Festival Schedule

Blessing Ceremony

All Access Friday & Friday Night Kickoff

Main Stage Entertainment

Creekside Stage & Family Fun Zone

Festival Schedule

Saturday June 10 – Blessing Ceremony  11:30am
Friday June 23 – All Access Friday
Friday Kickoff: Live performances on the Main Stage and Visiting Team Welcome Party, 5pm
5th Annual Dragon Boat BC Legacy Gala * Tickets for Purchase 5pm
Feature Races: Survivor Showdown and the inaugural Barrier Free Canada Cup in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation 6:00pm
Festival Site Closed  9pm
Saturday, June 24
Races start 8am
Concord Pacific Fan Zone Open 8am
Family Fun Zones Opens 10am
Main Stage Entertainment Begins 11am
Granville Island Brewing Beverage Garden Opens 11am
Circus West POP-up Performances Begin 12pm
Opening Ceremony featuring the CHMB AM1320 Variety Show  12pm
Concord Pacific Champion Race Series 1:30pm
Featured Race: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office International Cup presented by Concord Pacific
Featured Race:  Grand Dragons Cup
Featured Race: U24 Cup
Featured Race: CIBC Breast Cancer Survivor Race
Featured Race: Steve Nash Fitness World Guts and Glory Women 5pm
Festival Site Closed 7pm
Sunday, June 25
Races start 8am
Concord Pacific Fan Zone Open 8am
Visiting Team Race 8am
Family Fun Zones Opens 10am
Main Stage Entertainment Begins 11am
Granville Island Brewing Beverage Garden Opens 11am
Circus West POP-up Performances Begin 12pm
Featured Championship Divisional Races 12pm
Featured Race: Concord Pacific Guts and Glory (Mixed) 5pm
Festival site is closed to the general public 6pm

Blessing Ceremony

Awakening the Spirit of the Dragon


Dotting the eyes takes on a whole different meaning when we Awaken the Dragons – the official kick-off event for the 2017 Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival.

Each year Festival honours the ancient Chinese tradition of dragon boat racing with an Eye Dotting and Dragon Blessing Ceremony. We invite priests and members of the congregation of the Evergreen Taoist Church to the waters of False Creek to conduct this ancient and colourful ritual.

The priests set up their altar right on the dock from which paddlers will board dragon boats the next morning. The dragon boats – “dressed” with ornate dragon heads and tails – are lined up. The chanting begins. The priests invoke the Goddess of the Sea, the Saints and the Immortals through chanting, invocation and burning joss sticks. This cleanses and blesses the racecourse, the competitors and their boats and charges all with the strength of the Dragon.

The priests make offerings to the five elements and directions: joss sticks representing wood for the east, flowers representing metal for the west, candles representing fire for the south, water representing its elemental self for the north and fruit representing the earth for the centre.

The climax of the ceremony is the eye dotting ritual, which officially awakens the Dragon. Ancient Chinese dragon mythology has it that the Dragon sleeps in the mountains and travels to the water when it is awakened. Guest dignitaries assist in this rite, dipping brushes in pots of red cinnabar paint and dabbing the eyes on the boats’ dragon heads.

At the end of the ceremony the priests nourish and appease other souls that might be present by throwing them 18 coins and coloured beans representing the five elements and directions. Taoism is one of the world’s oldest religions, originating in ancient China. Members of the Evergreen Taoist Church are devotees of the Complete Reality School – Dragon Gate Sect and follow the teachings of the Immortals, master Lu Sun-Young, Master Wong Chung-Young and his disciple Master Yau Cheung-Chun.


Please join us for this engaging ritual:

When: 11:30 AM June 10th, 2017
Where: Dock at the foot of Ontario Street, north side of Creekside Community Centre.

Further information for media:
Anita Webster, Media Relations
Phone: (604) 732-7035
Cell: (604) 313-6568
Email: media@dragonboatbc.ca

All Access Friday

We kick off the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival with All Access Friday.

All Access Friday features the Survivor Showdown and the inaugural Barrier Free Canada Cup. 

The Survivor Showdown – Abreast In A Boat vs. Butts In A Boat – is a challenge between prostate and breast cancer survivors.  Cheer on these two amazing teams as they race and help build awareness for their causes.

In partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation Access4All Canada 150 Signature Project and the Government of Canada, we are pleased to host the Barrier Free Canada Cup.  Eight teams that make it their mission to engage people facing different challenges race down the historic False Creek race course for glory, and to raise funds for their causes. Watch the Barrier Free Canada Cup from the comfort of the Concord Pacific Fan Zone located at the finish line.

