On Demand Programming

Videos From This Year's Festival

Many of this year's online events are being recorded and are available for on demand viewing once the events are completed. You can watch the videos here. Check back daily as more videos are added.

360 Riot Walk

Launched by artist Henry Tsang, 360 Riot Walk is a virtual walking tour of the 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver. The virtual walk utilizes 360 video technology to trace the history and route of the mob that attacked the Chinese Canadian and Japanese Canadian communities following a demonstration and parade organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League in Vancouver. The soundtrack is available in four languages of the local residents of the period: English, Cantonese, Japanese and Punjabi. Henry Tsang is an artist and curator whose projects explore the spatial politics of history, language, community, food and cultural translation in relationship to place. Available at 360riotwalk.ca; tell Henry the Festival sent you!


Black Strathcona Self-Guided Tour

Use your smartphone or iPad to lead you on an interactive walking tour. As you walk the neighbourhood, follow the map on the website with story locations. Use the QR codes on the street signage to download videos to your mobile device and see the past and present of Vancouver’s vibrant black community. 

To pay tribute to the black community of Vancouver’s historic east-end, Strathcona’s Creative Cultural Collaborations Society, in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre, produced the Black Strathcona Interactive Media Project, the centre piece of which is ten short videos that celebrate some of the extraordinary people and places that made the community vibrant and unique. Performers present the stories, combining oral history with rarely seen archival photographs and film.  

Although viewers from anywhere in the world can take a virtual web tour at www.blackstrathcona.com, we invite you to experience history come to life by actually visiting  locations where the videos were recorded.


Harvest Lens Series + Roots And Seeds
Available October 28 to November 8

PTC’s Davey Calderon collaborates with theatre artists on Harvest Lens, a series of short videos featuring DTES Neighbourhood House’s Urban Farm. Theatre makers find the poetry in ideas of food security, community, advocacy, growth, and the celebration of bounty that brings us together from all over the world. These ideas are ripe and ready for harvest.

Also, PTC relaunches the podcast Harvest Lens z inspired by last year’s Heart of the City Festival event led by Veronique West and Kathy Feng with the Chinese Senior Gardeners. After following a group of Chinese seniors through a season of planting, tending, and harvesting their community garden, PTC created an audio podcast from the interviews and found sounds. The podcast is available in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Harvest Lens and Roots and Seeds are available at www.playwrightstheatre.com during the Heart of the City Festival.


Home Squat Home Mobile App
October 28 to November 8
Get the link, or . . .
October 28 – November 1, Tent installation, Woodward’s Atrium, 111 W. Hastings
November 2 – November 8, Window installation, KW Atrium Studio, Woodward’s Atrium

The Festival is excited to feature two streams of audiovisual storytelling with Art Action Earwig’s Po-tent City. One is the Home Squat Home Mobile App and the other is the Climate Shadow Series (see November 4 for information).

You can download the app at www.earwig.space/home-squat-home-mobile-app, or by scanning with your device the QR code on the surface of the tent installation in Woodward’s Atrium.

The app offers visitors a portal into an intimate audiovisual performance using shadow puppets on the surface of a tent. Home Squat Home encourages you to imagine a sustainable home for marginalized bodies and displaced creatures while most of us are reconfiguring our relationships to “home”. The tent is a shelter and rally spot, exploring meanings, feelings, and realities that (de)materialize “home”. The piece honours grassroots movements in the Downtown Eastside including the Woodsquat housing action and the Women’s Memorial March.


We Live Here, Radix Theatre
Online, available November 4

We Live Here is a dramatic, large-scale video project in development that will be created by Downtown Eastside artists and produced by Radix Theatre. This year Radix begins work with a small number of artists to test and develop the idea, and will share a demo of the project viewable on this year’s Heart of the City Festival website. Working with a Downtown Eastside  curatorial team, including Jerry Whitehead, Wendy Peeters and Jared Sharpe, Radix will videotape 10 artists as they take inspiration from the phrase "we live here" and paint their artwork onto a canvas. Then those videos will be sped up to hyper-speed to be projected outdoors at next year’s festival. We Live Here is sponsored by the Portland Hotel Society.

Vancouver Mural Tour

The Vancouver Mural Tour was a project under the Great Beginnings Program by the City of Vancouver. The purpose of the program was to celebrate the history, heritage, and culture of Vancouver’s first urban areas, including the neighbourhoods of Gastown, Chinatown Powell Street, and Strathcona, and to restore the founding neighbourhoods’ original public appeal by creating attractive and welcoming physical environments. 

The website exists now as an historical site; many of the murals no longer exist, but the Festival shares the website as an archive of thirty-seven murals, all found in the Eastside. The Vancouver Mural Tour was an initiative of the Creative Cultural Collaborations Society. There are four tours listed on the website and if you are walking, each tour takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Visit vancouvermurals.ca for downloadable maps. 


Sharings from the Haiku Circle: Voices from the SRO community sending messages to the world

Poets from the SRO Collaborative share collaboratively created haiku poems, created in a process guided by Tom deGrey and Audrey Kobayashi, and read by Tom deGrey, Erica Grant, Marina Chavez and Richard. These poems are inspired by the land-based tradition of collaboratively created haiku poems: a form of expression used by Japanese Canadians before, during and after their WW II uprooting from the Downtown Eastside. The 17-syllable poems arranged in three lines of 5-7-5, bring SRO stories to life as they express lived experiences, frustrations, wisdom and hopes, in this way bridging SRO histories and present day stories of dispossession and resistance. A Right to Remain Project in partnership with the SRO Collaborative Society.


Heart Of The City Festival Soundscape – sylvi macCormac
Online, Festival Website

In 2015, the Festival commissioned award-winning soundscape artist sylvi macCormac to create a Heart of the City Festival Soundscape. She produced a wonderful composition that weaves together sounds of our neighbourhood with diverse interviews and voices from our community and voices and sounds from the Elaho Valley. The Soundscape is accompanied by a video slideshow of photos from the 2019 Festival compiled by Elwin Xie.

In the words of sylvi, “To work with so many wonderful voices is an honour and treasure. They give me great joy. They are also part of my commitment to a larger community. This composition is given to the care of, and for the benefit of, the Heart of the City Festival. These compositions were never mine to keep or call my own since ‘the sum of all these parts are we’ (Martyn Joseph).” 


The Gathering: an interview with Richard Tetrault
Online, available October 28, Festival website

This 15 minute recording features artist Richard Tetrualt and Festival producer Terry Hunter talking about The Gathering, an 11’h x 18’w hanging mural commission that Richard painted for the Heart of the City Festival in 2015. 

This powerful and dynamic banner mural hangs each year in the Carnegie Theatre during the Heart of the City Festival, and features painted images of inspiring people, cultures and art forms from the Downtown Eastside, including Diane Wood, Sawagi Taiko, Ricky Lavallie, Isabel Ramirez, Git Hayetsk Dancers, Bud Osborn, Sandy Cameron, Thelma Gibson, Takeo Yamishiro, Dalannah Gail Bowen, Sam Snobelen, Carnegie Jazz Band (Randy Morrison), Dovbush Dancers (Montana Hunter), and Mona Woodward.

The Festival live streamed this recording on Wednesday October 28 as part of the Opening Ceremony. The video is available on demand below.