Tag Archives: Festa!

Italian Day Happens Sunday June 9th On The Drive

15 May

ItalianDayThe much loved Italian Day returns to Commercial Drive Sunday, June 9th.  This 14 block vibrant street party takes place on The Drive from the Grandview Cut to Venables.  The day is filled with food, entertainment, things to do and see and experience.  Grab some friends and stop at one of the many outdoor patios set up for the day for a bite and refreshment. Or take in one of the many food trucks lined up and down the stretch.  You will certainly not go hungry whilst you wander and take in all the sights and sounds.

Each year, Italian Day, hosts a theme, this year’s is community an important piece of Italian culture and heritage. This year’s festival looks to celebrate community and the common ground we all share and how together we can make a positive difference in our community.

Britannia Community Centre is again hosting a free family friendly activity. This year, local artists will help host a Friendship Bracelet Workshop from Noon to 4:00 pm in the Napier Greenway.  All materials are supplied. Everyone is welcome to stop by and participate.

Italian Day kicks off at Noon and the party runs till 8:00 pm. Just a reminder that vehicle traffic on Commercial Drive is blocked off, so it is best to take transit, walk or cycle in. For those cycling to Italian Day, we expect a Bike Valet will be set up again at 1st Avenue & Commercial, but this hasn’t been confirmed yet. We invite you come out and celebrate all things Italian. Italian Day represents the largest one day cultural street festival in Vancouver – and perhaps in Canada – drawing over 200,000 attendees of all cultures and ages.  Stop by and see some of the magic of this great street festival.


Next Year “Skip The Clubs and Go Dance on The Drive”- Italian Day 2018 Is Now In The Books

12 Jun

ItalianDay2018Back again for its 9th consecutive year, Italian Day on The Drive delighted thousands of festival attendees with the sights, sounds and tastes of Italy. From Venables Street to Grandview Cut, Commercial Drive was transformed into a lively festa – the largest one day cultural street festival in Vancouver! Home to Little Italy, The Drive comes alive annually in green, white and red with piazza style animated zones, live music, food, patios, fashion, retail vendors, vehicles, activities, children’s zones and more.

Each year the festival is organized around a central theme and this year it was Musica! With three main stages spread throughout the 14 blocks, every few blocks you were greeted with a new performance showcasing local and national artists from Italy. Italy’s music has traditionally been considered one of the cultural markers of Italian national and ethnic identity and festival goers could be seen dancing and singing in the middle of the street all the way down The Drive. Of course the dozens of restaurants, bakeries and beer gardens were also packed with Vancouverites devouring traditional Italian delicacies! Whether you wanted to see the brilliant performances or just kick back on a Sunday with a slice of pizza and a cannoli – Italian Day 2018 was not to be missed!


By Contributing Writer: Nicole Alivojvodic

Vancouver Fringe Festival Brings Festa! To The Portuguese Club of Vancouver September 8-18, 2016

6 Sep

Festa!The Vancouver Fringe Festival is happening in and around Vancouver September 8th to 18th.  There is one show with a very decidedly East Van twist to  it, that is Festa! which takes place at the Portuguese Club of Vancouver at 1144 Commercial Drive.  This show speaks to us on many levels and we think it will to many others who grew up in East Vancouver.  Having parents that immigrated from Europe, our neighbourhood was about as multi-cultural as you could get. It was and still is one of things I loved most about growing up in East Van. It felt like you were celebrating different cultures every day but didn’t really know it at the time. It’s only in looking back you can fully appreciate it. This is what makes Festa! so unique. It was created and will be performed by two Portuguese ladies, Maria J. Cruz and Sandra Medeiros. Maria and Sandra grew up in East Van and met at Charles Tupper Secondary School. They both have fond memories of growing up in East Van. Maria we learnt used to troll the alleyways with her grandfather with a scythe to collect grass for their bunnies whereas Sandra remembers growing up surrounded by hippies and people of various cultures. We hear Sandra even participated in the Miss PCOV Pageant as a teen.  We learnt these ladies felt there was a bit of stigma living in East Van, but that it made them tough, scrappy and resourceful. We think this applies to many of us that grew up in East Van. We asked them what they loved most about growing up in a Portuguese family. “The food was always amazing! We have the ability to laugh and joke around, even when you don’t have much. Knowing that your family is fiercely protective and will always have your back. Portuguese families are tight knit and loving, even while driving you crazy!”  Now getting back to the food, like many cultures, this is a big part of theirs and experiencing the food is an option while you watch Festa! As this show will be taking place at the Portuguese Club of Vancouver, the Club is offering a special Festa! Menu for $25 which includes:

Calde Verde o Salada Mixta –
Portuguese Kale Soup or a House Salad
Bacalhau a Casa o Feijoada Vegetariano –
Traditional Cod with Fries or Veggie Bean Stew
Pastel de nata o Arroz Doce –
Portuguese egg tart or rice pudding

We are inclined to go for the egg tarts alone. There are not many places left in Vancouver to find them. Tickets for the show are available in advance for $14 through the Vancouver Fringe Festival and $5 for the membership, the Festa meal is of course separate and available once you arrive at The Club.  This is one show we plan to see.  Hope to see you there!Festa2

%d bloggers like this: