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Paddles Up! The Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival Is Back And Better Than Ever

With a reimagined and expanded program celebrating the community, its cultures, and the spirit of competition, Dragon Boat BC is officially announcing that the 2021 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival will be held from September 18 to 26, which also marks the first time in two years that dragon boat races will hit Vancouver waters.

After being postponed earlier this year and cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the festival’s expansion and evolution — with the return of dragon boat racing — will connect with more communities over a longer period of time at multiple sites around Vancouver for the first time.

“While COVID has impacted what our Festival normally looks like, we’ve taken this as a challenge to reimagine what comes next and look for creative ways to bring our community back together,” said Dominic Lai, Marketing and Operations Director for Dragon Boat BC. “We’re excited to unveil our Festival’s new direction, to safely welcome paddlers and the community to the world of dragon boat, and to highlight the culture that inspires this popular Vancouver tradition.”

Concord Pacific is the title and founding partner of the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival. Concord Pacific’s generous support of the Festival during the pandemic has ensured that the event continues to grow and evolve alongside our community.

Returning to its roots in culture and sport, the 9-day event’s main highlight is the return of dragon boat racing during Championship Weekend on September 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The day will also feature local artists on the 102.7 THE PEAK Main Stage and pavilions sharing Chinese and Indigenous cultures within a controlled site at Concord Pacific Place. All programs in the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival are either free or by donation.

During the week-long festivities, the community will also be able to:

  • Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with special activities, such as moon and star gazing at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens from September 21 to 26;
  • Explore the Festival’s archives at C. Sports Hall of Fame through the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Exhibit from September 24 to 26;
  • Visit “A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia” exhibit at the Chinese Canadian Museum and view a new video documentary series about Chinatown’s historic clan society buildings starting September 23;
  • Join Cross Cultural Walking Tours to learn about multi-community and layered history of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods;
  • Experience temporary art installations in Chinatown and traditional skill demonstrations.

Festival program details, booking links, and safety and health protocols are available at

About the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society

Community, culture, and competition, all in one boat. The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society (dba Dragon Boat BC) is the non-profit organizer of North America’s flagship dragon boat festival – the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, and runs Dragon Zone Paddling Club – Canada’s largest paddling club.

The Society also produces a series of races, cultural programming, and community initiatives centred around the traditional Chinese sport of dragon boat. Through its All Access and youth programs, supported by the Milton K. Wong Legacy Project, the Society makes paddling experiences accessible regardless of any barriers to participation.

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