African Descent Festival is a celebration of African music, arts and culture in Metro Vancouver, organized by the African Descent Society BC. The festival promotes cultural diversity and brings people together to enjoy art and entertainment by African talent. Happening over August 12 & 13, 2023 from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm each day, the festival offers many live performances, free events and family-friendly activities for all ages. A marketplace offers handmade crafts, clothing and more for sale and food vendors sell African food on-site. The festival is happening for the first time in a new location at English Bay Beach. The two-day event is free to attend, with donations encouraged and appreciated.
2023 marks the festival’s ninth year! The first edition took place in 2015 and has since grown into the largest festival for people of African descent in all of Western Canada. The festival is a great opportunity for the African community in Metro Vancouver to get together, and is also a fun way for others to learn about the different cultures of Africa.
Headliners in 2023 are the Grammy-nominated singer Eddy Kenzo, as well as Ghetto Kidz, a dance group that made the finals of Britain’s Got Talent.
Other performers this year include Ben Priest, Thami Kiet, The Boom Booms, Mazacote, Samba Fusion and Kara-Kata Afrobeat. There are also performances by Kenge Kenge Orutu System, Ache Brasil, AfroCity Music, Axé Capoeira, Annet Nandujja, B-Kenyan, Mivule Band and Leo D.E Johnson.
The 2023 festival also features live painting by Jace Junggyu Kim, along with fashion shows by Cenchini and Africstyle Fashion. DJs on site throughout the weekend include Okey Osman, Real West, Zato, Don Mericorn, and Sanchez Cuba. The festival itself is hosted by Douglas Lwanga.