17th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival
Wednesday October 28 to Sunday November 8, 2020

That's a wrap folks!*

The 2020 Heart of the City Festival wrapped up on Sunday, November 8 with a virtual Closing Ceremony in keeping with safety protocols. What a ride it's been! In response to COVID-19, we re-imagined this year's festival and took it online, while keeping a handful of intimate events in theatres, parks and city sidewalks. The learning journey hasn't been easy. It’s taken a whole community of dedicated, hard-working staff, partners, organizations and artists working together to create a Festival we can all be proud of. Together we have shared strengths arising from the Downtown Eastside community and allies – creativity and resilience, rich diverse traditions, knowledge systems, ancestral languages, cultural roots and stories.

One legacy of the 2020 Heart of the City Festival is a treasure trove of recorded videos that can be enjoyed at your leisure.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this year's Festival. We look forward to seeing you again next year, and hopefully sooner!

* don't forget our last, post-Festival event, fittingly titled Community Arts in the Time Of COVID on Thursday November 12


Most of the events at the Heart of the City Festival are free. If you support the Festival and enjoy the programming, please consider donating to support our work. Any donations are very much needed, welcomed and appreciated. Donations can be made through Canada Helps or through Eventbrite when registering for an event.


This Gives Us Strength is our 2020 Festival theme: those sources that our community draws upon as we, like others across the land, cope with a worldwide pandemic, physical distancing and isolation, ongoing and growing displacement, the tragic realities of the fentanyl crisis, and the legacies of systemic racism. This year's Festival will be experienced both live and online, as the Downtown Eastside community shares with each other, and our guests, our stories, history, heritage, culture, concerns, hopes, dreams and visions for the future.

The mandate of the 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 professional, community, emerging and student artists, and lovers of the arts.


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