Here's everything you can experience at 2023 VMF Winter Arts next month

Jan 16 2023, 6:00 pm

A huge outdoor celebration of art and entertainment is happening across downtown Vancouver next month, and we’ve got all the details to get you ready.

Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) is transforming multiple locations into a free, interactive open-air gallery with the return of the popular VMF Winter Arts from February 16 to 26.

Fans can discover free art installations and live entertainment along the VMF Winter Arts route from the Vancouver Art Gallery to Bentall Centre and Canada Place over the festival’s 11 days. And all ages are welcome.


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The third annual VMF Winter Arts is presented by the organizers of the Vancouver Mural Fest, which are excited to help Vancouver grow in terms of international-level public events, particularly in the winter months.

“We’re building something that we know will catch the eye and imaginations of patrons, local governments, and potential funders from the private sector,” said Andrea Curtis, VMF executive director, to Daily Hive. “We’re in a particular moment in time where we have a chance to seed and grow something truly spectacular.

“I hope guests see the sparks of this in the world-class talents we have on offer during the course of the festival.”

VMF Winter Arts

VMF Winter Arts Curator and Artist Tafui (Gabriel Martins/Submitted)

Attendees of the highly-anticipated event will discover a variety of light installations, augmented reality, and sculptures that reflect this year’s overarching theme of Land and Light.

“In both physical and metaphorical senses, light is a creative force in considering our relationship to the land that we’re on,” said Natalia Lebedenskaia, VMF creative director. “We’re highlighting artists, performers, and creators in the city, and bringing them in dialogue with national and international artists who are also exploring these themes.”

Here’s a list of everything you can experience at the 2023 VMF Winter Arts in February.

Winter Arts Hub

VMF Winter Arts

VMF Winter Arts (carrot_ee_38/Submitted)

Returning to VMF Winter Arts this year is the Winter Arts Hub, which will be situated at šxwƛ ̓ ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Hub will be an all-ages, licensed outdoor venue featuring art installations, market vendors, UV face painting, and a live performance stage.

The festival will showcase music, DJs, drag, and more in the heated and covered space. There will be hot (and cold) drinks and food trucks available, and even a Public Disco at the Hub every Saturday.

When: Daily from February 16 to 26, 2023
Various times. Bar/Stage is open weekdays from 4 to 10 pm and weekends and holidays from 12:30 to 10 pm.
Where: Winter Arts Hub at šxʷƛ̓ ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (Vancouver Art Gallery north plaza)
Cost: Free

VMF After Dark Series

New to VMF Winter Arts is the highly anticipated VMF After Dark, a late-night series of pop-up parties in the fully-transformed Bentall Centre Gallery.

Visitors to the creative space will find art and a licensed all-ages gallery and lounge open daily from 4 to 8 pm, and a 19+ event space on weekend nights starting at 9:30 pm. There will be five ticketed After Dark parties throughout the festival, each with entertainment curated by a different group from the local music scene so you can continue dancing after the Winter Arts Hub has closed for the evening.

When: February 17, 18, 19, 24, and 25, 2023
9:30 pm
Where: Bentall Centre Gallery – 555 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Various prices with early bird and all-access pass available. Purchase online

Art: AR And Light Installations

VMF Winter Arts

VMF Winter Arts (Sabrina Miso Creative/Submitted)

VMF Winter Arts is installing breathtaking augmented reality, light installations, and sculptures in multiple locations across the city, including Canada Place, Bentall Centre, Winter Arts Hub, Telus Garden, and Bentall Centre Gallery.

Highlights of this year’s event include Blanketing The City: Lighting The Way from acclaimed xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam) weaver and designer Debra Sparrow, and Present, audio, visual and spoken word curated by Tafui that highlights the creativity of the African and Caribbean diaspora.

When: Daily from February 16 to 26, 2023
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations across downtown Vancouver
Cost: Free

Walking Tours

Guests can learn all about VMF Winter Arts by going on a 60- to 90-minute guided walking tour presented by Herschel Supply. Led by official VMF tour guides, Vancouver DeTours, and Alliance Francaise Vancouver, the tour spotlights many of the AR and light installations from the 2023 fest, as well as Vancouver Mural Festival murals and other public art in the area. 

When: Daily from February 16 to 26, 2023 (English), February 22 and 23 (French)
Various times
Where: Downtown Vancouver (meeting point will be provided in booking email). The tour will end at Winter Arts Hub at šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square.
Cost: By Donation, register online. Suggested minimum of $10 to $15 per person

Land & Light: Curators in Dialogue

This interactive curator talk is presented and hosted by Herschel Supply. The evening of conversation and storytelling features a number of this year’s VMF Winter Arts curators, including Tafui Mclean, Debra Sparrow, Cazimi Loro, and Ben Cooper. The curator talk will be moderated by Miret Rodriguez.

When: February 22, 2023
Time: 6:30 pm
Where: Herschel Supply, Gastown – 347 Water Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free or By Donation, register online

Daily Hive is a proud media partner of the VMF Winter Arts

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