Some BC Day long weekend events (add more)
It’s the annual BC Day long weekend again and as usual, there are more events than you can go to. Here are a few. Feel free to highlight more via the comments.
(Update: added in more events since the original posting, just because.)
The 5th Annual BC Cultural Crawl kicks off on Friday 4 August and goes on to the 31st. The festival covers all of BC (not just Vancouver), and the idea is to get local, to find arts and culture in your own community. Or to explore another community that you normally don’t visit. For the Crawl itself, the BC Cultural Crawl website is the place to begin, but there’s also the annual printed Arts & Cultural Guide (list of Guide distribution venues; warning: PDF) as a year-round guide.
7th Vancouver Chinatown Festival, Satunday 5 and Sunday 6 August, 12 noon to 5 pm, Columbia & Keefer streets. This is a huge celebration (40,000 attendees over the two days last year). There’s the usual stuff you’d expect in a cultural festival–the food stalls and marketplace, folk art demonstrations, stage performances (lion dances, martial arts demos, dances), and other. But the highlight for me would probably be the opportunity to tour Chinatown heritage buildings, clan associations, temples, and other buildings usually not open to the public.
The Vancouver Dyke March is of course one of the events in Vancouver’s Pride Week. It begins at 12 noon on Saturday 6 August at McSpadden Park (Victoria & 5th). The march is billed as being
an all-inclusive, female / family, dog-friendly march and festival. What’s not to like about that? Following the march is a free music festival (starting at 1 pm) at Grandview Park on Commercial (lineup: FRUiT, Ashleigh Flynn, Jill Newman, No No Spots, Doria Roberts, Carly Thomas, with performances by DKV & Rayne).
The Powell Street Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary year on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August, 11:30 am to 7:00 pm. The Powell Street Festival is the long-running cultural festival that showcases Japanese-Canadian performances, arts and crafts, and food.
On the main stage at Oppenheimer Park (400 Powell Street) will be performances from the traditional (ju jutsu and karate demonstrations, taiko groups) to the modern (participatory dance, fusion hiphop, butoh). The other main venue for the festival is the Firehall Theatre (280 East Cordova Street), which will host, among others, video shorts and contemporary dance on its stage, with readings in its upstairs studio, plus an ongoing photo exhibit, Tango Japones. Also happening: tea ceremonies and an archery demonstration at the Vancouver Japanese Language school (487 Alexander Street) and a Powell Street Walking Tour (sign-up required at the Buddhist Church at 200 Jackson Street). Check out the full festival programme.
This night will be different because it’s (I believe) the first time that there has been a fourth competitor in this fireworks competition. (While there’s always been a fourth night, it typically has been only a finale, put on jointly by the three countries participating.) This year’s bonus entry is a first-timer to the contest too: Mexico. I for one will be looking forward to see if they bring anything new, a distinctive style or different types of boom and bang and bursts, to the party.
There’ll still be a Celebration Finale, but unlike other years, it’s going to be short (only 6 minutes) and, also unlike other years, is not going to be made up of components from the participating countries. This year’s finale is being designed by Jaroslav Štolba, the designer of the Czech Republic’s entry. (This pleases me, because Rhapsody in Blue, the Czech entry is my favourite of the three so far. I was particularly impressed by their use of low fireworks, including ones streamed from the barge instead of being shot high into the air. My favourite was their rainbow arc near the end, an impressive display of colours and control over position.)
Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning
get together (according to Wikipedia). In the UK, it is a term for a Asian-focused cultural festival. The coming Mela in Burnaby aims to both unite the South Asian community in the Lower Mainland and explore its diversity. (A South Asian person could be from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and that’s not a complete list.) The events: the usual: music, dance, food, marketplace, but also movie screenings, storytelling, and a cricket demonstration. (MELA! Festival 2006 event list)
(To the organizers: seriously though, is it really necessary to have your name both in all-caps and with an exclamation mark?)
10th Annual Bare Buns Run, Sun 6 August, 10 am, Wreck Beach. This is the last of a series of three bare buns runs in the region. Though small compared to other runs (the dress code might have something to do with it), it’s a competetive, officially-timed 5 km run, with medals for the winners. (Though like many other runs, walkers are welcome too; it’s a recreational event as well as a competition.)
The 28th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade is the highlight of Pride Week. Sunday 6 August, 12 noon to 2 pm, starting on Denman and Robson streets, going down Denman, on to Beach, then Pacific, ending on Pacific and Thurlow (see the map). It attracts over 185,000 spectators over the route, and this year, there are over 130 floats in the lineup.
Immediately following the parade is the Sunset Beach Festival, which begins where and when the parade ends–2 pm to 6 pm, Sunset Beach. There’s a large outdoor stage with (at last count) 21 performers scheduled, with over 110 vendors covering food, retail, and community groups.
Too many things happening! Too many!
Just a quick round-up of a few (update: not quite so few now, after the additions) events for the long weekend. More events in total than you can go to, of course, but I figure it never hurts to know what’s out there so you can decide. As I said at the beginning, feel free to highlight more in the comments of this entry.
Have a fun and safe long weekend and BC Day.