June 27 edition: Free Said the Whale show, anyone?

Plus: A bumper events guide to the long weekend in Vancouver

Hi there. Like a lot of people, I have weird feelings about Canada Day. 

This isn’t really the place to get into the complexities of colonialism and immigration and the right-wing co-opting of patriotism, but suffice to say there’s a lot to unpack. Still, I hope you have a lovely long weekend. No matter how you feel about the holiday, we can all agree we need a break. 

— V.
Associate Editor


Said the Whale is playing a free concert in Vancouver

Four memers of Said the Whale, clad in yellow rain gear, stand in front of a rainy ocean scene.

Saidheads, your time is now. Vancouver indie rock royalty will once again be playing a hometown show—this time, for free. Catch the band playing the annual Port of Vancouver Canada Together show this weekend. Perhaps they’ll finally answer my burning question: is “Said the Whale” meant to be like “quoth the raven”? And if so… what is the whale saying? Please. The people must know.


Commentary: When it comes to the media, this town actually is big enough for all of us

A stack of newspapers against a white background

When it comes to the media, there is no such thing as too much. Remember the victims of the pandemic, like the Courier? Other outlets face deep cuts, even as mainstream broadcasters announce layoffs and mega-conglomerates buy beloved local papers only to shutter them. In this context, our editor-in-chief Sara Harowitz argues, we need to band together: the more local  media, the better.

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See Shrek 2 with a live orchestra!

The most successful film in this beloved animation franchise, Shrek 2 features the vocal talents of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, John Cleese and Julie Andrews, along with an enchanting orchestral score by acclaimed composer Harry Gregson-Williams.

In this installment, Shrek and Princess Fiona return from their honeymoon to find an invitation to visit Fiona’s parents, the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Far, Far Away, forcing Shrek to face his greatest challenge yet… the in-laws!

Family fun for kids of all ages, Shrek 2 in Concert will make all of your musical fairytales come true!

See Shrek 2 on the big screen at the Orpheum on July 3 & 4, as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra plays the score live to picture.


The Run N Gun finale showcases the city’s best 48-hour films

A camera operator uses a camera, in a low-lit area filled with people

If you’ve got friends in the film industry—and let’s be real, it’s Vancouver; who doesn’t?—then you probably heard about Run N Gun, the city’s annual challenge-slash-festival to create the best short movie in just one weekend. The finals are this weekend and competition is fierce. Three of my pals made the top 40 this year, so I’m excited to root for their mini masterpieces: one concerned a couple’s disagreement, another with a dimension-hopping neckbeard, and the last with comedic combat.

  • Mark Your Calendar: BC Culture Days returns for its 15th anniversary

  • Slip Slap Trip Wack explores classic comedy tropes—with kids

  • Footloose meets the Bard in this season’s Measure for Measure

  • Bruce McCulloch’s (Kids in the Hall) Tales of Bravery and Stupidity one-man show takes over Friday June 28th at Hollywood Theatre!*

  • Theatre Under the Stars presents a pair of Broadway blockbusters - CATS and School of Rock - this July and August in Stanley Park!*

  • The Create! Eastside Arts Festival engaging arts event features art workshops, live mural painting, live music and dance performances across Vancouver’s Eastside July 22-28.*

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Inaugural Ignite Music Festival is rebuilding Vancouver music’s middle class

A shot of rapper Rick Ross, a Black man wearing a sweatshirt and gold chain with a large R hanging from it.

As if this weekend wasn’t busy enough, there is a whole new music festival to check out. Ignite Music Festival, featuring rappers Rick Ross and Waka Flocka Flame, is something rare for a big-ticket event: affordable. “My job is to allow families to be able to enjoy a festival experience,” asserts founder Lindsay Sparrow, “where it doesn’t break the bank.”

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Ultimate Bubble Tea extravaganza awaits!

Discover a vibrant array of bubble tea vendors at the Canada Bubble Tea Festival such as Chatime, Bubble World, Typhoon Bubble Tea, Chun Fun How, AsUsual Cafe, offering an impressive selection of flavors. Indulge in unique toppings and creative concoctions while exploring the diverse world of bubble tea. Don’t miss out!


Things to do this Canada Day long weekend in Vancouver

A still from the Flyover Canada experience showing a sunrise over water

You know what a three-day weekend means: activity time! Here are some of the weekend’s coolest things to check out, from sports to menu deals to ongoing events that we know you’ve been meaning to find time to pop over to.

  • Ever wanted to get up close and personal with a sea otter? Now you can!

  • Monster Jam is returning to the Pacific Coliseum 

  • Oakridge Park reveals stores and summer event plans

  • Windsor Meats in Dunbar offers locally raised meat, dry goods, and fresh produce, with dedicated butchers to ready to help you enhance your meals.*

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Dion Kaszas, curator of the Museum of Vancouver’s True Tribal exhibition, moderates a panel on Indigenous tattooing. (June 27 @ online)

Junction Public Market opens its shipping container doors. (June 28 to September 29 @ Granville Square)

Soul-pop upcomer Maddy Lofvendahl releases her debut EP. (June 28 @ ANZA Club)

Robert Peng headlines pro standup show Comedy World. (June 28 @ China Cloud Studios)

Kayak fans can head up the Sea to Sky for the first-ever Squamish Paddling Festival. (June 29 @ Squamish Paddling Club, Squamish)

Savour street food, art exhibitions, workshops, live performances, and more at the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival. (June 29 to July 1 @ šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl'e7énḵ Square/Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza)

Xana, Mx Bukuru, Theo Rhetical, and Mikki Wikki put on a brunchtime show. (June 29 @ Havana)    

Desirée Dawson and Jody Okabe serenade the sand-sitters from a boat at Festival Afloat. (June 30 @ Jericho Beach Park)

Head to historic Steveston Village as the neighbourhood’s 77th annual Salmon Festival takes over the streets. (July 1 @ Steveston Community Centre, Richmond)

Said the Whale, Fake Shark, and more take the stage at the third-annual Canada Together event. (July 1 @ Canada Place) 

Catch The Sheepdogs and Sass Jordan at Surrey’s free outdoor celebration. (July 1 @ Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, Surrey) 

Local artists and entertainers soundtrack a family-friendly party on the North Shore. (July 1 @ The Shipyards, North Vancouver) 

Want to know what else is happening in Vancouver? Check out our events listings.

That’s it!

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