July 20, 2023 edition - Gastown's only queer bar

Plus all-night OPS, arts announcements, farmers markets, and more

Well, it’s official: the nominations for this year’s Best of Vancouver awards are officially closed. But now the real fun begins!

We’d like to take a quick moment to thank everyone who collectively entered over 10,000 nominations for their favourite businesses, places, and people in Vancouver. We’re taking the week to get the top picks sorted, which we plan to present to you very soon.

You can expect a special Best of Vancouver newsletter on Monday morning with a link to the portal, which allows you to cast your vote in over 100 different categories

And, again: THANK YOU!

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Community organizers open Vancouver’s first all-night overdose prevention site

On the night of July 9, Coalition of Peers Dismantling the Drug War board members set up a tent and a tarp in Pigeon Park. Six people visited to consume drugs, and the workers handed out a couple dozen safe consumption kits. The same thing has happened every night since.

It’s the only all-night overdose prevention site operating in Vancouver—and it’s being run by community members who, sick of endless death, are trying to do something about it.


Rosette rebrands as Gastown’s only queer bar

Vancouver just got a new queer bar—and it’s the only one in Gastown.

The location used to house nose-to-tail fine dining restaurant Wildebeest, which shuttered in early 2021.

“I’m trying to reach out to everybody—to give everybody a space that they’re going to feel comfortable in,” Brent Simpson, general manager of Rosette, tells the Straight.


2023/2024 season announcements showcase arts of all sorts for Vancouver

It’s going to be a stacked fall and winter for Vancouver’s arts catalogue.

The Dance Centre, Massey Theatre, and Early Music Vancouver recently announced their 2023/2024 seasons, with a number of different productions planned to meet any and every taste.



BC’s original Caribbean festival returns for the hottest weekend of the year. Enjoy two full days of tropical rhythms, carnival, cuisine, and culture. All ages, free of charge.

Location: Town Centre Park, Coquitlam (near Skytrain)

  • July 29: 10am-8pm (Carnival Parade 1:30pm)

  • July 30: 11am-7pm

Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is all about celebrating the beauty of community

When you’ve got something special, you go above and beyond to showcase it. That’s one of the guiding philosophies of the Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival, which spans four days and offers a range of entertainment—from music and art installations to educational exhibits, workshops, and food trucks.


Follow your Folk

The 36th annual Mission Folk Music Festival runs July 21-23 at Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission. Experience over 20 music acts from across North America and beyond, including Korea’s Donyang Gozupa, David Francey, Haitian artist, Wesli, the Cajun/Zydeco music of Cedric Watson & Jourdan Thibodeaux and more!


Vancouver Farmers Markets’ summer celebration is part food festival, part fundraiser

Farmers markets are a staple around Vancouver, bringing fresh produce into the city every summer weekend (and some fall and winter ones, too). But Vancouver Farmers Market (VFM) interim director Bre Hamilton says they’re about so much more than just what’s on sale.

“I think there’s a perception of the farmers market, like, ‘Oh, you know, it’s just food. It’s just groceries.’ But the minute you get into the farmers market, you realize it’s an experience,” she tells the Straight. The perfect example? VFM’s upcoming (and first-ever) summer bash.

🗓 Events & things to do


  • is it as it is by Ali Bosley: The Burrard Arts Foundation is showcasing an exhibition from local artist Ali Brosley from June 29 to August 12, with an installation that is viewable from the street. | To Aug. 12 | Pay what you can $10+ | Burrard Arts Foundation

  • Salsa Dancing at The Amazing Brentwood: Get your salsa on at The Amazing Brentwood as part of its summer programming on its outdoor plaza. | Wednesdays from July 12 to Aug. 2 | Free | The Amazing Brentwood Plaza

  • Summer Music Series 2023: Head to West Vancouver Memorial Library’s rooftop garden for a series of free performances. | Wednesdays from July 12 to Aug. 2 | Free | West Vancouver Memorial Library

  • The Pink Unicorn: A Christian single mom finds herself the begrudging centre of controversy in her small Texan town when her non-binary child attempts to form a Gay Straight Alliance at the local high school. | To July 29 | $25 | Pacific Theatre

  • Reclaim + Repair: The Mahogany Project, a feature exhibition now on view at Museum of Vancouver, celebrates the creativity and craft of Vancouver’s design community.*

  • Head to Parq Vancouver for daily happy hour until 8:30pm and 10pm on game days! Just steps away from Rogers Arena and BC Place!*

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This week/weekend

  • Fish and Sips: The Vancouver Aquarium is open after hours this summer for Fish + Sips: its new adults-only seaside social. | July 21 | $55 | Vancouver Aquarium

  • Crazy Diamonds: Crazy Diamonds will perform two Pink Floyd sets over the course of the evening, beginning with the classic album The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. The second set will include both classic and deep cuts spanning Pink Floyd’s most celebrated output. | July 22 | $30 to $60 | Hollywood Theatre

  • Burnaby Artisan Farmers Market: support local this Saturday. Bread, pastries, fresh fruit and veggies? They have it all and more at 4949 Canada Way, Burnaby.*

  • Fishing for fun plans? On July 21, explore Vancouver Aquarium after-hours at Fish+Sips, their adults-only summer socials. Drink frosé with jellyfish and enjoy live entertainment!*

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Next week

  • Beers and Breakups: Join Lydia (Love and Breakup Coach) and Dogwood Brewing for an evening of brews, candid conversations, and community support at this post-heartbreak workshop. | July 24 | $20 | Dogwood Brewing

  • Over the Rainbow: Pride Speed Friending: Celebrate Pride all year round by bringing your favourite book, graphic novel, DVD, podcast, blog, or zine to discuss at this fun, casual, in-person event. | July 26 | Free | Vancouver Public Library Central Branch

  • Zella Day: The American singer, songwriter, and musician will be performing at the Fox Cabaret with guests Okey Dokey. | July 26 | $23 | Fox Cabaret

Later this month

  • Drag Brunch in Stanley Park: A one-of-a-kind drag brunch at Stanley Park Brewpub featuring performances by iconic drag performer Jerrilynn Spears and friends, in support of the Vancouver Pride Bursary Fund. | July 29 | $40 | Stanley Park Brewpub

  • Sir Chloe: The indie rock band featuring songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Dana Foote is at the Cobalt later this month. | July 30 | $20 | Cobalt

Next month

  • MRG Live Presents: JVKE: JVKE got big over the pandemic on TikTok, and is bringing his tunes to Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre this August. | Aug. 3 | $35+ | Vogue Theatre

Find more things to do around the city in our events listings.

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