KitsFest is a summer festival at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach that features DJ music and a wide range of outdoor sports including bath tub races in August.
KitsFest at Kitsilano Beach
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, KitsFest was cancelled in 2020. The event returned on August 6th, 7th and 8th in 2021, but with only three sports.
Fortunately, more activities happened in 2022 when the event returned as a live, in-person gathering on August 5th, 6th and 7th. It’s back again in 2023, on the weekend of August 11th to 13th. Continue reading below for more information.
In typical years activities include basketball, beach volleyball, spin classes, tennis, touch football and yoga. Some years there has even been tub racing and water polo.
Where and When is Kitsfest?
KitsFest takes place on a weekend in August at Kitsilano Beach which is located between Cornwall Avenue and Arbutus Street. If looking for an address, use 1305 Arbutus Street which is where you’ll find the Kitsilano Boathouse Restaurant which is located close to the centre of the beach.
In 2023 KitsFest runs from Friday, August 11th, until Sunday, August 13th.
At KitsFest there are usually lots of sports to participate in as well as free things to do and watch. You need to register in advance for the competitions, but for other things and to be a spectator you just need to show up.
In a typical year, non-competitive sport activities include the KCC Family Zone that features DJ music, community booths, crafts activities and even family yoga and Zumba sessions at specific times, plus a bouncy castle on certain days. In normal years, there are also spin classes that are free for adults 18 years of age and older, but advanced reservations are usually required (and they sell out well in advance).
KitsFest 2023 Schedule
Below is a tentative schedule of events scheduled for 2023. (Note: Times and other details are subject to change.)
- Basketball – every day from 9:00 am until sunset.
- Beach Volleyball – adult coed games run from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
- Touch Football – youth games are from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm on Saturday. Adult games are on Sunday from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm.
- KCC Family/Art Zone – times to be confirmed.
- Spin Bike Sessions – times to be confirmed.
- Tennis – mixed doubles on Friday from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm and then the UBC Tennis Center Skills Session starts at 6:00 pm. More tennis then takes place on Saturday from 8:30 am until 7:00 pm and again on Sunday from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm.
- Water Polo – pending the re-opening of the Kits beach pool.
Tips and Advice
Below is some extra information and suggestions to help you make the most of your KitsFest experience most years.
TIP #1: For the yoga, remember to take your own towel and mat.
TIP #2: For Zumba, arrive early as participation is restricted to just the first 350 or so people. Arrive early for the yoga as well to stake your claim to a good piece of sand for your mat.
TIP #3: If you plan to compete in a sport, make sure you and your team sign up well in advance.
TIP #4: Parking in the area is a challenge so take public transit if you can. If you drive, remember to leave lots of time to find parking prior to your event.
TIP #5: If you like farmers markets then check out the Kitsilano Farmers Market on the Sunday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm outside the Kitsilano Community Centre at 2690 Larch Street. It’s a bit of a drive from the beach, but it’s a fabulous market and a great place to pick up ingredients for a picnic at the beach.
TIP #6: Regardless of what you do at the festival, don’t forget to take a water bottle, hat, swimsuit and sunscreen. Also, don’t forget that one of Canada’s finest outdoor swimming pools is right by the beach.
For further details and to register for specific events, see the KitsFest website.
For more information on other events in the Lower Mainland, see Vancouver’s August Calendar or Festivals & Events Calendar.
For a list of other great places to swim outdoors, check out Vancouver’s Best Beaches.