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Canada 150, Events, News

The Drum Is Calling Festival: 9-day party in downtown Vancouver celebrating First Nations

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Kenneth Chan Apr 26, 2017 8:05 am 3,804

A vacant city block in downtown Vancouver that held public celebrations for the Winter Olympics and the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be transformed this summer into a free, family-friendly, multi-day festival site celebrating the region’s First Nations heritage and culture. It will complement other celebrations throughout the summer marking Canada’s 150th anniversary and highlight Vancouver’s place as a City of Reconciliation.

During a press conference today, the City of Vancouver announced its programming for The Drum Is Calling, a nine-day festival – from July 22 to 30 – to be held at Larwill Park, a city block-sized lot next to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

There will be carving and weaving exhibitions, dance, sports tournaments in adjacent streets, workshops, crafts, vendors and food, and live music performances on stages, including headliners Chantal Kreviazuk, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Crystal Shawanda, William Prince, Shane Koyczan, DJ Shub, and George Leach. Some of the performances will even spill out into adjacent venues such as the the plazas of the Vancouver Public Library and Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Each day of the festival zone will carry a unique theme with varying programming and events to provide attendees with a new experience daily.

Additionally, a unique village of life-size aboriginal housing structures, which will double as live programming venues, will be the centrepiece of the festival zone.

The festival is being deemed as the anchor event of the trio of Canada 150+ events planned by the municipal government.

“Vancouver is proud to be a City of Reconciliation and commemorating our heritage this Canada 150+ year in partnership with our host First Nations, the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement.

“Vancouver’s ‘plus’ in our Canada 150+ celebrations recognizes the heritage of our land before 150 years, our journey to the present, and moving forward with mutual understand and respect with our local First Nations and Urban Aboriginal community.”

Two other signature events are part of the City’s Canada 150+ programming: the Gathering of Canoes on July 14 and the Walk For Reconciliation on September 24.

Funding for Vancouver’s Canada 150+ events include $2.3 million from the federal government and $2.4 million from the municipal government.

Canada 150+ Vancouver: The Drum Is Calling Festival

Where: Larwill Park (688 Cambie Street, Vancouver)

When: Daily from July 22 to 30, 2017

Daily Hive is a proud Media Partner of Canada 150+


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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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