Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film Releases 2017 Line-up

The inaugural Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film is set to take place at The ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge from Friday, March 17 to Sunday, March 19, 2017.

“Just as The ACT Arts Centre’s ‘ACT Presents’ performance series is designed to introduce new Canadian and BC talent to our audiences, the ‘Festival of BC Film’ has been created to bring more attention and access to the work of BC filmmakers,” says Executive and Artistic Director, Lindy Sisson.

John Wittmayer, owner of The Ridge Film Studios states, “This festival aims to raise the profile of films made in British Columbia, and supporting the awareness of the amazing talent that this province has to offer is truly something to be proud of.”

The Festival runs from Friday, March 17 to Sunday March 19, 2017 and features the following six shorts and six feature films over the course of three days;

FRIDAY, MARCH 17 at 8:00pm

Feature Film: Numb
Director: Jason R. Goode

Short: Anxious Oswald Greene
Director: Marshall Axani

SATURDAY, MARCH 18 at 5:00pm

Feature Film: Fractured Land
Directors: Damien Gillis & Fiona Rayher

Short: Counter Act
Directors: Heath Affolter, Jon Affolter, Nathan Affolter, & Thomas Affolter

SATURDAY, MARCH 18 at 7:30pm

Feature Film: Black Fly
Director: Jason Borque

Short: The Timekeeper
Director: Scott Weber

SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 2:00pm

Feature Film: The Wingman
Director: Jim Garrison

 

 

Short: I Wanna Date U
Director: Lisa Ovies

SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 5:00pm

Feature Film: Lawrence and Holloman
Director: Matthew Kowalchuk

Short: Monster
Director: Deborah Burns

SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 7:30pm

Feature Film: Into the Forest
Director: Patricia Rozema

Short: Bedbugs: A Musical Love Story
Director: Matthew Kowalchuk

Tickets for the Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film start at $11 for single films.  Tickets, trailers and details are available on the Festival website

JFL Northwest 2017 brings the laughs

Starting today until February 25,  JFL NorthWest 2017 comedy festival returns to Vancouver stages for a second year.

Sarah Silverman

World renowned names in comedy like Sarah Silverman, Trevor Noah, Chris D’Elia and more share the stages with the the “Best of the West” local laughter makers.

High-profile female comics bookend JFL NorthWest, with “Last Comic Standing” alum Iliza at The Vogue on February 17th and Sarah Silverman at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 25th. “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah takes The Queen E stage for two shows on February 23rd while “Undateable” star Chris D’Elia is at The Vogue February 24th.  In between are dozens of shows at venues all around the city. JFL NorthWest is not all stand-up either, with magic from “America’s Got Talent” standout Piff The Magic Dragon, a live episode of Game Grumps, or Comedy Short Shorts a comedy short film showcase, all providing a variety of entertainment for the Festival.

trevor-noah

Trevor Noah

Tickets for JFL NorthWest are on sale now at jflnorthwest.com, with prices starting at just $10 there’s no excuse to find some laughter this month.

Picks of the Week – February 15, 2017

Mid February already! Hopefully the snow is behind us and we can look forward to Spring ahead. Let’s see what’s in the picks of the week to entertain us.

BigTop:  The stunning spectacle of Odysseo by Cavalia continues under the White Big Top at Olympic Village until February 26

Rock: Local favourite Matthew Good plays a pair of gigs at the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday and Friday.

Undersea: Be a part of the world of The Little Mermaid playing the Michael J Fox Theatre in Burnaby, until Feb18

Laughs: The city will be filled with laughter as JFL Northwest Comedy Festival gets under way from February 16 – 25

Drag: Who will be crowned Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar, find out on Thursday night at Celebrities with performances by guest judge Thorgy Thor, RPDR Alumna

Queen: Find out what went on behind closed doors when Queen Elizabeth met with her Prime Ministers in The Audience at The Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage

Faux: Friday, find out who is the top Faux Girl as Empress XLV crowns Entertainer of the Year at The Junction.

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks play host to a pair of competitors when Calgary Flames and Philadelphia Flyers visit Rogers Arena on Saturday and Sunday.

Wine:  Sip some Canadian wines, the theme country for this year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival running until Feb 19 at Vancouver Convention Centre

Kinky Boots on Tour

Broadway Across Canada’s Kinky Boots wrapped it’s tour stop in Vancouver this weekend selling out most shows at Queen Elizabeth Theatre.  The Tony Award winning musical, adapted from the 2005 British film of the same name, has a timeless theme of diversity and inclusiveness that stands out as topical in the current political environment.

J Harrison Ghee as Lola | photo: Matthew Murphy

 

Loosely based on a real-life story, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price, (Curt Hansen) the 4th Generation in Price & Son shoe factory, who longs to break away from the family business and his father’s expectations to live his own life with fiance Nicola in London.  When his Father passes, Charlie is forced to accept the realities of being responsible for the livelihoods of the small town factory’s staff, many of whom he has known his whole life.   In a chance meeting with Lola (J. Harrison Ghee), a London drag queen, he falls upon an unusual niche market that he hopes will save the factory and the employees.
After accepting that footwear is in his blood, the pressures of being responsible for the factory workers take their toll on his relationships.  Both Charlie and Lola try to shake off the expectations placed upon them by society and their fathers, leading them to the inevitable epiphany that moves the musical’s story along to it’s rousing climax.

