Culture: All That Glitters

Starlit theatre, beach-side fireworks and international arts ensure a dazzling summer.   Event // Celebration of Light

Celebration of Light | BCBusiness
Vancouver’s 22nd fireworks celebration is back with displays from Vietnam, Brazil and Italy.

Starlit theatre, beach-side fireworks and international arts ensure a dazzling summer.


Event // Celebration of Light

Taking place over three days, Vancouver’s annual pyrotechnics show is back with a bang for its 22nd time. This year features displays from Vietnam (a first-time participant), Brazil and Italy. With the fireworks launched over English Bay, the West End beaches become ground zero for the festivities (unless you have friends in high places – literally). While the main event doesn’t start until well after sunset, musical performances and artist kiosks mean that English Bay is enveloped in a festival atmosphere throughout the day. Hundreds of thousands of people line Vancouver’s beaches to get a glimpse of the show, so space is always a concern. To avoid the mad dash for a spot on the sand, head to the water early with a picnic basket and blanket in tow. Your best bet is to leave the car at home. English Bay, July 28, August 1 and August 4.


Arts // Harrison Festival of the Arts

Less than two hours from Vancouver, Harrison Hot Springs is home to a multitude of artists and performers, and there’s no better time to see their talents on display than during the town’s annual Festival of the Arts, organized for the past 34 years by a grassroots, non-profit society. Far from the dizzying crowds of Vancouver’s summer festivals, this environment offers a laid-back sampling of B.C.’s cultural scene. The Harrison Memorial Hall stages eight headlining concerts, and an outdoor venue features countless performances by musicians from around the world. The tents of the Juried Art Market provide the perfect place to browse an array of handcrafted items, from blown-glass jewellery to locally produced cheese. Tickets from $2 (for admittance to the outdoor music stage and art exhibits) to $25 (for a Memorial Hall performance). Harrison Hot Springs, July 7-15.


Theatre // Theatre Under the Stars

Image: Courtesy TUTS

Now entering its 66th season, Theatre Under the Stars is bringing two shows to Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl this summer, one a Broadway classic, the other a rising star. Both Tony Award-winners, The Music Man and Titanic: A New Musical will play on alternating nights in the 1,000-seat amphitheatre. April 2012 marked the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s sinking, and the Vancouver premiere of Titanic offers a unique way to look back at the historic disaster through a two-act musical that follows passengers, both real and fictional, aboard RMS Titanic on its fateful maiden voyage. Fear not that water will sink a night at Theatre Under the Stars, as it did the Titanic. The theatre has adopted a rain insurance policy that allows ticket holders to come back on another night, should the skies open and a downpour ensue. Stanley Park, July 8 to August 18.