Learning To Appreciate Vancouver’s Incredible Art Scene At The Vancouver Mural Festival

The Kraken – Artist: Tyler Toews

Having so much time around home in British Columbia these last months, we have discovered a lot of great gems that we had previously not paid attention to. How had we not noticed the Vancouver Mural Festival, now in its fifth year, until now? This year’s event was expanded into a three-week festival. From August 18 to September 7, over 60 murals were painted and unveiled in nine different neighbourhoods.

Driving around Vancouver we would spot some murals here and there, but we had never realized just how full of murals Vancouver has become. Or, how special and full of colour and inspiration those back alleys that we ignore would be. We never took the time to properly appreciate the art scene in Vancouver.

We took a day to drive around all over Vancouver with the Vancouver Mural Fest App to see how many murals we could find, until the kids got tired of driving around all day and constantly hopping in and out of the car. The app was a great way to find our way around as you could “favourite” the murals you wanted to see, sort by area, or theme. The app also included details about each piece; it was nice to know more detail about what the piece meant to the artist. The app seemed to also include murals from all years of the Vancouver Mural Fest as well, so we were not just limited to discovering the new 2020 ones.

There were a few murals that really spoke to us. Our favourite, hands down, was The Kraken. We particilarly loved the ship in a bottle detail. We also loved the deep meaning behind some, like those on the trash cans in Harbour Light Alley . The kids especially loved the mermaids and the dinosaurs (one from the 2018 Mural Festival). We also found Gastown’s Murals Of Gratitude collection to be very touching. The Murals Of Gratitude is an outdoor gallery that honours Canada’s healthcare heroes and showcases the plywood murals that were created by over 20 artists for the shops of Gastown earlier this year.⁠⁣

Take a look at some of the murals we found:

Vancouver Mural Festival dinosaur artwork
This dinosaur one was actually from the Mural Fest in 2018, but we love Dinosaurs and are fascinated by them.
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Love, Knowledge and Peace – Artist: Steve Smith
Vancouver Mural Festival Kraken and a ship in a bottle art
The Kraken – Artist: Tyler Toews — This mural especially took our breath away. Incredible!
Vancouver Mural Festival art
QWTA – Artist: Ronnie Dean Harris
Vancouver Mural Festival art
The Tramplers – Artist: Jean Paul Langlois
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Left – The Community Tree – Artist: GHIA Collective / Top- Untitled – Artist: KASHINK
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Horns – Artist: Taka Sudo
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Untitled – Artists: DEF3, Renos
Vancouver Mural Festival art
The Missing Piece – Artist: iHeart
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Just a Thought – Artist: KASHINK
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Tidal Recall – Artist: Dedos
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Gastown’s Murals Of Gratitude – Left: Artist – @breecesartpieces98, Right- Artist: @abi.t.t
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Gastown’s Murals Of Gratitude – First two – Artist: @RealJenArt
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Gastown’s Murals Of Gratitude – Artist: @Adiartwork
Vancouver Mural Festival covid art
Gastown’s Murals Of Gratitude — Little Miss Mask – Artist: Angela Joell Gooliaff
Vancouver Mural Festival covid art
Gastown’s Murals Of Gratitude — First Image — 2 Metres Apart – Artist: David Austin
Vancouver Mural Festival covid art
Gastown’s Murals Of Gratitude – Artist: @RealJenArt
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Garbage Kid – Artist: Tyler Toews
Vancouver Mural Festival trash can whale art
Whale of a Problem – Artist: Tyler Toews
Vancouver Mural Festival polar bear art
Future Island – Artist: Tyler Toews
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Exhausting Machine – Artist: NEVERCREW
Vancouver Mural Festival polar bear in a red bottle art
Exhausting Machine – Artist: NEVERCREW
Vancouver Mural Festival hashtag art
Thirsty – Artist: iHeart
Vancouver Mural Festival lion art
Twin Lions – Artist: Oksana Gaidaasheva
Vancouver Mural Festival mermaid art
Lady Mermaids – Artists: Bronwyn Schuster, Tia Rambaran, Lani Imre, Amanda Smart
Vancouver Mural Festival mermaid art
Lady Mermaids – Artists: Bronwyn Schuster, Tia Rambaran, Lani Imre, Amanda Smart
Vancouver Mural Festival mermaid art
Lady Mermaids – Artists: Bronwyn Schuster, Tia Rambaran, Lani Imre, Amanda Smart
Vancouver Mural Festival art
The Evening – Artist: Fintan Magee
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Shxwexwo:s Balance and Strength – Artist: Zac George
Vancouver Mural Festival art
Golden Fish Yumcha – Artist: Priscilla Yu
Vancouver Mural Festival art
The Present is a Gift – Artist: Drew Young, Jay Senetchko

 

Vancouver is blessed with an incredible art scene. It was about time that we made the effort to set out to explore some of it. There were SO many murals to discover that it will definitely take another trip or two to adequately discover the rest of them.

Download the Vancouver Mural Festival App, and off you go! It will make you look at Vancouver in a whole new way after you do.

 

Where have you discovered some great murals?