Celebrate Bastille Day in Vancouver on July 14 on Granville Island

bd1July 14th is a national holiday in France, and this year Vancouverites can join the French community in a special day of celebration on Granville Island. From kid-friendly fun to dancing after dark, L’association Bastille Day Society invite everyone to try a taste of France and indulge in the some of the marvellous clichés which make their country great. We spoke with Damien Hubert President of the Bastille Day Festival to find out more.

For people who don’t know, can you explain why Bastille Day is special for the French?

It’s a French  national fête day, we have to go back long ago to the 1789 revolution when the people of Paris took the Bastille -the jail– to explain why. To us it’s a symbol of a new democracy, the first step of the people making their own decisions and ever since then it’s been a celebrated French national day.

And this is the first year you’ve hosted the event at Granville Island?

Yes, previously we’ve run different events but this is the first year we’ve united together to have an event at the same place to create a mini-festival that’s free for all to attend.

So what’s on offer for this inaugural year?

We will have free events from 4–10pm at Granville Island at the courtyard, the idea is that it’s open to all in a popular place. There will be lots of different activities, French musicians playing, entertainments and, of course, delicious French food.bd2

What do people need to do/bring?

Well, all the French people running it will be wearing berets and striped shirts, It’s a cliché but we love it and everyone is welcome to join in–French or not. We want to recreate the French atmosphere, with music, fun, food, fun and dancing.  Once the market closes at 7pm we’ll continue with the French atmosphere with food stalls  until 10pm, people can enjoy crusty baguettes, crêpes, macarons, and of course, cheese– all the great French foods!

What’s on offer for families?

We do have a kids’ section, with a mime Marceau artist, an accordionist, all the french cliches! We’ll be playing with balloon creatures, learning some circus skills, teaching children how to create a mime and having lots of face painting fun.

BDF_Photo_003And is it over at 10pm?

Not at all. That is when it’s time for les enfants to go home to bed, and we’ll take the party to the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island for the traditional Fête des Pompiers, the ‘fireman’s ball’. Tickets are $10pp and we’ll continue the party inside to make music for people who’d like to stay. I think the highlight with be after 7pm and the Bal, I expect many people to come and dance with the band and enjoy the good food and good company. It’s our first year so we’re going to have courage to do bigger next year but for this year we just hope to see many people come to share a flavour of France on Granville Island.

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