Taiwan Cultural Festival

TaiwanFest is a festival celebrating Taiwanese food, music and culture in downtown Vancouver on the Labour Day Long Weekend in September.

The September event is one of two different, yet similar events. The other is the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival which happens on the Canada Day holiday weekend in July.

To learn about the festival in July, visit tccfestival.ca. To learn about Taiwanfest (i.e., the event happening in September), continue reading.

 


This article contains the following information about TaiwanFest:

When is TaiwanFest? | Where is TaiwanFest? | Festival Activities | TaiwanFest Schedule | Festival AdviceOther Information


 

Vancouver’s TaiwanFest Taiwanese Festival

Taiwanfest is a 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 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, plus numerous vendor and community organization booths.

The Taiwan Stage is 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 usually takes place on the Labour Day Weekend in September. Due to COVID-19, the event was unable to take place in its regular format in 2020. Instead, most parts of the festival took place online. In 2021 the event had a mix of virtual and in-person activities.

In 2022 the festival offers in-person and virtual programming on September 3rd, 4th and 5th. On the Saturday and Sunday, festivities happen from 11:00 am until about 9:30 or 10:00 pm. On the Holiday Monday the activities and performances run from 11:00 am until about 6:00 pm.

 

Labour Day Weekend Activities

 

Where is TaiwanFest?

The festival’s in-person activities usually takes place at various venues in downtown Vancouver. In 2022 the main locations include šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (outside the Vancouver Art Gallery), Granville Street and the Annex theatre.

 

Festival Activities

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 Chinese food to Oriental clothing to bubble tea. There are also culinary shows and live performances throughout the weekend.

Some highlights of the 2022 festival include a performance by Kanatal, a night of song and dance and a virtual talk by Charlie Wu. There are also arts and crafts, batik workshops, culinary activities and more.

 

Japanese Yakitori at Cooking on a Grill

 

TaiwanFest Schedule

Below are just some of the schedule highlights of the festival in 2022. 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 3rd, 2022


 

  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmLet Taiwan Be Taiwan (Granville 700 Block)
  • 11:30 am to 12:00 pmUbud Village – New Music for Gamelan (Granville 600 Block)
  • 1:30 pm to 3:30 pmTaiwan Bookstore – Words of the Resistance: Writers Reacting to Suppression (Vancouver Public Library)
  • 7:30 pm to 8:00 pmOpening Ceremony (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
  • 8:00 pm to 9:30 pmPeace – Kanatal (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)

 

Free Events in September

 


Sunday, September 4th, 2022


 

  • 11:00 am to 7:00 pmSILATURAHMI: Stories of Indonesian Community in Tangkang (Granville 600 Block)
  • 12:00 pm to 2:00 pmSquid Jigging Fishing Boat (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
  • 1:00 pm to 2:00 pmTAIWANfest Crafts (Granville 700 Block)
  • 3:30 pm to 4:00 pmWalking Melodies – Tom Su (Granville 700 Block)
  • 7:30 pm to 10:00 pmA Sunset Journey to Indonesia (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
  • 8:00 pm to 9:15 pmIndependently Funny (Orpheum Annex)

 


Monday, September 5th, 2022


 

  • 11:00 am to 6:00 pmWeaving the Straw of Fortune (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
  • 11:00 am to 6:00 pmTaiwan Bookstore – Painting With Words (Granville 700 Block)
  • 12:30 pm to 1:30 pmWhat Holds Us Together? – Lefan (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
  • 3:00 pm to 4:00 pmNothing But Culture – Tsung-Te Tsai (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
  • 5:30 pm to 5:45 pmUbud Village – Umbrella Line Dance (Granville 600 Block)

 

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

To learn more about the event in general, or its sister event in Toronto, see the Taiwanese Cultural Festival website.

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