Massive African Descent Festival returns to Vancouver later this month

Fifth annual event set for July 20-21 at Thornton Park

The African Decent Festival takes place in Vancouver this July and offers a weekend full of entertainment, food and all things Africa.

Intended to celebrate the cultural diversity of people of African descent living in Vancouver, the fifth annual event will showcase different cultures and countries from across the African continent. In addition, attendees may enjoy live painting by Vancouver-based painter, Jace Junggyu Kim.

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The fun begins at 11 a.m. on July 20 at Thornton Park (1166 Main St.) with Drum Circle Munkie, Jordan Hansen, and Zion Children, followed by a range of musical entertainment including dancers, singers, DJs and a fashion show. To wrap up the day, Canadian R&B soul icon, Jully Black, will perform at 7:20 p.m.

On July 21, the second day of the festival kicks off with two hours of Drum Circle Munkie followed by a performance by Dallanah Gail Bowen and a range of performances before the final act of the day, Joseph Chameleone. Chameleone is a hugely popular Ugandan afrobeat and reggae musician and CEO of the music label, Leone Island.

The organizers will work, “with a wide range of city groups, main street businesses, and at large Vancouver organizations to bring awareness to Vancouver’s prominent and growing African community.”

Further, the festival hopes to rejuvenate the spirit of Hogan’s Alley in Strathcona. From the early 1900s to the late 1960s, the East Side neighbourhood of Strathcona was home to Vancouver’s first and only black community.

The UN General Assembly has designated the 2015-2024 the International Decade for People of African Descent (Resolution 68/237) citing the, “need to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society.”

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