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McLaren at the Festival

We have been forced to cancel our annual summer fundraiser “Sparkles” in both 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 precautions. As an alternative, to bring McLaren supporters together, we have partnered with 2 renowned Vancouver festivals to bring you their top events – the first will be live-streamed onto you favourite internet connected device – and completely free of charge.

First up we have selected a performance art event from Queer Arts Festival (QAF) – Piano Burning. This particular presentation will be in the context of recognition, renewal and reconciliation, reframing the fire that engulfs the piano (the peak achievement of European Industrialist Culture) as a metaphor for the crucible of our striving toward decolonization.

Queer Arts Festival Sunday 8th August @8pm “Piano Burning”

This newly commissioned piece is by by Lil’wat composer Russell Wallace and features a fireproof red ballgown created by Métis designer Evan Ducharme, reclaiming the transformative power of banned spirit fire from Indigenous cultures. Pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa will perform on the piano (while it burns). The conflagration is amplified, to allow listeners to hear a variety of pitched and unpitched sounds as the piano strings heat and break. Please RSVP via Eventbrite.

Heart of the City Festival – Fall 2021

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.

We will partner with Heart of the City and select a top event in this festival to liven up those dark days around Halloween. It may be a live, in-person event or livestreamed, depending on community health recommendations at the time. We’ll let you by email and our social media channels nearer the time.

The 2020 Heart of the City Festival wrapped up on Sunday, November 8 with a virtual Closing Ceremony in keeping with safety protocols. 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.

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