What you need to know to take in the Vancouver Mural Festival

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      The Vancouver Mural Festival is upping the ante for its second celebration, Monday to Saturday (August 7 to 12).

      It’s bringing 60 new artworks to the walls of Strathcona and Mount Pleasant this year. Some pieces are already under way, and some are even finished.

      Here's what you need to know to take it all in.

      The multiday festival culminates in a big daytime street party on August 12—so mark that on your calendar right now. A full 10 blocks of Mount Pleasant will be closed to traffic during that day, including Main Street between East 12th and East 7th avenues, as well as the alley between Main and Quebec streets. Up to 100,000 people are expected to visit the completed murals and take in live art, music by the likes of Yukon Blonde and Louise Burns, markets, and a beer garden between noon and 6 p.m. The street fest is free and all-ages. Later, there's an evening Underplay Concert Series (see below).

      In the days leading up to that, look for a range of panels, gallery openings, and other events.

      Monday (August 7), catch the THRIVE Talks, a celebration of female street artists and muralists, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at VMF headquarters (207–877 East Hastings Street). Speakers include Sandeep Johal, Mega McGrath, Jane Cheng, Jill Stanton, and Sharifah Marsden. 

      Tuesday (August 8), check out SNAG x VanMuralFest, a live art raffle, where you can take home the work of live artists like Nomi Chi and Colin Moore, sketch a live model, and watch a live art battle, 8 p.m. till late at the American.

      Wednesday (August 9), from 7 to 9 p.m. at Heritage Hall, the Georgia Straight presents a speaker panel titled "Cultural Sustainability in Our Rapidly Changing City". Panellists will speak from their own experiences in designing, facilitating, and protecting cultural traditions, spaces, and events in a city where real-estate prices are posing unique challenges.

      Thursday (August 10), head to the Burrard Arts Foundation gallery from 7 to 10 p.m. for the opening of its large group exhibition curated by VMF's Drew Young.

      Friday (August 11), starting at 9 p.m., Beaumont Studios and Gallery hosts the Painters Prom, a dance party with an art battle, live art, and more.

      Saturday (August 12), after the daytime street party, head to clubs like the Biltmore (We Are the City), the Cobalt (Operators with Bad Pop), the Fox Cabaret (Basia Bulat with Twin Bandit), and Fortune Sound Club (SG Lewis with Cotis), as part of the Underplay Concert Series.

      See vanmuralfest.ca/ for tickets and more event details; see a map here for plotting out your fest-going.