Presented in partnership with Afro Van Connect, Freedom: Stories of Black Liberation is one of a number of events at this year's Vines Art Festival.
Presented in partnership with Afro Van Connect, Freedom: Stories of Black Liberation is one of a number of events at this year's Vines Art Festival.

In its sixth year, the Vines Art Festival is moving to a mostly online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In a time where the art world has taken a huge blow, Vines Art Festival continues to invest in diverse and talented artists by platforming these necessary voices, say organizers in a media release.

“In a time where a day seems to go on forever, Vines Art Festival intends to provide reprieve by reminding us all that art and public space can co-exist without causing harm, that our communities are rich in art and experience and we need not look any further than our backyards and parks.”

While most of this year’s Festival events will take place online this year, the Festival will host its opening ceremonies as its only in-person event.

To be held simultaneously at several Vancouver parks on August 5, each gathering will play host to intimate circles, bring together small audiences and artists to explore the importance of land-based art, justice and existence. Guests must pre-register for the opening ceremonies in advance.

Highlights from this year’s Festival include Freedom: Stories of Black Liberation. Presented in partnership with Afro Van Connect, the online event on August 7 will highlight Black voices from artists including Dae Nneka, Kor Kase, Mariam Barry, Maggie Onedo, Tunji Taylor-Lewis, Jason Bempong, Pedro Chamale, Siobhan Barker, Eddy van Wyk.

On August 9, Sounds Like Growth will focus on Indigenous food sovereignty and self-actualization and on August 13, All Bodies Dance, Alyssa Amarshi and Caroline Hebert explore the relationship between body, sound and land in Fluidity: Bodies, Sound and Land.

August 15 will celebrate the Resilient Roots Project, led by Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Ethnobotanist Senaqwila Wyss and the Vines Festival artistic director Heather Lamoureux. A Festival staple, the event will feature the voices, art and work of some of the emerging voices in Indigenous arts, activism and community.

An interactive online map is also being made available, showcasing host nation village sites, important Indigenous flora and fauna, all designed to engage audiences with geographical history and the impact of art in the neighbouring areas.

Each of the Festival parks will also feature an accompanying Sonic Performance. Featuring over fifty artists, these downloadable performances allow audiences to enjoy them at leisure to engage with the parks in a new way.

For more information and the complete line-up at this year’s free, all-ages Vines Arts Festival, visit vinesartfestival.com.