The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival
or Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
takes place every June on the waters and shoreside of False Creek
, British Columbia. It is among the oldest and largest Dragon Boat
festivals held outside of Asia, having its roots in 1986 at the Expo 86 world fair, and one of the few on the planet outside of Asia that holds a festival during the traditional time, around the period of the summer solstice
(the other non-Asian festival celebrating at this time being held in Toronto Canada). As the title sponsor changes, so does the name of the festival and associated branding.
When Vancouver celebrated it's 100th anniversary in 1986, Expo 86
, a world exposition, was organized for that summer and held on the shores of north, east and south east False Creek stretching from Granville Bridge east to Science World. For that same year, Vancouver's Chinese Canadian community organized a volunteer committee to introduce the traditional annual Chinese summer solstice festival to Canada, Duan Wu Jie (Tuen Ng Jit) as a centennial project. There were hundreds of other grass roots community centennial projects held that year, but the Vancouver dragonboat festival races is among the few, if not the only one, of such projects to have continued into the present day. "Dragon boat festival" is how colonial Europeans referred to the annual observance when they first witnessed the boat racing spectacle in Asia in the 19th century. ... Read More