The 16th annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival features twelve days of music, stories, theatre, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, dance, readings, forums, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibits, mixed media, art talks, history talks and history walks from Wednesday October 30 to Sunday November 10, 2019
This year’s theme Holding the Light has emerged from the compelling need of DTES-involved artists and residents to illuminate the vitality and relevance of the Downtown Eastside community and its diverse and rich traditions, knowledge systems, ancestral languages, cultural roots and stories.
The Festival is thrilled to present Opening Doors – Vancouver’s East End 2019, a Firehall Arts Centre and Vancouver Moving Theatre production. Directed by Donna Spencer, Opening Doors features the dramatization of selected personal histories from Daphne Marlatt and Carole Itter’s extraordinary local legend-of-a-book Opening Doors first published in 1979.
The Festival is honoured to present Urban Ink Productions’ workshop presentation of SRO by Middle of the Sky (aka Brenda Prince). The play uses a fascinating style to tell the story of an Indigenous woman trapped in a DTES SRO (Single-room-occupancy) and her efforts to escape from her circumstances. Presented in parallel with the SRO Indigenous Women’s Project, a week-long residency that features visual art, ceremony, discussion and live performance, led by Renae Morriseau with Sophie Merasty.
The Festival is delighted to welcome Khari Wendell McClelland (The Sojourners/Freedom Singer) as the 2019 Festival Artist-in-Residence. Khari is curating a number of events, including a special music series that profiles an exciting and diverse line-up of local professional and emerging musicians.
The mandate of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival is to promote, present and facilitate the development of artists, art forms, cultural traditions, history, activism, people and great stories about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The festival involves a wide range of professional, community, emerging and student artists and lovers of the arts. Over 1,000 local artists and Downtown Eastside residents participated in last year’s Festival.
Many events are free or by suggested donation. Visit www.heartofthecityfestival.com for full details and tickets.
Photo: Tale of the Eastside Lantern; Shon Wong, Rosa Cheng, credit David Cooper
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