Vancouver has no shortage of amazing artistic talent. While truthfully this city may be exorbitantly expensive, causing what sometimes feels like an artistic exodus to Montreal or Toronto, it is important to recognize and lift up all of the artists who've planted roots on our gorgeous coast, and who keep our artistic and cultural landscape growing and thriving.

The Eastside Cultural Crawl seeks to do just that. An annual 4-day visual arts festival held in Vancouver's Eastside, the crawl seeks to "educate and increase public appreciation of the visual arts"; to "preserve and promote the development" of arts in Canada; and to advance education and understanding of the arts through workshops and seminars.

Now celebrating its 20th year, the Eastside Cultural Crawl has grown to include over 500 artists and attracts over 20,000 attendees each year. Come support and get inspired by East Van's talent, and treat yourself to a cultural immersion unlike any other. The festival runs November 17th - 20th, "in the area bounded by Columbia Street, 1st Avenue, Victoria Drive and the waterfront" (as per their website).

Wise words at last year's Eastside Cultural Crawl.

A great place to start would be Parker Street Studios (at 1000 Parker St), an iconic warehouse housing upwards of 100 studios for artists across all disciplinesBut don't limit yourself - some of the best exhibits each year are those you stumble upon accidentally. This map will give you an idea of just how many studios, galleries and other venues are participating.

via @physicalattachments

Be sure to check out the special 20th Anniversary salon-style exhibit, 'As The Crow Flies' held across three of Vancouver's essential cultural venues: The Arts Factory, The Firehall Art Centre, and The Cultch. The exhibit features art from 70 artists who have previously participated in the Eastside Cultural Crawl over the past two decades. Think of it as a highlights reel of some of the great talent to be showcased and supported in our very own East Van.

via @artsfactoryvan

Want to get a head start and familiarize yourself with some of the artists? HOT ART Wet City has partnered with the event to host an evening of fun and informative talks by 8 participating artists on Wednesday November 9th.

Mark your calendars, and be sure to venture out into this rainy city and soak up some culture. Rather than bemoan the lack of institutional support for artistic communities in our city, let's send a message in numbers that art is an integral and celebrated part of our west coast fabric.

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