The race isn’t just on the water, but on land as well. Concord Pacific will match pledges for the team that raises the most for their charity up to $5,000.

Click here to pledge

Teams will support the following causes:

Click here for more information.

Friday Night Kickoff

Starting at 5pm, the Festival kicks off with live performances on the Main Stage with Kutapira, followed by the BC World Music Collective.

Grab a drink at the Granville Island Brewing Beverage Garden during the performances and make sure to visit our food trucks, marketplace and Portobello West.

Visiting Teams Welcome Party

Out of town teams and their hosts are invited to attend this special event that coincides with the Friday Night Kick Off. Invited paddlers enjoy free food and a drink with their teammates and new friends.

If your team would like to attend, please email racerservices@dragonboatbc.ca

Visiting Teams Welcome Party, Friday June 23rd

Out of town teams and their hosts are invited to attend this special event that coincides with the Friday night opening Festival Kickoff. Invited paddlers enjoy free food and a drink with their teammates and new friends. The festival and welcoming begins at 5:00 PM with performances by Kutapira and the BC World Music Collective. Find the complete festival entertainment line up at Main Stage

Food is going to be provided by: Fresh Slice

fresh slice

Drinks will be provided by: Granville Island Brewing, Berefoot Wineries, Wards Cider and Pure Life Tea.

Wards pure leafbarefootGranville Island

Teams can RSVP with Racers Services for the Visiting Team Welcome.

Friday, June 23 2017
6:30pmBC WORLD MUSIC COLLECTIVE starring Adonis Puentes, Celso Machado, Tonye Aganaba, Kurai Blessing, Tom Landa, Pedro Mota, Robin Layne, Liam MacDonald, Nick La Riviere, Kalissa Landa, Ronnie Swirl, Ostwelve.
Saturday, June 24 2017
11:00amWest Coast Guitar Collective (Les Finnigan, John Gilliat, Rossi Tsonkov, Edgar Avelino)
12:00pmOpening Ceremony featuring the CHMB AM1320 Variety Show
3:30pmSamson's Delilah
Sunday, June 25 2017
12:30pmMostly Marley
3:30pmBig Easy Funk Ensemble
5:00pmCamaro '67

Kutapira – Main Stage 5pm, Friday June 23

What started thirteen years ago as a youth world music initiative has metamorphosized into the crowd pleasing percussion explosion known today as Kutapira! The name Kutapira means “sweetness” in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, a fitting title for a band that plays a fusion of Zimbabwean marimba with West African and Afro-Cuban percussion and more. This highly stylized marimba fusion consists of some contemporary Zimbabwean tunes but the majority of the music is composed and arranged by Kutapira and inspired by genres like Reggae, Funk, Latin Jazz, Samba, Cumbia, Disco and Hip Hop. For years they performed exclusively as a mallet swinging, skin-slapping quintet but now, in their latest evolutionary form, feature guitar and vocals.

Kutapira blends traditional Afro-Cuban influences with Zimbabwean marimba music to create a vibration that is all their own! With hundreds of performances under their belt, a growing repertoire that continues to explore the vast potential of their arrangement, and a solid reputation among concert programmers as ‘fire starters’, the future couldn’t look any sweeter for Kutapira.



“When I first saw Kutapira hit the stage like a bunch of up and coming Groove Monsters the future of world music in Vancouver got a whole lot Brighter!”

-Sal Ferrares, Kwanten University Vice President.

BC World Music Collective – Main Stage 6:30pm, Friday June 23
Dragon Boat Festival - BC World Music Collective

13 musicians. 7 nations. 3 juno award winning artists. The BC World Music Collective, featuring: Celso Machado, Kurai Bandambira Nyamukapa, Cuban Sonero Adonis Puentes, Tom Landa, Tonye Robin Layne Band, and members of Locarno If there was a World Music supergroup, this would be it. The BC World Music Collective brings together musicians from Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Africa, and London, who now make their home in this beautiful province.This is truly an exciting band with some impressive talent. Their performance is very much a collaboration that sees all the musicians playing with each other, and backing each other up as they sing their own songs and tell the stories of where they are from, and how they got to BC. They are the ideal festival band and takes listeners on a worldwide journey without leaving the province.

