'It's colourful and it's vibrant': More than 50 murals on display at Vancouver art festival
This year's event adds more Indigenous artists
Vancouver's smoky skies are set to clear in time for the sun to illuminate dozens of bright, new murals across the city.
For the past week, artists have been working on their contributions to the second annual Vancouver Mural Festival, which features over 50 works in public spaces.
"It's not going to be everybody's taste in art," said Andrea Curtis, director of operations for the festival.
"But at the end of the day, it's colourful and it's vibrant and it's starting to change the big picture around our sense of identity in our neighbourhoods and our city."
Organizers said they were able to improve upon the inaugural event by adding more Indigenous artists and focusing on adding character to spaces made for cyclists and pedestrians.
Curtis said the festival's high visibility is changing minds about Vancouver's "no-fun-city" reputation.
"People are starting to believe that statement less and less when they see big things happening in their neighbourhoods," she told Samantha Garvey, associate producer of CBC's The Early Edition.
A new addition to the festival is the Holden Courage Memorial Graffiti Jam. It will take place on a city-sanctioned graffiti "free-wall" in honour of a Vancouver-based graffiti artist who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2015.
A free wall is a place where artists can come to paint without fear of legal repercussions, given graffiti is not permitted in Vancouver.
The city was originally apprehensive to approve the free-wall, but eventually gave it the green light.
Curtis said the mother of the young man who passed away approached the festival to make the graffiti event happen.
"It's actually really exciting to see that coming together with this young man in mind and with the spirit of what his mom is bringing to the table," Curtis said.
It's one of many free events taking place in and around the Mount Pleasant and Main Street areas this weekend.
On Saturday, portions of Main Street between Seventh Avenue and 12th Avenue will be closed for a street party featuring live music by Yukon Blonde, Louise Burns and Carousel.
With files from Samantha Garvey and CBC Radio One's The Early Edition