Seven lucky family-friendly Lunar New Year events

There are even some canine-friendly events so no one gets left behind for Year of the Dog celebrations

There are dozens of events taking place across the city and in Richmond to celebrate the Lunar New Year designed to attract everyone from families to foodies.

And while the Lunar New Year is officially Feb. 16, some celebrations begin as early as Feb. 7. Here’s a look at some of the family-friendly events on offer. For a complete list of events or to schedule your own, Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Richmond teamed up this year to create a website that offers one-stop planning. Visit

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Celebrate Family Day and Year of the Dog at Oakridge Centre

650 West 41st Ave.: Feb. 12: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit the West Galleria for all sorts of free family fun — craft your own dog lanterns and dog house, learn to make and play Chinese Shuttlecock and create beautiful paper cutting art!

Lunarfest at Oakridge

Feb. 7 to 25

Launch your own Blessing in the Sky lantern this year at Oakridge Centre in the West Galleria. While you’re there, capture all the luck you can from a photo with the Perfect Year of the Dog art installation featuring ten golden dogs in the East Galleria. Festivities open to the public during regular Oakridge Centre hours. Admission is free.

Celebrate the Year of the Dog with special events beginning Feb. 7.

Celebrate the Year of the Dog at International Village

88 West Pender St.: Feb. 16 and 17 
Enjoy multi-cultural live performances and variety shows on stage, free lucky draws and an opening event complete with a lion dance and eye-dotting ceremony.

Visit the festive Chinese Heritage Village on the upper level, where you’ll find colourful arts and crafts, demonstrations of folk life, culinary delights and special New Year snacks.

Exhibition booths on both the main and upper levels include Chinese New Year festive items, souvenirs and gifts, traditional Chinese clothing, festive decorations and ethnic confectionaries and snacks. Admission is free.

LunarFest at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
750 Hornby Street

Feb. 24 and 25

Your four-legged friends are invited to take part in Year of the Dog celebrations outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. Have your photo taken with Canadog —  the giant space husky, pick up some new toys and trinkets for your walking buddy, make an impromptu play-date with new canine friends and chow down on delicious Lunar New Year foods.

Lunar New Year puppet shows

Vancouver Public Library: Multiple branches

Feb. 10 and 17

Lion dance and music

Vancouver Public Library

350 West Georgia St.

Feb. 10

Start the Lunar New Year with a lion dance, qigong and kung fu demonstrations, explore the beautiful sound of world music and make wishes for a lucky and prosperous year: 12:30 to 12:50 p.m.: Lion Dance, qigong and kung fu demonstrations; 1 to 2 p.m.: Singing and musical performances Events will be held in the promenade and Alice MacKay Room, lower level of the Central Library.

There are dozens of events taking place across Vancouver and Richmond this year to ring in the Year of the Dog.

Lunar New Year celebrations on Granville Island

Granville Island Public Market: Feb. 17

Granville Island is celebrating the Lunar New Year with a traditional lion dance parade starting at 10:30 a.m. in the public market. Follow the lion dancers as they travel to the Net Loft, Creekhouse and Railspur Alley. Take in sugar painting demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during which an artist creates two or three dimensional figures using a traditional Chinese form of folk art using hot, liquid sugar.

Lanterns in the Garden: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

578 Carrall St.: Feb. 23 to 24

Experience an authentic Chinese lantern festival in Vancouver’s classical Chinese garden. The dazzling display of handmade lanterns showcases various Chinese legends, adding spark to the Year of the Dog celebration. Enjoy live performances and participate in various activities, including classic lantern riddles and Chinese sugar painting. Don’t forget to warm up with some festive nibbles and beverages at the food market.

Chinese New Year Parade

Parade start: Millennium Gate on Pender Street: Feb. 18: 11 a.m.

This signature event features lion dances, cultural dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts performances and more. This year’s parade will include about 70 entries, bringing together more than 3,000 participants from various community and cultural groups. The multicultural dance troupes and participating groups represent the diverse segments of our Canadian cultural heritage, including the Vancouver Police Department Motorcycle Drill Team, marching bands and various community groups.


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