 CHMB AM1320 – Main Stage 12:30pm, Saturday June 24 

CHMB AM1320, also known as The Voice of Vancouver’s Chinese Community, has been serving the needs of Vancouver’s multicultural community since 1973, providing service in 14 languages including Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Portuguese, Brazilian, Filipino, Greek, Japanese, Tamil, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish. In addition, CHMB AM1320 proudly collaborates with Vancouver’s multicultural communities to create variety shows celebrating our cities diversity. This year, CHMB AM1320 is pleased to participate in the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival with multicultural performances featuring emcees Hayman Tam & Nancy Li, singers Cayden Ye & Miko Chen, Lorita Leung Dance Academy, Marquis Lung Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, and LH Performance Productions.

Hayman Tam has been with CHMB AM1320 for over 15 years. As a radio host, he can be heard every Sunday afternoon in his “Sunday Arena” show. Aside from being a radio host, he is also actively involved in events and weddings as an emcee. His talents always keep the event entertaining and bring endless laughter to his audiences.

Nancy Li was the winner of CHMB AM1320 Solid Gold Singing Contest 2012. Since then she has been actively pursuing her career as an emcee, singer, and performer. She enjoys collaborating with local bands and artists to explore different music genres. On stage, she smoothly transitions between elegant classics, soulful R&B, romantic jazz, and energetic pop. Her dream is fulfilled when she is on stage, bringing joy to her audience.

Two young talents Cayden Ye, Champion and Best Vocal Award Winner of CHMB AM1320 Solid Gold Singing Contest 2016, and Miko Chen, Second Runner-up of Solid Gold Singing Contest 2016, are ready to share their passion on the Main Stage. CHMB AM1320’s “Solid Gold Singing Contest” has become one of the signature events in Vancouver’s Chinese community since 1999. Annually, this contest has discovered new local singing talents. Many champions and finalists have pursued their singing career in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Lorita Leung Dance Academy (LLDA) was established in 1970 by Lorita Leung, and is one of North America’s first and most reputable Chinese dance schools. The mission of Lorita Leung Dance Academy is to offer top-notch Chinese dance training in a caring and professional environment. At the heart of LLDA is its faculty – a team of qualified and passionate professionals who value careful instruction, artistic excellence and authenticity of the Chinese dance tradition. LLDA students gain not only confidence and poise through regular performance opportunities, but also a sense of community and a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese dance culture. LLDA offers the complete Beijing Dance Academy Chinese Dance Examination Syllabus (CDES) Levels One through Thirteen; choreography and repertoire in Chinese Classical, Folk and Ethnic dance; and an industry leading Contemporary Chinese dance program. It is the proud home of two active dance groups: The Little Panda Children’s Performing Group, comprised of some of LLDA’s most talented and dedicated young students; and the renowned Lorita Leung Dance Company, a well respected ambassador of Chinese dance culture.

Marquis Lung Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Academy
Sifu Marquis Lung was born in a famous martial arts family in Hong Kong.  At age 6, he started to learn Northern Shaolin, Buk Sing Choy Lee Fot and Koo Style Tai Chi from his father Lung Kai Ming.  His late grandfather Lung Chi Cheung was a disciple of the famous legend Koo Yu Cheung.  Sifu Marquis Lung has been teaching Kung Fu in the Lower Mainland for more than 20 years.

LH Performance Productions is a Vancouver based professional dance company founded in 2013. The Artistic Director Lily Hsu is a professional dancer, instructor, and choreographer; she has been featured in many performances throughout North America and Asia. The company has also been featured in many events of different genres. The company focuses on featuring local talents to both local and international audiences of all kinds. The company credits include the 2017 Hyuna North America Tour, 2013 Christina Fan World Tour, 2013 A-Lin Vancouver concert, 2014 Jason Yu Magic show series, 2015, Cousins in Vancouver Charity Concert, 2015 Roman Tam Tribute Concert, 2015 Rosanne Lui Vancouver Concert, and Nancy Sit 2016 Vancouver Concert. Starting from 2016, LH Performance Productions founded their own dance studio, focusing on dance education to all ages and all levels.

 Caracas – Main Stage 2pm, Saturday June 24 

Since 2011, Latin punk band CARACAS has given South American immigrants, and specially Venezuelan expats, a voice in which to express their feelings for their place of origin, and the circumstances which forced many of them to find a better life abroad. Started by Venezuelan-Canadian brothers Javier and Victor Badillo, and joined by Luis Garzon, Heather Anderson and Shawn Martin, CARACAS blends punk rock with Latin rhythms and melodies to create a uniquely upbeat musical revolution.


Samson’s Delilah – Main Stage, 3:30pm Saturday, June 24 

2017 Dragon Boat Festival Music

Unique, fearless, soul-full rock opera folk music.

