Harmony Arts Festival will return to West Van for its 26th year

West Vancouver is set to host the 26th annual Harmony Arts Festival featuring local artists, chefs, and musicians in a celebration of community sprit.

For 26 years, the Harmony Arts Festival has been running on the gorgeous West Vancouver waterfront. The festival has been growing exponentially in both artists and attendees, so this year they are expecting quite a turnout.

The festival is a celebration of local art in forms ranging from performance to visual to culinary. This year they are to have over 50 performing artists, 70 visual artists, three full-service restaurants, and five different food trucks that make up the Artisan Eats event.

“It’s a community meeting spot; everyone comes to celebrate each other, the art, and the water,” said Christie Rosta, events and festivals manager for the District of West Vancouver. “We have a small but mighty organizing team and over 200 volunteers that help build the festival.”

There are many notable highlights in this year’s festival. “The festivals are built around the relationship we have with the sponsors, without their support we wouldn’t get to create this amazing experience,” said Rosta. Readings in the Park is a brand new feature offered in collaboration with the West Vancouver Memorial Library; in sponsorship with Maison Senior Living, it includes a crime mystery panel.

Although most of the Harmony Arts festival is free, there are several extraordinary paid events hosted on the beautifully lit Ambleside Beach Pier. “These are paid culinary experiences so that the festival can grow with more artists each year,” said Rosta. “This year we are excited to introduce the Mixology Night on the Pier, a celebration of cocktail culture where we have eight of Vancouver’s best bartenders come together to create unique cocktail concoctions.”

The other paid culinary event is called Best of the West, where 12 wineries and 12 restaurants are paired and compete together to serve the best dish. The winner will be decided by the guests.

This is the second year that Harmony Arts Festival is committing to being zero waste. As Rosta said, “One of our council’s top priorities is the environment and sustainable initiatives.”

Some of the most popular returning events of the festival are Cinema in the Park, this year featuring films like Pirates of the Caribbean, Chicago, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A handful of musicians and performing artists such as Lovecoast and Sam Cave will be gracing Millennium Park along with the popular Art Market. Art of Photography, an exhibition of local photographers’ work, will take place August 2–4.

All in all, this event is promised to be a family-friendly summer get-together. Don’t miss it, July 29–August 7.