Stage being built at Sunset Beach for the symphony

Stage is set for Symphony at Sunset on Saturday

“We invite residents and visitors to revel in the beauty of Sunset Park and to hear music truly inspired by nature,” said Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

July 13 2018 –

The Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will present the first free, open-air concert at Sunset Beach Park tomorrow evening Saturday, July 14. 

The Symphony at Sunset Beach Park in the West End concludes the orchestra's series of summer performances, and officially kicks-off the VSO’s 100th anniversary season. The concert for all ages is set against sweeping views of English Bay in one of Vancouver’s most spectacular parks. More than 7,000 people are expected to attend.

Free outdoor concert

Led by Assistant Conductor William Rowson, this will be the first free outdoor concert played by the VSO in the city since 2011, when the Orchestra played in Stanley Park for the 125th anniversary of the City of Vancouver.

“We invite residents and visitors to revel in the beauty of Sunset Park and to hear music truly inspired by nature,” said Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon. “We hope this gift to the people of Vancouver from the Park Board and VSO will become an annual tradition.”

The concert will:

  • Be a free and accessible family event
  • Be alcohol and smoke-free
  • Have a pre-concert program performed by ensembles from the VSO School of Music at 7:15 pm
  • Have a sunset concert performed by more than 70 musicians with the VSO from 8:30 pm to 10 pm.
  • Include a broad selection of symphonic hits including music by Bizet, Strauss, Rossini, excerpts from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and John Williams’ scores to Star Wars

100th anniversary celebration

"We are thrilled to kick off the VSO's 100th anniversary celebrations in partnership with the Vancouver Park Board in a setting that will combine the scenic assets of our city with the cultural assets of our symphony," said Kelly Tweeddale, President of the Vancouver Symphony Society and VSO School of Music.

"In the great cities of the world, free concerts like this become a place where families can come together and experience the magnitude of a symphony performance and build lasting traditions.”

Helpful tips

Getting there

Conveniently located at Sunset Beach Park the event grounds are easy to get to by:

  • Bike
  • Transit
  • Foot from the downtown core


Located right off of Beach Avenue the 23 Beach bus takes you directly to the event site. The 23 bus route starts at Main Street Skytrain station and passes through both Stadium and Yaletown stations.

Other routes feeding into the event include both the 6 Davie Street Bus, as well as stops on routes 2, 44, 5.


If you’re planning to bike to the concert, bike racks will be available for you to park your bike while you set out to enjoy the event. 

Bike spots are limited and available on a first come first serve basis.

Amenities and services

Both food trucks and concessions will be available on site to offer a variety of food and beverages. There will be an accessible viewing area located on the south side of the event grounds.

For more information and to locate amenities, look for the information booth located on the south-west side of the event site.

Drop-off zone

The south side of Beach Avenue will be designated as a drop-off zone.

Accessible drop-off is available inside the Sunset Beach Parking lot. Parking attendants and volunteers will be onsite to help direct drivers.

About the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1919, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s most active and successful performing arts institutions. The VSO performs to an annual audience of over 250,000 people and features more than 50 celebrated guest artists each season. Over 150 concerts are performed annually by the VSO in the historic Orpheum Theatre and numerous additional venues throughout the Lower Mainland. 2018/2019 marks the organization’s 100th season, and the inaugural season welcoming its new Music Director Otto Tausk.

The VSO also maintains extensive education and community programs experienced by over 50,000 children each year. Significantly expanding these activities, in 2011 it opened the VSO School of Music in downtown Vancouver.

Since 2015 the organization has also staged VSO Orchestral Institute at Whistler (VSOIW), an annual, world-class summer music program for 90 emerging, professional musicians from all around the world.