Vancouver Mural Festival

Vancouver Mural Festival

If you’re local to Vancouver, you’ve probably heard of the Mural Festival. If you’re not, let me explain – it’s the city’s largest annual free public art celebration. Thousands of people from across the city head to the Mount Pleasant region of the city to see some of the city’s coolest and most colourful murals and street art, just off hipster Main Street.

In case you weren’t able to attend in person, allow me to give you a guide through the some of the most impressive street art of Vancouver.

Street art in Vancouver
Vancouver murals

Whilst some of the murals remained from previous festivals, it was still a great excuse to get out and see some of the awesome street art tucked away in alleyways and lanes.

Vancouver Mural Festival

We followed the crowds, soaking up the pensive messages and mantras of each individual mural.

Girls at Vancouver Mural Festival
A colourful mural near Main Street, Vancouver

Virtually every corner you turn in the area, you’re faced with a new colourful mural.

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A rainbow coloured pattern mural
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A botanical themed mural

We really liked this mural which is a nod to Canada’s First Nations population and their indigenous art.

An indige

As well as plenty of murals, there were a few pop ups around the area, offering chill out areas and photo booths.

Aurora pop up at Vancouver Mural Festival

It was also a great chance to be nosy – we came across this adorable heritage house which has been converted into a gallery across three floors.

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There were some really interesting contemporary pieces inside – certainly some of them could resonate with today’s obsession with social media.

A contemporary piece in a Vancouver gallery
Social media art in Vancouver
Inside an exhibition in
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A pensive mural in Vancouver

For those who like watching skateboarders do tricks, there was also some of that set to music.

Skateboarders at Vancouver Mural Festival
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The Mural Festival also had areas where you could relax with a cold drink.

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We headed along 7.5th Street to see some of the new mural creations for this year.

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This reminded me a lot of Banksy’s street art.

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A strange mural that reminded us of Harry Potter
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This was one of my favourites! So much to see in one mural, it was rather like a Where’s Waldo – we even got to see it being finished off.

A character mural in Vancouver
A character Where's Waldo style mural
An orca mural on the side of a Vancouver home

Once we’d explored almost all of the murals, we headed to Main Street where the festival continued with food trucks and stalls. It’s a really cool quirky street, and even better right in my new neighbourhood. The mural theme continued, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to paint and express their own creativity.

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Girls on Main Street, Vancouver

We browsed some shops, watched rollerbladers, and stopped for ice cream at arguably my favourite ice cream shop in the city, Rain or Shine

There was even a little piece of home for us along the way home!

Stalls along Main Street for Vancouver Mural Festival

All in all it’s a really awesome festival that celebrates the best of Vancouver’s creativity. Did you go to the Mural Festival this year? Which mural is your favourite?


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Laura

I’m Laura, a roaming blonde who recently made the leap from my home in the Cotswolds, UK to be based across the pond in Vancouver, BC for a brand new job and plenty of adventures.

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Leave a comment

  1. September 15, 2018 / 11:57 am

    This is so cool!! What’s weird is I walked around taking photos of tons of murals a couple of months ago (I passed through the mural festival too) and I hardly saw any of these! But I’ve got a ton of different photos haha. Gonna have to have another explore!

    • Laura
      Author
      September 15, 2018 / 2:01 pm

      Haha yes I see what you mean! I’ve since seen a ton I didn’t even spot at the Festival. Gotta love Vancouver and its hidden gems!

  2. September 15, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    Thanks for finding me, Laura — soon as I finish this, I’ll click to follow you. Welcome to Vancouver, from someone here not all that long herself (moved from Toronto just over a year ago). Like you, love to travel, love to share what I see. Lots of familiar images here, but also reasons for me to go spend more time on 7th — I obviously missed a lot there. Hello also to Orcadian Abroad, who I must explore next — had a great time in Orkney some years back when it was a big Canadian-Orkney homecoming (the years of the Bay Boys, and all), but before I was blogging so no record on line. Fond memories, though. Enjoy Canada, Laura, and happy adventures for us all

    • Laura
      Author
      September 15, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      Hi Penny, thanks so much for your lovely comment! Looking forward to seeing your upcoming adventures, and hope you enjoy Canada too!

      • September 21, 2018 / 6:11 pm

        Here’s to all our adventures! (I possibly managed to mislead you: I am Canadian, though I’ve lived assorted places overseas, so while I am relatively new to Vancouver, I am not new to Canada.)

  3. November 5, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Wow, these murals are beautiful! Made me realize there’s still a lot I haven’t explored yet!

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