Most cities are the home to a myriad of parades and festivals. In Vancouver, some focus on culture, like a Japanese Street Festival, others focus on religion, like the Vaisakhi (celebrating the birth of Khalsa), or sport, like a Dragon Boat Festival. Many celebrate some aspect of the performing arts, such as the Fringe Festival, the Folk Festival, the Women in View Festival, the Fool's Parade or the Children's Festival. In many places it is hard to find a weekend in the spring or summer without a celebration.
One well-attended celebration is Illuminares, held on a summer evening at Trout Lake. It features stilt walkers, floating pyrotechnics and a moving procession of light created by hundreds of candle-lit lanterns. During the months of preparation, the Public Dreams Society organizes events and lantern building workshops for artists, children, and local residents. This makes the Illuminares an event at which the community is not only the audience, but also the players, designers, and stage hands.
Many Vancouver neighbourhoods have their own local festivals. Kits Days, with its famous Soap Box Car Derby, Cedar Cottage Community Carnival, and the Clinton Park Festival all provide excellent opportunities for neighbours to get together to celebrate their neighbourhood. Grandview, where festivals seem to be second nature, has spawned a community orchestra that injects life into all kinds of public events. For more information call your local municipal hall.
The Troublemaker's Teaparty is an updated and expanded print version of The Citizen's Handbook. It contains all of The Handbook plus additional material on preventing grassroots rot, strategic action, direct action and media advocacy. You can get a copy of The Teaparty from bookstores, Amazon or New Society Publishers.