The Downtown South Gathering Place Community Centre Association and the Gathering Place Community Centre first partnered to produce a mid-summer festival 2010 as part of the Inner City Inclusivity initiatives and other Olympic legacy funding. The festival was held in George Wainborn Park at the foot of Richards Street, overlooking False Creek and surrounded by new residential high rises.
The 2011 festival was held in George Wainborn Park as well. In 2012 the festival was moved to Emery Barnes Park, kitty corner to the Gathering Place Community Centre. It was re-named the Gathering Festival and more local organizations were invited to participate and share in the events. The 2012 activities were rather modest yet the inclusion of more community partners and the close proximity of the festival to the Gathering Place centre raised noticeably more enthusiasm from community members than previous additions. With an increase in funding in 2013 the festival began to grow significantly. In 2014 Jim Byrnes headlined the festival and in 2015 both Jim and the legendary Powder Blues performed. In 2016 we worked with Ciniworks to produce a youth driven film “The Sounds We See” premiered at the Vancity Theatre.
The festival continues to evolve. In 2017 we formally partnered with Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret to expand our annual summer solstice celebrations on July 21st. The 2018 festival was one of the most successful to date with an International Yoga Day Celebration with the Indian Consulate, expanded Access Awareness Celebrations, an Indigenous Food Sovereignty film festival and Jim Byrnes joining the Marcus Mosely Chorale for a big finale.