Carnaval del Sol still happened in 2020! Vancouver’s annual Latin American festival still took place, despite COVID-19, both in live and online formats!
ACROSS THE AMERICAS
In 2021 Carnaval del Sol takes place between July 1st and the 24th. Similar to the year before, it will likely include both virtual online events and (hopefully) in-person activities as well.
The final episode of Carnaval del Sol’s Across the Americas series of video presentations last year was on August 19th. In it, Episode 6, was video footage of Vancouver taken by Vancouver’s Best Places. Also in that episode, as well as in the previous five, Latin American singers, cities and culture were showcased. Similar Across the Americas presentations are expected at the event in 2021.
Click CSOL’s Across the Americas to watch the series.
Despite COVID-19, unlike many events in the Lower Mainland this year, Carnaval del Sol wasn’t cancelled. Far from it in fact! And the festivities ran for over three weeks this past year, instead of just 10 or so days!
To learn about what the festival usually looks like, in years when there isn’t a pandemic, see our articles about Carnaval del Sol and Latin American Week. For information about what happened in 2020, see below or check out the official Carnaval del Sol website.
To jump to information about the festival’s food and live entertainment events on the weekend of August 7th to 9th, click 2020 Restaurants & Food Events
Carnaval del Sol Online and In-Person
In 2020 Carnaval del Sol ran from July 15th until August 9th. The same as it has been for the past dozen or so years, the festival was a celebration of Latin American food, music, arts, dancing and culture.
Because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, Carnaval del Sol‘s usual giant festival at Concord Pacific Place near False Creek couldn’t happen in 2020. Hopefully it can return in 2021. Instead of cancelling the festival entirely, however, and cancelling all the other great events of Latin American Week too, Carnaval del Sol re-invented itself in 2020 in both live and virtual formats.
When and Where in 2020?
On the weekend of August 7th to 9th a variety of food-related activities occurred at Lower Mainland Latin American restaurants.
Some activities scheduled for Carnaval del Sol this past year included the following:
- Art Experience & Blockchain – an interactive ONLINE workshop via Zoom about art and technology with Colombian-born New York-based artist Jessica Angel. The event was free, but donations were welcome. (On July 18th from 10:00 until 11:00 am)
- Discovering Latin America’s Indigenous Territories – an online event showcasing the stories and lives of women from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Vancouver. The ONLINE event was presented simultaneously in both English and Spanish via Zoom. Although free to attend, it was also a fundraising event for Latin American charities where they hoped to raise as much as $10,000, so donations were greatly appreciated. (On July 25th from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm.)
- Latin American Women Flourishing in Canada – a LIVE EVENT at the Loft Lounge at 203-1184 Denman Street. It was a workshop featuring the sharing of stories by Latin American women and a panel discussion about “Feminism and Leadership.” The cost was $30 per person and included a glass of wine and complimentary appetizer. (On July 30th from 5:30 until 9:00 pm.)
- Flamenco Night – a LIVE EVENT featuring singing, dancing and physical distancing between dance couples at the Granville Island Pavilion. The cost was a minimum $10 donation per person and people needed to bring their own partner. (August 4th from 5:30 until 8:00 pm.)
What Will the Festival Look Like in 2020?
A second element showcased Latin American food and restaurants at various locations throughout Vancouver.
Just a few of the bands and musicians participating in Carnaval del Sol in 2020 included Lila Downs (from Mexico), Nación Ekeko (from Argentina), Nortec Bostich + Fussible (from Mexico), Bareto (from Peru), Ramón Chicharrón (from Colombia/Canada) and Mazacote (featuring musicians from both Nicaragua and Canada).
Check out the official Carnaval del Sol website for full details about the event in 2020.
Carnaval del Sol Online Elements
For details click Across the Americas 2020. Also, check out the following video to see who is performing and to get an idea of what to expect.
2020 Showcasing of Restaurants and Food
During the weekend of August 7th to 9th in 2020, Lower Mainland Latin American restaurants offered special menus to celebrate Carnaval del Sol.
Given that the coronavirus was getting increasingly under control at the time, restaurants in Vancouver were allowed to offer dine-in service once again, which was wonderful! This weekend was a great time to check out some of the region’s best Latin American cuisine, from Mexican to Argentinian to Brazilian and more!
Participating restaurants in the showcasing of Latin American food in 2020 are listed below. Reservations cost just under $6 per party (including online fees). In most (but not all cases) there was live music at the venues.
