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Heart of the City Festival

The Festival theme in 2020, This Gives Us Strength, takes on special meaning during these challenging times. Photo by David Cooper.
The Festival theme in 2020, This Gives Us Strength, takes on special meaning during these challenging times. Photo by David Cooper.

Every year, the Downtown Eastside community looks forward to the Heart of the City Festival. This year, more than ever, Downtown Eastside residents and artists seek opportunities for cultural exchange and to get together. The Festival is here to ensure that our community and artists are supported during these challenging times. Due to the circumstances of the pandemic, we have reimagined this year’s festival to be smaller in scale with programming mostly online and outdoors.

The 2020 Festival theme, This Gives Us Strength, resonates today as our community copes with a worldwide pandemic, physical distancing, ongoing displacement, the fentanyl crisis, and the raw realities of bigotry and systemic racism.

We take strength from the compelling creativity of Downtown Eastside-involved artists and residents who illuminate the vitality, relevance and resilience of the Downtown Eastside community and its diverse and rich traditions, knowledge systems, ancestral languages, cultural roots and stories. In the words of late DTES poet Sandy Cameron, “When we tell our stories we draw our own maps, and question the maps of the powerful. Each of us has something to tell, something to teach.”

The 2020 Festival features twelve days of online and pop-up outdoor events, including music, stories, poetry, ceremony, films, readings, forums, workshops, discussions, art talks, history talks and visual art exhibitions.

Check the Heart of the City Festival for a complete listing of events, dates and times.

Note: This information was supplied to Vancouver Presents and does not necessarily represent the views of our publication. We are not affiliated in any way with this event and take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided, or any claims made.