Celebrate Vancouver’s Public Spaces this Summer

It’s been a sunny summer in Vancouver this year, with no shortage of activities! From new bike paths to plazas, the city has seen a lot of exciting growth in terms of increasing enjoyment of public life.

This summer has been especially energetic thanks to the celebration of six years of the City of Vancouver’s VIVA Vancouver, which focuses on creating vibrant people spaces. VIVA has helped fund some of the city’s most exciting summer pop-up events such as Public Disco and Frida&Frank.

Read more about what’s popping up in the city this summer and be sure to check it out!

(Photo credit: 3 Piece band)

Three Piece Band

Where: 800 Block Robson

When: Check out their Facebook page for the complete schedule of shows

Three Piece Band is an interactive sculpture which reimagines street performances by creating a public stage. The sculpture is made of three multi-level platforms with the intent of bringing together different buskers and performers to collaborate and create unique performances. Scheduled performances happen almost daily throughout August, however the stage is open for use by anyone when free. The project is also a recipient of the VIVA Refresh grant, which helped fund imaginative pop-up projects this summer.

(Photo credit: Tangible Interactions)


Where: 1 Athletes Way, Olympic Village (Near Tap and Barrel)

When: 9pm-11pm, Fridays and Saturdays in August.

Oh! is an interactive nighttime installation that puts the Vancouver skyline in your hands. Literally! Throughout the month of August be sure to stop by the Seawall in Olympic Village where you’ll find their interactive art piece which turns Science World’s infamous geodesic dome into one of the biggest public art projects the city has ever seen. The smaller dome contains 240 LED lights and sensors which reflect onto Science World based on peoples patterns and touch. Come experience it for yourself while you can.

(Photo credit: frida&frank)


Where: Check Instagram for their latest location!

Another recipient of the VIVA Refresh grant, Frida&Frank has been asking people to re-imagine public spaces this summer through elements of play and conversation. The custom-designed ping-pong tables act as a catalyst for truly inspiring moments of urban connectivity. The project is a partnership between Renée Miles and UBC SALA graduate Eleanor Arkin who have bonded over their passion for placemaking.

Their pop-up ping-pong tables have made appearances along the Adanac bike path, Arbutus Corridor, as well as popular events such as the Vancouver Mural Festival.

Photo credit: Public Disco Facebook)

Public Disco

Where: Check out their Facebook page for details and locations.

Local music organization Groundwerk has partnered with the DTVBIA and VIVA Vancouver to create a series of public discos which have been popping up around the city. These all ages events transform public spaces into vibrant dance floors and seek to connect people through curiosity and rhythm. Staying light on their toes, Public Disco is taking place every other Saturday through September 9.

Photo credit: Vancouver Mural Festival)

Vancouver Mural Festival

Where: Murals are located all around East Van with the street party happening along Main Street between 7th and 12th Ave.

When: Saturday, August 12 (this weekend!)

The city’s largest annual public art celebration is just around the corner! After a very successful launch last year, the Vancouver Mural Festival is back and bigger than ever. This year, the festival will include over 50 new murals throughout the walls of East Vancouver. Be sure to check out the Mount Pleasant street party happening on Saturday, where you’ll be able to enjoy the colorful festivities including concerts, artist talks, guided walking tours, and of course, the new murals as well!

About the Author

Haley Roeser is a recent UBC graduate with a background in urban systems. She is currently volunteering with CityStudio to document student stories and projects. You can also find her at frida&frank.