Vancouver’s iconic Dragon Boat Festival returns to False Creek this month, and racers will take to the water in a next-generation fleet of locally designed racing boats.
Dragon Boat BC launched the 2022 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival yesterday with the unveiling of 18 new dragon boats that will make their racing debuts from June 24 to 26.
The festival’s largest-ever capital investment was backed by Terry Hui, CEO of Concord Pacific and the province of BC, and the former said he’s excited to see the full festival return to the neighborhood.
“For over 30 years, the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival has been an all-encompassing event on False Creek and an exciting start to summer in Vancouver,” Hui said in a release. “We are excited to partner with the county to acquire this new fleet for the local paddling community and the dragon boat community at large.
“Concord Pacific has partnered with Dragon Boat BC since day one as the founder and now title sponsor of the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival. This year’s artistic fusion of indigenous and dragon boat paddling cultures truly embodies the spirit of this waterfront community.”
Nine local artists representing the diversity of the region were commissioned to create artwork for the racing boats. Chepximiya Siyam, Debra Sparrow and Ocean Hyland were each invited to draw on the cultures of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh to design a boat.
Artists who created unique and distinctive artworks around the theme of community, culture and competition, including Chairman Ting, Kari Kristensen, Joslyn Reid, Bagua Art Association, Derek Tam and Carmen Chan, were also selected to reflect the festival’s roots.
The state-of-the-art vessels will be used exclusively for competitions.
“People in Vancouver are so excited that the Dragon Boat Festival is returning this year,” Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings and secretary of state for community development and nonprofits, said in a statement. “The new boats with designs from local artists are a great showcase of the diverse talent in our community.”
The 18 dragon boats will be on public display at Concord Community Park on June 10-11 and will be blessed by the International Taoist Church of Canada in an eye-dotting ceremony on Saturday at 2 p.m.
To see the new boats in action, make plans to attend the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, taking place at Concord Pacific Place and Creekside Park on June 25 and 26, with racer-only events taking place on June 24.
The city’s biggest Dragon Boat party includes the highly anticipated international dragon boat races on False Creek and free concerts and cultural programming on the 102.7 THE PEAK Main Stage.
“This year’s Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival is our invitation to everyone — teams, our community and city — to reconnect,” said Dominic Lai, Development, Marketing and Operations Director for Dragon Boat BC, in a statement. release. “We are ready to welcome everyone back to kick off the summer with us, watch races in our new fleet of boats and enjoy an exclusively local lineup of activities and shows.”
Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver 2022
When: June 24 to 26, 2022
Time: different times
Where: Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park and False Creek, Vancouver