Vancouver’s best places for entertainment include arts and theatre venues, sports venues for hockey, soccer and football, and places for live performances.
Best Places for Entertainment
Below you’ll find some of the top entertainment highlights Vancouver has to offer.
For the current listing of what’s on in Metro Vancouver, check out the Vancouver Shows and Entertainment Listing, including free outdoor concerts and events.
Best Arts & Theatre Entertainment
Metro Vancouver has a number of great performing arts and theatre groups, and some great venues too. Here are some of them to consider:
- Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival – Shakespearean theatre at its best in the summer (from-mid June to mid-September).
- The Arts Club – this is western Canada’s largest theatre company, with a couple of great little theatres in Vancouver. The Stanley is located at 2750 Granville Street (not to be confused with Granville Island), which is a great part of town with a number of good restaurants not far from Broadway. The other main venue is the Granville Island Stage at 1585 Johnston Street, next to the Public Market (which is on Granville Island).
- Pacific Theatre – a nice theatre with shows at 1440 West 12th Avenue.
- Another fun theatre is Theatre Under the Stars each summer at Stanley Park.
Granville Island in particular is a great place to find live entertainment. In addition to its many bars and restaurants, and the buskers in the summer, there are a number of theatres on the island.
On Granville Island there’s the Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage (mentioned above), the Waterfront Theatre, and Vancouver TheatreSports League (where you can find affordable and reasonably good improv shows). They are all small theatres, so don’t expect it to be Broadway (as in the Broadway in New York), but the shows can be fun.
For a more comprehensive list of performing arts facilities, check out Vancouver Theatre Companies and Venues.
Vancouver Movie Theatres
The Lower Mainland is home to dozens of movie cinemas. There are Cineplex theatres in most major municipalities, as well as smaller chain theatres and independent venues.
Click Vancouver Movies & Theatres for a list of venues, what’s playing presently and current movie deals.
FlyOver Canada is a different kind of movie theatre located at Canada Place. At this attraction audience members get buckled into their seats and fly through the scenes, Films there are multi-dimensional and of a sort of National-Geographic style.
Vancouver Places for Live Comedy
Looking for stand-up comedy or some improv theatre fun? Then check out the following places:
- Yuk Yuks – a comedy franchise with a 150-seat Vancouver location at 2837 Cambie Street. (Ages 19+).
- Vancouver TheatreSports League – great live improv nightly on Granville Island. (Ages 3+, no joke, but primarily for adults).
Top Venues for Entertainment
- Chan Centre – the performing arts centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
- Queen Elizabeth Theatre – one of Vancouver’s main performing arts venues.
- The Orpheum – billed as one of the most beautiful concert halls in North America and designated a National Heritage Site.
- BC Place Stadium – game location for the Vancouver Whitecaps for soccer and BC Lions for football.
- Michael J Fox Theatre – a community theatre venue at 7373 MacPherson Avenue in Burnaby.
- Rogers Arena – the place to go for Vancouver Canucks hockey and big name concerts.
- The River Rock Casino Resort – where you’ll find all kinds of games of chance, but also nightly live entertainment by visiting artists.
Top Music Performing Groups
Vancouver has a wide range of professional musical groups that perform throughout the city, including the following:
- Chor Leoni Men’s Choir
- Vancouver Bach Choir
- The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
- The Vancouver Chamber Choir
Vancouver also has a number of exceptional amateur choirs (meaning they are very good, but the singers just aren’t generally paid). The following are highly recommended:
- Vancouver Oratorio Choir (a 90 or so member choir of Christian vocalists and musicians).
- Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir (an excellent male voice choir).
- VOC Soul Gospel Choir (they do great performances throughout the year, including an especially festive one for Christmas each December).
- Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir – the choir in residence at Christ Church Cathedral that has performed with such famous artists as Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban and David Foster.
Vancouver’s Best Night Clubs
Vancouver has a variety of great night clubs, with an especially high concentration in the city core and along Granville Street. Click Vancouver’s Top Night Clubs for details.
Best Sports Entertainment
Vancouver has a variety of professional sports teams, including in hockey, soccer, Canadian football and baseball. With hockey, there is the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks that play at Rogers Arena, and the Vancouver Giants, in a lower league but still fun to watch, that play at the Langley Events Centre.
The Vancouver Whitecaps are the city’s professional soccer team and they play at BC Place Stadium. The home team for Vancouver in the Canadian Football League (which is similar to American Football, but with slightly different rules) is the BC Lions who also play at BC Place. And for baseball, the Vancouver Canadians are in the Northwest League and play at Nat Bailey Stadium.
For more on Vancouver’s sports entertainment, click Vancouver’s Professional Sports Teams.