BC Day, or British Columbia Day, is a statutory holiday on the first Monday in August. Many offices, banks, and government services close on the Monday, making the first weekend in August a three-day weekend for many people.
As the Canadian weather is typically hot and sunny in August, the BC Day weekend is a popular time for vacations, camping excursions, and festivals.
Officially, though, the holiday marks the efforts of the pioneers who established the province.
Note that U.S. border crossings, traveling on BC Ferries routes, and traffic on major highways will all be busier than usual during the August three-day weekend.
BC Day is one of 10 statutory holidays in the province. For more dates and details, check out a full list of annual holidays, events, and festivals in Vancouver.
Upcoming Dates for BC Day
BC Day always occurs on the first Monday in August, making it a long weekend.
- Mon. Aug. 5, 2013
- Mon. Aug. 4, 2014
- Mon. Aug. 3, 2015
Special Events on the Long Weekend
Many communities around British Columbia, including Vancouver, Whistler, Kelowna, and Victoria all have special events and festivals on the long weekend. The festivals aren't focused on the holiday itself, but rather take advantage of a three-day summer weekend when many people take vacation.
BC Day Events in Vancouver:
- Vancouver Pride Parade: This Sunday event on the BC Day weekend paints Vancouver's West End in rainbow colors. More than 650,000 people march in and watch the parade, which starts on Robson Street, and then travels along Denman and Davie streets.
- Powell Street Festival in Oppenheimer Park: This Vancouver festival celebrates Japanese-Canadian culture, with music, crafts, and performances.
- Squamish Days Festival: Crowds gather for old-fashioned but fascinating events dubbed logger sports -- like axe throwing, tree climbing, and hand bucking. There's also a town parade and music performances.
- Canadian National BBQ Championships: Burgers, chili, beef brisket, chicken, and ribs -- this barbecue competition has too many tasty eats to name, let alone sample! It's like a summer backyard barbecue with the ski village.
- Center of Gravity: Hitting up a beach festival sounds like a fantastic plan for a summer weekend. The music stages are the core action, but there are also contests and extreme sport competitions.