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Vancouver's Heart of the City Festival returns (VIDEO)

This year's theme is 'Stories We Need to Hear'.

A major cultural celebration is coming back to Vancouver.

The 18th annual Downtown Eastside (DTES) Heart of the City Festival returns at the end of October. Over 60 community partners are involved and more than 100 events will be taking place throughout the DTES and online.

This year's festival theme is Stories We Need to Hear, a message that resonates deeply with artistic producer Terry Hunter.

"That really emerged from the community and conversation with the residents of the neighbourhood and the feeling that we needed to tell the story of what's happening here in the community, that we needed opportunities for each other to share stories with each other," says Hunter.

There will be 12 days of live and online events, including music, stories, poetry, theatre, films, workshops, discussions, and visual art exhibitions.

One of the featured highlights is We Live Here, a massive outdoor display that will project time-lapse videos of Downtown Eastside artists creating their projects.

Pop-up music and spoken word activities on sidewalks and small plazas throughout the neighbourhood will also be taking place.

The festival's mandate is "to promote, present, and facilitate the development of artists, art forms, diverse cultural traditions, history, activism, people, and great stories about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside."

"We are humans and humans are social animals and arts and culture and the festival brings us together," adds Hunter.

The DTES Heart of the City Festival runs from October 27 to November 7. Tickets and registration for events will be available in early October.