Halloween Expo and Parade

The Vancouver Halloween Expo is a weekend event in October that includes a comics and anime-themed exhibition, parade and entertainment near Robson Square.

Some of the event’s activities take place indoors at Robson Square, and some happen in the North Plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.



The Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo has been cancelled for 2023 due to construction. The event was cancelled in 2022 as well because of construction. It was due to take place then on the weekend of October 7th to 9th. Neither the expo trade show event nor the parade were able to happen in 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak. The event was cancelled in 2021 as well. The last time the event took place was in 2019 when it ran from October 11th to 13th.

Hopefully both the trade show and parade return in the future.


Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo

In 2022 the Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo was going to take place on the weekend of October 7th to 9th, so on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend. However, the event was cancelled due to construction.

In years when it does take place, the three-day expo includes both free and ticketed events. There are free live performances on all three days in the afternoons and early evenings outdoors in the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery at 850 Georgia Street. There is also a wonderful, free and family-friendly parade on the Sunday.

Ticketed events usually take place on the Saturday and Sunday at UBC Robson Square at 800 Robson Street, both indoors and under shelter by the ice rink.


Halloween for Kids


Halloween Expo Activities

The Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo features activities at Robson Square, free live entertainment in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s North Plaza, and a parade in the heart of the city.

There is usually an indoor exhibition at UBC Robson Square (at 800 Robson Street) from around 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm on both the Saturday and Sunday. In 2021 the exhibition was only going to be on the Sunday.

There are also usually free live performances in the plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Georgia Street between Howe and Hornby Street in the evening on the Friday and on both the Saturday and Sunday beginning early in the afternoon.

In 2021 the parade would’ve taken place on Sunday, October 10th, starting at 11:00 am.

When it does happen, the parade runs for about 10 blocks down Howe Street, along Smithe, and then back up Granville Street. Click Vancouver Halloween Parade for more details.


What to Expect

The Vancouver Halloween Expo isn’t about skeletons, witches, zombies, pumpkins and the walking dead. You might see a few of these Halloween characters and symbols, but not a lot. Instead, the event is all about comics, Japanese anime, video games and mythologies.

If you happen to be anywhere near Robson Square or the Vancouver Art Gallery on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, on any day other than the holiday Monday, expect to see lots of young folks in Japanese anime, superhero and various other funky costumes. Perhaps because of the anime element, the event tends to be especially popular with Korean, Japanese and other Asian young adults.


Vancouver Halloween Expo Performers


Halloween Expo Admission

The parade and outdoor live entertainment are free. The comic and anime exhibition and indoor performances, however, require the purchase of a pass.

When it’s running, single-day passes cost $8 online or about $10 at the door. A weekend pass is good for both the Saturday and Sunday (in years where the exhibition runs on both those days) and costs $15 at the door or $13 online.

Family passes are also available for one day, are good for up to two adults and four children (ages 12 and under), and cost $30 at the door or $28 online.


Thanksgiving Weekend in Vancouver


Expo Performances and Exhibition

In addition to the free parade and free performances in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza, ticketed activities take place downstairs either by the ice rink or in the UBC Building at Robson Square (which is accessed through doors near the ice rink).

At the Vancouver Halloween Expo you don’t have to purchase a separate ticket for each individual event. Just buy a day pass or weekend pass and you get access to everything.

To give you an idea of what you can expect in future years, below was the 2019 schedule of programming. This was the last year the event took place. (Note: Schedules and performers were subject to change.)


Friday, October 11th, 2019

At the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza

  • 4:15 pm to 5:00 pm – Caracas Latin Punk Rock (free)
  • 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm – Light Years After (free)


Saturday, October 12th, 2019

At the Indoor Exhibition in Robson Square

  • 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Exhibition

At the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza

  • 1:15 pm to 2:00 pm – Beautiful Tarim Middle East Mythology (free)
  • 2:30 pm to 3:15 pm – The Runaway Four (free)
  • 3:45 pm to 4:30 pm – International Blindfold (free)
  • 5:00 pm to 5:45 pm – Rio Samaya (free)
  • 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm – An Evening With 20SIX Hundred (free)


Sunday, October 13th, 2019

At 900 Howe Street

  • 11:00 am –  The Grand Halloween Parade (free to watch)

At the Indoor Exhibition in Robson Square

  • 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm –  Exhibition
  • 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Maid Café (ticketed)
  • 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm – The Fictionals (ticketed)
  • 3:15 pm to 4:45 pm – Cosplay Exhibition (ticketed)
  • 5:15 pm to 5:45 pm – Girls Secret (ticketed)
  • 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm – Zeús! LoveLive! (ticketed)

At the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza

  • 12:15 pm to 1:00 pm – Eleven Twelves (free)
  • 1:45 pm to 2:30 pm – Alice in Wonderland (free)
  • 3:00 pm to 3:45 pm – Lumi Starlight featuring ShootingStar Idols (free)
  • 4:15 pm to 5:00 pm – MissingNo. Band (free)
  • 5:30 pm to 6:15 pm – Fusica Band (free)
  • 6:45 pm to 7:30 pm – Men In Black (free)


Stormtrooper Directing Traffic


Costume Rules

Participants in the parade and event in general are encouraged to dress in costume. It’s a family-friendly event though. Below is a list of what’s allowed and not allowed with respect to costumes.

  • No blood or gore.
  • No metal weapons or sharp objects. Plastic and wooden swords and other props, however, are permitted.
  • No replica guns. If using a gun as a prop, be sure the toy gun is either significantly smaller or larger than the real version (so it’s obvious to all that it’s not a real gun).
  • No nudity or adult material (like what you might see occasionally, for example, at the Vancouver Pride Parade, which is another hugely popular parade).
  • No firecrackers or small explosives (like what you might find, for example, at the Chinese New Year Parade).


Halloween Haunted Houses


Other Information

For more information about the three-day weekend event in October check out the official Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo website.

For further details about the parade on the Sunday, click Vancouver Halloween Parade.

For ideas on other things to do in Vancouver check out any of the following: