Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival is a free two-day event showcasing comics, graphic novels, manga, and various other forms of comic-related literature.

The event, hosted at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown on the May Long Weekend, attracts thousands of local and international fans and creators. In 2024 it happens on May 18th and 19th.

For the festival’s official website, visit vancaf.org.

 

The Comic Arts Festival at the Roundhouse

In 2024 the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF) happens on the Saturday and Sunday of May 18th and 19th (which is just before the Victoria Day holiday Monday). The event typically runs from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm both days. Admission is free. There is also sometimes a special pre-festival event on the evening of Friday.

VanCAF is geared for everyone, whether they’re comic professionals, die-hard fans, or casual readers. The festival celebrates the independent spirit and creator-owned ethos in comics and graphic novel publishing. It’s the place to be to meet your favourite comic book creator, take in a panel discussion, and pick up an autographed book or two!

The event first took place in 2012. Since then, it’s grown to become one of the largest comic book festivals in Canada.

 


For the event’s official website, visit vancaf.org.


 

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

 

What to Expect at VanCAF

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival brings together Canadian and international comic and graphic novel creators to explore ideas through workshops, dynamic talks, and engaging discussions that encourage interaction with the audience.

Featured guest authors at the 2023 festival included Emily Carrington (Our Little Secret), Aisha Franz (Work-Life Balance), Ho Che Anderson (Godhead) and Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie). There was also Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Essex County), Cole Pauls (Kwändür), Mike Holmes (Our Own World) and Dan Santat (A First Time for Everything). These and other authors participated in talks, discussions and book signings throughout the two-day festival.

The festival includes an exhibitor and vendor fair featuring over 250 talented creators from across North America showcasing their zines, chapbooks, comic books, T-shirts, creative merchandise, art supplies and so much more.

Admission to all events is completely free and open to the public. For your biggest comic book and art inspiration of the year, check out the amazing talent on display in Lucky’s Lounge, the Exhibition Hall and Small Press Room.

VanCAF kicked off on Friday, May 19th, 2023, at 7:00 pm with “All that JAJ” which was a special pre-festival event that featured famous BC author and illustrator Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. At this event Michael launched his new book, JAJ: A Haida Manga. He also participated in a discussion with Dr. Nicola Levell, an associate professor from UBC’s Department of Anthropology. There was a book signing afterwards managed by Iron Dog Books.

The session on the Friday happened in the Performance Centre at the Roundhouse Community Centre. The same as with all the events at the festival, “All that JAJ” was free to attend. With this particular event, however, attendees had to register via Eventbrite in advance.

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival happens on May 18th and 19th in 2024.

 


For the event’s official website, visit vancaf.org.


 

Comic Arts Festival Video

To get an idea of what the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival looks like, check out the following video. It shows scenes of the event from a few years ago, from the last time it took place before 2023.

As you’ll see in the video, the festival isn’t about collectible and mass-produced comic books. It’s also not about stand-up comics and comedy. Instead, the event is all about comic drawings and art. You’ll meet dozens of artists and see all kinds of unique and interesting comic-style art. You’ll find cool characters in books, posters, cards and other amazing things to both buy and admire.

 

 

Other Information

To learn more about the festival, visit the vancaf.org website.

For information about the venue, see our article about the Roundhouse Community Centre.

Other events that you might be interested in at other times of the year include the following:

  • Fan Expo Vancouver – a Comic-Con-style convention showcasing superheroes, comics and Japanese anime (usually in February).
  • Vancouver Comic & Toy Show – a trade show about superheroes, comic books and related art and toys (usually in the spring, but sometimes in a different month).
  • Vancouver Halloween Expo – a trade show with a bit of an anime theme (in October).
  • Sakura Days Japan Fair – a spring festival that celebrates cherry blossom season and Japanese culture (at VanDusen Garden in early April). At the event there are usually at least a few people dressed in Japanese anime costumes.

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