TaiwanFest is a festival celebrating Taiwanese food, music and culture in downtown Vancouver on the Labour Day Long Weekend in September.
In 2023 the event happens on September 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Other festivals taking place on the same weekend elsewhere in the region include the PNE Fair in Vancouver, Nikkei Matsuri Japanese festival in Burnaby, Polish Festival in North Vancouver and Charcuterie on the Pier in White Rock. There are also nightclub-style parties with both Vancouver Boat Parties and Vancouver Cruises, and on the Friday there is the Shipyards Night Market on the North Shore. In the Fraser Valley, meanwhile, there is Bands on the Beach, the Abbotsford Summer Flower Festival, Chilliwack Corn Maze and Harrison Sunflower Festival.
For a list of the various events happening on the first few days in September this year, see our article about the Labour Day Long Weekend. To learn about Taiwanfest, continue reading.
This article contains the following information about TaiwanFest:
Vancouver’s TaiwanFest Taiwanese Festival
TaiwanFest is a cultural festival that features concerts and other live entertainment as well as lectures, films and culinary shows. It also has visual arts exhibits, family-oriented activities and a large street party with food and market stalls.
TaiwanFest is a great event. It’s both interesting and entertaining. Along Granville Street during the festival there is a stage where bands and other artists perform. There are also numerous vendor and community organization booths.
The Taiwan Stage is usually a mobile, fold-out stage mounted on a truck, similar to the popular street stage cultural scene you might find in Taiwan.
Another event organized by the same people behind TaiwanFest is LunarFest which happens during the Lunar New Year season in January or February. LunarFest is also very interesting and features a number of events.
When is TaiwanFest?
TaiwanFest takes place on the Labour Day Weekend in September. In 2023 the festival happens on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of September 2nd to 4th. On the Saturday and Sunday, festivities run from 11:00 am until about 9:00 pm or so. On the Holiday Monday the activities and performances run from 11:00 am until about 6:00 pm.
Where is TaiwanFest?
The festival’s in-person activities take place at various venues in downtown Vancouver. The main locations include šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (outside the Vancouver Art Gallery), Granville Street and the Annex theatre.
Numerous activities take place along Granville Street during the Taiwanese Cultural Festival. 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 usually educational booths with information about Taiwan, as well as vendors selling everything from Asians food to Oriental clothing to bubble tea. There are also culinary shows and live performances throughout the weekend.
Below are just some of the schedule highlights of the festival in 2023. For a full list of what the event has to offer, check out the TaiwanFest Program.
(Note: Times and other details are subject to change.)
Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
- 11:45 am – DIY with Persimmon Dye (Granville 700 Block)
- 12:00 pm – Vancouver Okinawa Taiko (Vancouver Art Gallery)
- 1:00 pm – Live Painting with Liang Wang (Granville 700 Block)
- 2:00 pm – Unveiling Women: Ghostly Tales from Taiwan (Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch)
- 7:30 pm – Splendid Formosa (The Orpheum)
Sunday, September 3rd, 2023
- 1:00 pm – Cinematic Taiwan: Riceboy Sleeps (ANNEX)
- 1:30 pm – Walking Melodies (Granville 700 Block)
- 3:30 pm – Flying Dance Journey (Vancouver Art Gallery)
- 5:00 pm – Austronesian Taiwanese Indigenous Journey to the West (Vancouver Art Gallery)
- 6:30 pm – Who’s Joking? Comedy Night (Vancouver Art Gallery)
- 8:00 pm – No One is an Outsider: DJ Dunji & Which Nancy (Vancouver Art Gallery)
Monday, September 4th, 2023
- 11:30 am – Khac Chi Bamboo Music (Vancouver Art Gallery)
- 1:00 pm – Live to the Fullest: Daniel Lew feat. Caroline Ding (Vancouver Art Gallery)
- 2:00 pm – Self-Portrait Activity (Granville 700 Block)
- 2:30 pm – KAMUI Samurai Artists (Vancouver Art Gallery)
- 5:00 pm – Voyage Across the Pacific (Vancouver Art Gallery)
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most 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 as 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 if you can. 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.
To learn more about the event in general, or its sister event in Toronto, see the Taiwanese Cultural Festival website.
For information about other things to do in the Lower Mainland, check out the following:
- Vancouver’s September Calendar
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Labour Day Weekend
- Vancouver’s ExplorASIAN Festival (in May)
- Nikkei Matsuri Japanese Festival (on the Labour Day Weekend)
- Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival (in late June and early July)