Celebrating Holden Through Art


Happy dog days of summer. I hope you have had a chance to feel some summer relaxation, whatever that means for you. For us, it’s been… a lot. A lot of beauty, a lot of loss, a lot of excitement, a lot of change.

After our lovely daughter Lyla graduated from high school (woohoo party time!) we enjoyed a quiet/gorgeous/sizzling week on Hornby Island during the heat dome, we spent some sad-smokey-meaningful days in Nelson with our extended family saying goodbye to our dear brother-in-law Vern, then I shared a week hiking the West Coast Trail with my ‘longest’ friend of 52 years, Heather. Now we are preparing to send  Lyla off to university in Toronto, and that is another goodbye—an exciting one!

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared anything with you here on this blog/newsletter thing, and I have two bits of news.

First, I am thrilled to announce that my book: “Holden – A Truth + a Fiction” will be published next fall by Arsenal Pulp Press. I am incredibly happy that Holden has found a home with Brian Lam and his team at Arsenal. It’s a dream!! This will be a busy year of revision and planning. I am both excited and scared to share this work with the world, but I’m open to the experience and to the growth and dialogue it will surely carry.

I’m also pleased to invite you to the 5th annual (but kind of 4th because… 2020)  HOLDEN COURAGE GRAFFITI JAM at the Vancouver Mural Festival—Saturday, August 21.  Because of Covid-19 the event this year is a ticketed brunch and art raffle. It’s gratifying to know that Holden’s legacy is truly supporting street artists in Vancouver by paying them to share and express their talents. Limited tix are available here with part proceeds going to Holden’s fund for artists.

We will be at the 10:30 sitting and will hang around during the 12:30 sitting to say hello and support the art raffle that also supports Holden’s Fund.  

Full details on the graffiti brunch are below.

Hope to see you there! and happy summer!

~ Tara



This is a special edition Brunch Club with live painting of the Holden Courage Graffiti Jam and music by DJ Take5.

Sitting 1: Sat, Aug 21, 10:30 AM – 12:15 PM
Sitting 2: Sat, Aug 21, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Brunch Club is a weekend patio party by Public Disco. Tickets include a meal from our feature food truck, entertainment ranging from drag to live music and DJs spinning feel good music. Expect a chill daytime vibe great for catching up with friends over food, drinks, music and dancing 🙂



  • Meal included in your ticket!

  • Craft breakfast sandwiches with locally sourced ingredients

  • Choose your meal at checkout

  • Requests to change your meal can be made at the event as well

  • Gluten free & vegan options available


We are hosting an art raffle to raise money to continue to support talented young graffiti artists. Each $10 pledge to The Holden Courage Fund for Artists = one raffle ticket to win a unique piece of art created by a local street artist. Please be sure to include name and contact information when donating. Prizes awarded Friday August 27.

★ Enter the raffle by making a donation at www.vancouverfoundation.ca/holdencourage

Graffiti Artists Curated by: Scott Sueme

THE HOLDEN COURAGE MEMORIAL GRAFFITI JAM : held annually at VMF in memory of Holden Courage, a local artist. Graffiti was a major part of Holden’s life; he was happiest when he was painting. This event is meant to celebrate that joy by showcasing the incredible skill and expression of graffiti. Holden’s family is pleased to continue his graffiti legacy by supporting young writers through the Holden Courage Memorial Fund for Artists.

$5 from every ticket sold during this event will be donated to the fund to support other young graffiti artists. May his unique gifts and spirit live on in them.


The VMF Pop-Up Patio presented by Granville Island Brewing is a licensed open air performance venue hosting a mix of live music, drag, burlesque, talks, workshops, weekend brunch and more! The space is located in a transformed parking lot at Main and 5th, surrounded by leafy trees and vibrant murals. The calendar features over 40 shows produced in partnership with some of our favourite local curators and collectives.


  • Cabaret style shows with General Admission seating on a first come first serve basis

  • Groups are welcome, come with friends!

