Vancouver Mural Festival on Aug. 4 – 13 features a series of summer parties and events across the city
Mount Pleasant Street Party, Vancouver Mural Festival’s signature event, returns on August 10 – 13 at the City Centre Artist Lodge and surrounding streets. PHOTO CREDIT: Gabriel Martins
The Vancouver Mural Festival’s Mount Pleasant Street Party returns on August 10 – 13 after the street party’s three-year pandemic hiatus. Free and all-ages, this crowd favourite offers guests five exciting zones to enjoy at the City Centre Artist Lodge and surrounding streets. Daily programming features DJs, live music, food trucks, a beer garden, including the City Centre Open Studios, an artisanal market, and more. Visit vanmuralfest.ca for more details.
“The Mount Pleasant Street Party has been one of Vancouver Mural Festival’s signature events since the festival began in 2016. We’re excited to bring back this family-friendly event and connect folks through community arts, music and performances,” said Adrian Sinclair, VMF Co-founder and Director of Engagement. “We are shaping a future where arts and culture are part of the very fabric of our society by using murals and events as a way to connect Metro Vancouver’s kaleidoscope of vibrant cultures and thriving communities.”
Organisers are extending festivities to four days, which is their longest street party to date. The street party’s return marks the festival’s rebuilding efforts and exciting regrowth, with hopes to bring back 150,000 attendees to the Mount Pleasant area in the coming years.
This year, the Vancouver Mural Festival has 9 fantastic events over the course of 10 days. On August 4 is the Public Disco Pride Special, a curated 10-hour program of 2SLGBTQIA+ DJs, dancers, visual artists and drag performers at the Cobalt and Boxcar. Guests can enjoy $5 off door tickets and $6 drink specials from 4:00 to 6:00 pm during the happy hour disco on the painted patio. Later in the evening, there will be an unforgettable Drag & Burlesque show curated by Toddy, the season one winner of Call Me Mother, OutTV’s drag competition series. The dance party will continue until closing at 2:00 am.
“We’re thrilled to bring pride festivities back to the Cobalt, a venue that has long served as a hub for both the queer community and the visual arts scene,” said Nickolas Collinet, VMF Senior Project Manager and Public Disco Founder & Director. “Overall, the festival embodies our vision for a more fun city, connected by art, music and public space. We want everyone to feel a sense of belonging when they attend the festival so we programmed a mix of family friendly daytime events and ticketed 19+ after parties, all showcasing a variety of local sub-cultures in re-imagined urban spaces.”
Official VMF Mural Tours, sponsored by Herschel Supply Co. will be provided by Vancouver DeTours and Curated Tastes in Mount Pleasant, Strathcona, River District, Downtown, and the West End. Mural tours for the blind and partially sighted will be provided by Vocal Eye. Offered daily and by-donation, the mural tours are in high demand so attendees must reserve their spot in advance. The experience takes attendees to several neighbourhood murals, highlighting the meaning of each artwork and behind-the-scenes stories of how they were made.
Live art fans and graffiti enthusiasts can look forward to Astro Alley, a mural jam and art exhibition on August 5 – 7, where 20 artists will paint experimental murals, street art, and graffiti in the alley behind Astro Studios at 163 West 3rd Avenue, between Columbia and Manitoba Streets. A hotbed for street art and graffiti mural production, the Astro Studio artist collective and friends have long used this alley as a creative testing ground and will be completely repainted for the public as a new addition to the festival.
VMF After Dark brings two nights of art, music and dancing at The Birdhouse, a newly transformed industrial warehouse space in Mount Pleasant–made possible through the City of Vancouver’s recently expanded Arts Event License Policy. VMF After Dark Night 1: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, on August 11, is a 2-versus-2 open styles dance battle and dance party, curated by Deep From the Underground, bside.radio and hip-hop dancer/choreographer Natasha Gorrie. Battle winners will take home a cash prize of $600. VMF After Dark Night 2: Public Disco, on August 12, features top local DJs playing a mix of underground house, techno and more into the night.
On August 13 at The Birdhouse, DJ and producer Skratch Bastid is hosting BASTID’S BBQ for the first time at Vancouver Mural Festival. Promising good music, good food and good people, this travelling day party has grown considerably since its inception in 2010, hosting events in 20 cities around the world both as a standalone event and in conjunction with major activations like Austin’s SXSW, Miami Music Week & House Of Vans.
“The Vancouver Mural Festival has made our city more colourful through the hundreds of murals that transformed Vancouver and the energy they’ve added to our city. Bringing communities together by making space for arts and culture is a priority for our Council. I’m excited to see that some of the events at this year’s festival will be in venues made possible through the recent Arts Event License Policy we put forward,” said Vancouver Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung.
About VMF | vanmuralfest.ca | @vanmuralfest
VMF is a non-profit dedicated to artistic and cultural development in Vancouver. We create meaningful experiences that connect art and people in public space. Since 2016, VMF has created 400+ murals, produced the annual Vancouver Mural Festival, launched VMF Winter Arts, and works year-round to create private and public arts-driven projects through VMF Agency. VMF recognizes that its public art and events take place on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Vancouver Mural Festival is the DBA name of Create Vancouver Society, a Registered BC Non-Profit.