Home Holiday Activities BC Day August Long Weekend in Vancouver

BC Day August Long Weekend in Vancouver

BC Flag in Coal Harbour

A lot happens on the BC Day Long Weekend in the Lower Mainland including Fireworks in English Bay, the Vancouver Summer Festival and multiple other events.

There are also rides at Playland and LGBTQ-themed walking tours with Forbidden Vancouver as part of the Vancouver Pride Festival. Another awesome event is Brigade Days at Fort Langley.

For a list of festivals and major events happening on the holiday long weekend in 2023, see below. For a more complete list of things to do, see Vancouver’s August Events Calendar.


This article includes information about the following events:

Honda Celebration of Light | Vancouver Summer Festival | Abbotsford Agrifair | Fort Langley Brigade Days | Playland | Pride Parade & Festival | Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival | Harmony Arts Festival | Squamish Days | Powell Street Festival | White Rock Sea Festival | Tsawwassen Sun Festival | Other BC Day Events

Click any of the above links to jump to information about a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the Lower Mainland’s top BC Day Long Weekend events.


BC Day Long Weekend

BC Day takes place on the first Monday of August each year. Consequently, in 2022, the August Long Weekend ran from Friday, July 29th, until Monday, August 1st. In 2023 the weekend is completely in August, with the holiday Monday on the 6th.

Events and activities taking place most years include the Abbotsford Agrifair, Brigade Days, Vancouver Pride Parade, the Squamish Days Logger Sports Festival and the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks competition. The Vancouver Summer Festival also usually takes place with concerts on the Friday of the Long Weekend, although not on the Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

See below for more details about what you can do this August holiday weekend.




Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks


The Saturday of the long weekend is when the final night of the Honda Celebration of Light international fireworks competition takes place. For most of the afternoon and evening there is music and festivities at English Bay Beach. Then later, from a barge just off offshore, the fireworks start at 10 o’clock.

The Honda Celebration of Light is one of Vancouver’s premier events and in the evening hundreds of thousands of people turn out to enjoy the pyrotechnics from the beach and surrounding region.

In 2023 the Honda Celebration of Light takes place on July 22nd, 26th and 29th. Top places to watch the fireworks from are the English Bay Grandstand, Concord Lounge at the Inukshuk and the Scotiabank Lounge. These are exclusive, ticketed venues, which offer exceptional venues away from the main crowds.

You can also watch the fireworks for free from the beach and multiple other places around Vancouver, or from a boat if you have access to one or if you have tickets for a fireworks boat party with Vancouver Boat Parties.

See our article about the Honda Celebration of Light for further information about the event in general, or click Fireworks Viewing Venues for a list of best places to watch the pyrotechnics from.


Celebration of Lights Fireworks


Vancouver Summer Festival


The Vancouver Summer Festival is a music festival that features works by a variety of composers. Last year, for example, there were concerts with music by Bach, but also by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and others.

In 2023 the festival runs from July 27th until August 5th.

(Note: In previous years this series of concerts had a different name. Up until 2022 it was called the Vancouver Bach Festival.)

To learn more about the concerts see our article about the Vancouver Summer Festival or visit the earlymusic.bc.ca website.


Abbotsford Agrifair


The Abbotsford Agrifair is a community fair that includes agricultural displays and amusement rides. In 2020 it happened as a drive-thru event on the long weekend at its usual Exhibition Park venue in Abbotsford. The same as it did the last couple of years, the Agrifair happens as a live in-person event with rides, concerts and other family-friendly activities in 2023!

The Agrifair is a popular event. In a typical year it features everything from Canadian wrestling to logger shows, farm animals to look at and live entertainment. There are also amusement rides, live concerts, food vendors and all kinds of fun activities.

In 2023, the Agrifair takes place from August 4th to 6th, so from Friday to Sunday of the long weekend.

For further details see our article about the Abbotsford Agrifair.


Abbotsford Agrifair Midway
Abbotsford Agrifair


Brigade Days at Fort Langley


Brigade Days at Fort Langley is an annual event that usually runs all weekend – from the Saturday until the Monday. In 2023 it likely runs from August 5th to 7th. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.

From 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day at the National Historic Site there are historical re-enactments and interpreters in 19th-century-period costume. In addition to regular summer fort activities, highlights of the weekend also include demonstrations of fort-related activities and historic weapons.

On the BC Day statutory holiday Monday there’s the main event – the re-enactment of “The Arrival of the Fur Brigades” where characters in period costume paddle to the fort with their cargo.

For more information, click Brigade Days at Fort Langley.


Fur Trading Canoes in Fort Langley
Historical Re-Enactment at Brigade Days


Playland at the PNE


Playland is Vancouver’s favourite amusement park with rides and midway games. It runs from May or June until August or September depending on the year. The attraction isn’t a special event specifically for BC Day as it takes place all summer. It’s an exceptional place to be, however, especially if you like roller coasters and other amusement park rides.

Playland is open on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the August Long Weekend in 2023. When purchased in advance, tickets last year cost $31.50 for access to the little kid and family-friendly rides, or $43.50 for all rides including the most extreme ones.

For information about the attraction see our article about Vancouver’s Playland.


Vancouver's Playland at the PNE


Vancouver Pride Parade & Festival


Vancouver and its LGBTQIA2+ community celebrate the 45th Pride Festival on the BC Day Long Weekend in 2023.

In 2022 the Vancouver Pride Parade happens in-person on Sunday, August 6th. It runs from 12:00 to 3:00 pm in Vancouver’s West End. The parade begins on Robson Street and concludes near Sunset Beach. Several other events take place on the long weekend as well, including the Sunset Beach Festival which is on the same day as the parade.

