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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

In 2019 the Taiwanese Cultural Festival takes place on the weekend of August 31 to September 2. 

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 is one of Vancouver’s smaller major events, but is still very interesting and entertaining. 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.

Look out for the Taiwan Stage this year. A mobile, fold out stage mounted on a truck, similar to the popular street stage cultural scene you might find in Taiwan.

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 2019 on August 31st to September 2nd. 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.

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 throughout the weekend.

Some highlights of the 2019 festival include The Friendship Kitchen, which is a series of cooking classes taught by collaborating chefs from different cities in Taiwan as well as Canadian chefs. The Celebrate Women Concert, performed by the Simon Fraser University Orchestra, highlights the stories of women and Taiwan through the beautiful music of Taiwanese composer Xin Yu Li.

Another highlight of the weekend is Stunning Virtuosity, a performance by the Taiwanese percussion group Ju Percussion. This group brings a stunning and cultural performance to North America this summer.

Japanese Yakitori at Cooking on a Grill

TaiwanFest Schedule

Below are just some of the schedule highlights of the festival in 2019. (Note: Times and other details are subject to change.)


Saturday, August 31st, 2019


  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmLet’s Savour Taiwan, The Soy Sauce Test (Granville 700 Block)
  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmHome Winds, Bay Khanh Vu (Robson Square)
  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmLet’s Savour Taiwan (Granville 700 Block)
  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmTaiwan New DNA, Shih Chien University Fashion Department (Granville 600 Block)
  • 11:15 am to 7:00 pmTaiwan Stage, The Story House (Granville 600 Block)
  • 11:15 am to 7:00 pmThe Robot Princes, The Story House (Granville 600 Block)
  • 11:30 am to 1:00 pmFriendship KitchenPetit été (Granville 700 Block)
  • 1:30 pm to 3:00 pmFriendship KitchenHanoi Celebrity Chef (Granville 700 Block)
  • 5:00 pm to 6:00 pmTaiwan Refocus, Wen Cheng Lee (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
  • 5:00 pm to 6:00 pmTaiwan Street Arts, Milkfish Man (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
  • 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm – Friendship Kitchen, The Allie No.11 (Granville 700 Block)

Free Events in September


Sunday, September 1st, 2019


  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmLet’s Savour Taiwan, The Soy Sauce Test (Granville 700 Block)
  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmLet’s Savour Taiwan (Granville 700 Block)
  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmTaiwan New DNA, Shih Chien University Fashion Department (Granville 600 Block)
  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmHome Winds, Bay Khanh Vu (Robson Square)
  • 11:15 am to 7:00 pmThe Robot Princes, The Story House (Granville 600 Block)
  • 11:15 am to 7:00 pm – Taiwan Stage, The Story House (Granville 600 Block)
  • 11:30 am to 1:00 pmFriendship KitchenHanoi Celebrity Chef (Granville 700 Block)
  • 1:00 pm to 2:00 pmMy Journey in Taiwan as a Newcomer from Vietnam, Caroline Nguyen (Orpheum Annex)
  • 1:30 pm to 3:00 pmFriendship KitchenPetit été (Granville 700 Block)
  • 4:00 pm to 5:30 pmMusic and My Journey of Identities (Orpheum Annex)
  • 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm – Friendship Kitchen, The Allie No.11 (Granville 700 Block)

Monday, September 2nd, 2019


  • 11:00 am to 6:00 pmLet’s Savour Taiwan, The Soy Sauce Test (Granville 700 Block)
  • 11:00 am to 6:00 pmLet’s Savour Taiwan (Granville 700 Block)
  • 11:00 am to 6:00 pmTaiwan New DNA, Shih Chien University Fashion Department (Granville 600 Block)
  • 11:15 am to 5:45 pmThe Robot Princes, The Story House (Granville 600 Block)
  • 11:15 am to 5:45 pm – Taiwan Stage, The Story House (Granville 600 Block)
  • 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm – Friendship Kitchen, The Allie No.11 (Granville 700 Block)
  • 2:15 pm to 3:45 pmFriendship KitchenPetit été (Granville 700 Block)
  • 4:30 am to 6:00 pmFriendship KitchenHanoi Celebrity Chef (Granville 700 Block)

To see more about what’s happening and when in 2019 see the TaiwainFest Website


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 further details about what to see at the event, check out the TaiwanFest programs.

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

 

 

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