In 2005 Carmen and I founded the Commercial Drive Car-Free Festival Working with a brilliant pack of organizers and volunteers the event blew up with 25 000 people converging for an afternoon of music, dancing, politics and general good times.
In 2006 the fest went off again, this time drawing 50 000 people and making even more explicit a radical politics of ethical sustainability and social ecology, as well as opposition to the evil Gateway Project. In 2007 the Drive Fest expanded to 2 days with Fests in June and July.
So then we took that momentum and created CAR FREE VANCOUVER DAY. In 2008 three more neighbourhoods – Main, Kits and the West End joined the Drive to put on car-free community festivals on the same day at the same time. Each neighbourhood fest has its own flavour and style, but together began to form a real Car-Free Vancouver Day. Now CFVD is a beloved annual event welcoming a quarter million folks out into to the streets to rock out and call for a different kind of city.
The CFV Days are huge fun, organized horizontally, done totally cheap and DIY, infused with a real radical political character and everything is free. I no longer direct them, just attend, but thankfully they continue to grow and evolve with wonderful crew of organizers.
If you want to start a fest or get involved in one of the many sprouting up around the city, please have a look atwww.carfreevancouver.org for lots more.
Our How-To-Start-Your-Own-Car-Free-Day toolkit is available here.