There is a lot happening in Vancouver on the Labour Day Long Weekend in September 2018 including free concerts, festivals, markets and the PNE.
In 2018 Labour Day takes place on Monday, September 3rd.
September Long Weekend in 2018
Wondering how to make the most of your time before school starts back up and life returns to normal? Then have fun getting the most out of the last few days of summer at any one of a number of great Labour Day Weekend activities.
Below is a list of the main things happening. Click what interests you for more information, or scroll down for details on them all.
- North Vancouver Night Market & Movies – the Shipyard Night Market is on the Friday and outdoor movies happen at Lonsdale Quay on the Saturday.
- Richmond World Festival – a free family-friendly multicultural event at Minoru Park.
- Bands on the Beach – free live music at Harrison Hot Springs.
- Nikkei Matsuri – Japanese cultural activities in Burnaby.
- Pacific National Exhibition – amusement rides, concerts and fair activities at the PNE.
- Taiwanfest – an Asian street party on Granville Street.
- Victory Square Block Party – live music in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.
- Other Events – other activities including night markets, farmers markets and theatre.
Below is the more detailed list with information on each event.
North Vancouver Night Market and Movie Night
In North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale District
The Lower Mainland’s massive Shipyards Night Market takes place at Shipbuilders’ Square on Friday, August 31st, from 5 until 10 pm. The evening features dozens of artisan vendors, food trucks, a beer garden and the R&B, Blues and Soul band R & B Conspiracy. Admission is free.
Click Shipyards Night Market for more information about the Friday evening event.
On Saturday, September 1st, the plaza in front of Lonsdale Quay becomes a giant outdoor movie theatre. Finding Dory shows at 8:00 pm and The Goonies shows at 10 o’clock. Admission is by donation.
Click Lonsdale Quay Movie Night for more information about the Saturday night movies.
Richmond World Festival
At Richmond’s Minoru Park
The Richmond World Festival is a free event taking place on the Saturday of the long weekend at Minoru Park at 7191 Granville Street in Richmond. In 2018 it takes place the weekend of August 31st to September 1st.
The festival features live music, lots of food, and all sorts of cultural things from different parts of the globe. It’s a great event and suitable for people of all ages.
Free concerts at the Richmond World Festival in 2018 include performances by headliner bands Lights (on the Friday) and Magic! (on the Saturday). Locaro, the VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir and others are also performing.
TIP: Consider taking public transit. The Richmond Centre shopping mall is fairly close by, and on the other side of it is the Richmond-Brighouse SkyTrain Station. Minoru Park is about a 10-minute walk from the station, but it’ll probably take you at least that long to find parking.
Click Richmond World Festival for more information.
TEDxVancouver takes place on Saturday, September 8th, and features inspirational speakers including a former Prime Minister and the CEO of 1-800-GOT-Junk, among over a dozen others. Use promo code VansBestPlaces and save 20%! Click TEDxVancouver for details.
Bands on the Beach
At Harrison Hot Springs
The beautiful resort town of Harrison Hot Springs hosts its annual Bands on the Beach event which features free live music by the lake. Bring your lawn chair and listen to the concerts on the beach in the afternoon on both the Saturday and Sunday.
Music all weekend includes everything from Indie to Country to Bluegrass.
TIP #1: While at Harrison Hot Springs, make the most out of your trip and check out some of the area’s attractions. Highlights include the beach at nearby Sasquatch Provincial Park, the Harrison Water Park, and boat rides with Shoreline Tours.
TIP #2: Arrive well before noon to improve your chances of finding convenient parking.
TIP #3: Don’t forget your swimsuit!
Click Bands on the Beach for more information.
Nikkei Matsuri is a Japanese festival held at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby on the Saturday and Sunday of the Labour Day Weekend. Free activities take place outdoors in the garden and indoor activities costing about $3 admission include a Game Zone, Matsuri Marketplace and performances.
The Nikkei Museum is located at 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby and the festival runs from 11 am until 7 pm on both days.
TIP: While you’re there, be sure to try some of the Japanese festival food! Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes) and takoyaki (fried octopus) are two of our favourites!
For more details, click Nikkei Matsuri.
Pacific National Exhibition (“the PNE”)
The Fair in Vancouver
Without a doubt, the PNE is the weekend favourite for hundreds of thousands of Vancouverites. At only about $17 for adults and free for children under 14 (not including rides), it’s the best annual fair deal in Canada.
Pacific National Exhibition activities include the SuperDogs, Kidz Discovery Farm, nightly music concerts and all the great carnival rides.
Concerts at the PNE during the September Long Weekend in 2018 include the following:
- Friday, August 31st – Burton Cummings and Band
- Saturday, September 1st – Chicago
- Sunday, September 2nd – The Village People
- Monday, September 3rd – Cyndi Lauper
Click PNE Night Live Music for more information about the concerts.
TIP: If you don’t like huge lineups and masses of people, try to visit the PNE on a week day before the long weekend when the crowds aren’t quite so crazy.
In Downtown Vancouver
Vancouver’s Taiwanese Cultural Festival takes place along Granville Street from Robson Street to West Pender, as well as at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza and the Annext at the Orpheum. Festival activities include films, music, culinary demonstrations, arts and culture, children’s activities and educational elements (i.e., Taiwan 101).
In 2018 the festival runs from September 1st to the 3rd beginning at 11:00 am each day. On the Saturday and Sunday it runs until 10:00 pm and on the Holiday Monday it ends at 6 o’clock.
For more information, click Taiwanfest.
Victory Square Block Party
In Vancouver’s Downtown EastSide
The Victory Square Block Party is a small to medium-sized event in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on the Sunday that features live music from around 2 to 9 pm at Victory Square at 316 West Hastings Street.
TIP: If you happen to be in the area anyway, and you like live music, you might want to check it out. Not everyone however is a fan of the neighbourhood. It’s close to historic Gastown though and only about 5 blocks from the edge of Chinatown.
Many of Vancouver’s regular yet still phenomenal weekly summer events also occur over the September Long Weekend including the region’s world-famous night markets, farmers markets and live theatre shows. See below for more details.
- Serbian Days – a free community event celebrating Serbian culture at Saint Sava Church at 505 East 63rd Avenue in Vancouver between 12 and 8 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.
- Labour Day at Burnaby Village – free carousel rides and special family-friendly activities take place between 11:00 am and 4:30 pm on the Holiday Monday.
- Richmond Night Market – at 8351 River Road in Richmond starting at 7 pm all four days of the Long Weekend.
- Bard on the Beach – Vancouver’s famous Shakespearean theatre.
- Saturday Farmers Markets – great places to pick up long weekend picnic supplies on the Saturday can be found in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Fort Langley, Lonsdale Quay, Maple Ridge, Squamish, Trout Lake and the West End.
- Sunday Farmers Markets – taking place as they do most weekends in the summer at Ambleside, Coquitlam, Kitsilano, Mt. Pleasant, Steveston Village, White Rock and Whistler.
- Shakedown at the Ranch – a music festival in Squamish on the Friday and Saturday.
- Serbian Days – a free cultural event with Serbian music, dancing and family-friendly activities at Vancouver’s Saint Sava Church at 505 East 63rd Avenue on September 1st and 2nd.
- Chilliwack Sunflower Festival – acres of beautiful sunflowers to admire at 41310 Yale Road in Chilliwack.
Other Things to do in September
Looking for other things to do in September in the Lower Mainland on different days and weekends? Then check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ September Calendar of Events. Or, if you just want to find a beautiful place to hang out, check out Vancouver’s best places in parks and nature.
Happy End of Summer Holidays!