This past Saturday afternoon, one of the most beautiful of the year, thousands made their way to Main Street for the Mount Pleasant BIA’s annual Autumn Shift festival. Taking place all day and closing down Main between Broadway and 12th, the festival was an amazing display of the true best that one of the most unique and diverse neighbourhoods in Vancouver has to offer.
The fun began at noon, when booths from local businesses, charities, social services, and even restaurants lined the sidewalks of Vancouver’s trendiest street. The hustle and bustle picked up with hundreds taking in presentations representing Mount Pleasant’s local arts and culture – groups such as On Tap, a local tap-dancing school, and Telus World of Science, who brought along only the coolest in mad science experiments to entertain the younger crowd.
A short walk towards 12th from Broadway brought to the forefront many local vintage clothiers, including some businesses that offered products from as far away as Nepal. Local shops The Archetype and Temple of the Modern Girl brought their vintage racks out to the street. Hip local independent designers KT and Paul were on hand to display their now incredibly popular line of Vancouver-centric hand-printed clothing.
The fashion focus wasn’t simply a product of the displays on the street, however. Community boutiques such as Scout Boutique, F as in Frank, body politic, Exhibit Apparel, and Arabella Fashion Studio all took part in the In the Hood Fashion Show and Silent Auction to show off their latest styles. The Autumn Shift this year definitely favoured the fashionista. Denise daRoza, owner of the Temple of the Modern Girl boutique did a great job co-ordinating the show! Congratulations!
In true Main Street fashion, socially conscious businesses and initiatives were also able to take advantage of the large crowds and present their merits. SPUD (Sustainable Produce, Urban Delivery) promoted locally grown organic produce by providing booth visitors with fresh fruit. The Cycling HUB ensured that visiting patrons were educated in safe cycling and bike maintenance. Bullfrog Power promoted the benefits of wind-based energy to the many patrons. For any socially minded Vancouverite, the festival was a great opportunity to explore and discover a new passion!
As the day wound down, performers and artists from the Beaumont Studios Artist Society played to a diverse crowd aged six to sixty. The Beaumont, which provides a “positive engaging space filled with inspirational art and amazing people,” certainly didn’t disappoint on this Autumn Shift – bringing the most talented musicians in to kick out the jams as the crowd dispersed and the evening neared.
This year’s Autumn Shift festival was not one to miss and, as the years go by, Mount Pleasant’s annual family-friendly summer bonanza continues to gain momentum. In one of Vancouver’s trendiest and fastest growing neighbouhoods, the Autumn Shift festival is a friendly reminder that, even though the weather may turn cold soon enough, Mount Pleasant is still hot, hot, hot!
To learn more about the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, visit www.mountpleasantbia.com.
Photos courtesy of The Georgia Straight.