  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available

  • No cash payments accepted (tap payments encouraged)

  • No outside food allowed

VMF events aim to be a safe space for people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, abilities and sexual orientations. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to a staff member if you witness/experience any form of harassment while on site, or if there are ways that we can make your experience at the patio more safe and comfortable.


  • Most events are 2hr sittings

  • Doors open at the event start time listed on Eventbrite

  • Shows start 20-30 minutes after doors are open

  • Come early for seats closer to the stage


We’ve added Pay What You Can Tickets to help low income folks access programming at the VMF Pop-Up Patio. For those of you with the means to buy a ticket, your purchases make this PWYC option happen. PWYC ticket holders can sit with GA ticket holders.


Ticket holders must arrive within 20 minutes of doors opening to avoid their tickets being resold should there be folks waiting in line during a sell out. Refunds will not be given for no shows. Capacity is limited so we want to make sure seats don’t sit empty if folks are in line.


  • To transfer a ticket to another person, login to your Eventbrite account, go to tickets, select your order, click edit, and change the ticket information accordingly.

  • No refunds accepted unless due to a government mandated COVID-19 quarantine.

  • In case of last minute changes to the current Order of the PHO on Gatherings and Events, partial refunds may be given.


Most tables have an umbrella for shade and light rain protection.

Performances will continue rain or shine. In the event of cancellation due to heavy rain we will notify attendees via email and refunds will be available for ticket costs


  • Terrain: Entrance through the laneway, down a slight slope. The venue is on flat asphalt.

  • Washrooms: One accessible bathroom on site. Bathrooms are all genders.

  • Seating: Attendee chairs range from high stools to low lounge seats and metal bistro chairs with a backrest. Attendees with special requirements can request a specific chair style when arriving on site.

  • Tables: Styles vary depending on seats. Some guests may need to share tables depending on group sizes.

  • Shade: Provided by large trees and umbrellas over most tables.

  • QR Codes: Menus are accessed through QR codes. Servers can verbally list menu items to those without an internet enabled phone.

  • Public Transport: 5 min from Main & Broadway B-Line, 10 min from Main St Science World Skytrain.

  • Parking: Available at Impark Lot #224 – 2122 Quebec St.

  • Service animals are welcome on site.

Please contact sophia@vanmuralfest.com for any questions regarding accessibility


By entering the venue you are agreeing to adhere to current public health recommendations regarding face coverings, social distancing and group socializing in public.

If you begin experiencing a fever, new cough or difficulty breathing please do not attend. Requests for refund due to COVID-19 can be made by emailing sophia@vanmuralfest.com

Please refer to current government health guidelines regarding quarantining after travel and exposure to COVID-19.

What we’re doing to keep you safe:

  • Sanitizing chairs, tables and touch points between each sitting

  • Staff wearing masks when interacting with guests

  • Sanitizer available to guests on site

  • COVID-19 symptom checks for staff and guests before entering the space


The VMF Pop-Up Patio presented by Granville Island Brewing takes place next to the Holden Courage Memorial Graffiti Wall. The wall is re-painted annually at VMF in memory of Holden Courage, a local artist, to share joy and demonstrate the incredible skill of graffiti at VMF in the hopes of building better public understanding of this globally respected, yet often locally misunderstood art form. Holden’s family is pleased to continue his graffiti legacy through the Holden Courage Memorial Fund for artists.

Donate at www.vancouverfoundation.ca/holdencourage


Granville Island Brewing | Music BC | Portable Electric | Encorp-Return IT | Nesters Market Woodwards | WeWork | Hey Ya’ll | Hardbite Chips | Bucha Brew | VYNE Drinks | Translink | PayByPhone | JuJu Wines | PYUR Vodka Soda | Virtue Vodka Lemonade | Lonetree Cider | Creative BC | City of Vancouver | Factor

We recognize that our event and murals are produced on the traditional unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlil̓wətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. We strive to incorporate the visual culture of these nations in our festival. We see public art as an effective way to celebrate our diverse local cultures and their histories, with special focus on providing a platform for the local Nations’ contemporary and traditional cultural expressions and histories.



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