Vancouver Latin American Restaurants
- Bodega on Main – a tapas-style restaurant at 1014 Main Street. They were offering a $10 discount on mixta, negra or jardinera paella.
- The Jeremy Price Duo provided the live music on August 7th.
- The Kin Balam Duo played on August 8th
- Los Madera performed on August 9th.
- Boteco Brasil – a Brazilian restaurant at 2545 Nanaimo Street. Their Carnaval del Sol deals for the weekend were feijoada traditional for $13, feijoada vegana for $14 and a feijoada combo for $21.50. Desserts were also just $4.50.
- Live music was with Forro do Cana on August 7th.
- Shot Sambado performed on August 8th.
- Calabash Bistro – a Caribbean restaurant at 428 Carrall Street in Gastown. They participated on just August 9th. On that evening though live music was with Gisun.
- La Casita – a Mexican restaurant at 101 West Cordova Street. Their special deals for the weekend were draft beer for $4 and nachos for $7.50.
- The Jeremy Vint Trio performed on August 7th.
- Yuji Nakajima played on August 8th.
- Joaquín González performed on August 9th.
- Los Cuervos – a Mexican taqueria at 603 Kingsway in Vancouver. They were offering a free plate of churros per $20 spent.
- Kin Balam played on August 7th.
- The Jon Gonzales Trio performed on August 8th.
- Jeremy Prices Dios entertained on August 9th.
- La Taquería – a popular Mexican restaurant that’s famous for its tacos that are made in-house. It’s located at 586 Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver. Their special deal for the August 7th to 9th weekend included Cerveza La Taquería lager, sangria, margaritas, guacamole & chips and salsa & chips all for $5 each. Live music on each of the evenings was with the following:
- The Frankie Hidalgo Trio on August 7th.
- Sara Magal on August 8th.
- Mariachi Tabasko on August 9th.
- Zocalo Modern Cantina – serves a variety of Latin American menu items including dishes from Mexico and Argentina. It’s located at 646 Kingsway in Vancouver. Their Carnaval del Sol deal for the weekend was paloma cocktails for $8.
- Los Madera entertained on August 7th.
- Mariachi Tabasko provided the live music on August 8th.
- Mariachi Las Estrellas de Vancouver performed on August 9th.
Non-Latin-American Vancouver Restaurants
- The Cambie Bar & Grill – a Vancouver pub at 300 Cambie Street. It isn’t specifically Latin American, but it was participating in the Carnaval del Sol restaurants event. Their deal for the weekend was pizza for $15.
- Los Duendes played on August 7th.
- Gisun performed on August 8th.
- Los Duendes played again on August 9th.
- Charqui – a gastropub at 1955 Cornwall Avenue in Kitsilano.
- The Jon Gonzales Trio played on August 7th.
- The Jeremy Price Duo performed on August 8th.
- The Jon Gonzales Trio entertained on August 9th.
- The Loft Lounge – a Caribbean restaurant located at #203-1184 Denman Street. They were offering 25% off select items.
- Pearl Jig played on August 7th.
- Los Duendes performed on August 8th.
- The Frankie Hidalgo Trio entertained on August 9th.
- Province Marinaside – a Mediterranean-style restaurant at 1177 Marinaside Crescent in Yaletown by False Creek. Their menu included cuisine from the south of France, not Latin America. It’s a popular place though and often participates in Carnaval del Sol-related events.
- Rumba Calzada performed at the restaurant on August 7th.
- The band Mazacote performed on August 8th.
- The musician Robin Layne entertained on August 9th.
Latin American Restaurants Outside the City of Vancouver
- Cafe Oca Brazilian Bistro – located at 4092 Hastings Street in Burnaby.
- Sal y Limon – a Mexican restaurant at 2428-160th Street in Surrey. Their Carnaval del Sol deal included two burritos, two soft drinks, one serving of chips and one pico de gallo for $25.
- Mariachi Tabasko performed on August 7th.
- The Jeremy Vint Trio played on August 8th.
- Pearl Jig entertained on August 9th.
- Tequila Cocina– a Mexican cantina-style place at 1933 Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. Their Carnaval del Sol specials for the weekend of August 7th to 9th were margaritas for $5 and three meat tacos for $10.
To learn more about the event see the Carnaval del Sol website.
For information about the organization behind Carnaval del Sol see the Latincouver website.
Other articles that may be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s July Calendar
- Vancouver’s August Calendar
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Mexican and Latin American Restaurants
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment
- Vancouver History and Culture
- What’s Open in COVID-19 Vancouver