Cultural Calendar

I’m hoping everyone has been enjoying their summer so far! Enjoy these next two weeks before Labour Day by enjoying the sun and checking out some of the events and festivals below.

Jamaican, Nigerian and other Afrocentric foods, musicians and vendors planned at the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery | Photo courtesy of Black Block Party

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Fifth Annual Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

Aug. 10–Sept. 5

Almost 50 gorgeous varieties of sunflowers are sure to please the eyes and soul. | Photo courtesy of Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

The Fifth Annual Chilliwack Sunflower Festival is happening now until Monday, Sept. 5 and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.! Take a stroll along the winding pathways on the farm, brimming with floral beauty. This year, the festival organizers have planted nearly 50 gorgeous varieties of sunflowers, including the stunning Sunrich Orange, Giant Sunflowers and three picturesque display gardens, along with the u-pick section that features three different varieties. There will also be a dazzling array of dahlias, gladiolas and, new this year, zinnias and cosmos!

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Mercy Mercy Me

Aug. 15–Sept. 16

Until Sept. 16, the Pendulum Gallery will be hosting an exhibition, entitled Mercy Mercy Me, featuring several artists addressing the issue and impacts of climate change. The exhibit considers the underlying aesthetics of the new wave of environmentally focused art and how things such as visual dynamics and conceptual complexity factor into the images and objects being produced. It asks how contemporary artists might incorporate this serious and multifaceted topic into their overall practice, in a way that maintains the reading of the artwork as embedded in art history and the artists’ particular visual language. Finally, the exhibition proposes that visual art is well placed to distill and present the issue in a way that helps put the urgency of the situation in front of a public and political class that needs to hear and respond to the challenge.

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Vancouver Latin American Film Festival

Aug. 25–Sept. 4

The 20th edition of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF) will take place from Aug. 25–Sept. 4. The festival’s mission is to provide a forum for the promotion and exhibition of Latin American cinema in Vancouver. This multi-day annual festival encourages dialogue among cultures, and explores and celebrates the art of contemporary Latin American and Latin Canadian filmmaking. For a complete list of films being shown for the festival, please visit their website.

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Vancouver Black Block Party

Aug. 27, 1–9 p.m.

Celebrate Black culture, talent and creativity at the Vancouver Black Block Party happening at the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Aug. 27. There will be Jamaican, Nigerian and other Afrocentric foods, musicians and vendors at this event. For a schedule of events, please check out the party’s website.

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Italian Day

Aug. 28, noon–9 p.m.

Italian Day returns in a village style setting on Sunday, Aug. 28, from noon until 9 p.m.! Grandview Park and side streets will be fully activated in a village style setting to include all fan favourites: food stands and trucks; merchants and other vendors; live music and fashion; Il Giardino – food, wine and beer court; contests and activities; children’s area with crafts and more.

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African Heritage Festival of Music and Dance (AHFOMAD)

Sept. 2–4

The African Heritage Festival of Music and Dance, happening at the Surrey Civic Plaza, is a festival featuring arts, music and dance, cultural to contemporary, from the African Canadian perspective with performers from the local, national and international arts and culture market from Africa, the Americas and all of the African diaspora. For a complete list of events and performers, please check out the festival’s website.

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Sept. 3–5

The Taiwanfest is a three-day festival of arts, music, dance and film celebrating the Taiwanese culture as well as related cultures in the Asia-Pacific region. Some highlights include Kanatal, a musical group focusing on experimental musical genres; Harmonia, a string musician group; and a focus on Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, dance and fashion. There is also a street banquet and outdoor concerts. Open to the public.

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Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

Sept. 3–25

As one of the few celebrated festivals devoted to flamenco art outside of Spain, the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival nurtures flamenco’s hybridized roots in Sephardic, Persian, Gypsy and Indian cultures. Running for over 20 years, the festival is produced by Flamenco Rosario. The festival organizers strive to reflect flamenco’s diverse sociocultural identity through work narratives underlining the form’s universal message of humanistic tolerance. For a complete list of performers, check out their website.

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Eighth Annual Polish Festival

Sept. 4, 1–7 p.m.

Come on down to the eighth annual Polish Festival at the Shipbuilders Square in North Vancouver for a day of family fun. Activities include puppet shows, arts and crafts, singing and dancing. Traditional cuisine will be available, as well as vendors selling Polish accessories and merchandise. Portland band Zabavva and Vancouver band Hey Ziuta will perform.