Car Free Day exhibits the vibrancy of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods and draws on the creative energy of neighbours to remake local roadways as places of art, culture and sociability. The festival sites reclaim traffic thoroughfares as community-focused public spaces, allowing residents, artists, performers, artisans, non-profits and businesses to interact, engage and re-imagine spaces normally reserved for vehicle traffic.
Car Free Day began 10 years ago on Commercial Drive as a response to the provincial government’s Gateway Program, also known as the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project. The idea was to reclaim the streets and oppose highway expansion and more traffic. Today, we still believe that fewer cars equals more community. Car Free Day has expanded to four neighbourhoods and represents the next level in our evolution toward healthy communities, authentic cultural celebrations, and car-free streets. The four festival sites are 100% organized by local volunteers and each festival has a unique flavour.
Commercial Drive is the birthplace of Car Free Vancouver Day and this year is the 10th anniversary of Drive Fest! Thank you, you lovely rebels, you. This year’s festival is 15 blocks of amazing fun, spanning from Venables to Grandview. Roller Disco, parading drummers, healing gardens, DJs spinning beats and all of your friends and neighbours hanging out. This is YOUR day to bring yourself to your community. Bring your PASSIONS, your ENERGY and your CREATIVITY to the street! Celebrate at Commercial Drive on Sunday, June 15, from noon to 7pm.
2014 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Commercial Drive – Sunday, June 15th, Noon-7pm from Venables to Grandview on The Drive: Roller disco, parading drummers, healing gardens, DJs spinning beats, and all your friends and neighbours hanging out.
Main Street – Sunday, June 15th, Noon-7pm from Broadway to 30th on Main Street: Mini-festivals, community-supported stages with dozens of bands, multiple kids zones, artisan markets, roller derby, skateboarding, parkour and more!
West End – Sunday, June 15th, Noon-6pm from Davie to Robson on Denman Street: Fun for young, old, families, couples and single folks, which includes acoustic music, a kids zone, non-profits, local politicians, artists and artisans.
Kitsilano – Saturday, June 14th and Sunday, June 15th: Block parties by and for local residents and their neighbours.
A renewed community culture with reclaimed public spaces, shared local knowledge & resources, and better environmental policies.
To nurture and grow car-free spaces in collaboration with local communities.
In 2005, the Commercial Drive Festival launched the first community- driven Car-Free Festival in Vancouver as a response to the provincial government’s Gateway Program, also known as the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project. Organizers also wanted to create a community festival at a time when there were few such events in the city. The Festival was wholly volunteer-organized and presented, involving over 30 core organizers and 300 volunteers. It was an enormous success, bringing over 25,000 people out to celebrate the community and party in the street.
After that, the Festival happened in 2006 and twice in the summer of 2007, snowballing in popularity and attracting up to 40,000 people per day. Clearly, car-free days were an idea whose time had come.
The first annual Car-Free Vancouver Day, on Sunday June 15, 2008 ushered in the next phase in this bold experiment that had been gradually happening in Vancouver for many years. It took the car-free meme to the whole city, and represented the next level in our evolution toward healthy communities, authentic cultural celebrations, and car-free streets. On that day, FOUR communities presented their own Car-Free Festivals: Kitsilano, West End, Main Street, and Commercial Drive. Each Festival was envisioned and organized by the local core organizers, and each had a unique flavour.
PARTICIPATE IN CAR FREE DAY VANCOUVER!
Visit the Get Involved web page to find out how you can participate in the festivals. On the Get Involved page you will find application forms for volunteers, performers, businesses, non-profits, artisans, etc. Complete a form and let us know what you plan to do in the streets on Car Free Day Vancouver to bring creativity and fun-for-free to your community.
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