With a fierce intensity weaving throughout their soundscapes, utterly captivating, Samson’s Delilah will leave their mark on every listener.  Heavily influenced by latin guitar, reggae, and other world music, driven with thought provoking songwriting, the thread of the “guroove” runs deep, and you will not be disappointed by the fusion and spell that they weave….

Their debut album “Unfinished Humans” was released this June. Joined by sought after rhythm section Dan Barton (Drums) and Tim Bennett(Bass/Vocals), as well as one of Alberta’s premiere Fiddle players, Scott Duncan (John Wort Hammon, The Polyjesters. Western String Project), they are a “tour de force”!  The album has been well received across Canada, charting in the top 10 lists on campus radio and World Music stations across the nation. The band headlined 11 festivals in the summer of 2016 and are gearing up for another busy festival season of touring. In their spare time, Seth & Shara organize the “Robson Valley Music Festival” that happens in their front yard in Dunster every August. They are seasoned music makers and music lovers….   http://www.samsonsdelilah.ca

“… downright enjoyable…tightly played mix of alt.folk, reggae tinged funk and country bluegrass…”



“Utterly captivating… heavily influenced by Latin guitar, reggae, rock opera and other world music and driven with thought provoking songwriting.”



“…dramatic, exotic and inspiring…..an impressive and stirring set of songs.” Unfinished Humans is all about vibe and ‘guroove’”




Alonso – Main Stage, 5pm Saturday, June 24 

ALONSO puts on a performance that hypnotizes audiences with contemporary, deep electro-acoustic rhythms, sensual Spanish guitar playing and high-caliber, nuanced, emotionally expressive musicianship. 

The music of ALONSO is an enchantment of beautifully crafted songs with electro-latin-jazz grooves and Spanish guitars with intimately lyrical vocals. His self-titled debut solo album shares a story through 7 songs, of an intimate journey through Love, loss and reflection. Carefully recorded and crafted over the course of 2016 in Toronto, Canada.


ALONSO is available through iTunes, Spotify and Alonso.Band

Kiérah – Main Stage 11am Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival - Music

Kiérah is a multi award-winning violinist and Celtic fiddler from White Rock, BC. She has completed her A.R.C.T. with the Royal Conservatory of Music, receiving one of the highest marks ever given. With an Irish/Scottish heritage, Kiérah’s passion, however, is composing and performing traditional and contemporary Celtic fiddle music. A ridiculously talented player, Kiérah captivates her audiences by taking fiddling to a completely different level, demonstrating her mastery of the instrument and radiating her love of the music.

Kiérah has released four albums, with her 3rd- Stonemason’s Daughter – receiving a 2013 CFMA Award for Young Performer of the Year. She has also written B.C.’s first book of all original fiddle tunes, Kiérah’s Collection, carried by Long and McQuade across Canada.

Mostly Marley – Main Stage 12:30pm Sunday, June 25, 2017  

Mostly Marley formed in 2003 with the idea of bringing Classic Reggae to an otherwise starving audience. The name stems from having been asked;  “What kind of music do you play?” The answer would always be; “Classic Reggae by various artists, but mostly Marley.”

Mostly Marley performs with passion while always remaining true to the spirit of Reggae. Mostly Marley is a band that takes you on a musical odyssey- with good times to be had by all.

Mngwa – Main Stage 2pm Sunday, June 25, 2017  

Dragon boat Festival 2017 Music 

An 8-headed party band for the strange new world. Rooted in the Afro-Latin soul of cumbia, Mngwa blends elements of psych rock, surf, reggae, and hip hop into their polyrhythmic pot. With members from Mexico, Canada, Europe and Asia, the Vancouver ensemble draws inspiration from all corners of the globe and invites all to join in the sonic ecstasy.


Big Easy Funk Ensemble – Main Stage 3:30pm Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017 Dragon Boat Festival Music

The Big Easy Funk Ensemble celebrates the amazing variety of music that has grown out of New Orleans. With influences from 60s funk legends The Meters and Dr. John to more recent groups like Galactic and Trombone Shorty. BEFE (pronounced ‘beefy’) mixes many genres of funk, jazz and blues to create awesome grooves. The 9 member band includes a 3-piece horn section comprised of Andrew Benton (Sax), Kevin Tang (Trombone) and Ryan Naso (Trumpet).  The rhythm section includes Reece Worth on guitar, Eric Stephenson on bass, Tyler Gibson on keyboards/organ, Ryan Davis on drums, Jeffrey Kornblum on Percussion and last but not least the mesmerizing Chris Berry on Vocals.

