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Things to do on your summer staycation

When the calendar flips to July and August it means vacation for a lot of people. The summer months are typically when everyone packs up the trailer with all their camping gear and heads for the hills. But we think that Vancouver is a great place to spend your summer vacation, and for those of you who might be sticking closer to home this year, we thought we’d round up a few fun things for you to check out, just in case you need some ideas!

Richmond Night Market

A Lower Mainland summer staple, the Richmond Night Market is the biggest in North America. This year includes a Magical Dino Park and expanded International Food Fair.  The market is open Friday-Sunday starting at 7 p.m. and admission costs $3.25. You had us at dinosaurs!

Movies in Stanley Park

The Fresh Air Cinema is back every Tuesday this summer in Stanley Park. This year the lineup includes Napoleon Dynamite, The Little Mermaid and the Michael Jordan classic, Space Jam. Movies start at dusk.

Vancouver Pride Parade July 31st

The annual Pride Parade in Vancouver attracts more than 650,000 people each year and is one of the largest and most successful events supporting LGBTQQ+ communities in the world. Stop by the Robert Lee YMCA for some rainbow pancakes to celebrate!

Sounds of Summer Music Series (July 6-August 31)

Check out the free music series held in Surrey’s garden parks throughout the summer. Be sure to bring your folding chairs, blankets and picnic baskets!

Honda Celebration of Light (July 23, 27 & 30)

This annual fireworks display is back in English Bay. This year the Netherlands, Australia and the USA will compete for fireworks glory.

Khatsalano Street Party – July 9th

Enjoy Vancouver’s largest free music & arts festival along West 4th Avenue. This year’s line up includes Hannah Georgas and We Are the City.

Check out a farmers market

There are six farmers markets that are open in Vancouver throughout the summer. (Click here for days/times/locations). Burnaby, North Van, Richmond, Surrey, and West Van all have markets as well. Grab some local produce and support your local growers. 

Starlight Theatre at Landsdowne Centre

Enjoy drive-in movies every Wednesday in July & August starting at sunset.

Symphony in the Park – Sunday July 10

Check out this free concert by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in Deer Lake Park. They’ll be playing popular classics from Gershwin & Tchaikovsky plus the themes from Star Trek and Star Wars.


If you’re jonesing for more soccer after the Euro Cup this past month, the Vancouver Whitecaps are here for you with four home games in July. If baseball is more your thing, the Vancouver Canadians have 14 home games at Nat Bailey Stadium this month. The BC Lions have just one home game in July but will be back for two games in August.

Sunday Afternoon Salsa Dancing

Take a free salsa lesson or enjoy a performance in Robson Square every Sunday in July & August starting at 3 p.m.

Take a hike!

Quarry Rock, Lighthouse Park, Lynn Canyon, Cypress Bowl, Dog Mountain...the list goes on and on. Take advantage of one of the beautiful mountain hikes around. If you’re feeling up for a challenge you can do the Grouse Grind!

Did we miss something? Tweet us @greatervanymca to let us know!


That’s what friends are for

When you hear Olympic athletes interviewed about how they achieved their success, a common message is: “I couldn’t have done it without the support and motivation from my friends and family.”

With so many top athletes saying the same thing, there is definitely something to having support in your corner to help you achieve your fitness goals. 

You don’t need a whole entourage to cheer you on to make a difference. Sometimes just the right person with an encouraging word or smile can give you that boost of motivation. 

Bringing a friend along can make all the difference in your workouts. From pushing you further, to trying new activities or—let’s face it—even motivating you to just go to the gym in the first place.

Right now is a great time to bring a friend to the Y. Not only can they sign up for a free two-week trial this summer, as a current member, you can earn a referral bonus of $50 towards your membership dues or personal training when they join.

Stop by the membership desk at one of our four membership centres to for more details.  


Physical activity combats depression

When Justine joined the Jumpstep program, she had no idea how dramatically it would change her life. After more than seven years of countless types of medication and therapy to support herself in coping with depression, she began feeling hopeless and unsure of where to turn to for help. Nothing seemed to work.

One day, a doctor from the Mood Disorders Association of BC (MDABC) told her about Jumpstep, a 12-week physical activity program for adults experiencing depression and anxiety. Justine thought, "why not give one more thing a try?" Her husband supported her by attending the information session with her and even though she had multiple physical barriers, she knew that she wanted to make it work.

