I’m in the middle of spending my first summer in Vancouver and I’m loving it. In honour of my admiration of summer in Vancouver I’m putting together a top five list of things I love about Vancouver in the summer.
Bard on the Beach
There isn’t much you can say that is negative about Bard on the Beach, Vancouver’s annual Shakespeare festival. Held at Vanier park, Bard offers audiences the chance to enjoy high quality Shakespeare in tents on the beach. Last year I had the chance to see Othello and this year I caught Falstaff, an adaptation of scenes from Henry IV parts I & II. After seeing years of fairly terrible Shakespeare adaptations at Edmonton’s Freewill Shakespeare festival, I am always exceptionally impressed by the quality of the performances at Bard. This year, Battlestar Galactica star Alessandro Juliani is portraying Henry V in both Falstaff and Henry V. His acting was impeccable in Falstaff, even shedding real tears during his final monologue. I expect his rendition of Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech to be spectacular and can’t wait to see it. The only downside to Bard is tickets can be on the pricy side; however, early afternoon matinees are incredibly reasonable.
Celebration of Light
Lighting up the skyline in Vancouver since 1990, the annual Celebration of Light is an international fireworks competition where competing countries perform fireworks displays set to music. The fireworks are launched from two barges in English Bay. Watching the fireworks and hearing the tide along the beach is a piece of paradise.
I’m loving just packing up my cooler and jumping on a bus or in a car and being at an ocean beach in less than 45 minutes. Swimming in the ocean while looking up at the mountains is an incredible experience and I can’t believe that I can do it any day of the week.
Edmonton is one of the least bike friendly cities in the world so I haven’t been on a bike in ages. I recently bought myself a second hand bike off Craigslist and have been trying to bike around the city as much as possible. I still want to give the Burrard bike lanes a try. Exciting fact: According to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, the Burrard Bridge bike lane has had over a million people go over it in the year it has been open. I just have to get over my fear of the bike racks on buses and, coming from a flat city, get used to the hills.
As an Albertan, I spend much of the rainy months missing the sun. Vancouver is a much more beautiful place when the sun is shining and it isn’t raining. You really do feel like you’re living in paradise.