Arts & Culture August Calendar: Queer film screenings and Solar Streams

After a late start, summer is finally heating up — maybe too much, considering last week’s combination of a heat wave and a packed Pride weekend. Happily, Vancouver’s arts and culture calendar is heating up too. The Ubyssey has some recommendations for music, movies and more in August. We try to keep it accessible on a student budget, within the Lower Mainland and encourage wearing masks indoors.

Summer of Soul free outdoor screening (August 4 at 7–11 p.m., Polygon Gallery)

If you’re located in North Vancouver or feel like taking the trip up, check out a free outdoor screening of acclaimed 2021 documentary Summer of Soul outside the Polygon Gallery, accompanied by tunes by DJ O Show. In Summer of Soul, director and producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson showcases electrifying and previously-hidden footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, including performances from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and the Staple Singers.

Yoga on the Mall (August 10 and 17 at 11:30-12:30 p.m., Flagpole Plaza at UBC)

Exercise your body and relax your mind with some free outdoor yoga, courtesy of UBC Recreation. Bring your own yoga mat and water bottle.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival (August 11–21, VIFF and virtual)

Enjoy and ponder some Queer films with both virtual and in-person screening options. Check out the program for more details, or follow the recommendation of VQFF publicist Michael Ianni and check out Sirens (a documentary about an all-women thrash metal band in Lebanon), Make It Out Alive (a program of short films about Queer teenage angst and growth), and Obsidian: Black Queer Filmmakers (six short films "rooted in Black possibility").

Tickets are on a sliding scale from $5 to $21 — pay what you can.

Summer Movie Nights (Every Thursday at 9 p.m. through August 18, šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square)

Catch an open-air flick — Jurassic Park on August 11 or a double-feature of Dune and Godzilla vs. King Kong on August 18 — downtown for free.

Vancouver Mural Festival (August 4–14, various locations)

Vancouver Mural Fest is a free and all-ages public art festival which aims to showcase Vancouver’s artistic and cultural diversity and bring people together over outdoor art. Check out their event listings (linked above) to see music, drag performances and mural tours.

Humankind: Music by Prado, Kylie V, & Miguel Maravilla (August 12, Fox Cabaret)

Local Afro-Indigenous pop royalty Prado will perform with “emo-folk teenage witch” Kylie V and bedroom pop singer-songwriter Miguel Maravilla at the Fox Cabaret. A percentage of revenue from tickets sold goes towards Helm Studios, a not-for-profit subsidized studio space for underrepresented artists facing financial barriers.

Tickets are $32, with pay what you can options available. 19+.

Set It Off: A fundraiser for the Vancouver Black Therapy Fund (August 13 at 2–7 p.m., 422 Williams St)

Vancouver Black Therapy and Advocacy Foundation connects Black residents on Coast Salish land with accredited Black counselors to address the lack of accessible and culturally-specific mental healthcare in the region. To fundraise, they’re holding “a Black flea market, live music, food, merch sales and a raffle fundraiser” called Set It Off. Tickets are $15 early bird, $25 at the door, with a sliding scale option for BIPOC. They are also looking for volunteers here!

Solar Streams (August 19 at 7–10:30 p.m., Slice Next Door)

Solar Streams is “a celebration of QTBIPOC creativity, brilliance and abundance” presented by Art Ecosystem and Room Magazine. Enjoy performances from Dani Your Darling, Hoodie Browns and No.1 special, and browse an art market of local BIPOC vendors.

The event is free/by donation, but attendees (especially those with privilege and capacity) are encouraged to financially support the organizers and artists.

Sound_Therapy.wav (August 18–21 at the James Black Gallery, + virtual livestream on August 24)

Join in person or on livestream to celebrate local "2-Spirit, queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized stars and allies" in the music scene. Curated by artist and UBC alum Sunny Chen (AKA Sad China), the festival aims to “bring our community together in healing & connection, centre survivors, and make the music scene safer for everyone.”

Tickets start at $16.93, with sliding scale pricing available. Full festival pass is $65.

The Water We Call Home (Through August 21, Yellowhouse Studio on Galiano Island)

The Water We Call Home is an art exhibition about Indigenous women’s connections to the Salish Sea, fish, and family. It's co-curated siyēye nii 'u tthu sut'ku'luts | siyēye tun’i ‘utl sqwun’u (an advisory council of six Indigenous matriarchs), Rosemary Georgeson, Kate Hennessy and 2019 UBC geography PhD graduate Jessica Hallenbeck.

Enby 6: Double Feature (August 27, Warehouse at Eastside Studios)

Enby 6 is a “nonbinary supergroup” of drag performers, and they’ll be closing out August with a 10-hour drag extravaganza. The event will be all ages from 4–8 p.m., including games and food trucks and a sensory-friendly introvert hour. At 10 p.m., it transitions to a 19+ After Dark show until 2 a.m., featuring GoGo dancers, drag and DJ sets.

Got an event you want to shout out for next month? Send an email to and we’ll take a look — especially if it has a UBC connection!