Festival Accessibility

Hosting the Vines Art Festival in public spaces to be enjoyed for free is one of the ways in which we strive to make art accessible to different communities across the city. However, we know that parks can be inaccessible for communities that experience physical and sensory barriers in navigating public space, and who may be exposed to life threatening situations in public, including folks who are disabled, Blind, partially sighted, are Deaf, hard of hearing, neurodivergent, mad, immunocompromised, Black, Indigenous, of colour, sex workers, migrants, houseless, queer, and trans. 

Please find our accessibility offerings for Vines Art Festival 2023 below. If you cannot find what you need, please email Marcelo at marcelo@vinesartfestival.com. They’d love to work with you to meet your needs.

We have safer drug use supplies (new injection and smoking kits) and needle disposal units at the info booth at every event. These supplies were generously provided by YouthCO HIV and Hep C Society. Learn about safer drug use at Towards the Heart.

We have naloxone kits and first aid kits available at the info booth. We are ready to respond to overdoses, and some of our staff are trained in First Aid. 

Vines Art Festival is in solidarity with drug users, and recognizes the impact of the toxic drug supply. Please use in someone else’s company and get your drugs tested before using if you can. You can do so at the Get Your Drugs Tested Centre at 880 E Hastings St. Visit https://getyourdrugstested.com/  for more information on drug testing, what drugs you can test, hours and location.

Many in our communities are at risk of experiencing police and institutional violence. In case of an emergency, please reach out to a staff member and refrain from calling the police yourself. If we are required to call for emergency services, we will work to ensure that they are appropriate for the situation at hand. If police are on site, please give space for our staff to engage with officers safely and avoid escalation.

You will find iced water stations at the Info Booth and non-alcoholic drinks available for sale by donation* (we take cash and card!).

At every event there will be either catering, food trucks, open park concession stands or neighbouring food establishments. Please email Marcelo at marcelo@vinesartfestival.com for more details. At events where we have catering, we offer food by donation.* If you can’t make a donation, no problem. We will be happy to share food with you.

*We provide food and drinks completely free of cost at Oppenheimer Park.

Alcohol consumption is approved by the city of vancouver year round at some festival locations. You can find more information at https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/alcohol-in-parks.aspx. Stay safe!

Working in public parks means that we are limited when it comes to making these spaces more accessible. The Vancouver Parks Board determines the park areas that we are permitted to use. The condition of paths, grass and public washrooms varies by location and can be hard to navigate when using wheelchairs and other mobility aids. We have reached out to the Parks Board in the past to ask about accessibility audits, but these have not been provided.  

If you require specific assistance to get to our events, please contact Marcelo at marcelo@vinesartfestival.com. They will work to meet your needs. 

By clicking on the park pages below, you will find information on parking, mobility, transit and washrooms.

Over the years we have worked with Amy Amantea and chatted with the folks at VocalEye to build our knowledge and capacity to provide events for people who are blind and partially sighted. We would like to thank them immensely for the education and resources that they have provided us with, and credit VocalEye for the term “blind and low vision friendly”. Visit https://www.vocaleye.ca/ to learn more about their work.

This year we are offering a blind and low vision friendly event on Saturday August 12th at Pandora Park. At Vines, blind and low vision friendly means that 90% or more of our performances are music or spoken word with no visual elements to describe. The MC will provide relevant visual descriptions of our location and performers. Our staff has been trained on guiding and is ready to assist you. 

If you need assistance getting to the parks, performance area, or anything else, please contact Marcelo at marcelo@vinesartfestival.com to request it.

Our events Prisoners Justice Day on August 10th, Our Shared Feast on August 16th and Flowing Upstream on August 19th will have English-ASL interpretation. 

Due to art ASL interpretation being a specialized skill, seasonal demand for interpreters, and unavailability out of our control, we experienced difficulties in booking ASL interpreters for more festival dates. We will continue to work on expanding ASL interpreted offerings in future.

A few of our staff have foundational knowledge of ASL and Deaf culture. All staff and volunteers are ready to communicate through writing if needed.

Feel free to get up, move, make noise, and walk around at every Vines event. Our staff and volunteers will not ask you to be still or quiet. We are unable to control environmental stimulation due to the outdoor, public settings of the festival. We will have foam ear plugs available at the Info Booth if you need them. 

Sometimes our events go past sunset and lighting is required. Most commonly, the lighting used is non blinking and directed at the stage area for visibility. Please email marcelo@vinesartfestival.com for more details about the lighting at specific festival dates. 

We offer colour communication stickers for our audience, artists, volunteers and staff to communicate their comfort with social interaction. Please respect people’s preferences. 

  • Green sticker: anyone can talk to me
  • Yellow sticker: I’ll talk to people I know
  • Red sticker: please give me space 

We have a self directed, volunteer supported crafts table at the festival with art supplies and fidget toys.

We have sturdier and wider folding chairs with arms available upon request at the Info Booth. These chairs are limited and are reserved for fat and disabled folks. If you are thin and/or able bodied, please make use of the folding chairs that are set up near the stage. We also encourage folks to bring their own chairs or blankets.

We will be livestreaming our events Garden of Black Roses on August 11th, and We, The Many on August 18th. You will be able to find the livestreams through this link.

We would like to acknowledge that livestreaming is an important accessibility offering for folks who cannot be physically present at our events for various reasons.  We’ve chosen to livestream these days based on both our budget and tech capacity. We hope to offer a fully livestreamed festival in future.

Vines Art Festival is made possible through the work, creativity, and resistance of Black, Indigenous, racialized, disabled, queer, Two-Spirit, trans, non-binary and gender diverse people. Providing access to art spaces for audiences and artists who belong to marginalized communities is our priority.

We are equipped to have compassionate and fruitful conversations about the topics that the festival presents, but we do not tolerate discrimination and violence against our communities. Those who are not able to receive feedback about their discriminatory actions will be asked to not participate in the festival.

We ask our audience to acknowledge that the festival happens on stolen Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh land, oftentimes in areas that are gentrified, overpoliced, impoverished, and not accessible to all.

COVID-19 remains a concern in our communities, especially for those of us who are disabled and immunocompromised. The lack of governmental action to protect us and the outdoor nature of the festival make it impossible to ask everyone to mask. However, we will not tolerate harassment against audience members who are choosing to mask.