Lower Mainland spring roundup

Take advantage of the longer days to enjoy some of the best Greater Vancouver has to offer.

Eat (and drink) local

Feed your family with the freshest of produce produced by local growers. Seven seasonal Lower Mainland farmers markets open in the spring; here’s the full list of locations, dates and hours. The markets offer a variety of fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, dairy and poultry. Farms and producers also offer baked goods, hot food, crafts coffee and more.

BC Distilled Festival

If you have a whisky, gin or vodka afficionado in the house you won’t want to miss the 8th Annual BC Distilled festival. More than 40 local artisans will be promoting their spirits with tastings. A blanket admission price of $60 allows you to sample as much as you’d like. A portion of the proceeds goes to support Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS) so you can feel good about drinking up! The main events are back-to-back tastings on May 13 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive. The first event starts at 2 pm and the second at 6 pm. Visit BC Distilled to purchase your tickets.

DOXA Documentary Film Festival

Expand your mind and horizons with thought-provoking documentaries from around the world. The 22nd DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs May 4 -14 in Vancouver. This year’s event features 39 features, 25 short films and numerous opportunities for filmmakers, audiences and professionals to connect. Check out the list of films and buy your tickets on the festival website. Screenings take place at The Cinematheque, VIFF Centre and SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Ballet BC

If live performances are more your style, don’t miss Ballet BC’s final performance of the year. WAVES runs May 11-13 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and offers premiers from two of today’s top visionaries in contemporary dance. Get tickets via Ballet BC, including $19 weekend balcony seats made possible by Simons Arts for All.

Celebrate Vancouver’s diversity

The Festival of Israeli Culture is a vibrant one-day affair that showcases the best of Israeli food, music, dance and more. Held at the Jewish Community Centre on May 14, visitors can take part in diverse workshops from cooking to drumming, and those aged 19 and over can try Israeli wines and Arak-based cocktails.

There is possibly no more iconic event than Vancouver’s Italian Day on the Drive. After three years of pandemic hiatus, Italian Day is back in all its red, white and green glory with a 14-block cultural street festival on June 11. Head to Commercial Drive for food, wine, live music and famiglia, brought to you by more than 100 participants! It’s one of Vancouver’s biggest street festivals and honours the history and contributions of Vancouver’s Italian immigrants.

Brush off your high school (or better!) French to attend the 34th edition of Le Festival d’été. The event runs June 14 – 24 and offers more than a week of concerts by some top French-speaking artists across numerous Vancouver venues.

5X Fest

Immerse yourself in all things creative and South Asian at the 5X Fest – a multi-day, multi-venue festival that profiles the latest music, fashion, visual art and culture from South Asia. 5X Fest runs June 11 – 18 and offers interactive workshops, storytelling, drag shows and a fabulous block party. Visit the 5X website to learn more or purchase tickets.