Vancouver: Culture and Arts
A multicultural metropolis with snowcapped crags, city-hugging beaches and waterfront forests
Vancouver is an excellent destination for a culture and arts holiday. Although it may not have the classical cultural history of some European destinations, Vancouver has a rich and fascinating arts and culture scene.
Granville Island with its artisan workshops and galleries is an obvious destination, for art lovers, although there is also Vancouver Art Gallery with its extensive collection of Emily Carr paintings.
Of course there is also a wealth of First Nations art, with the fabulous Bill Reid Gallery on Hornby Street showcasing contemporary Aboriginal arts from the northwest coast of Canada.
Vancouver also has a thriving theatre scene, with 32 local theatre companies and 21 venues, you can see something different every night. And that’s without mentioning the tremendously popular Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, Western Canada’s largest professional Shakespeare Festival. The festival happens every summer in Vanier Park. The plays are performed on the waterfront in open-ended tents with the mountains, sea and sky as a backdrop.
Music is also a speciality of Vancouver’s. The jazz scene is big and diverse; venues such as Western Front on East 8th Avenue and The Cellar on Broadway are prime venues for live performances. Gigs of every type of music are easy to find, with local bands such as Danny Echo playing regularly at bars such as The Backstage Lounge on Granville Island whilst bigger acts gravitate towards venues such as the Commodore Ballroom. Classical music is also well-represented. Vancouver has its own opera company, as well as a symphony orchestra and chamber choir, among others. The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts is the place to catch live performances.