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A free, two-day all-ages festival is popping up in Vancouver next month

Listen to music, explore exhibits, and learn about the ocean.
The Ocean Festival is a free two-day festival for people all ages. It will pop up at Vancouver's Jack Poole Plaza on Feb. 3-4, 2023.

Vancouverites of all ages are invited to a free two-day festival. 

The Ocean Festival is coming to Jack Poole Plaza on Feb. 3 and 4, featuring live music, art, films, storytelling, interactive displays, and activities to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the ocean and marine wildlife. 

The festival will bring together a multitude of musicians and bands, including Alan Doyle, The Beaches, Ruby Waters, The Boom Booms with Ta’Kaiya Blaney, and more. 

"In addition to performances by a diverse roster of top artists, the Ocean Festival will feature programming to educate and inspire all ages about the global ocean, with plenty of family-friendly activities designed to strengthen connections to the sea," shares a festival news release. 

Though the event is outdoors, it will take place rain or shine as nearly all installations will be covered and heated, including a viewing tent in front of the main stage. 

The festival will take place alongside the International Marine Protected Areas Congress, which will run from Feb. 3 to. 9 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Oceans Festival Schedule

Live music lineup: 

Feb. 3

  • Old Soul Rebel - 5:30 p.m.
  • Delhi to Dublin - 7:15 p.m.
  • Alan Doyle - 8:20 p.m.
  • Special performances by the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy 

Feb. 4

  • Afternoon performances by the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy 
  • Storytelling of the Orca Chief by Roy Henry Vickers, musical performance by the Chinook SongCatchers - 1:15 p.m.
  • The Wilds - 2 p.m.
  • Danny Michel - 2:40 p.m.
  • Yves Lambert Quartet - 3:25 p.m.
  • The Boom Booms with Ta'Kaiya Blaney - 4:15 p.m.
  • Ruby Waters - 5:10 p.m. 
  • Shad - 6:05 p.m. 
  • Steven Page - 7:10 p.m.
  • The Beaches - 8:15 p.m.

Events, exhibits, and family-friendly activities

The festival will have exhibits, educational tents, and family-friendly activities from 3 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 3 and from noon to 8 p.m. on Feb. 4.

Sacred Journey Travelling Exhibit

This mini pop-up preview of the full Sacred Journey exhibit, running at Science World until Feb. 20, dives into the power of Tribal Canoe Journeys, explaining how canoe resurgence helped revitalize Indigenous culture, community healing, and youth empowerment on the Pacific Northwest Coast.

The journey is told through metaphoric art, immersive audio, projections, and interactive displays featuring Indigenous Water Guardians videos. 

Water Rangers

This educational tent will teach locals of all ages how to collect and help scientists gather water quality and health data with easy-to-use scientific equipment and fun experiments. 

Storytelling of the Orca Chief by Roy Henry Vickers and musical performance by the Chinook SongCatchers

The Chinook SongCatchers have represented the cultures of the Squamish and Nisga’a people through song, dance and public speaking in Canada and across the world for over 20 years,  and will make another appearance at the free festival. 

The storytelling event will be led by Order of Canada recipient Roy Henry Vickers, an award-winning Indigenous artist, author, and storyteller whose artworks are celebrated around the world.

Giant Pacific Octopus art installation

Vancouverites of all ages can help build and design this interactive and collaborative art installation in the shape of a huge octopus. 

Interactive Ocean Floor Map

The giant floor map highlights global waterways and oceans and is brought to life through augmented reality, 360-degree video, and other interactive activities. 

Ocean Conservation Tent

Those curious about protecting Canada's marine wildlife and ecosystems can learn more on the topic through ocean-themed activities.


This activity dives into the biology, ecology, anatomy, evolution, and conservation of killer whales through constructing the skeleton of an offshore killer whale.

Kids Art Zone

On Feb. 4 from noon to 6 p.m. kids can splash their creativity onto ocean-themed colouring pages inspired by Vancouver Mural Festival artists.

Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy's Naden Band will be playing ocean-inspired music throughout the festival. There will also be a special appearance of the Navy Bus which will feature interactive computer systems used in by the Navy.

Food Trucks

Whether you're looking for grub, hot chocolate, or mini donuts, there will be various food trucks at the festival including Green Coast Coffee, Cravings Kettle Corn, Little oOties Mini Doughnuts, Shameless Buns, Urban Wood Fire Pizza, Taco 'N Todo, B&B Burgers, and Teriyaki Express.