Cultural Context Brief

Powell Street Festival has an incredibly a diverse audience of over 22,000 festival goers. We welcome and strive to be inclusive to all people. Please consider the following context during your participation at this community event.

  • Our Festival has contemporary and historical significance to Japanese Canadians, Asian Canadians, Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour in Vancouver and beyond, and welcomes a multicultural, multiracial audience.
  • Our Festival takes place in a low-income neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside (DTES), with high rates of homelessness, mental health issues, and addiction issues. This neighbourhood is also a site of contemporary and historical activism. Powell Street Festival Society stands in solidarity with the communities of the DTES through our Advocacy and Outreach Committee efforts. Oppenheimer Park, the site of our festival, has been dubbed the “Backyard” of the DTES.
  • The DTES has a large Indigenous population. Oppenheimer Park, the site of our festival, is of historical significance to the Coast Salish communities in this territory: the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil- Waututh First Nations. Powell Street Festival Society recognizes the ongoing colonization of Indigenous peoples and stands in solidarity with decolonization efforts.
  • Our Festival takes place on the same weekend as the Vancouver Pride Parade and Vancouver Dyke March as well as dozens of other queer celebrations. We stand in solidarity with the queer and trans (LGBTQAI2S) communities, and every year look forward to their presence at the festival.

Discrimination against these groups, and all people, is not tolerated.  If you need assistance determining if your language and or messages could be interpreted as discriminatory, please ask us.

We strive to be accessible, through our free programming, resources, actions, and artistic presentations.

Thank you for respecting our values of diversity and inclusivity.