Named for English naval explorer Capt. George Vancouver, this city in British Columbia, Canada typically sees its busiest tourist season in the summer months.
But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to do and see in Vancouver at other times of the year. In April, the weather may be a bit cooler, but it's a month packed with events, including the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Whistler's WSSF, the annual Vaisakhi Parade, and the Vancouver Sun Run
The sight of Vancouver's 40,000 cherry trees blossoming is a welcome sign of the end of winter. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a month-long event with free events celebrating the pink and white flowers and the beginning of spring. The majority of the cherry blossom festival is housed at the VanDusen Botanical Garden, but there are tours, dances, poetry readings and other events across the city. Most events are free.
As part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Days Japan Fair celebrates modern and traditional Japan through the tea ceremony, festival food, origami, ikebana (flower arranging), sake tastings, guided hanami tours (flower viewing), and a Haiku Invitational contest.
Vancouver Winter Farmers' Market
Just like many major cities across the U.S. and Canada, there are farmers' markets across Vancouver all summer long. But during the winter months, there's a farmer's market from November through the end of April
Held at Nat Bailey Stadium, the winter farmers' market has dozens of items from local vendors. You'll find everything from locally grown vegetables and fruit to seafood caught by local fishermen, artisan cheeses, breads, and other baked goods.
Local musicians provide entertainment, and food trucks offer hot drinks and other snacks to take off the winter chill. Like the cherry blossom festival, admission is free (vendors determine prices for their wares).
Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival
Whistler’s annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is a 10-day celebration of snow sports, music, arts, and mountain life, and includes the biggest free outdoor concert series in North America. It's held at the nearby Whistler Blackcomb ski resort and other spots in and around Whistler, just north of Vancouver.
Open to the public, Vancouver’s eco-friendly fashion event includes free public events, featuring traditional catwalk fashion shows and workshops and panel discussions with top designers and industry professionals. Held in Downtown Vancouver in mid-April, some Fashion Week events are ticketed, but many are free. For complete details,
Vancouver's annual Vaisakhi Parade and festivities include music, food, singing, and dancing. The region's Sikh community join others around the world to celebrate Vaisakhi Day, which marks both the New Year and the anniversary of one of Sikhism's most important events, the establishment of Khalsa in 1699 with the first Amrit ceremony.
The Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade begins at the Sikh Temple at 8000 Ross Street and occurs in mid-April. Nearby Surrey holds its own Vaisakhi celebrations around the same time.
Vancouver Sun Run
The largest community 10K in Canada, the scenic, annual Sun Run is both a competitive race for runners and wheelchairs and a fun run for anyone who wants to participate. Sponsored by the Vancouver Sun newspaper, the Sun Run marked its 30th anniversary in 2014.