What to Do This Weekend: The Eastside Culture Crawl

The iconic festival features more than 475 artists—you better get going.

November 17, 2016

By Daniela Rodríguez Chevalier / Photo: Jeff Wilson, Rachael Ashe, Richard Tetrault, Marty McLennan

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Eastside Culture Crawl kicks off today at 5 p.m. and goes until Sunday, November 20th in the area bounded by Columbia Street, 1st Avenue, Victoria Drive and the waterfront. The four-day visual arts, design and crafts festival is “an opportunity to meet your neighbours,” as featured woodmaker and furniture designer Marty McLennan puts it.

Flowerburst Installation – Rachael Ashe


The very-East-Van event consists on more than 475 artists welcoming Vancouverites into their studios across 78 buildings in the neighbourhood. “For me, it’s like Christmas or going trick-or-treating,” says Rachael Ashe, a photographer-turned-paper-artisan who has been part of the Crawl for six years. “I feel like I’ve blossomed as an artist because of this neighbourhood, because I’m around so many like-minded, creative people”, she says. “It’s definitely energized me to keep going.”


Cedar Burl Side Table – Marty McLennan


Painters, jewellers, furniture makers and photographers are some of the artists that make this festival happen. “You can keep coming to the Crawl and the work is always fresh and different,” says executive director and founding member Esther Rausenberg. “Artists are always exploring and their creativity is boundless.”


Contemporary Sofa Chair – Marty McLennan


McLennan, a retired travel writer and photographer who has always made furniture using wood and steel, is now incorporating textiles into his work.


Flower Installation – Rachael Ashe


And Ashe, an artist who takes walks in search of nature repetitions for inspiration no matter if it rains or shines, has been experimenting with Japanese and Islamic patterns in hopes of finding her own soon.

The Crawl is also a cool way of exploring Vancouver’s industrial area. “It is not the prettiest neighbourhood,” says McLennan, “but there’s an amazing amount of human creativity that takes place behind all those warehouse doors, which is a real gem for the city.”

The 20th annual Eastside Culture Crawl starts today.

Find your way to the studios here.

Thursday, November 17
5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Friday, November 18
5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Saturday, November 19
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, November 20
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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