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Vancouver’s European Festival in 2020

Burnaby's European Festival

Featuring food and performances from various European cultures, the European Festival takes place at the Vancouver Alpen Club on May 31st in 2020.

The event used to take place at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby’s Central Park, except for last year when it didn’t happen at all. The festival is back again this year, however, but in a slightly different format and at its new venue.


On April 2nd the European Festival posted on its Facebook page that it hadn’t yet cancelled its event for 2020. A month later, as of May 2nd, there were no further updates on the status of the event on the organization’s website or Facebook page. The venue where the festival takes place – the Vancouver Alpen Club – however, is closed until further notice.

As the festival’s venue has suspended operations, and the fact that BC’s top health official has said that major events won’t be happening this summer, it appears unlikely that the European Festival will be taking place this May as originally planned. Exact details about the status of the event, however, are to be confirmed.

For a list of Lower Mainland events that have been cancelled so far this year, click Vancouver, COVID-19 and Event Cancellations.

For more information about the May event celebrating European culture, see the European Festival website.

European Festival Then and Now

The European Festival isn’t a huge event, but it’s a nice one. In the past, when it took place at Swangard Stadium, it attracted in the range of 10,000 visitors. About two dozen European nations also participated including Scandinavian countries, Baltic States, France, Spain, Great Britain, Germany and Russia.

Up until 2017 it was a two-day outdoor festival. As of 2019, it’s just a one-day event and indoors. In both cases, there is a variety of ethnic foods, dancing and musical performances.

Lunch Time at the European Festival

Where and When is the Festival?

The European Festival used to take place at Swangard Stadium at 3883 Imperial Street in Burnaby’s Central Park on a Saturday and Sunday in late May. The gates opened at around 11 am and non-stop entertainment continued all day, with the headliner band concert on the Saturday evening.

As of 2019 the festival now happens at the Vancouver Alpen Club which is a German cultural venue located at 4875 Victoria Drive (near the corner with 33rd Avenue).  In 2020, the festival runs from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm on Sunday, May 31st.

Ladner May Days

What to Expect at the Festival

At Vancouver’s European Festival there are dance performers, musicians and all kinds of European food for sale. In past years there has also been an Arts Plaza where artists showcased their creations, and a Market Place with vendors selling different ethnic foods, clothing and souvenirs.

The event this year will be slightly different, especially as it’s at a new venue (which is both indoors and smaller). In 2019 there will be dance performances, cultural demonstrations, traditional food vendors and much more. New to this year, a silent auction has also been added.

Be sure to check out the pastry vendors and trade show for delicious treats and unique items for sale

Participating Countries in the 2020 Festival

Expect to see around 20 countries participating in the 2020 Festival. Each will show their pride through traditional dress, performances and cultural demonstrations.

2020 details are to be confirmed.

For an idea of what to expect, the participating countries in 2019 included Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.

Main Stage and Festival Stalls

European Festival Admission

In past years a weekend pass let you in for both days and cost around $9 online in advance, or $10 or so at the gate. Children 11 and under were usually free.

In 2019 tickets purchased on Eventbrite cost $5.

Other Information

For more information about the event, check out the European Festival website.