Symphony in the Park is a free outdoor evening concert with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby.
Vancouver Symphony at Deer Lake Park
Each year the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra offers a free outdoor performance at Deer Lake Park.
In 2019 the event was on Sunday, June 30th, from 7 until 9 pm, with a prelude-concert starting at 6 pm. In 2020 organizers had to cancel the concert because of the coronavirus pandemic. 2021 dates are to be confirmed.
The Symphony Venue
Symphony in the Park takes place on the Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park which is located at 6450 Deer Lake Avenue in Burnaby. The lawn is in front of the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and a special outdoor stage is set up for the day at the far end of the field, not far from the water. It’s a beautiful venue.
What to Expect
Weather permitting, at the Symphony in the Park event you can expect a beautiful evening of classical music outdoors in the fresh air. At the event you’ll see several thousand orchestra-lovers in lawn chairs or sitting on the grass spread out over the field at Deer Lake Park.
2019’s repertoire showcased a variety of better-known popular pieces from movies and productions from the past. It included selections from West Side Story, themes from the movie E.T. and other well-known pieces. The 2021 music lineup will be comparable (assuming the event is able to take place).
Tips & Advice
Below are some suggestions and important things to know to help make your experience at Symphony in the Park as enjoyable as possible.
TIP #1: Take a lawn chair, blanket and your picnic or other (non-alcoholic) refreshments.
TIP #2: Arrive early! If you hope to get parking anywhere remotely near the venue, get to Deer Lake Park by 5 pm, so at least a couple of hours before the show. There will be thousands of people and parking is limited.
TIP #3: If you can’t arrive early then get someone to drop you and your friends off at the park and then go find parking. Wish the driver luck, remind them in advance to wear good walking shoes, and then hope that if they do find parking somewhere that you’ll be able to find them later amongst the crowds. If the driver has a car with a bike rack, then taking a bicycle for the ride back to the park can be a great idea.
TIP #4: If you do arrive early, then explore the park! It’s a beautiful place!
TIP #5: If you’re ever in the City of Victoria on the BC Day Long Weekend, you might want to check out Symphony Splash. It’s a similar event, but with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra performing in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. That event is also highly recommended and includes a short display of fireworks at the end.
Other Things to Do
While at Deer Lake Park there are plenty of other things to do before the concert begins at 7 o’clock.
There are some beautiful gardens between the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and the Burnaby Art Gallery just steps from the concert venue.
The walk around Deer Lake itself is exceptional. You can stroll along the trails and wooden boardwalks for as long as you like in one direction and then turn back when you’re done, or walk the whole way round. At the east end of the lake there’s a small sandy beach.
The Burnaby Art Gallery houses a small and fairly simple collection of art, but in a beautiful heritage building. It’s open from noon until 5 pm on Sundays.
Burnaby Village Museum is just a 10-minute or so walk from the Festival Lawn at Deer Lake. It’s an exceptional museum with free admission and open from 11 am until 4:30 pm.
For more information about the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s free outdoor concert, click Symphony in the Park.
For details about the City of Burnaby, click Burnaby.
For a list of other free concerts taking place in the Lower Mainland, click Free Summer Concerts.