Community Unity Celebration
The launch of a new, outdoor and inclusive event in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside aims to build community "by defeating and challenging the legacy of isolation and segregation by creating space in the outdoors for cultural sharing"
Photos by Alan Derksen
We acknowledge that Vancouver is located on unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples.
On Friday afternoon from 11am-4pm, an ambitious project held it’s inaugural event in the Downtown Eastside. The Community Unity Celebration is a community-initiated, community-led group that aims to strengthen Vancouver’s DTES by coming together to share their knowledge and celebrate their stories.
With much of the action taking place in and around Lek Lek I (Blood Alley) & Pigeon Park, the Community Unity Celebration also engages Hastings Farm, Victory Square, and Woodward’s Atrium.
This is an intentional binding of four communities, which organizer Debbie Krull says are reflected in the four sides of the Medicine Wheel, which has been integrated into the design of the event’s poster.
Although the Kevin Harris skate demo was canceled by Woodwards security, the afternoon was largely a success, featuring a fashion show, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, live music, a magic show, a bouncy castle for the kids, live art, and an artisan market.
Our photographer Alan Derksen gave this review:
“The event was a definite step forward in the recognition of Vancouver’s local artists, musicians, and creative up and comers. There was a wide range of beautiful and unique designs, intriguing demonstrations, lots of smiling faces, and an overall impressive display of local talent.”
VANDOCUMENT is proud to present Alan’s photodocumentation of the event. For the full gallery of 60 photos(!), click here.
Following the event, VANDOCUMENT’s Ash Tanasiychuk interviewed organizer Debbie Krull. Her history, her deep involvement in the DTES communities in many roles, including circle facilitator, and what lead her to co-create the Community Unity Celebration were discussed. VANDOCUMENT will be posting the article soon,
check back for the link! (Update: VANDOCUMENT’s interview with Debbie Krull)
For more information on the Community Unity Celebration, join their facebook group
The event will be held 4x/year, growing and unifying with greater strength each time.
Image Gallery – photos by Alan Derksen
by Alan Derksen