Inaugural Vancouver Mural Festival will put urban art in the spotlight

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      Montreal has had one since 2013, and now it’s Vancouver’s turn: on August 20, a festival that pays tribute to public art—namely murals—will hit Mount Pleasant for a full day of performances, interactive exhibits, community projects, markets, and more. 

      The Create Vancouver Society has partnered with the City of Vancouver, Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area, and the Burrard Arts Foundation to host the first annual Vancouver Mural Festival, which is expected to draw nearly 100,000 people to the Main Street area.

      More than 35 artists will install murals on the day of the festival, which will see Main Street closed between East 7th Avenue and East 12th Avenue. Murals will be painted along Main Street between East 16th Avenue and Prior Street.

      Participating international artists will include Kashnik (France), LowBros (Germany), NeverCrew (Switzerland), and Bicicleta Sem Freio (Brazil). Local favourites like Corey Bulpitt, Ola Volo, James Knight, Nomi Chi, Andrew Young, and Kyle Scott will also take part.

      The largest mural of the festival will be painted by local artist Scott Sueme, who has been tasked with decking out the front of Hootesuite’s East 8th Avenue headquarters.

      A small sample of the artists participating in the first-ever Vancouver Mural Festival.
      Vancouver Mural Festival​

      Attendees can expect a full day of exhibitions, participatory works, vendors, and live music, with additional markets, art installations and a lounge area for festivalgoers hosted at nearby Thornton Park. A total of five free stages in the area will include the famous Red Bull Tour Bus, and Red Truck Brewery’s Truckstop Tailgate Party on East 1st Avenue. More than 20 bands are slated to perform, including Hey Ocean!, Willa, and The Katherines

      In addition to the festival itself, the Burrard Arts Foundation (108 East Broadway) will showcase the work of participating artists at an exhibition from July 14 to August 27.

      As part of the inaugural event, the Vancouver Mural Festival will launch a club music series called Underplay that will highlight concert venues in the Mount Pleasant area, including the Anza Club, Fox Cabaret, The Biltmore, and The Cobalt. Participating musicians include Andrew WK, Chapel Sound Collective, Shad, and Timber Timbre.

      The event is being funded in part by the City of Vancouver’s Innovation Fund, which matched a $200,000 grant, as part of Mayor Gregor Robertson’s public art boost.

      For more information, check out the Vancouver Mural Festival’s website.