Many of Vancouver's nooks, corners, alleyways and buildings are bursting with colours and bright imagery.
The city is merely a canvas and murals have been painting its streets for the past several years thanks to the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF). But this celebration of art has become more than just painting the cityscape.
VMF returns for the summer from August 4 to 14 with 50 artists who will add new creations to the already lively mural scene. The festival also has a promising lineup of events from tours and talks to a grand street party finale. Vancouver's iconic motel-turned-art-space will serve as the festival hub.
Here's what Vancouverites can expect at this year's VMF celebrations:
With 30 new murals being painted across eight Vancouver neighbourhoods this summer, VMF will also be adding more mural tours to its list. The guided walking tours will be venturing into Mount Pleasant and Strathcona, as well as five new tours in Downtown, the West End, Cambie Village, Marpole and the River District.
Open artist studios
The City Centre Artist Lodge, formerly known as Vancouver's iconic City Centre Motel, has turned its motel rooms into 75 artist studios. During the festival's two weekends on August 6, 7 and 13, various artists will open their studios for visitors to explore, admire and purchase their art. The hub will showcase work made by a variety of artists, from painters and photographers to ceramists and jewellers.
In addition to the artist studios, City Centre will also serve as this year's festival hub and will have free, outdoor entertainment on each day of the festival including DJ's, dancing, drag, food trucks and more. The Mount Pleasant landmark, which can be found at 2111 Main Street, is also home to VMF's largest mural to date.
To celebrate the festival's finale, VMF is throwing a big street party at the Granville Promenade, taking over two blocks on Granville Street between Smithe and Helmcken. The artsy party will celebrate with DJ's, drag, live painters, dancers, markets and more.
The festival's official after-party, VMF After Dark, will host arts-driven conversations with creatives and, only on August 6 and 13, will showcase music, performances and dancing at the biltmore Cabaret.