It was an overcast Saturday afternoon in downtown Vancouver. The streets were bustling as usual, despite the gloomier weather, and one strip of Granville Street was especially busy. For two blocks from Helmcken to Smithe, only foot traffic was allowed. This was to make way for the Granville Promenade in its inaugural year.
“[It’s] held by the [Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association],” Skyla Wayrynen, managing director of Art Vancouver and an artist at the event said. “It’s every weekend from July 31 to September 5, 1 to 6 p.m.”
“There’s interactive art, and then there’s artist live painting, some performances … and sometimes some kind of magic shows … And then at each end there’s a stage with either a DJ or a singer. So it’s just something for the community to have fun and create more culture in Vancouver. Just … add something to the city.”
Several Art Vancouver artists were also in attendance to exhibit their works, hold workshops or do live paintings.
Skyla had been doing an interactive art booth, which proved to be popular with kids and adults alike.
“Today we’re doing alcohol inks,” she said, “and watercolor, pastels, and then I have some markers for the kids. A lot of adults have been doing it as well. Everyone really loves the alcohol ink. So there’s quite the variety. I try to switch it up each time, but so far this has been popular. So I just keep bringing back the alcohol inks.
Aryan Ali, another artist with Art Vancouver, had set up a tent displaying artwork from his studio, Gallery9, while also doing live paintings. If you had attended our Art Masters event from August 13, you’ll remember him as our second place winner!
“My experience has been very exciting,” he said. “As you know, I am fairly new on the art scene in Vancouver and it has been very empowering.”
“When I am painting my art I really focus and lose myself a bit in my art. However, the people who gathered around with some small crowds once in a while were entertained by my creation. I so loved this experience as it is very empowering to hear the public loving my style and my art. Many questions were asked and answered of course. I started two paintings and have almost finished one painting.”
Aside from public art, there were also musicians, dancers, entertainers, vendors and displays that were perfect for a photo-op.
“I had the opportunity to walk around a little but was primarily focused on creating my art,” Aryan said. “We loved the bubble guy as the children seemed to be very happy and excited to play in bubbles. The music was also very exciting and fantastic. Loved the whole day. Some jazz and disco and great music.”
Granville Promenade gave not only Vancouverites a way to come together on summer weekends, it added something to the city for everyone.
“Everyone’s really friendly,” Skyla said. “There’s a lot of tourists. So it’s nice to see where they’re coming from … This has been nice for everyone to sort of get out … and have a step back into social stuff and not being too overwhelming.”
The Granville Promenade continues until September 5. Catch the event before it’s over, and don’t forget to say hi to our Art Vancouver artists!