DTES Heart of the City Festival will feature over 100 events throughout the Downtown Eastside from Oct. 26 to Nov. 6

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      Vancouver Moving Theatre, in association with the Carnegie Community Centre and the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, will present the 19th annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival from October 26 to November 6.

      This year’s festival will focus on listening and learning from the lived wisdom and cultural practices of Downtown Eastside community organizations, artists, and cultural circles, and will feature music, stories, poetry, theatre, film, dance, readings, forums, gallery exhibits, art talks, and history walks.

      The lexwst'í:lem Drum Group.
      David Cooper

      The festival will kick off on October 26 at 4 pm with the mural launch of "The Gathering", a tryptic mural created in 2016 by Richard Tetrault, expanded with seven new panels by Tetrault, Charlene Johnny, Marissa Nahanee, and Jerry Whitehead. According to a news release, the mural "pays tribute to past and present DTES artists and activists, and to the diverse cultures and heritage of the Downtown Eastside." At the free launch, the public can meet the artists and hear the stories behind the mural.

      Other highlights of the DTES Heart of the City Festival include: 

           ● Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey - Keeping the Fires Burning: "Through ceremony, cultural teachings, spoken word, visual art displays, and ArtTalks, we honour Grandmothers who arrived in our community from Indigenous nations of the Thompson/Fraser River watershed area." 

           ● Intangible Treasures of the Downtown Eastside (Zoom Shadow Two): "An online collection of short evocative shadow plays created on Zoom by seven Downtown Eastside involved residents who explore personal intangible treasures that give them strength."

      Author and journalist Travis Lupick.
      Arsenal Pulp Press

           ● Light Up the Night--Conversation with Travis Lupick: "Author, journalist, and former Georgia Straight staffer Travis Lupick shares stories from his recent book, Light Up the Night: America’s Drug Overdose Crisis and the Drug Users Fighting for Survival."

           ● IronFest III: "A three-night series of bands and improvised music combining a diverse cast of international and local musicians, including artists connected to the Downtown Eastside community and cultures."

           ● Housing Justice with SRO Tenants: "An interactive dialogue and film screening in collaboration with The Right to Remain Research Collective and filmmaker Eliot Galán, showcasing SRO (Single Room Occupancy) tenant researchers whose stories prompt moments of collective learning."

      (L-R) Ivy Chan, Jacky Lam, Becky Lee, and Stella Sham of The Prop Master's Dream.
      David Cooper

           ● The Prop Master’s Dream:  "A new fusion opera produced by Vancouver Cantonese Opera inspired by the extraordinary true-life story of Wah-Kwan Gwan (1929-2000), a little-known Chinese Opera props master born to a local Chinese father and Indigenous mother."

           ● Honouring Writers of the Downtown Eastside: "Celebrates writers and poets past and present who mentor our community with their powerful thoughts, words, ideas, support and encouragement."

      For more info on the festival, and to purchase tickets, visit the website here.