With more than 100 events scheduled over 12 days at over 40 locations throughout the Downtown Eastside, the 15th Annual DTES Heart of the City Festival (October 24 – November 4, 2018) has a cornucopia of cultural events and artistic activities to attend, participate in, and enjoy.
The Heart of the City Festival will include twelve days of music, stories, songs, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, theatre, dance, spoken word, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibitions, mixed media, art talks, history talks and history walks.
To acknowledge, honour and support our home communities long standing commitment to social justice, the theme of the 2018 Festival is “Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope”. We celebrate the history of the Downtown Eastside community advocacy for human rights and social justice as we move forward and create artistic activity that speaks to today’s vital concerns and burning issues.
Heart of the City Festival’s mandate is to promote, present and facilitate the development of artists, art forms, cultural traditions, history, activism, people and great stories about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The festival involves a wide range of professional, community, emerging and student artists and lovers of the arts. Over 1,000 local artists and Downtown Eastside residents participated in last year’s Festival.
Here are some of the exciting Top Festival Picks.
Hope Matters, An Evening with Lee Maracle and Columpa Bobb: Acclaimed award-winning writer and elder Lee Maracle and award-winning actor, playwright, photographer, poet and teacher Columpa Bobb read from their upcoming book, Hope Matters. Thursday Oct 25, 7pm. Massy Books, 229 E. Georgia.
Material Witness: The Festival is honoured to present Material Witness, an international co-production between renowned Spiderwoman Theater of New York City, the longest running Native American women’s theatre company in the United States, and Aanmitaagzi, an Indigenous multi-disciplinary-arts company from Nipissing First Nation, Ontario. Friday Oct 26, Saturday Oct 27, 8pm. Ukrainian Hall, 805 E. Pender.
Songs of Justice, Songs of Hope: This evening of stirring sing-along activist songs launches the Festival and this year’s theme Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope. Led by musician, composer, conductor, and 2018 Festival Artist in Residence Earle Peach (2017 Mayor Arts Award), this evening of song features, among others, social justice Solidarity Notes Labour Choir singing about historical and current events and issues; and accordionist-extraordinaire Geoff Berner, whose powerful and biting social satirical songs can make you laugh or weep – often at the same time. Come ready to sing!
Wednesday Oct 24, 7pm. Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main.
Emerging Heritage Fair 1928-2018-2108: Join the Festival and the Japanese Language School to celebrate the shared 90th anniversary of the Japanese Hall and of Japan/Canada diplomatic relations; and to laud the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking Downtown Eastside Community Play: Saturday Oct 27, Education Fair 1pm, Performances 7pm Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall, 487 Alexander.
Vetta Chamber Music, Seasons of the Sea weaves together contemporary classical music by award-winning Vancouver composer Jeffrey Ryan with a narrative written by Rosemary Georgeson (Sahtu Dene/Coast Salish), recipient of the 2009 Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award as Emerging artist/Community-engaged Arts. Sunday Oct 28, 3pm. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 578 Carrall.
Ukrainian Hall Community Concert & Supper: The festival ends on a high note at the east-end’s historic Ukrainian Hall with lively music, invigorating dance and colourful costumes, featuring among others Kat Zucomul’wat Norris (Coast Salish). The best full meal and concert deal in Vancouver! Sunday Nov 4, concert 3pm, supper follows. Ukrainian Hall, 805 E. Pender.
Many events are free or by suggested donation. Visit www.heartofthecityfestival.com for full details.