Home Vancouver Monthly Calendar Festivals and Events in Vancouver in 2023 Vancouver Winter Arts Festival

Vancouver Winter Arts Festival

VMF Winter Arts Fest

Produced by the organizers of the Vancouver Mural Festival, the Winter Arts Festival features interactive displays and entertainment in February.

Celebrating its second year in 2022, the festival took place between February 11th and 27th in downtown Vancouver. Most if not all of its activities were free!

In 2023 the festival runs from February 16th until the 26th.

 

VMF Winter Arts

The Vancouver Mural Festival’s Winter Arts Festival is a new series of events that was created during the coronavirus pandemic. It showcases beautiful art and modern technology. It also makes for a fun way to explore the city.

The Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) is a festival that features mural paintings and live entertainment in the summer each year. The VMF Winter Arts Festival, meanwhile, is a new event, but run by the same organization.

The first edition of the winter festival ran for two weeks in February of 2021. It claimed to be the country’s first augmented reality art exhibition that was both free and open to the public.

In 2021 there were several outdoor installations scattered across Vancouver during the inaugural festival. Each installation had a QR code that people scanned with their phones to reveal creative works of art made by local and international artists.

In addition to the augmented reality experiences, the VMF Winter Arts Festival also offered free online workshops and dialogues in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library.

 

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2023 Winter Arts Festival

In 2023, the VMF Winter Arts Festival runs from February 16th to the 26th.

As of mid-January, this year’s festival is set to feature augmented reality installations by 4 artists and light displays by 3 artists. There’s also a sculpture and a couple of interactive installations by 2 teams.

Last year, there was a new Winter Arts “Hub” set up in the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery, which was a great new addition. It was arguably the festival’s number one main attraction.

The Hub is set to return at the same location in 2023. It has a covered area where a variety of live performances take place. There are tables and chairs along with a licensed bar serving hot and cold beverages. Food trucks are on-site as well.

 

VMF Winter Arts Fest
The Hub at Winter Arts Fest

 

2023 Installation Locations

Like last year, the Winter Arts Hub is located at 777 Howe Street in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on West Georgia Street in 2023. There were 4 augmented reality installations to interact with in the area in 2022. Details about featured installations in 2023 are to be confirmed.

The other lights and augmented reality installations are on display outdoors at the following locations in Vancouver in 2023:

  • Canada Place – at 999 Canada Place.
  • Bentall Centre Gallery – at 595 Burrard Street.
  • BC Place – at 777 Pacific Boulevard.

 

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2023 Festival Schedule

Apart from exploring the installations on your own, the 2023 festival features different activities to do every day. A sample of the things to see and do this year is listed below.

Note: Exact details are subject to change.

 

Thursday, February 16th, 2023

  • Winter Arts Festival Opening Night Celebration from 4:00 to 10:00 pm at the Hub
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

 

Friday, February 17th, 2023

  • Afro-Caribbean music plus a drum clash against local Asian and Indigenous musicians at the Hub from 4:00 to 10:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • VMF After Dark: Black Rave (an ode to Black culture and music) at the Bentall Centre Gallery starting at 9:30 pm

 

Saturday, February 18th, 2023

  • ROCK’N’BEAU dance party for youth and families at the Hub from 1:00 to 2:00 pm
  • Public disco at the Hub from 2:00 to 10:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • VMF After Dark: Origins of House Music with Public Disco at 9:30 pm at the Bentall Centre Gallery

 

Free Events in February

 

Sunday, February 19th, 2023

  • Pretty in Black with black artists at the Hub from 1:00 to 10:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • VMF After Dark: Deep from the Underground (a celebration of hip hop culture) at the Bentall Centre Gallery starting at 9:30 pm

 

Monday, February 20th, 2023

  • Chosen Family Day with Haus of Bukuru featuring drag performances, dancing and more at the Hub from 2:00 to 9:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

 

Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

  • Ricecake Night Market with Asian food, artists, entertainment and more at the Hub from 4:00 to 10:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

 

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

  • Tongue Market with original and uncensored alternative art from 4:00 to 10:00 pm at the Hub
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • Guided Art Tours (French) at Canada Place from 6:00 to 7:00 pm
  • “Land & Light” conversation and storytelling at Herschel Supply Gastown from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

 

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

  • Black Queer Poetry Slam at the Hub from 4:00 to 10:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • Guided Art Tours (French) from 6:00 to 7:00 pm

 

BC Family Day

 

Friday, February 24th, 2023

  • Public disco and dance at the Hub from 4:00 until 10:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • VMF After Dark: Darker Shades with dance music at the Bentall Centre Gallery starting at 9:30 pm

 

Saturday, February 25th, 2023

  • Science World on the Road at the Hub from 1:00 to 1:30 pm
  • Litefeet dance battle with Chrybaby Cozie at the Hub from 2:30 to 10:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • VMF After Dark with various DJs at the Bentall Centre Gallery at 9:30 pm

 

Sunday, February 26th, 2023

  • Youth dance battle at the Hub from 12:30 to 3:00 pm
  • Interactive Hustle dance at the Hub from 3:00 to 5:00 pm
  • WINTOUR evening of Ballroom at the Hub from 5:00 to 10:00 pm
  • Guided Art Tour at Canada Place from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

 

Circus West at Winter Arts Fest
Circus West Performance at the Hub

 

Other Information

For more information about the festival in February, visit the Winter Arts Festival website.

To learn about the same organization’s festival in the summer, see our article about the Vancouver Mural Festival.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: