Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) Winter Arts will transform Downtown Vancouver into a free, open-air gallery of art and live experiences to brighten our city and connect communities February 11 to 27, 2022.
VMF Winter Arts
Following the success of our inaugural Augmented Reality (AR) event VMF is excited to bring an even bigger festival to the city in 2022. On top of 12 brand new AR by international and local artists, they’re adding light installations across downtown, and transforming šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square, Vancouver Art Gallery plaza, into the Winter Arts Hub—a licensed, all-ages, outdoor, covered and heated venue with art, drinks, food, and free live performances.
Look for installations and activations at Science World, BC Place/ Terry Fox Plaza, Yaletown, Vancouver Public Library Square, Winter Arts Hub šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square, Park Place Plaza, Bentall Centre, and Canada Place.
Additional programming by VMF partners:
Guided Walking Tours by DeTours, presented by Herschel Supply.
Live/Online Talk Series at Vancouver Public Library presented by Electronic Arts.
Blanketing the City: Lighting the Way featuring Debra Sparrow.
Illuminate Yaletown presented by the Yaletown BIA.
Pixel Moments interactive AR mural in support of St. Paul’s Foundation to raise awareness and funds for mental health resources.
Cirque du Soleil Alegría sneak peek plus special live performances by CircusWest.
Winter Arts Pride closing night at the Hub presented by Vancouver Pride Society.
Public Disco party at the Hub every Saturday.
Supporting communities is an integral part of VMF. Throughout the year, they collaborate with various groups to empower and spark change. They recently partnered with Rogers to expand support for Indigenous artists through the creation of a new artist program. They also launched Un-Leased, which examines the opportunities and barriers around using vacant retail spaces for temporary artist studios. The pilot project (Phase 2) is starting soon.
It’s the final weekend of Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum and most holiday events and activities. The Stanley Park Bright Nights Train will run one final time on Friday night and then we ease into 2022 with caution when it comes to group gatherings. There are some 50% capacity events running, and some online options in January. Stay tuned to my monthly event list for updates and find more things to do around Vancouver this weekend listed below:
Vancouver’s ban on plastic bags and fees begins January 1, 2022. City by-laws will go into effect banning plastic shopping bags and requiring businesses to charge fees for paper and new reusable shopping bags, as well as single-use cups.
These new regulations are key to the City’s overall strategy to reduce waste from single-use items, and they join the by-laws for foam, straws and utensils introduced in 2020.
Vancouver’s Ban on Plastic Bags
Starting January 1, businesses can no longer distribute single-use plastic shopping bags to customers. The ban includes plastic shopping bags made from fossil fuels, plastic bags labelled or described as compostable or degradable, and plastic bags made from plants or other biological materials.
Vancouver shoppers will also start paying for paper and new reusable shopping bags if they forget to bring their own. Businesses are required to charge a minimum of $0.15 for a paper shopping bag and $1.00 for a new reusable shopping bag.
Residents should always bring their own reusable bags when they shop to avoid paying bag fees and to reduce single-use waste. Bringing your own bag is allowed during COVID-19, according to BC Centre for Disease Control guidelines. Residents are encouraged to clean their bags regularly using Health Canada cleaning tips available here.
In 2018, about 89 million plastic shopping bags and 4 million paper shopping bags were thrown in the garbage in Vancouver. Despite how common it is for residents to reuse plastic shopping bags (66% are reused as garbage bags), 30 million empty plastic shopping bags were still disposed to garbage in 2018.
On January 1, businesses are required to charge a minimum of $0.25 for each single-use cup. To avoid the fee and reduce waste, bring your own cup. Or, if you’re having a drink to stay, ask for it in a reusable cup.
The City has worked with Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure that “contactless cup” procedures, which are used in cities around the world, can be used during COVID-19 to safely serve drinks in customers’ cups.
Single-use cups make up fifteen per cent of large litter on Vancouver streets. In 2018, about 82 million single-use cups were thrown in the garbage in Vancouver. Of these, 51% were paper cups for hot beverages, 25% were paper cups for cold beverages and 24% were plastic cups.
All cup fees must be displayed on menu boards, menus and internet-based ordering platforms, and must be shown as a separate line item on any receipts provided to customers by using wording such as “CUP FEE”.
About the Fees
Businesses keep the fees from cups and shopping bags and are encouraged to use them to cover the cost of complying with the by-laws (e.g. software updates, staff training) and to invest in reusable alternatives, such as dishwashers, reusable cup-share or “take-a-bag, leave-a-bag” programs.
“John is a memoir of my oldest brother who disappeared from Vancouver in May of 1969, never to be heard from again. I sourced from an archive of family letters dating from 1959–2010, which document the years leading up to his disappearance, his medical history, and the subsequent tracking my parents did of his disappearance. He was twenty-three at the time and I was thirteen.” – Helen Walkley.
Choreographed by Helen Walkley and performed by Josh Martin and Billy Marchenski, John premiered and wowed audiences during its sold-out run at the 2019 Dancing on the Edge Festival. Following these performances at the Firehall Arts Centre, John will be presented in Victoria, Edmonton, and Regina.
Since 1980, Helen Walkley has, as a contemporary dance artist, certified Laban Movement Analyst and Somatic Movement educator, lived in the U.S., Germany, and The Netherlands and Canada choreographing, performing, and teaching. She completed an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies in the School for Contemporary Arts at SFU in 1996 and has since been based here in Vancouver. In 2020, Helen received the Dance Centre’s Isadora Award, which recognizes an artist’s lifetime achievement.
“John is such a powerful, intimate piece that you are left feeling like you know this mysterious person,” says Artistic Producer Donna Spencer. “The performers, Josh Martin and Billy Marchenski, work together and apart in a manner that captures the inner feelings and outer conflicts of this young man. The work takes you on a journey of hope and loss with gentleness and frustration – it is a wonderful and memorable night of dance theatre.”
For more information about this series and more, follow the Firehall Arts Centre on Facebook.
I have a pair of tickets to give away for the opening night performance of John on January 12th at 7:30pm. Here’s how you can enter to win: