Had the time of your life at the Vancouver Mural Festival this summer? We’ve got some great news to share. The VMF Winter Arts Festival is officially returning to the city this February, and will feature a ton of public art, live performances, pop-up dance parties, and much more.

The central Winter Arts Hub will be located at the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square), which will serve as the festival’s nucleus. As for elsewhere downtown, the festival will transform the area into an open-air art gallery and live stage for 11 days.

Land and Light

This year’s theme of “Land and Light” will bring together incredible local artists, new technology, and light to brighten up Vancouver’s darkest time of year. Basically, expect everything from laser light shows and live performances to guided art tours of various public art installations.

Another key intention of this year’s theme is to bring awareness to our relationship with the land – “as stewards, settlers, immigrants, visitors, and guests,” according to the release.

“We are surrounded by colours that would have been inconceivable only a few hundred years ago: In the street lights, signage, screens, and projections. In the hands of artists, light becomes a medium to illuminate, transform, and share their individual and collective visions for a shared future.”

Food & entertainment

In terms of food & drink, guests can expect a family-friendly outdoor space with a ton of rotating food trucks to peruse, as well as drinks from a fully licensed bar.

New to the festival this year? A series of late-night pop-up dance parties at the Bentall Centre called VMF After Dark. The space will serve as an all-ages NFT gallery and lounge by day and transform into a 19+ space by night on the weekends.

According to the release, there will be five ticketed After Dark parties with entertainment curated by a different local music group each night.

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VMF winter arts festival
Photo via Gabriel Martins / VMF

Over the festival’s 11 days, guests can discover free art and entertainment along the VMF Winter Arts route from the Vancouver Art Gallery, along Burrard Street including Bentall Centre, to Canada Place. Public art installation highlights include augmented reality, sculptures, and even a laser light animation by multimedia artist Tafui.

While further deets are a bit scarce at the moment, we’ve definitely got our eye on VMF’s socials & will update you soon with the latest.

VMF Winter Arts Festival 2023

When: February 16th to February 26th
Where: North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery (šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square)