Summer season is festival season in British Columbia. From Indigenous cultural celebrations to coastal jazz and thrumming electronica, these five can’t-miss music festivals in British Columbia will get you moving to the beat. —Claudia Laroye
Vancouver International Jazz Festival, June 23 to July 2: Celebrating its 38th anniversary this year, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival features 140 shows, including more than 50 free performances, around Vancouver at venues like the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse and Granville Island Performance Works. The stellar lineup of artists includes modern jazz harpist Brandee Younger, Grammy-award winner Chris Botti, Toronto-based BADBADNOTGOOD with the Mary Ancheta Quartet, and The Bad Plus, the “Coen brothers of jazz.”
Bella Coola Music Festival, July 14 to 16: Get ready to rock out in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast sunshine to incredible folk and rock music at the Bella Coola Music Festival. This family-friendly festival features a talented line up of musicians, including Interstellar Jays, Rachel Beck, The Trade Offs and Bad Buddy. Festival goers can enjoy the Kids Fest, food trucks, and will be welcomed to unceded Nuxalk Territory by performances by Nuxalk Singers and Dancers.
Shambhala Music Festival, Salmo, July 21 to 24: Canada’s premiere electronic music and arts festival, Shambhala is a four-day, three-night cultural extravaganza of 200-plus cutting-edge artists spread over six stages. The festival takes place at the family-run Salmo River Ranch, a 500-acre farm in the scenic West Kootenay mountains near Nelson. Tickets for the Festival’s pre-parties are still available.
Kamloopa Powwow, August 4 to 6: The annual Kamloopa Powwow returns to Kamloops’ Powwow Grounds this August long weekend. Welcoming over 20,000 spectators over three days, the Powwow is one of the largest Indigenous celebrations in Western Canada and celebrates the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc people’s vibrant culture through storytelling, song and dance in traditional regalia.
Vancouver Pride Festival Parade, August 6: The Vancouver Pride Parade is one of the biggest celebrations in the city, with over 100,000 attendees enjoying the colourful parade of 100 local community groups, non-profit organizations, businesses and more showcasing their support for the 2SLGBTQAI+ communities. In its 43rd year, the Pride Parade will follow a new, flatter route with fewer hills, more shade and wider sidewalks, allowing for more accessible viewing zones. It will end at the new festival site at Concord Pacific Place, close to the Yaletown-Roundhouse Skytrain station.