A Mardi Gras party in 2014 brought the band together for the first time and by the end of the show both the musicians and the audience knew that this group had to continue.  Two years and many shows later, BEFE has developed a large repertoire of songs covering a wide range of NOLA talent from Louis Armstrong to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to Allen Toussaint to the Pimps of Joytime.  The Big Easy Funk Ensemble is fast becoming one of Vancouver BC’s preeminent party bands by attracting fans and stimulating dance floors.  Don’t miss their next show at a party near you!


Camaro ’67 – Main Stage 5pm, Sunday, June 25 2017

Camaro 67 brings together classic Afrobeat influences (Fela Kuti, Tony Allen), and modern Afrofunk / Groove sounds (Antibalas, Budos Band, The Herbaliser) to produce a propulsive, high-energy, made-in-Vancouver heavy funk experience. This explosive 10-piece instrumental group debuted in the fall of 2015, picking up from where Miami Device (BC’s premier Afrobeat orchestra since 2007) left off. In their first year as a band, Camaro 67 released their 9-track debut album “Burn Rubber, Not Your Soul”. The band has toured festivals and clubs throughout BC to support the new album, playing alongside reggae legend Alpha Blondy and local groove-music heavyweights Emily Chambers, Wooden Horsemen, Kutapira, and Bazooka Picnic.

You will also see Circus West, Arial Amara, Neezar Joseph, the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism, Cosmo the Clown, and the Mighty Quinn on the grass and the boardwalk at various times throughout the day.

The Langley Ukulele Ensemble will amaze and delight audiences with their amazing compositions and musicianship all played on the Ukulele. Don’t miss this these 22 young musicians as they interpret songs of yesterday and today with charm, flair and their unique ukulele stylings.

FUNG LOY KOK INSTITUTE OF TAOISM TAI CHI DEMOLearn the foundations of Tai Chi from Vancouver’s from Vancouver’s leading practitioners. Melt the stress away with a series of led sequences accompanied by serene music against the beautiful backdrop of False Creek. Tai chi is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching where each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.


Witness the Shao Lin Hung Gar Lion Dance Team present their amazing and acrobatic Lion Dance at the Dragon Boat Festival once again this year. Led by Raymond Cheung, this group performs at various festivals, special events, and Chinese New Year Celebrations throughout BC. The lion, a symbol of power, wisdom, and good fortune, chases away evil spirits and brings happiness, longevity, and good luck.



Quinn Beasley is a professional circus artist who was born and raised in East Vancouver, and has been training and performing for over 8 years. His talents range from breathtaking fire performances to mesmerizing juggling and aerial acts. Quinn has performed and taught all over the word, in places such as the U.S., Thailand, Japan, and Haiti. Catch Quinn on the Community Stage and Boardwalk.



Melissa Aston brings 20 years of eclectic circus performance to the stage, circus ring, and hospitals. This quirky comedy stylist has performed in stadiums across the U.S., in a duck pond on Granville Island, at festivals throughout the continent, and currently, at BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Melissa is Head Clown of Kazoomco Productions and has performed at countless festivals, and has travelled with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.


Arial Amara is a multi-faceted performer specializing in extreme tallness, elaborate costuming and engaging character. She is often found obsessing over circles and playing with burning objects. Her primary goals in life are to delight peoples senses and inspire a twinkle in the eye, enticing childlike joy, mischief and more. Based on the North American West Coast, Ariel has been performing for nearly 15 years as a Hooper, Fire Spinner, Clown and Stilt Walker


Neezar is a Canadian Singer, Actor, Musician and Circus Performer based in Vancouver, Canada. Neezar has been entertaining audiences for the last 18 years with charisma and depth to a spontaneous outpouring of characters. These numerous characters have caused Neezar to develop a symphony of artistic expressions including acting, stilt-walking, fire-breathing, opera singing, puppeteering and mime making him a quintessential performer, artist and entertainer.



Drum Syndicate is a world percussion trio that presents a dynamic and interactive performance. Part concert, part workshop, they invite the audience to join in the excitement. Playing high-energy traditional music from Africa, Brazil and Cuba, the group will have you up ‘busting a move’ in no time.



CircusWest brings its newest show to the Dragon Boat Festival celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary. ‘Glowing Hearts’ is a heartfelt circus exploration of the true North and a showcase of young circus artists celebrating Canada. Join us centre ring for a fun show of circus aerials, acrobatics, juggling, and acts design to amaze and astound.

© 2017 Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society