One of the highlights of Vancouver’s summer will return in 2019 with Car Free Days taking place across the city. These annual arts and culture festivals celebrate the vibrancy of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods, allowing artists, performers, non-profits and businesses to interact and engage with the community in spaces normally reserved for vehicle traffic.
History of the Festival
The first car free day was held on Commercial Drive in 2005. Concerned with the effects of increasing automobile traffic in the neighbourhood, the founders of Car Free Commercial Drive came together to create a street festival to highlight the potential range of uses for neighbourhood streets. Since 2008, the festival has blossomed to include communities in the West End, Main Street and Kitsilano. Each festival is produced largely by volunteers who live within the neighbourhoods, reflecting the unique personality and vibe they’re known for.
Sunday, July 7th
12pm – 7pm
The Commercial Drive Car Free Festival stretches across 15 blocks from Venables to N. Grandview. Attendees can look forward to unique shopping, food trucks and entertainment across several stages. It is based on a strong message of advocacy and activism for highlighting the potential of car free spaces and green culture for the wider local community.
Sunday, June 16th
12pm – 7pm
Main Street’s Car Free Festival is the largest even of its type in Vancouver, spanning 21 city blocks. The festival will feature 15 stages, with fun family-friendly sights like a kid-zone, skateboard area, artisan shops and eclectic food vendors. Sample the flavours of Main Street on one of the many extended restaurant patios that will be operating on the day.
Saturday, June 15th
12pm – 7pm
The annual West End Car Free Festival takes place on Denman Street, from Robson Street to Davie Street. This densely populated area plays host to one of the city’s most colourful car free events, with music stages and jam sessions aplenty. Look out for a dazzling array of art created live on the street, or savour a bite to eat from one of the many tasty dining outlets.
June 15th and 16th
Kitsilano adopts a slightly different approach for Car Free Day. Rather than close off one major street, Kits residents can host block parties throughout the neighbourhood over the course of the weekend. The look and feel of these parties are entirely up to the organizers. Some will have dancing, some music, while some will feature couches and communal food. No matter the details, all provide a fun and relaxing opportunity to hang out with neighbours and increase community bonds.
Find Out More
Interested in participating at one of the 2019 Car Free Day Festivals? Visit the official website and register your interest in helping one of Vancouver’s largest volunteer efforts.