17th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival

Every year, the Downtown Eastside community looks forward to the Heart of the City Festival. This year, more than ever, the Festival is highlighting the importance of local artistry, mandating to promote, present and facilitate the development of artists, art forms, cultural traditions, history, activism, people and great stories about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Due to circumstances of the pandemic, the festival has been reimaged to facilitate the mandate on a smaller scale, with most events scheduled for online and outdoors. Continue reading:
17th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival

Top 5 Free Events at Heart of the City Fest: Downtown Eastside, Oct 24-Nov 4

Photo courtesy of Heart of the City Festival

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is considered by many the city’s founding neighbourhood.  For more than 125 years, people have lived, loved and laughed on  Downtown Eastside streets.  In a city as new and changing as Vancouver, it’s a well of history and culture – even though it’s often dismissed as Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood.

The annual Heart of the City Festival this Oct.24-Nov. 4 gives locals and visitors a chance to celebrate and explore the Downtown Eastside.  Over the course of 12 days, the neighbourhood will host more than 80 cultural events: music, stories, poetry, art exhibits, films, theatre, history walks, workshops and more.  Many of the events highlight local talent right from the neighbourhood itself.

Here are 5 can’t-miss free events at this year’s Heart of the City Fest:

  • Barrio Flamenco, Flamenco for the People: Fiery flamenco music is a people’s art form – played and dance with as much spirit and passion as technical know-how.  This event features some of the city’s best flamenco artists, celebrating the joy and struggles of the Downtown Eastside.  Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main. Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. 

DTES Heart of the City Festival October 26 – November 6

Image: M-J Milloy

Where is the heart of Vancouver? The living, beating nucleus of this fair town is Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood that encompasses Gastown, Victory Square, Chinatown, the Main and Hastings corridors, Japantown, Oppenheimer and Strathcona. The Downtown Eastside is where Vancouver began, and the 8th annual Heart of the City Festival, Oct. 26 to Nov. 6, is a series of events that pay tribute to the neighbourhood’s past and present.

The first residents were the ancestors of Coast Salish people who still reside in the DTES today. For the last 125 years, immigrants of all nationalities have settled in this space making it Vancouver’s most diverse neighbourhood. Far from static, the Vancouver’s heart has shape-shifted from entertainment/shopping centre to skid row to hipster magnet with serious affordable housing issues.

The Heart of the City Festival tells these stories with music, dancing, art and history. There are over 100 events in the festival offerings this year. Here are some you won’t want to miss. Continue reading:
DTES Heart of the City Festival October 26 – November 6

Heart of the City Festival Oct 27 – Nov 7, 2010

For many, only one thing comes to mind when they think of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). But the DTES is much more than a sum of its stereotypes. It’s home to a growing number of artists and musicians, the historic birthplace of Vancouver, and its environs span portions of a diverse and mixed-income area, including Gastown, Chinatown, Japantown, and Strathcona—and the annual Heart of the City Festival will prove it.

The Heart of the City Festival is a celebration of the Downtown Eastside, a celebration of its cultural diversity, art, history, and spirit. The 2010 Festival features twelve days of cultural events, including theatre, poetry, outdoor festivities, processions, forums, workshops, discussions, history talks and history walks.

A perusal of the jam-packed Heart of the City Festival schedule demonstrates just how diverse the DTES truly is: Events range from an open house of the Vancouver Police Museum (November 5), an Aboriginal Celebration & Feast (November 1), a Flamenco Dance Workshop (November 4), and a Walking Tour of Historic Jewish Strathcona (November 7). There are also parades, live music, art discussions and workshops, and much, much more. Get the complete Heart of the City Festival Schedule here.

The Heart of the City Festival runs from October 27 – November 7, 2010. Try it; you may see the Downtown Eastside in a whole new light!