Also related to the Pride Festival, Really Gay History Tours with Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours happen on the long weekend. The tours take place on Sundays most weeks throughout the summer, but also daily in the first week of August.

Click Vancouver Pride Parade & Festival for more details.


Really Gay History Tour


Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival


The Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival is a fairly large music festival that takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the BC Day Long Weekend at the Albion Fairgrounds in Maple Ridge.

The event returns on August 5th and 6th in 2023. The festival features dozens of food trucks and market vendors, plus two stages with fabulous outdoor music.

Click Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival for more information.


Marley Stage at the Caribbean Festival
Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival


Harmony Arts Festival


The Harmony Arts Festival is a multi-day arts festival that usually starts on the August Long Weekend. The event features live music, free nightly movies, art displays and all sorts of things for people of all ages to see and do.

General admission to the Harmony Arts Festival is free and it takes place in West Vancouver along the waterfront between Ambleside and John Lawson Park.

This year the Harmony Arts Festival runs from August 4th to 13th.

See our article about the Harmony Arts Festival for more information.


Fireworks Boat Parties


Powell Street Festival


The Powell Street Festival is a free festival celebrating Japanese-Canadian culture and heritage on the BC Day Long Weekend. It takes place around Powell Street in East Vancouver.

This year the Powell Street Festival takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the BC Day Long Weekend, so on August 5th and 6th in 2023.

Festival venues most years include Oppenheimer Park (in the 400 block of Powell Street), the Firehall Arts Centre (at 280 East Cordova Street), the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall (at 475 Alexander Street), and the Vancouver Buddhist Temple (at 220 Jackson Avenue).

At the Powell Street Festival there are Japanese art and cultural displays, tasty Japanese festival foods, martial arts demonstrations, Taiko drumming, tea ceremonies, ikebana flower-arranging workshops and all kinds of Japanese activities and things to buy.

For more information about this event see our article about the Powell Street Festival.


Japanese Festival Audience
The Powell Street Festival


Squamish Days Festival


The Squamish Days Logger Sports Festival is a small-town community event featuring logging industry-related activities. For example, there is a chair carving contest and bed races through the town. Squamish Days usually runs from the Thursday of the August Long Weekend until the Holiday Monday. Last year, however, the festival went from July 28th to 31st (so just from the Thursday until the Sunday). The tentative dates for 2023 are August 3rd to 6th.

On the Saturday there is usually a Kids Festival downtown at the O’Siyam Pavilion Park at 37978 Cleveland Avenue during the day. On the Sunday there is usually a pancake breakfast, a parade in the morning, and the Open Loggers Sports Show and Rotary BBQ in the afternoon at Al McIntosh Loggers Sports Grounds.

TIP: The Squamish Farmers Market is an exceptional market on Saturdays at the corner of Victoria Street and Cleveland Avenue in Squamish. It’s worth visiting any weekend in the summer but especially when there are other activities also going on in town.

For more information, see our article about Squamish Days.




White Rock Sea Festival


The seaside resort town usually celebrates its Sea Festival on the August Long Weekend. The free event includes children’s activities, fireworks and tons of live entertainment.

Most years the festival takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend in August (but in 2022 it was the last weekend in July). This year the festival likely takes place on August 4th to 6th.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for the event:

TIP #1: If you can’t stay all day and evening, but you really want to enjoy the beach during your visit, try to be in White Rock at low tide when the sand seems to go out forever.

TIP #2: If you go on the Sunday combine your trip with a visit to the White Rock Farmers Market which is a great market at 15154 Russell Avenue.

Click White Rock Sea Festival for more information about this festival.


Tsawwassen Sun Festival


The Tsawwassen Sun Festival is a three-day community event that features a slow-pitch tournament and a range of other sports and family-friendly activities.

The main day of the festival is definitely the Holiday Monday. That’s when the parade usually takes place as well as the pancake breakfast, classic car show, Kids Fun Zone, Antique Fair and Main Stage performances.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival didn’t happen in 2020. Last year the festival took place, but mostly in an online format. There was a drive-in movie though and a drive-by car cruise.

In 2023 the festival runs from August 5th to 7th as an in-person event like it did last year.

Click Tsawwassen Sun Festival for more information.


Tsawwassen Sun Festival
The Tsawwassen Sun Festival


Other BC Day Weekend Events


In addition to the above major events, there are many other great activities going on throughout the Lower Mainland on the BC Day August Long Weekend. Some are special events just for the holiday weekend, while others are some of Vancouver’s best events that take place every weekend in the summer.

The following events take place most years (and are in some cases in 2022, but in other cases not):


Saturday Events


Sunday Events


Monday Events

A few events take place on the BC Day Long Weekend, but most of them are on the Saturday and Sunday. Not so much happens on the holiday Monday. Below though are our top picks of things to do on the Monday in a typical year.

  • Kitsilano Showboat Concerts Series – live entertainment at Kitsilano Beach from 7:00 until 9:00 pm.
  • Flyover Canada – the attraction at Canada Place where you can fly across the country in a multi-dimensional film.
  • Playland – Vancouver’s amusement park at the PNE.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – these will be popular places to be, so head out early before they fill up (and several of them will).
  • Vancouver Beaches – these too will be popular, so if you hope to find parking get there early in the morning!
  • Outdoor Swimming Pools – most (but not all) of the Lower Mainland’s outdoor pools should be open.
  • Vancouver Water Parks – all three of the Lower Mainland’s water slide attractions should be open.


Free Events and Activities in August


Other All Long Weekend Events

The following events take place either every day or most days of the BC Day Long Weekend:


Other Information

For a list of other great things to do later in the summer, check out Vancouver’s August Events Calendar. Or, for a list of major events throughout the year, see the Festivals & Events Calendar.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:




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