How to Enjoy Winter Jazz at Home

Every February, our annual free Winter Jazz festival brings hundreds of happy audience members to Granville Island to join together in celebrating great local music and staving off the winter blues. This year, because of the pandemic, things look a little different. Okay, maybe a lot different! But we still want our community to experience the feeling of enjoying music together, so we put together a list of some ways you can make Winter Jazz a great at-home experience.

1. Watch with a friend

One of the best parts of Winter Jazz is that it’s free, so you can easily bring a friend along to enjoy the music with you. That doesn’t have to change this year! Inviting a buddy and engaging with them throughout the show and at intermission is a great way to liven up the digital experience. Text, have FaceTime open on mute, call at intermission, have a debrief after—no matter how you do it, a concert is always more fun with friends.

2. Get yourself some Granville Island treats

Whether enjoying with a friend or alone, consider getting yourself some great snacks before a show. Even better if they’re from Granville Island! Make the time in the days or hours before the show to head to the Public Market and safely grab your favourite market treats, buy some Granville Island beer from your local liquor store, or raid your snack cabinet. One of the beautiful things about a streamed show is you can eat whatever you want while it’s happening.

We’re currently running a social media giveaway for a $150 gift card to the Granville Island Delivery Company, who deliver boxes of Granville Island goodies throughout the Lower Mainland. You still have time to enter on Instagram or on Facebook—the contest closes Tuesday morning! Orders have to be placed by Wednesday for Friday deliveries, so whether you win or not, consider placing an order to support your favourite Island businesses and treat yourself at the same time.

3. Stream or cast to your TV

The shows are being streamed through Side Door, so you’ll need to have downloaded Zoom beforehand, but once you have Zoom up on your computer there are a number of ways you can stream or cast it to a television or play it through better speakers. Because setups can vary widely, we can’t provide any specific instructions, but a quick Google search or a call to a tech-savvy friend should help you if this is something you’re interested in. A bigger display makes the performance feel even closer!

4. Go for a seawall walk before or after

One thing we can do safely right now is get outside. A walk along the seawall is a wonderful part of a pre- or post-show Winter Jazz experience, and that’s something you can still do! Bring a mask, a pair of headphones, and download our Winter Jazz Spotify playlist to accompany you while you walk. Nothing beats fresh air!

No matter how you choose to configure your Winter Jazz experience, we hope you enjoy hearing from the incredible local talent that we’re lucky to have in Vancouver. There’s a rich variety in this year’s program; a testament to how vibrant our city’s music scene is, and a reminder of the world of music we’ll be able to experience together in person when we’re able to do so safely again.

We’ll see you soon!


Winter Jazz is presented with Granville Island and with the additional support of the BC Arts Council.