Canada Day is almost here, Vancouver, which means the last-minute long weekend planning can officially commence. The good news is that there are plenty of celebrations taking place across Metro Vancouver, as well as other events and day trip ideas to spice up your itinerary.

So after checking what’s open and closed on Saturday, July 1st, the fun officially starts. From fireworks to concerts, to an annual salmon bake in Richmond, here are 8 exciting things to do in & around Vancouver on Canada Day this year.

Steveston Salmon Festival 

things to do canada day vancouver
Photo via Steveston Salmon Festival

Want to mix things up from your typical Canada Day celebration? Why not check out the Steveston Salmon Festival this year? The celebrated annual tradition is back with its staple Salmon Bake experience, Japanese Cultural Show, family-friendly ‘Sammy’s Fun Zone,’ and its Canada Day Parade – which is back for the first time since 2019.

Where: Steveston, BC
Cost: Free admission, $20 for Salmon Bake

Canada Together at Canada Place

And now, for a classic Canada Day celebration – and historically the largest to take place outside of Ottawa. The second annual Canada Together event is planned in collaboration with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and will feature everything from activity zones for the kids, to a diverse lineup of performances, including headliners Tegan and Sara.

Where: 999 Canada Place

JRG After Dark: Hot Summer Nights

Looking for a couple of parties to check out? Joseph Richard Group (JRG) is hosting two back-to-back nights of live music at crowd-fave bars in Langley, Maple Ridge, and Abbotsford. The best part? Performances will be by talented After Dark DJs – so you know the beats will have you on your feet in no time.

Where: Townhall Langley, Townhall Maple Ridge and Townhall Abbotsford

Vancouver International Jazz Festival 

This weekend marks the last couple of days of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, so don’t miss out on a last-minute performance or two during the festival’s 37th. year. Tons of the long weekend performances are completely free to attend, from DJ Nea Stone Fox at Ocean Artworks to a celebration of the music of Santana at the Shipyards.

When: June 23rd to July 2nd
Where: Venues around Vancouver
Cost: Ticket prices vary

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Canada Day at Bill Reid Gallery

Western Canada’s largest Canada Day event will take over the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre on July 1st from 10 am to 10:30 pm. And it will feature a ton of fun-filled performances, activities, rides, and a firework display!

To begin with, the JUNO award-winning, Toronto-based indie rock band, Broken Social Scene will be headlining the musical performances. These will be followed by powerhouse progressive-rock duo, Crowns Land and JUNO award-winners Neon Dreams.

In addition, there will be a line-up of DJs setting the Community Stage ablaze with their killer beats. And also, local dance performances to get you in the groove.

Where: 17728 64 Avenue, Surrey

Canada Day at the Buck & Ear

From 3 to 7 pm on Canada Day, you can check out a festive celebration at the Buck & Ear – located in the heart of Steveston. Admission is completely free, and you can stay for some drink specials and a late-night DJ from 10 pm to close.

Where: 12111 Third Avenue, Richmond
Cost: Free admission

Catch some fireworks

Want to catch some fireworks on Canada Day? There might not be any official ones in Vancouver, but that doesn’t mean that neighbouring cities won’t be lighting up the skies on July 1st. From Burnaby to Steveston, here’s where you can find some dazzling displays this year.

Where: See firework displays above

Plan a last-minute day trip 

Vancouver residents are blessed with close access to some of the most stunning day trip destinations in the province (and the country), and springtime is one of the best times of year to see them. Even better? Most of these spots are under three hours away from Vancouver by car or ferry, so if you’re looking to plan something fun for the May long weekend, we’ve got you covered!

So there you have it! No matter how you choose to celebrate or observe the day, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Happy Canada Day, Vancouver!