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Taiwanese Cultural Festival (TaiwanFest)

Taiwan Cultural Festival

The Taiwanese Cultural Festival, or TaiwanFest, takes place in downtown Vancouver on the Labour Day Long Weekend on Granville Street each year in September.

TaiwanFest in Vancouver 2018

In 2018 the Taiwanese Cultural Festival takes place on the weekend of September 1-3.

The annual event includes concerts and other live entertainment as well as lectures, films, culinary shows, visual arts exhibits, family-oriented activities and a giant street party with food and market stalls.

TaiwanFest tends to be a fairly simple event, but still very interesting. There aren’t giant or multiple stages with live entertainment along Granville Street. There is usually just one stage where small bands play, and numerous vendor and community organization booths.

Taiwanese People in Costume
People in costume on Granville Street

When is TaiwanFest?

TaiwanFest takes place on the Labour Day Weekend which is the first weekend in September and so in 2018 on September 1st to 3rd. On the Saturday and Sunday it runs from 11:00 am until about 10:00 pm, and on the Holiday Monday from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm.

Labour Day Weekend Activities

Where is TaiwanFest?

The festival takes place at various venues in downtown Vancouver including along the 500 to 700 blocks of Granville Street, so between around Robson Street and West Pender (which is actually a couple of blocks shorter than it has been in previous years).

Other venues for various events include outdoors at the Vancouver Art Gallery and indoors at the Orpheum Annex at 823 Seymour Street.

In 2018 there is also a special Filipino-themed area in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.

Festival Activities

Numerous activities take place along Granville Street during the Taiwanese Cultural Festival and admission is free for the street party which runs each day.

At the festival you’ll likely see people in the street playing mahjong, Chinese checkers and games with rubber bands. There are educational booths with information about Taiwan, as well as vendors selling everything from Chinese food to Oriental clothing to bubble tea.

There are also culinary shows and live performances, and a beer garden running in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza from 30 minutes after the festival start until 30 minutes before the end each day.

Japanese Yakitori at Cooking on a Grill

2018 TaiwanFest Schedule

Below are just some of the schedule highlights of the festival in 2018. (Note: Times and other details are subject to change.)


Saturday, September 1, 2018


  • 1:00 to 2:30 pm – Kids Zone Workshop with Rukai Crafts in the 500 block of Granville Street.
  • 1:00 to 3:00 pm – Uke’n Do It! (ECBC Drop-In Ukulele Jam Sessions) in the 600 block of Granville Street.
  • 1:15 to 2:00 pmVancouver Okinawa Taiko performance in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.
  • 2:30 to 3:00 pmSongs of the Rukai with the Auba Rukai Children’s Choir in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.
  • 3:00 to 4:30 pm – Uke’n Do It! (Ukulele Workshop) in the 600 block of Granville Street.
  • 3:00 to 4:30 pm – Kids Zone Workshop: Showing Face in the 500 block of Granville Street.
  • 3:15 to 4:00 pm – Moving in the Clouds (Tai Chi) in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.
  • 5:00 to 6:30 pm – Kids Zone Workshop: Friendship Badge in the 500 block of Granville Street.
  • 7:30 to 9:30 pm – Opening Ceremony and Fête with the Philippines Music Concert in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.

In addition to the above and other activities, the beer garden runs in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza from 11:30 am until 9:30 pm.

Free Events in September


Sunday, September 2, 2018


  • 1:00 to 2:30 pm – Kids Zone Workshop with Rukai Crafts in the 500 block of Granville Street.
  • 2:00 to 3:00 pm – Hope Talk: with Island’s Young Cellist in Jamie Chan the Orpheum Annex.
  • 3:00 to 4:30 pm – Kids Zone Workshop: Showing Face in the 500 block of Granville Street.
  • 5:00 to 6:30 pm – Kids Zone Workshop: Friendship Badge in the 500 block of Granville Street.
  • 8:30 to 10:00 pmHohaiyan, Mabuhay! in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.

In addition to the above and other activities, the beer garden runs in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza today from 11:30 am until 9:30 pm.


Monday, September 3, 2018


  • 12:00 to 12:30 pmStories of Tian Jin in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.
  • 12:00 to 1:00 pm – Cinematic Taiwan: Message from Hiroshima in the Orpheum Annex.
  • 1:00 to 2:00 pm – Formosan Kitchen in the 700 block of Granville Street.
  • 1:00 to 2:00 pm – Kids Zone Workshop with Rukai Crafts in the 500 block of Granville Street.
  • 2:30 to 3:15 pm – Formosan Kitchen in the 700 block of Granville Street.
  • 3:15 to 4:00 pm – Cinematic Taiwan: Tribe Alive in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.
  • 4:00 to 4:45 pm – Formosan Kitchen in the 700 block of Granville Street.
  • 4:30 to 5:30 pmSongs of the Rukai with the Auba Rukai Children’s Choir in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.
  • 4:30 to 5:30 pm – Kids Zone Workshop: Showing Face in the 500 block of Granville Street.

In addition to the above and other activities, the beer garden runs in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza today from 11:30 am until 5:30 pm.


To see more about what’s happening and when in 2018 see the TaiwainFest Schedule.


Fête with the Philippines

Each year TaiwanFest showcases a second Asian culture or country in addition to that of Taiwan. A couple of years ago it was Hong Kong and last year it was Japan. In 2018 it’s the Philippines.

Last year the Kanpai Japan area ran along Robson Street at the back of the Vancouver Art Gallery. In that location there were Japanese vendors selling food and informational booths about Japan. In 2018, with the Fête with the Philippines event, it will be similar, but in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza and with a Filipino theme.

Kanpai Japan at Taiwanfest
Kanpai Japan Area in 2017

Festival Advice

Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Vancouver TaiwanFest experience.

TIP #1: Take a good appetite with you as there are lots of tasty Asian treats for sale. Just remember though that the lineups for the most popular food vendors are especially huge around meal times.

TIP #2: Don’t arrive at the Granville Street venue too early or too late. The advantage to arriving early is that you’ll increase your chances of finding parking close by, plus you’ll avoid the crowds. If you arrive within the first couple of hours, however, there likely won’t be many people and so much going on. Arrive in the last hour or 30 minutes, especially on the last day, and you’ll find the festival vendors and entertainers either packing up early or possibly some already even gone.

TIP #3: Take public transit! Granville Street is so convenient to get to by public transit from most parts of the Lower Mainland, plus traffic in the area will be busy.

TIP #4: If you’re looking for more live entertainment and family-friendly activities, after TaiwanFest, catch the SkyTrain and head to Richmond’s Minoru Park where the Richmond World Festival takes place on the Friday and Saturday of the September Long Weekend. There you’ll find multiple stages offering live entertainment by performers from around the world (including Asia).

Cantonese Opera Performer
Cantonese Opera at the Richmond World Festival

Other Information

For more details on the event in general, or its sister event in Toronto, see the Taiwanese Cultural Festival website.

For a map of the event click TaiwanFest 2018 Venue Map.

For further details about what to see at the event, check out the TaiwanFest 2018 Schedule.

For information on other things to do in the Lower Mainland, check out the following:

 

 

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