Home > About Vancouver > All News > The Drum is Calling Festival officially opens

The Drum is Calling Festival officially opens

July 22 2017 Nine-day celebration of Indigenous arts and culture

Chief Sparrow from Musqueam Nation, H. Jody Wilson-Raybould Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver, Chief Maureen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Karen Joseph from Reconciliation Canada

The City of Vancouver, in partnership with the three Host Nations - the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations launched the Canada 150+ anchor event The Drum Is Calling Festival today.

The nine-day festival takes place from July 22-30 and will showcase an array of traditional and cutting-edge Indigenous arts, culture, and music.

City of Reconciliation

As a City of Reconciliation, the City is using Canada 150+ as a time for Indigenous recognition and celebration, acknowledging the rich heritage and culture of the First Peoples who inhabited the land on which Vancouver is located.

The entire year of events is seen as an opportunity to foster mutual understanding, respect, and trust between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people by coming together to share our common joys, fears, and laughter through literature, film, song, and dance.


Highlighting the festival will be performances from iconic artists such as:

  • Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • PowWowStep creator DJ Shub
  • Singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk
  • Country sensation Crystal Shawanda
  • Northern Ontario rockers Midnight Shine
  • Juno Award winner William Prince
  • Rising R&B star George Leach
  • Genre-defying artist Kinnie Starr
  • Literary giant Tomson Highway
  • Local Elder Amy George
  • Powerful spoken word poet Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long

Festival locations

The main festival venue is located at Larwill Park (688 Cambie Street) and adjacent streets; other venues include:

  • The Vancouver Playhouse
  • Queen Elizabeth Theatre
  • The Vancouver Public Library

All activities are free; for some events previous registration is requested.

View festival schedule and more 

About Canada 150+

The City of Vancouver's Canada 150+ is a year-long celebration of Indigenous culture and arts. The three signature events include:

  • Gathering of Canoes (July 14)
  • The Drum is Calling Festival (July 22-30)
  • Walk for Reconciliation (September 24)