Jumpstep helped Justine break through the physical and mental barriers of starting and maintaining exercise, and opened her mind up to ways she could have fun with exercise. The staff were supportive and encouraging, which Justine claims contributed to her success in this program.

Before Jumpstep, Justine would fall into serious bouts of depression that left her feeling isolated, and resulted in her spending a lot of time in bed. After participating in the program, when she feels overwhelmed or her mood is low, her go-to strategy is physical activity. She learned that for her, walking helped her to calm down and think clearly. Justine claims that staying physically active was the most helpful coping strategy she ever learned. As a bonus, Justine has lost 35 lbs since starting the program, which motivates her further to continue exercising.

Justine also claims that the program has “literally changed [her] life” and is grateful for the MDA psychiatrists and the YMCA for giving her the tools and helping her see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Justine and her family are looking forward to continue staying active together at the Langara Family YMCA.

To learn more, contact


School's out for the summer

“There’s nothing to do today.”

Your teenagers have been looking forward to summer vacation all year long. Now that summer’s here, they can’t stop reminding you of how bored they are. But sometimes the old standby of “go play outside” just doesn’t cut it.

Don’t forget the YMCA has plenty of activities for teens. From the pool to the gym to the fitness floor, there are tons of ways for them to stay off their screens.

The Tong Louie Family YMCA has added a few programs designed for teens to their summer schedule. “We know wanted to make sure teens have enough fitness choices that are fun.”  Says Tong Louie Family YMCA General Manager Yvonne Comfort.  “We have added drop-in programs such as teen basketball, teen volleyball and teen Synrgy Express. It’s great to seen groups of friends coming in, as well as new friendships forming while they’re being active.”

Why not have your teens bring their friends to the Y for free this summer? Starting from now until August 31st, youth ages 13-18 can get a free membership with the Active Teen Summer Pass. There are a few restrictions such as the times when they can use the conditioning centre and receiving swim lessons.

New-to-the-Y teens can drop by one of our four membership centres with their parent or guardian to sign up or get more information. 


Youth Exchanges Canada program now accepting applications

Do you know a school or community organization interested in taking part in an unforgettable youth exchange program? The YMCA Youth Exchanges program provides groups of youth ages 12 to 17 years with the opportunity to explore and experience Canada while learning more about other communities across our country. Participants learn new skills, develop a stronger sense of community while experiencing Canada’s diversity firsthand.

This reciprocal exchange program is designed for groups of 10 to 30 participants. Participants are paired with same-age groups from another province or territory, and they take turns staying in each other’s communities for at least five days. Preparation, travel and hosting activities provide an excellent opportunity for exchange participants to develop interpersonal and group collaboration skills, while fostering a sense of belonging and connection.

The cost of travel is covered by the program through funding from Heritage Canada.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Contribute to improved knowledge and understanding of Canada among Canadian youth, enabling them to learn firsthand about the history, geography, economy, cultures, languages and other facets of their country.
  • Help young Canadians connect to one another and create links throughout the country, thereby helping to strengthen the fabric of Canadian society.
  • Develop Canadian identity and attachment to Canada among youth by enhancing appreciation of both the diversity and the shared aspects of the Canadian experience.
  • Foster a stronger sense of community by providing opportunities for youth to become actively engaged in their own and other communities in Canada.

Applications for travel between January and June 2017 are now being accepted until September 30th 2016. For more information and program eligibility:  



 Build your career at the Y

Did you know that the YMCA of Greater Vancouver is one of the largest employers in the Lower Mainland? With more than 1,600 dedicated staff members, our team makes a huge impact in communities from Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast, throughout the Fraser Valley and all the way to Chilliwack.

While we attract people from all walks of life and many different educational and career backgrounds, there's one thing that unites us and that's our passion for doing work with purpose.

"We're spreading the word about employment opportunities to our members because we know they share our values simply by the investment they've already made in our cause. Many of our current staff found their way to us through past membership or volunteer experiences and we think that's a trend worth following," says Y Recruitment Specialist Renata LeGoff.

At the Y, there's so many ways you can contribute. We're always on the lookout for people that put others first, lead by example and are driven to help others reach their potential. There are opportunities in:

Surprised? We thought you might be! Inspired? Then we want to hear from you. If you are seeking a role where you can build your career and grow as a person, be sure to check out: