2016 Gathering Festival

The Gathering Festival is an exciting four week festival held at the Gathering Place Community Centre and Emery Barnes Park. The 27 festival days are packed with up to 50 workshops, activities and special events including community art workshops, amateur and professional music performances, Film screenings at Vancity Theatre, Summer Solstice Parades and Celebrations, BC Access Awareness Day, Seniors Week, Bike to Work Week and more.

Thank you from the festival producers

My thanks go out to everyone who played a large or small part in making the 2016 Gathering Festival a success. Many of you worked extremely hard including hundreds of volunteers, community partners, performers, production staff, board members, funders, supporters and participants. This festival could not happen without your contributions. This year the festival team pulled off close to 40 workshops, a film screening at Vancity Theatre, a Summer Solstice celebration, and special events for BC Access Awareness Day, Bike to Work Week and BC Seniors Week. And despite some rain during our big community celebration our volunteer and staff teams were better organized than ever making a challenging day a pleasure to be at.

We have built an outstanding arts, cultural and community event in Vancouver’s inner-city. What a super lineup of bands! Powder Blues, the Paperboys, Kutapira, Van Django, the Carnival Band, Bike Bike Gamelan and many community groups. We had great art, stilt dancers, historical walks and some really exciting costume characters. This year we had a wonderful screening at the Vancity Theatre of the ‘Sounds We See’, a film made by 10 inner city youth, and our annual Summer Solstice parade to False Creek with sunset ceremonies by the water were spectacular. More than 300 people helped to make art, perform, cook and deliver 1500 servings of free food, set-up gear and stages, host community information booths and activities and generally take care of the many small details that are essential to making the 27 festival days a big success. These events are not just fun; they make for great community building, support local artists and help us provide for Vancouver’s most vulnerable.

I don’t always get to thank and debrief with everyone personally but over the summer I hope to be in touch with many of you to talk about your contribution, what worked and what we can do to make things even better next year. In the meantime, over the next few weeks we will be posting photos and stories from the festival on facebook and our web page. Check it out and I look forward to seeing everyone next year.


Alex Chisholm

Community Development Programmer

Gathering Place Community Centre

The 2016 Festival is now over! Performances from Tom Lavin and the  Ledgendary Powder Blues with the Paperboys, Van Django, Iswew Singers and Kutapira Marimba.


Tom Lavin and the Powder Blues


The Paperboys


Tom Lavin and the Ledgendary Powder Blue returned to the 2016 Gathering Festival in Emery Barnes Park on Sat June 18th. Joining The Powder Blues will be Vancouver’s own Paperboys.

The festival highpoint, Sat June 18, is marked with a grand one-day community celebration in Emery Barnes Park adjacent to the Gathering Place Community Centre in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown. Community bands performed with established professional bands, service groups set-up display booths, workshop participants exhibited their achievements, children play games, street youth walk on stilts, historical banners animate the park, there will be food, community information, games, health care and lots more.

Two days of events followed the Community Celebration: a free screening of locally produce films at the Vancouver International Film Festival’s Vancity Theatre, food and music in the park and a Summer Solstice celebration to conclude the festival on June 20st.


The Day following the big community celebration we feature music in the park followed by a world premier screening of The Sounds We See, A Vancouver City Symphony at the Vancity Theatre at 7 45 PM. This presentation included a number of youth made films and a Vancouver archive film made in 1907.


Gathering Rhythms at Vancity Theatre


The festival ended with a grand Summer Solstice Celebration. Music and activities started at 6pm with performances by Gamelan Bike Bike. The event was animated by giant puppets and members of the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret. Event-goers dressed up in costume as well. At 8pm, the Carnival Band lead the solstice procession down to David Lam Park by False Creek to find Martin Reisle the cello player. marking an end to the month long Gathering Festival.



The Gathering Place proudly presents this year:

Gathering Place Beatles Tribute

Adapted music group, facilitated by the Vancouver Adapted Music Society (VAMS)

Joy of Cooking Band

GP Choir

Slice Day Youth Performers