The book by Tony award winner, Harvey Fierstein, brings plenty of laughs and heart without being too heavy handed with the production’s theme.  The contrast between the Price and Son factory folk and Lola and her troupe of drag queens provide the opportunity to enforce the message of accepting other as they are. Cindy Lauper’s music and lyrics, much like her own pop career, swing from quiet heartfelt ballads to over-the-top dance-pop production numbers.  Lola and the drag queens give Director / Choreographer Jerry Mitchell the obvious opportunity for colourful over the top dance numbers but these were almost expected from the performers. It is the factory pieces or when two sides of the cast combine that really awoke the audience, seeing the contract of the drably garbed staff keeping up with the long legged, high-kicking queens.

While Kinky Boots has closed in Vancouver, it continues on Tour around Canada and the US.  It was also announced this week, that J Harrison Ghee will be making his Broadway debut when he takes over the role of Lola in the New York production in March.

If you can catch Kinky Boots on tour, Broadway or in London’s West End, I hope you’ll come away with a bit of joy in your heart.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid at Michael J Fox Theatre

There’s five more chances to see Disney’s The Little Mermaid, presented by Align Entertainment.  The Disney classic comes to life onstage at Burnaby’s Michael J Fox Theatre until February 18th.

The beloved story as interpreted by Doug Wright, and the classic soundtrack from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, along with new lyrics from Glenn Slater,  keeps the pace lively and the suitable for the whole family.  The Little Mermaid isn’t just for kids, while the young ones will certainly find much to love with their favourite underwater Princess, the young at heart will as well.  The evening audience welcomed a few little princesses but the matinee was apparently filled with excited dressed up young ladies.

Elyse Maloway brings a wide-eyed excitement to Ariel, ably filling the vocal and acting duties.  Prince Eric, played by Colton Fyfe, has the classic Disney Prince good looks and carries the vocals fairly well. The cast fill the undersea and human world nicely but the real stand out in the cast is Julio Fuentes as Sebastian the Crab.  As Sebastian, Fuentes brings the comedy and heart to the ensemble, leading two of the key songs and production numbers in each act; Under The Sea and Kiss The Girl.  As the antagonist Ursula, Erin Matchette, has fun with the role but lacks some of the malevolence in her vocals we’d expect from the Sea Witch.

Visually the set and costumes allow the audience to create the worlds beneath and above the waves. The creative use of heal wheels allow the merfolk and other sea creatures to swim smoothly through the water.  Ms Maloway is thankfully not burdened with the usual unnaturally red wig that distracts from many live action versions of Ariel.  The live orchestra led by Brent Hughes fills the auditorium with rich sound that stays in your head as you The Little Mermaid happily humming the tunes.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid, presented by Align Entertainment plays at Burnaby’s Michael J Fox Theatre until February 18th.

Pizza Palooza coming February 22nd

What’s better than a good slice of pizza? How about 5 or more great slices in one night? That’s what you’ll get on Vancouver Foodster’s Pizza Palooza 2017, happening on February 22nd.

Like other Vancouver Foodster events, Pizza Palooza is a tour of some of the best and brightest eateries Vancouver has to offer.  For this event, it’s all about Pizza, as patrons get their slices from pizzerias all over the city.

From New York Slices, to Neapolitan to Roman, take a global journey of fresh from the oven pies.  Some of the pizzerias included February 22nd are;

Straight Outta Brooklyn – 701 Kingsway at Fraser Street

Ragazzi Pizza – 2996 E 22nd Ave

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria – 808 Davie Street

ZeroZero Pizzeria – 415 Abbott Street

Pizza Palooza Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite
Advance Tickets are $45 until February 19th, then $60 after.

5 Family Day Weekend Activities in Vancouver

As we move into the first long weekend of 2017, here’s 5 Family Day Weekend activities;

1: Align Entertainment’s The Little Mermaid : Michael J Fox Theatre, Burnaby –  Until February 18, 2017
With most family theatre productions taking place around the Christmas holidays, this is a welcome opportunity to introduce your little ones to live theatre.

2: Family Day at Burnaby Village Carousel : February 13th 11am-2pm
Families with young children can pre-register for crafts, carnival games, children’s entertainment, and carousel rides

3: Odysseo by Cavalia : Under the White Big Top at Olympic Village  – Until March 5, 2017
No horsing around, while not inexpensive, the whole family will enjoy the amazing 150 minute show.

4: Free Skating At Robson Square : Ice Rink at Robson Square – Until February 14, 2017
It’s your last weekend to take in free skating at the covered ice rink at Robson Square. Bring your own skates or rent a pair for $4

5: Family Day at the Peak of Vancouver : Grouse Mountain – February 13, 2017 only.
50% off Gondola access plus a full day of special activities including pancake breakfast, Global BC Family Puck Shoot Out, Family Day Lunch Specials, Candy Station as well as the usual snow activities

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