Sapperton Day Street Festival returns on Sunday
The Sapperton Day Street Festival, which returns on Sunday, June 8, was reborn as a celebration of bicycles.
But over the past 12 years it has grown to become the New Westminster neighbourhood’s biggest and best party.
It’s also a fundraiser for the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.
Sapperton Days had been a part of the neighbourhood’s local scene since the 1970s, but languished for a number of years until it reemerged as the Sapperton Bike Festival.
Since then the day’s lineup of Penny Farthing races, trick riding demonstrations and displays of Rube Goldberg bicycle contraptions outside Cap’s bike shop has evolved and extended up and down East Columbia Street.
Merchants and residents have embraced the event, said organizer Guy Ciprian.
“It has brought together business and community and improved the livability of our community,” said Ciprian. “This is the best event in our entire city.”
LEFT: At Sapperton Day you might even make a new friend.
This year’s event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will include more than 100 vendors, including renowned food trucks like Tin Lizzy Mini-Donuts, Dougie dog and The Reel Mac & Cheese.
The fun starts with the traditional pancake breakfast which then becomes a giant hot dog stand at lunch, with all proceeds going to the hospital foundation.
Out on East Columbia, which will be closed to traffic, street entertainers like Korki the clown, juggler Dawn Dreams and yo-yo impresario Harrison Lee will amuse and amaze with their lighthearted flair. At the Teamsters Stage, local musicians like None of the Above, Matthew De Simone, Westfall Mountain and the Real Canadian Rock Band will provide the day’s soundtrack.
In fact the latter group doesn’t just play at the festival, all three of its members live in Sapperton. So their Canadian rock sound, taking its cue from bands like April Wine, Chilliwack and Trooper, has been embraced as the festival’s “house band.”
There will also be hands-on activities like a rock climbing wall, games and a bouncy castle.
Last year’s event raised $13,000 for the hospital foundation. That money is used to buy equipment as well as fund research and innovation to help treat the 1.6 million people who visit Royal Columbian Hospital each year.
The Yoyo Kid
Harrison Lee is a born and raised Vancouverite who has a crazy passion for yo-yos. He first started yo-yoing in January of 2011, and has been going strong ever since.
Often called the ‘yo-yo kid’ by locals, Harrison is no stranger to being on the news having been interviewed on Global TV and Breakfast Television, to name a few.
His impressive track record over the past two years includes yo-yoing on stage with the Canadian band The Barenaked Ladies (twice), organizing two fundraisers raising $6,000 in total, and being named The Canadian Return-Top Champion in the summer of 2013.
He is currently working hard to represent Canada at the World Yo-Yo Competition this summer in Prague, Czech Republic.
Clowning with Korki
Korki the delightful “Mommy Clown of Hearts” has been tickling the funny bones of the young and young at heart for over several decades and is now entertaining to her second generation of fun.
LEFT: Korki the Clown is a festival favourite.
Professionally trained in the art of clowning Korki takes her funny business seriously. Presently the Western Canadian Director for the World Clown Association, Korki helps keep the clowning community connected through newsletters, online networking and teaching. Korki is very community-minded, entertaining at many of the city’s events and is the creator of the walking White Rock SeaFest Children’s Pirate Parade.
In dedication to the art of clowning Korki attends educational workshops, clown conferences and competitions annually.
Dawn is known around the world over for her contact juggling skills.
Since the age of 8, at her family cottage on cold winter days, she and her brother would study the “Klutz” book learning how to juggle. Dawn’s favourite prop is a single ball—she has been studying ball play for over 20 years!
She has been involved in organizing teams for community events such as the MadSkillz Festival in Vancouver and the Victoria Juggling and Flow festival. She was also part of the organizing team for SPARK! Circus, a team that helps refugee children in Thailand. Her newest passions immersed her in the street performance world as she toured with The Busking Project in 2011 and is currently helping with the production of the Vancouver Busker Festival.
She recently returned from a year of busking the streets of Europe.
Sapperton Day will feature some great music, all day long on the Teamsters Stage. Following are some of the highlight performers taking to the stage:
None of the Above (1 p.m.)
None of the Above is a local four-piece high school band from St. Thomas More Collegiate.
They recently debuted at their schools carnival and were an instant hit.
The band is led by Nicco Del Rio (vocals and second guitar).
Other band members are Lorenzo Cirillo (drums), Nando R. Amaral (Bass) and Adrian Sowa, (Lead Guitar).
Matthew De Simone (2 p.m.)
LEFT: Matthew De Simone.
Matthew is a local resident and soon to be a graduate of Saint Thomas More Collegiate.
He has recently become a solo artist after leaving his last band project. Matthew is no stranger to the stage as he recently co-starred in a local production of Reserve Two for Murder.
His music styling has been compared to Jason Mraz.
Westfall Mountain (3 p.m.)
Mike Mountain and Bob Westfall are an original folk-rock group having a slight country music edge. Together since the winter of 2009, the two soloists joined forces when they realized they were fans of each others’ music.
Mike and Bob are frequent entertainers at the Heritage Grill with notable performances at the Railway Club. Mike was born and raised in New Westminster and is proud to have the opportunity to perform at this year’s Sapperton Day.
Real Canadian Rock Band (4 p.m.)
All three band members live in Sapperton and have the honour of being the Sapperton Day’s “house band” for the last four years.
They are Rene De Deigo (drums & vocals) Corey Dixon (guitar & vocals) and Mike Barnard (guitar & vocals). These four rockersare dedicated to channeling the sounds that are uniquely Canadian. Canadian Classic Rock includes April Wine, the Tragically Hip, Chilliwack, Harlequin, Trooper, 54-40 and more.