13th Annual Downtown Eastside
Heart of the City Festival
Wednesday October 26 to Sunday November 6, 2016

Over 100 events at over 40 venues throughout the Downtown Eastside

WELCOME to the 13th Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival and twelve days of music, stories, songs, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, theatre, dance, processions, spoken word, forums, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibits, public art, mixed media, art talks, history talks and history walks.

The theme of this year’s Festival, Living on Shared Territory, pays tribute to the Downtown Eastside’s founding peoples, cultures and diverse neighbourhoods as we live, learn and create together on unceded Coast Salish territories under the long shadow of our colonial past and present.

A special feature this year is the installation of the 27 ft. Survivors Totem Pole in Pigeon Park at Hastings and Carrall. This grass roots initiative led by Sacred Circle Society, in the words of carver Skundaal Bernie Williams (Haida/Coast Salish), “honours the many people who have arrived and lived in the Downtown Eastside as survivors”.

Other Festival highlights include:

Realms of Refuge, a participatory evolving gallery project produced in partnership with Jumblies Theatre (Ontario) that brings to life miniature worlds and explores different ways we find refuge in the places where we live; Metamorphose, a community-engaged dance production and premiere by Karen Jamieson Dance and the Carnegie Dance Troupe that explores transformation, creation and imagination through dance; Richard Tetrault’s stunning and dynamic three-piece mural/banner (11.5’high x18’wide) featuring local activists and artists past and present.

Stay tuned for the full Festival program guide, which will be posted on this website sometime in early to mid-October.

See you at the Festival!

Terry Hunter
Executive Director, Vancouver Moving Theatre
Artistic Producer, Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival


Realms of Refuge
Realms of Refuge is a two week residency at InterUrban Gallery that involves artists and community participants working together to create and animate miniature worlds that explore and express different ways we find, create and imagine places of refuge, shelter and comfort. Artists include, among others: Ruth Howard, Savannah Walling, Kelty McKerracher, Bill Beauregarde, Renae Morriseau, Sharon Kallis, Russell Wallace, Rose Georgeson, Adrienne Marcus Raja and Karis Jones Pard. A component of the residency is the workshop Inside Realms of Refuge, which features two Sunday afternoon workshops for artists and community members. MORE INFO


The Heart of the City Festival gratefully acknowledges the financial and in-kind support of our 2016 Festival partners and sponsors.