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Vancouver’s Latin American Experience (Formerly Latin American Week)

Carnaval del Sol

The Latin American Experience is a series of events celebrating Latin music, food and culture. It includes Vancouver’s famous Carnaval del Sol festival.

In years prior to COVID-19 there was Latin American Week which ran for just seven or so days and ended with Carnaval del Sol as its grand finale. In 2022, instead of just one week of events, the festivities ran for three weeks. They started on July 2nd and continued until July 24th.

In 2023 the Latin American Experience ran for longer than one week again. Carnaval del Sol, the big Latin festival, happened on the weekend July 7th to 9th this past year. Before that though, during the first few days of July, there was a Soccer Tournament, Tree of Life Art Workshops and Latin Circus Orchestra. Later in the month, there was also Tango & Flamenco Moments, the Fiesta Blanca Cruise, and Latin American Film Night.

The program details for the Latin American Experience in 2024 are still to be confirmed.

Continue reading below for dates and other details about the various events.


This article includes information about the following topics and events:

Latin American Experience Schedule | Carnaval del Sol | Soccer Tournament | Tree of Life Workshops | Latin Circus Orchestra | Tango & Flamenco Moments | Fiesta Blanca Salsa Cruise | Latin American Film Night | Other Information


Carnaval del Sol


Latin American Week and the Latin American Experience

Close to 40,000 people of Latin American and Caribbean origin call the Lower Mainland home, which is why the City of Vancouver dedicates a week or two in early July or August each year as a special time to celebrate Latin American culture.

In 2022, Vancouver’s series of Latin-themed celebrations ran from July 2nd until July 24th. As the festivities went for three weeks instead of for just one, “Latin American Week” was renamed to “Latin American Experience.”

There were at least two weeks of festivities to enjoy in 2023. Dates for some of this past year’s events are listed further below.

To learn more about the largest Latin festival in the Pacific Northwest, see our article about Carnaval del Sol. To learn about Latin American Week events from past years, and what happened during the Latin American Experience in 2023, continue reading.


Samba Fusion at Carnaval del Sol
Samba Fusion


Latin American Experience Schedule in 2023

As of late June, the following events were scheduled to take place during the Latin American Experience series of events in 2023. (Note: Dates and details were subject to change.)

  • World Soccer Tournament – a fun tournament on Sunday, July 2nd at Empire Field.
  • Tree of Life Workshops – art workshops hosted by Clarissa Bolaño at CICA Vancouver on July 2nd and 5th.
  • Latin Circus Orchestra – Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra performed at the Vancouver Playhouse on Thursday, July 6th.
  • Carnaval del Sol – Vancouver’s major Latin festival happened on the weekend of July 7th to 9th at David Lam Park in Vancouver.
  • Tango & Flamenco Moments – dance performances at the Pipe Shop in North Vancouver on Thursday, July 13th.
  • Fiesta Blanca Cruise – a boat party on the waters around Vancouver on Saturday, July 15th, 2023.
  • Latin American Film Night – UNA MADRE showed at the VIFF Centre on Wednesday, July 19th.


For the official Carnaval del Sol website, click carnavaldelsol.ca.


Carnaval del Sol in Yaletown
Carnaval del Sol in Yaletown in 2023


Carnaval del Sol

Dates: July 7th, 8th & 9th in 2023

Carnaval del Sol is a family-friendly festival. It used to be at the end of Latin American Week and without doubt the week’s number one attraction. Since 2022, instead of a two-day event at Concord Pacific Place, Carnaval del Sol is now a three-day event.

In 2023 the main event took place at David Lam Park, located at 1300 Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver. The festival began on Friday, July 7th with the Opening Concert Night, featuring DJ music and a beer garden. Tickets for the first event started at $30 online and cost $45 at the door.

Carnaval del Sol continued on the Saturday and Sunday of July 8th and 9th. Tickets for each day cost $15 online or $20 at the gate. The weekend featured a number of zones including a Kids’ Plaza, Food Plaza, Beer Plaza, Market Plaza, Experience Plaza, Family Plaza, and more. In each area there were different things to do and see. There was also plenty of live entertainment to enjoy.

Click Carnaval del Sol to learn more about this event.


Carnaval del Sol Opening Night


Soccer Tournament

Date: July 2nd in 2023

The annual Soccer Tournament is held at Empire Field at 2901 East Hastings Street in Vancouver. In 2023 it took place on Sunday, July 2nd, from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm.

The tournament featured eight teams of eight, nine, or 10 players each. Admission for each team cost $250. Families and friends of players were welcome to attend as well. There was DJ music to enjoy and Zumba sessions to try. Food was also available.

For more information, visit the Carnaval del Sol website.


For the official Carnaval del Sol website, click carnavaldelsol.ca.


Tree of Life Workshops

Date: July 2nd and 5th in 2023

There were two Tree of Life Art Workshops that happened during the Latin American Experience in 2023. Both were held at CICA Vancouver, which is located at 228 Abbott Street. The first workshop started at 11:00 am on Sunday, July 2nd. For those who couldn’t make it to the first workshop, the second one began at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 5th.

The workshops were hosted by Clarissa Bolaño. Clarissa guided each participant through the process of painting their own Tree of Life, which is an important symbol in Latin American and Canadian cultures.

Registration fees started at about $30 each and all materials were included. Visit the Tree of Life Workshops page for more information.


For the official Carnaval del Sol website, click carnavaldelsol.ca.


Latin Circus Orchestra


Latin Circus Orchestra

Date: July 6th in 2023

Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra made its Vancouver debut on Thursday, July 6th in 2023. The show was held at the Vancouver Playhouse at 600 Hamilton Street. Based in Montreal, the group has performed more than 300 concerts including an international tour. The experienced entertainers perform an exciting fusion of Caribbean dance, acrobatics and circus tricks.

The dress code was tropical, so attendees at the event in 2023 were encouraged to put on their best colourful gala outfit. The show started at 6:00 pm and tickets ranged from $60 to $85 per person.

Click Latin Circus Orchestra to learn more about this event.


Tango and Flamenco Moments


Tango & Flamenco Moments

Date: July 13th in 2023

Note: This event often sells out! Be sure to book your spot well in advance when it hopefully returns in 2024!

Tango & Flamenco Moments is an evening of flamenco and tango dancing hosted by Latincouver. In 2023 the event took place at 7:00 pm on July 13th at the Pipe Shop in North Vancouver. The venue is located at 115 Victory Ship Way.

Performers at this past year’s event included Flamenco Rosario and Tango Rumba. Dinner and wine was included and tickets ranged from $65 up to $80.

See our article about Tango & Flamenco Moments for information about this event.


Tango Lab Tango Dancers
Flamenco, Tango & Wine Night


For the official Carnaval del Sol website click carnavaldelsol.ca.


Fiesta Blanca Salsa Cruise

Date: July 15th in 2023

Fiesta Blanca is a nightclub-like cruise on the MV Britannia where participants wear white, dance and have a wonderful party. In 2023 the event began at 8:30 pm on July 15th and ran until 12:30 am.

The evening cruise departs from Coal Harbour at 501 Denman Street and usually marks the summer “kickoff” for Salsa Cruises which is a Vancouver party boat company.

The Fiesta Blanca Salsa Cruise involved Latin music with different DJs on each of the three levels of the boat. The event also featured complimentary salsa lessons. Food and drinks were available for purchase as well. Tickets this past year cost about $50 in advance.

For information click Fiesta Blanca Cruise.


Evening Harbour Cruise
Salsa Cruises Fiesta Blanca


Latin American Film Night

Date: July 19th in 2023

Latincouver and the Vancouver International Film Festival presented a one-day film event in 2023. The movie UNA MADRE showed at the VIFF Centre at 1181 Seymour Street at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, July 19th.

The film is about a son who tries to bring his mother home from an asylum. It is an exploration piece about mental health and relationships. Tickets cost about $15 per person.

To learn more about this event, click Latin American Film Night.


Latin Jazz Extravaganza

The Latin Jazz Extravaganza was an event that took place at the Vancouver Playhouse in 2022. In 2023, instead, there was a special performance by Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra at the same venue on Thursday, July 6th. At that event there was lots of acrobatics, live music and energetic dancing.

To see what the Latin Jazz Extravaganza event looked like in 2022 with different performers, check out the following video. It shows scenes from the concert with Rumba Calzada. What a great evening it was!



Other Information

For a list of other major events in the Lower Mainland throughout the year, see Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar.

For ideas on what to do on the first weekend in July, click Canada Day in Metro Vancouver.

Other Latin American and Caribbean events you might enjoy at other times of the year include the following: