Taylor Swift isn’t coming to Vancouver (or at least hasn’t announced it yet… We’re still holding onto a faint glimmer of hope), but is that part of an ongoing trend of big-name artists skipping Canada’s West Coast? Gregory Adams looks into whether or not we should be worried about bands avoiding BC.

*sponsored listing


The Party & The After Party

Parq Casino Resort is the place to be on any game day or concert night. Show your ticket to Guest Services for a chance to win $5,000 with a U-SPIN! Happy hour is on until 8:30pm. Must be 19+. If you gamble, use your GameSense.


Social dining is abundant—if you look hard enough

Last month, in a sunlit yard in East Vancouver, a group of people met for what one guest later called “the dreamiest dinner.” This particular engagement was the first instalment of Pass the Peas, a new food-focused social club founded by the husband and wife duo of Allie Weinstock and Jake Steiner. And it’s perhaps evidence that if people are willing to venture out of their comfort zone, there is, indeed, plenty of fun to be had in our local food scene.

*sponsored listing


Vancouver Queer Film Festival at various venues | Aug. 10-30

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is putting 2SLGBTQIA+ stories and experiences on the big screen, curating local and international films that illuminate, celebrate, and bring positive change for queer, trans, and Two Spirit people. [$15]

Cry [No More], ZAMEEN-A’s debut album explores musical possibilities beyond the confines of conventional western melodic and rhythmic structures, tapping into some of the most universal yet rarely shared emotional states. [$15-30]

Cover Me Live at Biltmore Cabaret | Friday | 9:30pm

Looking for some weekend fun? Vancouver's best cover bands take the Biltmore stage every Friday & Saturday night. Come join the party. [$10]*

A Bug's Life at Grouse Mountain | Friday | 7pm

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind outdoor movie-viewing experience at Grouse Mountain. Watch A Bug's Life with stunning mountain views. [$25]*

Richmond Fusion Festival at Lansdowne Centre | Friday-Sunday

This free festival will include over 25 food trucks, live music, a beer garden, vendors, and much more. [FREE]

A-WHOLE-LOTTO-JAMS at Burnout Cafe | Saturday | 6:30pm

Catch eight to 10 bands playing three songs each throughout the night on stage at Burnout Cafe. [$10]

Harmony Arts Festival at Millennium Park | Until Sunday

Harmony Arts Festival features 10 days of events and activities showcasing arts and culture during this celebration of summer on the North Shore. [FREE]

Celebrate Pride by joining queer interdisciplinary artist Sarah Wong in a textile workshop that explores pageant sashes as wearable objects of pride that reflect both movements of resistance and expressions of fantastical glamour. [FREE]

All Over the Map 2023 at Granville Island Picnic Pavilion | Sunday | 1-4pm

Check out the annual series of dance and music performances across outdoor spaces on Granville Island [FREE]

Want to know what else is happening in Vancouver? Check out our Events Listings.

*sponsored listing


A big AMEN to that 🙌

That’s it!

Thanks for reading the Straight today ❤️

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another Vancouverite.

And before you go, let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

• Did a friend share this with you? Sign up for free.

• Want to advertise to locals? Contact our team.

• Have a crazy or cool story to share? Drop us an email.