Seasons change is fast approaching, bringing with it an annual renewal of some of Vancouver’s greatest community values including sustainable living, urban gardening, local eating, and active lifestyles through the arrival of the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area’s (MPBIA) 3rd annual Autumn Shift Festival (ASF) on September 15th  from 12PM-6PM. I was eager to experience this annual event for the first time, which is a cultivation of the Mount Pleasant area’s community character providing a vibrant social atmosphere for all Mount Pleasanters, while extending its roots to the greater Vancouver metropolitan area.

Packed between 12th Avenue and Broadway on Main Street, this prominent fall festival attracted 1000’s to the Mount Pleasant area by providing an array of community and business interactive booths, family friendly activities, live music, and numerous local urban gardening vendors. The advent of this family-friendly fall festival sprouted in 012010 as the MPBIA’s Executive Director, Lynn Warwick, explains: “The Board of Directors wanted to establish a new street festival concept to highlight our business community and to create a fun filled family day for our neighborhood.

We chose to celebrate the end of summer and the shift to autumn with the Autumn Shift Festival, first held in 2010.” The 3rd annual ASF featured some of its most prominent participants from the greater metro community yet, including The David Suzuki Foundation, The Vancouver Aquarium, BC Hydro, Bullfrog Power, and TELUS World of Science. Enthusiasts were eager to check out 70+ vendors including BLIM Market, paintball, and talented tap dancers. In addition to a buffet of interactive booths, festival goers enjoyed live music at the Beaumont Studios stage and a community Fashion Show produced by the MPBIA’s very own Denise daRoza, owner of Temple of the Modern Girl Boutique, featuring Arabella Fashion Studio, The Archetype, body politic, Exhibit Apparel, F as in Frank, much&little, Scout Boutique, and Temple of the Modern Girl Boutique.

Now, with the shift from summer to fall, the staff and volunteer team at the MPBIA continue to cultivate more community events. For me it is the final product of months of research, communications, planning and organizing – for the community, it is a great time to get together. As my fellow Special Events Coordinator, Colton Powell, told me when speaking about the festival’s success, “At the end of the day when you can take a look around the festival and see that kid with a balloon in his hand and his face full of cotton candy walking down the street with his parents, happy as a kid should be, you know you have succeeded.”

Autumn Shift Festival 2012 arrived in Mount Pleasant in September – just in time to ring in the MPBIA’s new season of events, beginning with the Best Dressed Halloween Competition on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. …more details coming soon! – Bryan