The African Descent Festival is a celebration of African music, arts and culture in Metro Vancouver. The event takes place in the summer at English Bay Beach.
In 2023 the festival happened on August 12th and 13th. The exact dates for the festival’s run in 2024 are to be determined.
To learn more about the annual event, continue reading below or visit www.africandescentfestival.com.
African Descent Festival in 2023
The African Descent Festival is an African arts and cultural showcase. The first edition of the event took place in 2015 and since that time it has grown into the largest festival for people of African descent in all of Western Canada. The event is a great opportunity for the African community in Metro Vancouver to get together. It’s also a fun way for others to learn about the different cultures of Africa.
The African Descent Festival promotes cultural diversity and brings people together to enjoy art and entertainment by African talent. There are plenty of live performances at the festival each year. There’s also usually a marketplace with handmade crafts, clothing and more for sale. Food vendors sell African food on-site and there are also family-friendly activities for all ages.
The festival celebrated its ninth anniversary in 2023. Organized by the African Descent Society BC, the two-day event is free to attend. Donations, however, are encouraged and appreciated.
When and Where?
The African Descent Festival ran on the Saturday and Sunday of August 12th and 13th in 2023. Hours on both days were from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
In previous years, the festival used to take place at Thornton Park which is by Central Pacific Station not far from Science World. However, the festival moved to a new location in 2023 and happened at English Bay Beach.
Located along Beach Avenue near the end of Denman Street, English Bay is one of the best and most popular beaches in Vancouver. The beach is connected to Stanley Park and near popular stores and restaurants. It’s also where folks gather around for the Celebration of Light fireworks in July.
For more information about the event, visit www.africandescentfestival.com.
2023 Entertainment Schedule
The entertainment lineup features all sorts of talented people of African descent. There are musicians, singers, dancers, artists and more. Headliners in 2023 were Eddy Kenzo and Ghetto Kids. The first is a Grammy-nominated singer and the other is a dance group that made the finals of Britain’s Got Talent.
The 2023 festival also featured live painting by Jace Junggyu Kim, along with fashion shows by Cenchini and Africstyle Fashion. DJs on-site throughout the weekend included Okey Osman, Real West, Zato, Don Mericorn, and Sanchez Cuba. The festival itself was hosted by Douglas Lwanga.
The entertainment schedule for 2023 is listed below. Exact details were subject to change.
Saturday, August 12th, 2023
- 10:30 am – Munkie Ncapay
- 1:04 pm – Opening Speech
- 1:10 pm – DJ Okey Osman
- 1:35 pm – Poetry & Storytelling
- 1:53 pm – Axe Capoeira
- 2:38 pm – Speaker (Assistant Deputy Mayor Pete Fry)
- 2:53 pm – Kara Kata Afrobeat Band
- 3:43 pm – Africana Performing Art
- 4:35 pm – Speaker (Councilor Rebecca)
- 4:40 pm – Samba Fusion
- 5:17 pm – Leo De Johnson
- 5:52 pm – Speaker (Honourary Minister Brenda Bailey)
- 6:02 pm – African Descent Fashion Show
- 7:05 pm – Dexter
- 7:15 pm – Felix Cuba & DJ Sanchez
- 7:45 pm – DJ Tony
Sunday, August 13th, 2023
- 10:40 am – Munkie Ncapay
- 1:05 pm – DJ Real West and Dancers
- 1:40 pm – Speaker (TBC)
- 1:50 pm – Ache Brazil Capoeira
- 2:35 pm – Poetry & Storytelling or Speaker (TBC)
- 3:00 pm – Afrocity Music & Upcoming Artists
- 3:50 pm – Samba Fusion
- 4:40 pm – JOE FORTES
- 5:20 pm – Mivule Afro Reggae
- 6:20 pm – The Boom Booms
- 7:10 pm – Eddy Kenzo & Ghetto Kids
For more information about the event, visit the African Descent Festival website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver South African Film Festival
- On Your Block Festival
- Best Places for History and Culture
- August Calendar of Events
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment