A powwow is a celebration and gathering of First Nations and provides an exceptional opportunity for the public to experience Indigenous culture.
In 2019 the Squamish Nation Youth Powwow took place July 13-15. Last year, meanwhile, the Spirit of the People Powwow took place in Chilliwack on June 29-30 and July 1. See below for details on both. Details for the summer events in 2019 are to be confirmed.
Powwows in the Lower Mainland
Various First Nations bands hold powwows in the Metro Vancouver area. The events are often open to the public and feature First Nations from various bands.
The festivities include traditional dancing, art, music, food, market stalls and the wearing of traditional and ceremonial dress. Powwows are educational, entertaining, beautiful and culturally significant events.
Squamish Nation Youth Powwow
The Squamish Nation Youth Powwow is an annual event that takes place at the Capilano Reserve Park at 100 Mathias Road which is in West Vancouver but accessed via Capilano Road in North Vancouver. The event is open to the public and all are welcome.
Activities at the West Vancouver Powwow include Aboriginal dance competitions, a salmon BBQ and vendors selling Aboriginal art, crafts, souvenirs and artisan products. There are also food vendors serving Indian tacos, barbecued salmon, bannock and other refreshments.
Powwow Times & Admission
The 31st Annual Squamish Nation Youth Powwow takes place on July 13-15 in 2018 (so a week later than the previous year). The event starts at 7 pm on the Friday and runs from 1 to around 7 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.
The Squamish event usually takes place on the second weekend in July. Admission is $5.
Spirit of the People Powwow
An exceptional powwow in the Lower Mainland is the Spirit of the People Powwow that takes place in mid-summer in Chilliwack. In the last couple of years the event has taken place at the Tzeachten Sports Field at 46770 Bailey Road. The event is highly recommended and the general public is warmly welcomed.
The Spirit of the People Powwow usually takes place over a weekend in late July and features dance competitions, drumming, a fashion show and all kinds of wonderful and culturally rich things to see and experience.
2018 Powwow Dates & Admission
In 2018 the Spirit of the People Powwow took place on the weekend of June 29 & 30 and July 1. The event started on the Friday at 7 pm and then ran all afternoon on both the Saturday and Sunday from 1 until 7 pm.
The cost for admission is usually about $5 per day or $10 for the weekend. Children ages 6 and under are free.
Note: the previous year the event took place on the weekend of July 28-30. So sometimes it take place around the beginning of July, and other years at the end.
Click Spirit of the People Powwow for more details.
Spirit of the People Family Day Powwow
The Spirit of the People Powwow usually takes place in the summer. In 2019, however, there was also an extra event on the Family Day Weekend (and it was indoors instead of outside)! The Spirit of the People Family Day Powwow ran from 1:00 until 7:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday of February 16 & 17, 2019, at Chilliwack Secondary School at 46363 Yale Road in Chilliwack.
See the Spirit of the People Facebook page for more details.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Squamish Nation Powwow experience.
TIP #1: If you’ve never been to a First Nations’ Powwow, you should go. They are most interesting cultural events.
TIP #2: There are no bleachers at the Powwow venue so take your own lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
TIP #3: Take your lawn chair and camera, plus a bit of money for some tasty bannock at the concession or First Nations’ art and souvenirs at the various market stalls.
TIP #4: Chilliwack and the Tzeachten Sports Field are about halfway between Cultus Lake and Harrison Hot Springs, both of which are beautiful lake resort communities less than a 30-minute drive from the powwow. If it’s a sunny day, consider combining a trip to one of these two popular tourist destinations with your visit to the powwow.
For more information on the Powwow in Chilliwack, check out the Spirit of the People.
For further details about the Squamish Nation Youth Powwow, see the Powwows.com website.
For more information on places to experience First Nations culture in the Lower Mainland, click First Nations in the Lower Mainland.