The Harmony Arts Festival features live music, art displays, outdoor movies and other entertainment along the waterfront in West Vancouver in August.
The free family-friendly festival runs for about 10 days each year and draws thousands of people each day.
Harmony Arts Festival
In 2019 the festival runs from Friday, August 2nd, to Sunday, August 11th.
If you like art, live music or free outdoor movies, or if you just want to visit one of the Lower Mainland’s most beautiful areas when there’s lots going on, then we highly recommend the Harmony Arts Festival.
In this article you’ll find information about the following topics:
John Lawson Park Venue | Festival Movies | John Lawson Concerts | Millennium Park Venue | Millennium Park Concerts | Harmony Arts at Argyle Avenue | Indigenous Exhibition | Festival Tips | Other Information
Click on any of the above links to jump to specific information, or continue reading to learn all about West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival.
What’s Going on and Where
The venue for the Harmony Arts Festival stretches from the westernmost tip of Ambleside Park around the end of 14th Street all the way to John Lawson Park by 17th Street and Argyle Avenue in West Vancouver. Much of the venue is right along the ocean, with views of Stanley Park and English Bay.
Harmony Arts at John Lawson Park
At John Lawson Park there is the main stage for the ONNI Sunset Concerts. John Lawson is also the site for Cinema in the Park outdoor movies each evening. The nightly concerts usually take place at 7:30 pm and feature a variety of great music talent.
Harmony Arts Movies in 2018
In 2018 the following free outdoor movies were shown at the festival in John Lawson Park starting at around 9 pm. 2019 will be similar.
- August 3 (Friday) – The Greatest Showman (2017)
- August 4 (Saturday) – Big Fish (2003)
- August 5 (Sunday) – Coco (2017)
- August 6 (Monday) – Beetlejuice (1988)
- August 7 (Tuesday) – Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
- August 8 (Wednesday) – Rocky (1976)
- August 9 (Thursday) – My Fair Lady (1964)
- August 10 (Friday) – Wonder Woman (2017)
- August 11 (Saturday) – The Hunger Games (2012)
See Harmony Arts Movies for more information.
TIP: For the movies and music concerts, take your own lawn chairs. Also, note that movies and exact start times are subject to change.
Concerts at John Lawson Park
Concerts also take place in John Lawson Park at the foot of 17th Street in West Vancouver starting at 7:30 pm each evening, including the following in 2018:
- Friday, August 3, 2018 – Murray Porter: a talented Mohawk First Nation pianist.
- Saturday, August 4, 2018 – John Welsh & Los Valientes: entertaining with a mix of African, Latin and Reggae tunes.
- Sunday, August 5, 2018 – Buckman Coe: playing a mix of Americana, Soul and World tunes.
- Monday, August 6, 2018 – David Graff & Band: a Genie-nominated singer and songwriter and his band from Vancouver.
- Tuesday, August 7, 2018 – John Reischman & The Jaybirds: the JUNO Award-nominated band entertains with a selection of Appalachian old-time tunes.
- Wednesday, August 8, 2018 – Sarah Jane Scouten: a talented and internationally-known folk singer.
- Thursday, August 9, 2018 – Shawn Austin: a Vancouver-based Country singer.
- Friday, August 10, 2018 – Jane Mortifee & Friends: a BC Hall of Fame inductee and her band.
- Saturday, August 11, 2018 – The Big Love Band: a Folk, Country and Hip-Hop band based out of Whistler.
- Sunday, August 12, 2018 – The Paperboys: this band closed the festival last year and they are doing it again in 2018! Can’t wait! They are an exceptional and internationally-known Vancouver-based band.
Harmony Arts at Millennium Park
Millennium Park is halfway between Ambleside and John Lawson Park and it’s here that you’ll find the Re/Max Waterfront Lounge and the PARC Retirement Living Garden Stage.
The patio and lounge are nice places to enjoy drinks and sit at a table while enjoying the live entertainment which occurs on the Living Garden Stage during the daytime and evenings every day.
2018 Concerts at Millennium Park
During the Harmony Arts Festival, PARC Retirement Living Garden Concerts take place at Millennium Park which is at the foot of 15th Avenue about halfway between John Lawson Park and Ambleside in West Vancouver.
Below was the Harmony Arts Festival live music lineup for 2018 at this venue.
Friday August 3rd Concerts
- Kelly & Gibson – from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.
- Souled Out – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- The Hip Show – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Saturday August 4th Concerts
- Dear One – from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.
- Porteau Cove – from 2:15 to 3:15 pm.
- Jocelyn Pettit Band – from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.
- Gabriel’s New Orleans Street Party – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Warren Dean Flandez – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Sunday August 5th Concerts
- Rowen Porter – from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.
- Sara Vickruck – from 2:15 to 3:15 pm.
- The Burying Ground – from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.
- Colin Bullock – a talented and multi-tasking musician on guitar, vocals, harmonica, foot percussion and tambourine from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Chris Buck Band – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Monday August 6th Concerts
- Winsome Kind – from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.
- Blackberry Wood – from 2:15 to 3:15 pm.
- The Kwerks – from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.
- West My Friend – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Side One – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Tuesday August 7th Concerts
- Adam Woodall Band – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Jim Byrnes – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Wednesday August 8th Concerts
- Little Biggs Band – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Wooden Horsemen – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Thursday August 9th Concerts
- Viper Central – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Eagle Eyes – the Eagles tribute band plays from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Friday August 10th Concerts
- Diane Lines’ JUMP! – from 1:00 to 2:30 pm.
- The Heels – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Mazacote – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Saturday August 11th Concerts
- Mark James Fortin & Yvonne McSkimming – from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.
- David Sinclair & Keith Bennett – from 2:15 to 3:15 pm.
- Farmer The Band – from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.
- The Nick La Riviere Band – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Trilojay – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Sunday August 12th Concerts
- Evan Kennedy – from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.
- Tiller’s Folly – from 2:15 to 3:15 pm.
- Milk Crate Bandits – from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.
- Mike Edel – from 5:45 to 7:30 pm.
- Coco Jafro – from 8:45 to 10:00 pm.
Check out the Harmony Arts Festival website for more on the Living Garden Stage concerts that take place between two and five times each day.
Note: scheduled concert times and performers are subject to change.
Harmony Arts at Argyle Avenue
Argyle Avenue is the lane that goes along West Vancouver near the waterfront, connecting Ambleside with John Lawson Park.
Normally it’s a small roadway for cars and bicycles with parking along the side, but during the Harmony Arts Festival it’s set up with rows of market stalls with artists selling their works.
Also, at various spots along the way between John Lawson Park and Ambleside there are places to buy food, see art displays and take in art demonstrations. Argyle Avenue is also where you’ll find the festival’s Beachside Patio.
New for the Harmony Arts Festival in 2018 was an Indigenous Exhibition showcasing First Nations art, food and culture.
West Vancouver (including the venue for the festival) is in the traditional unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Coast Salish First Nations. Having an exhibit honouring this fact, and showcasing the culture of the region’s first people, makes a lot of sense and is a great addition to the already wonderful event.
The Indigenous Exhibition took place daily in 2018 at Ambleside Landing from August 3rd to 12th from festival opening until 9 pm.
Featured at the exhibition is Indigenous art, food and market vendors. Indigenous food last year was provided mostly by Mr. Bannock, a local and relatively new Indigenous food truck entrepreneur who serves up delicious treats that get great reviews.
In addition to Mr. Bannock and his food services throughout the week, on Tuesday, August 7th, there was an Indigenous Feast. That’s when Ambleside Landing got filled with people enjoying a wide selection of Indigenous cuisine as well as entertainment by Blues musician Murray Porter.
The cost for the Indigenous Feast was $90 plus tax and both wine and non-alcoholic beverages were included.
Indigenous Art and Market Vendors
Vendors in the market at the Indigenous Exhibition sell everything from fancy art to clothing to souvenirs. There have been Indigenous artists and vendors at the Harmony Arts Festival in other years. IN 2018 though there was a much larger focus and official Indigenous presence.
Indigenous Art Market hours in 2018 were just on weekends during the following times (and 2019 will be similar):
- Friday, August 3rd – 2 to 9 pm
- Saturday, August 4th – 11 am to 9 pm
- Sunday, August 5th – 11 am to 9 pm
- Monday, August 6th – 11 am to 9 pm
- Friday, August 10th – 2 to 9 pm
- Saturday, August 11th – 11 am to 9 pm
- Sunday, August 12th – 11 am to 9 pm
Harmony Arts Festival Tips
Below are some suggestions and information to help you make the most out of your time at the Harmony Arts Festival.
TIP #1: The best times to visit the festival are in the evenings and on the weekends, although that’s also when it’s the most crowded. During the daytime on weekdays it can be pretty quiet. There’s more to see and listen to in the evenings, and on the weekends is when all the art displays come out.
TIP #2: If coming over the Lions Gate Bridge from downtown, if you can, try to avoid rush hour. On the three-lane bridge, during the morning rush there will most likely be two lanes of traffic heading southbound into Vancouver and only one going northbound to the North Shore, with the opposite in the evening.
TIP #3: Make a day of your visit – there is so much going on, with all the music, outdoor evening movies and things to see. There is also so much to see and do in the area, including the beaches.
While at the festival go for a stroll along the seawall, take the kids to the giant kids’ play area at John Lawson Park, have a swim in the ocean or enjoy the sun on the sand. And if you don’t want to spend the whole day at the festival, then check out all the other world-class places to visit nearby on the North Shore.
TIP #4: Parking can be a challenge. If you can, take public transit. If you drive though, there is parking at Ambleside Park at the bottom of 13th Avenue if you turn east away from the festival. There is also street side parking all along the lower part of West Vancouver nearby. Park Royal shopping mall is also just a 10-minute-or-so walk away, although you’re not supposed to park there when you’re not shopping.
See the Harmony Arts Festival website for further information about the West Vancouver event.
For a list of other major festivals in the Lower Mainland, see the Festivals & Events Calendar.