Famously one of the Lower Mainland’s most multicultural spots, Richmond has plenty to offer in terms of global diversity. Boasting a population with the highest proportion of immigrants of any city in Canada, the location is proud of its heritage—and always keen to celebrate the uniqueness its people.
Despite being a little out of the way for non-car-owning Vancouverites, the metropolis is well worth a visit—and for those looking for an excuse to experience the cultures that make up the fabric of the locale, the Richmond World Festival is a great place to start.
A free celebration of music, food, and culture, the fête’s inaugural year earned much critical acclaim, with the date winning both national and international honours from the event industry. That’s nothing on this year’s festival, however, which has not only grown to cover two whole days, but will feature a vastly expanded roster of talent and eats.
“In just two years, the Richmond World Festival has become a can’t-miss date on the summer calendar,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We’re delighted to be expanding the festival […] this year. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the many sounds, tastes and colours of our diverse community and nation as we continue our celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary.”
One of the World Music Festival’s biggest draws is its performers. As well as showcasing 75 music and dance artists over nine different stages, the event has snagged two first-class headline acts.
Topping the bill on the first night will be Korean hip-hop star Verbal Jint: a musician who changed the face of rap in his native country. Before his debut in 2001, Korean hip-hop was largely based on fast-talking bars rather than phrases that rhymed. Jint was the first to create actual rhyme schemes in Korean, deftly engineering rhythmic sentences with tight grammatical accuracy. His method is now the standard for rapping in the country, and the performer has since been credited as being one of the few musicians from the underground hip-hop scene to have achieved mainstream success with his R&B inspired tracks.
The second headline slot will go to Ontario indie rock group Tokyo Police Club, which has graced stages all over the world including America’s Coachella, Britain’s Glastonbury festival, and Germany’s Rock am Ring. Inspiring fans with sharp guitar riffs, sometime-sunny vocals, and upbeat drum patterns, the four-piece’s sound represents some of Canada’s best alt-rock talent.
More than just the music, however, there’s plenty to keep the family occupied over the festival’s two days. Attendees will be fuelled by the FEASTival of Flavour, comprised of more than 50 food trucks, while they check out spots like the Global Village, which features interactive cultural activities and performances. The Bamboo Theatre and Digital Carnival will both offer diverse and innovative performances, and the Kids World children’s activity area will give the parents a chance to drop off their youngsters and sample the Artisan Marketplace—which features over 50 vendors—in peace.
Bursting with entertainment and boasting free entry, there’s plenty of reason to hop on the Skytrain.
Richmond World Festival is at Minoru Park on September 1 and 2.
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