BC Cultural Crawl 2010We’re already a week into August (can you believe it?!) and despite arts funding cuts, I’m very excited about the 9th Annual BC Cultural Crawl! The best thing about living in the Lower Mainland, is the proximity to other cities. I technically live in Vancouver but can easily go to Burnaby, Richmond, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, New Westminster, Langley, Abbotsford, and that’s not even mentioning all the nearby Island communities.

So I started looking through the list of BC Cultural Crawl activities for cities throughout the Lower Mainland. The Cultural Crawl listings are also a great way to learn about new artisans and artists in the Lower Mainland as many of the crawls are self-guided. Here are some of the activities I’m hoping to attend and/or looking forward to:

Surrey: Cloverdale Blueberry Festival
August 14th & 15th
I’ve been to the Abbotsford Berry Beats Festival, which combines a farmer’s market with music and a festival atmosphere. I’ve not been to the Cloverdale Blueberry Festival, but it’s already blueberry season here in BC! There is a Show ‘N Shine Car Parade in Cloverdale during the Blueberry Festival.

Vancouver: Main Street Magazine Tour
A celebration of the local arts & culture magascene.
Presented by the Magazine Association of BC
Thursday, August 19, 2010. 6:00–10:00 p.m. Free event.
Starts at Rhizome Café (317 E. Broadway) Continues at various venues near Main & Broadway. There are two different routes and the tour guides are Elizabeth Bachinsky and Jennica Harper. It all looks fantastic. I missed the Literary Tour last year as part of BC Book and Magazine Week, but I will be trying to get out to this!

Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival
August 20th to 22nd.
I am very excited about the Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival. Unfortunately this may be the last year of the festival (not fully due to funding cuts, but a retiring board). A few of us are probably taking a little field trip there on the Friday. There are classes, an exhibitor marketplace, and on the Saturday there is an artisan market on the Landing.

Langley: Arts Alive! Festival
August 28th, 2010. 10am – 5pm.
Fraser Highway between 204th and 206th
I went to the Arts Alive! Festival last year completely by chance. It was great to wander around and check out all the shops.

Richmond: Wild BC Salmon Festival
Saturday, August 28. 11am – 4pm.
www.wildbcseafoodfest.com

Vancouver: Bard on the Beach
June 3rd to September 25th, 2010
Anthony & Cleopatra | Much Ado About Nothing | Falstaff | Henry V
I try to make it to a show every year, as Bard on the Beach is one of my favourite festivals. The performances are always spectacular, and extremely accessible. In 2008 I blogged about seeing The Twelfth Night, I’ve seen Comedy of Errors, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, Romeo & Juliet, … and I can’t recall any others.

Richmond: Summer Night Market
May 21st to September 26th. Every weekend.
Live music, hundreds of vendors, and tons of food.
I’ve been to the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market this summer, but last summer the Richmond Night Market wasn’t operating. The Richmond Night Market is probably four times as large as the Vancouver Chinatown one. It’s great to grab some food, wander around, and haggle for some neat knick-knacks.

Maple Ridge: Meadows Maze
www.meadowsmaze.com
One of the largest corn mazes in the Pacific Northwest. Every year Meadows Maze has a different design. Last year celebrated the new Golden Ears Bridge, and this year is designed for the 100 year anniversary of the PNE.

Vancouver: Downtown Vancouver Art Walk
There is a ton of public art and art galleries in the downtown core. I’ve been trying to take photos of all the public art (and posting it in a Flickr set). I hope to get photos of all 18 Mosaic Art Tiles and all the Vancouver Biennale Sculptures.

Bowen Island: BowFEAST
Cultural Crawl the week before, Farmer’s Market on August 15th
Bowen Island is having a Cultural Crawl and BowFEAST during this week, all culminating on the August 14 & 15th weekend. This may be the perfect opportunity to visit my friends Adrian and Ginger on Bowen! Last summer we attended their wedding on Bowen and I am itching to go back to Bowen Island for more fun.

Circle Farm Tours
There are Circle Farm Tours in Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows, Agassi & Harrison Mills, and Mission. It’s a self-guided tour and there are tons of farms and artisans that I’d like to check out.

Granville Island Art Walk
When is going to Granville Island not tons of fun? Granville Island is actually chock-a-block full of artisans and artists. Honestly, I don’t know how they can afford the rent, but it’s an amazing place to spend the day. Grab some food at the Public Market, visit lots of lovely shops (including Circle Craft!!) and maybe catch a show at Waterfront Theatre or the Arts Club Theatre.