Vancouver’s iconic Dragon Boat Festival is returning to False Creek this month, and racers will be taking to the water in a next-generation fleet of locally designed racing boats.
Dragon Boat BC launched the 2022 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival yesterday with an unveiling of 18 new dragon boats that will make their racing debut from June 24 to 26.
The festival’s largest-ever capital investment was supported by Concord Pacific CEO Terry Hui and the Province of BC, with the former sharing that he is excited to see the return of the full festival to the neighbourhood.
“For more than 30 years, the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival has been an inclusive event on False Creek and an exciting start to the summer in Vancouver,” said Hui in a release. “We are happy to partner with the Province to purchase this new fleet for the local paddling community and the dragon boat community at large.
“Concord Pacific has partnered with Dragon Boat BC since day one as a founding and now title sponsor of the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival. This year’s artistic melding of Indigenous and Dragon Boat paddling cultures truly embodies the spirit of this waterfront community.”
Nine local artists representing the region’s diversity were commissioned to create artwork for the racing boats. Chepximiya Siyam, Debra Sparrow, and Ocean Hyland were each invited to draw from Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh cultures to design a boat.
Artists who created unique and distinct artwork around the theme of community, culture, and competition, including Chairman Ting, Kari Kristensen, Joslyn Reid, Bagua Art Association, Derek Tam, and Carmen Chan, were also selected to reflect the Festival’s roots.
The state-of-the-art watercraft will be exclusively used for competitions.
“People in Vancouver are so excited to see the Dragon Boat Festival return this year,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings and Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits in a statement. “The new boats with designs by local artists are a great showcase of the diverse talent in our community.”
The 18 dragon boats will be displayed to the public at Concord Community Park on June 10 and 11 and will be blessed by the International Taoist Church of Canada during an eye-dotting ceremony on Saturday at 2 pm.
To see the new boats in action, make plans to check out the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, happening at Concord Pacific Place and Creekside Park on June 25 and 26, with racer-only events taking place on June 24.
The city’s biggest Dragon Boat celebration includes the highly anticipated international dragon boat races on False Creek and free concerts and cultural programming on the 102.7 THE PEAK Main Stage.
“This year’s Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival is our invitation to everyone — teams, our community, and city alike — to reconnect with each other,” said Dominic Lai, Development, Marketing, and Operations Director for Dragon Boat BC, in a release. “We’re ready to welcome everyone back to kick off summer with us, watch races in our new fleet of boats, and enjoy an exclusively local lineup of activities and shows.”
When: June 24 to 26, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park, and False Creek, Vancouver
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