Vibrant, inclusive, healthy communities designed for people, not cars.
To nurture and grow car-free spaces and culture in collaboration with local communities.
Car Free Day celebrates the vibrancy of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods by organizing a multi-site annual arts and culture festival that reclaims traffic thoroughfares as community focused public spaces. This allows artists, local residents, performers, artisans, non-profits, and businesses to interact, engage, and re-imagine spaces normally reserved for vehicle traffic. We continue to be a green and grassroots effort, directed and organized by the local residents in each Car Free Day neighbourhood.
Car Free Day Vancouver began in Grandview-Woodlands with concerns over the Gateway highway widening project and the effects of increasing automobile traffic in the neighbourhood. In the place of traditional protest, the founders of Car Free Commercial Drive created a street festival where those from the neighbourhood could be engaged to rethink the range of uses for neighbourhood streets.
Since 2008, the registered non-profit Car Free Vancouver Society has helped communities in the West End and Main Street put on their own festivals. Keeping to the spirit of the original Car Free Days, each festival is produced by members from these neighbourhoods and thus reflects the talents, aspirations and culture particular to these communities.
Car Free Day continues to grow in popularity as measured by attendance, footprint and by the numerous ‘best of’ awards from local media including The Georgia Straight, the Vancouver Courier, and the WestEnder.
Car Free Day remains an almost exclusively volunteer run street festival and gratefully acknowledges the help we have received from the City of Vancouver, local artists, our neighbourhood businesses and BIAs, our sustainability partners Vancity, Translink, and Portable Electric, and most of all from the hundreds of neighbourhood volunteers.
Car-Free Festival Facts:
3 major Car Free Day street festival sites
over 60 blocks of festival site
~500,000 total attendees
60% local, 40% regional attendees
40% attendees age 30 or under
Georgia Straight's Best Local Street / Community Festival 8 years
- Vancouver Courier Stars of Vancouver Best Street Festival 4 years