Vancouver Mural Festival returns this summer with a free night market

May 18 2023, 5:48 pm

The city’s largest public art festival is back in a big way for its eighth consecutive year, and this summer will see exciting new events added to the lineup.

Vancouver Mural Fest (VMF) 2023 is happening from August 4 to 13, with new murals, live performances, the Mount Pleasant Street Party, and pop-up activations to add to your calendar.

“The Vancouver Mural Festival kicks off on August 4 with mural tours in the afternoon followed by the Public Disco Pride Special in the evening at The Cobalt and Boxcar,” said Natalia Lebedinskaia, VMF creative director, in a release. “Thanks to our incredible collaborators, like Ricecake and Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture, we have daily programming that brings people together through curated art and experiences.”

New to VMF this year is the Ricecake Summer Market with over 25 local Asian artisans, makers, and food vendors to discover.

Asian event producers Ricecake will be curating the event which is part of the festival’s dedication to honouring diversity in all its forms.

“Whether you want to sing karaoke, support local businesses, or enjoy incredible performances, the Ricecake Summer Market has something for everyone,” said Van Dang, founder of Ricecake Events and co-curator of the all-Asian night market, in a release. “We’re excited to work with VMF because we feel it’s important to celebrate the LGBTQ+ Asian community year-round, not just during Asian Heritage Month.

Vancouver Mural Festival

Van Dang, CEO and founder of Ricecake (Sabrina Miso Creative/Submitted)

“We want Vancouver to celebrate diversity and representation while creating a safe space where both the queer community and the Asian community can celebrate the intersectionality of their existence.”

The one-night-only market on August 10 serves up a variety of free activities and entertainment including Asian DJs, drag performers, lion dancers, circus performers, and karaoke hour.

Vancouver Mural Festival

Public Disco dance party (Christopher Edmonstone/Submitted)

Murals Without Walls, a collaborative project between VMF and Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture, is also returning this year. The annual event gives professional artists with disabilities an accessible pathway to produce and exhibit their work at the City Centre Artist Lodge.

“Access, from our perspective, is the most basic condition needed for us to show up to the proverbial table, or in this case, the mural wall,” said Jenna Reid, Artistic Director of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, in a statement. “We have an entire arts and cultural movement that has so much to offer, both within the gallery and in public art spaces like what the Vancouver Mural Festival offers.

“Murals Without Walls endeavours to move beyond access by inviting audiences in to witness the brilliance that exists within the field of Disability Arts and Culture, rather than simply including mad, Deaf, and disabled artists into the formal art world.”

Vancouver Mural Festival

Rose Poon (far left) with fellow Murals Without Walls artists (Sabrina Miso Creative)

Application details for Mural Without Walls will be made available soon online.

Rose Poon, a Hong Kong-born cartoonist and illustrator who took part in Mural Without Walls, shared her gratefulness for the collaborative project.

“I spent three days on a studio site to complete my mural painting on a four by four feet wooden canvas,” Poon added. “I received a lot of training and support throughout the process. Thanks to Murals Without Walls, I was able to connect to more people through my art.”

Download the VMF mobile app to find and learn about over 300 murals across the city. Visit the festival’s website and follow @vanmuralfest for details, event calendar, and updates for Vancouver Mural Festival 2023.

Vancouver Mural Festival 2023

When: August 4 to 13, 2023
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations
Cost: Free and ticketed events

Daily Hive is a proud media partner of the 2023 Vancouver Mural Festival

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