The Vancouver Chinatown Festival is a cultural event in Chinatown that features walking tours, live entertainment and other activities in the summer.
Vancouver Chinatown Festival
In past years the Vancouver Chinatown Festival has featured a Streetfest block party, Youth Talent Showdown, Young Star Challenge talent show (in some years), multicultural performances, a walking tour of the neighbourhood and other activities.
Highlights of the festival in 2019 included historical and food tasting walking tours through Chinatown, folk art demonstrations, live entertainment, family-friendly activities, an anime contest and displays of art.
In past years the festival has been a 2-day event and attracted as many as 50,000 people. In 2019, however, it ran for just one day. 2020 would have been the same, but the festival was cancelled due to COVID-19.
When and Where
The 2019 event took place on Saturday, August 10th, from 12 until 10 pm. In 2020 it was originally scheduled for Saturday, July 11th. It was then going to happen on August 8th, instead, but then finally got cancelled altogether because of the coronavirus. Dates and details for the 2021 festival are to be confirmed.
Each year the event takes place in Vancouver’s Chinatown around the corner of Keefer Street and Columbia Street near the Chinese Cultural Centre.
The nearest SkyTrain Station is Stadium-Chinatown on the Expo Line which is less than a 10-minute walk away.
Below is the schedule for the 2019 festival. (2021 details will likely be similar.)
- 11:00 am – Playlist Live Band
- 12:00 pm – Opening Ceremony
- 1:00 pm – Madison Reunion
- 2:00 pm – Martial Arts Performance
- 2:30 pm – Paul Latta Dancers
- 3:00 pm – Martial Arts Performance
- 3:30 pm – Rod Chow Magic Show
- 4:00 pm – Martial Arts Performance
- 4:30 pm – Eire Borne Irish Dancers
- 5:00 pm – Vancouver Puppet Theatre
- 5:30 pm – Fire Dancing Girl
- 6:00 pm – Baza Dance Studios
- 6:30 pm – Rick Shadow’s Magic Show
- 7:00 pm – Lucky Draw
- 7:15 pm – Free Outdoor Movie
Youth Talent Showdown
The Youth Talent Showdown has been a regular part of the festival in recent years. It’s a talent competition for youth ages 13 to 20. In order to compete contestants need to register well in advance, usually a few days before the end of June, and then audition in early July.
In past years, when it was a two-day festival, the finals have taken place on the Sunday and prizes typically ranged from between around $100 and $500.
Young Star Challenge
In previous years the Young Star Challenge was another talent show competition, but for kids ages 5 to 12. In years when the Young Star Challenge has taken place, the registration deadline for this event has also been in late June and auditions have taken place in July. Prizes have ranged from around $100 to $300 and the finals have taken place on the Saturday of the festival.
Click Vancouver Chinatown Festival for more details on the event.
For more information on things to do while in the neighbourhood, click Vancouver Chinatown.