This weekend head down to Vancouver’s Chinatown for the annual Chinatown Festival. Saturday Aug 6th and Sunday Aug 7th will be two days full of entertainment, food and fun as 50,000 people converge at Columbia and Keefer streets, the epicentre of old Chinatown.
This year’s theme “Food For Folks” introduces some new elements; cooking demonstrations, games and Vancouver 125 programs, alongside annual staples like, history walks, multicultural celebration stage, Youth Talent Showdown and Street Fest performances. Once the daytime activities wind down, don’t leave, stay into the evening for the Chinatown Night Market.
Based on the 2000 movie of the same name, Billy Elliot the Musical tells the tale of a young boy who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes and the personal trials and tribulations surrounding his decision. Set against the Miner’s strikes of Northern England in the mid 80’s, the impact the strife has on motherless Billy and his family if woven throughout the story. With music by Sir Elton John and book and lyrics by the original films screenwriter Lee Hall, the songs fit in perfectly to advance the story and set the stage for the rest of the book. Simple sets, eighties costumes and very well done County Durham accents transport the audience to another time and place. The current Toronto cast is exceptionally lead by Kate Hennig at Mrs Wilkinson, Billy’s dance teacher, confidant and mentor and, in the performance I saw, by Julian Elia as Billy. With Billy in every nearly every scene there is a revolving four actors playing Billy from day to day. The entire cast maintains the feeling and atmosphere of the eighties while keeping their accents and emotions throughout the songs. A good dose of laughs balances the tears and emotion to keep the musical uplifting so everyone leaves on a feel good note. Billy Elliot The Musical is currently on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre and in Toronto, held over until September 3, 2011, at the Canon Theatre
After a crazy busy week in Vancouver it seems the activities are a little calmer this weekend
Thursday Aug 4 – The Helm has DJ Jeffery Michael & DJ Quest putting on another edition of “We Like Boys” – Oasis Ultra Lounge has “Junk” on display…I’ll leave it to you to figure out what that means or go find out in person! Friday Aug 5 – Vancouver Film School is hosting VFS SUMMER SLAM FUNDRAISER at Venue – the always entertaining Busta Rhymes is at Gossip Nightclub – get your dancing shoes on for Gypsy Kings as they hit River Rock Casino – the hysterical Russell Brand is at Red Robinson Theatre tonight and River Rock Saturday night.
Saturday Aug 6 – First Saturday of the month means Open Studio session by local artists – the final night of Celebration of Light sees Canada light up the night over English Bay
So many great and fun activities and events happened over the last week of July with the North American Outgames and Vancouver Pride week combined it’s hard to choose a favourite so here’s my Top 10!
10. Seeing the Outgames Flag relay take off for Whistler on Helijet, bonus having my good friend as one of the flag runners. 9. Seeing friends at the many fun and community-minded networking events 8. Spending the day in the sun with friends watching the festivities of the Pride parade & festival 7. Commiserating, mocking and making the most of the little organizational delays and glitches (that happen at every large event) with friends, both old and new. 6. Seeing great performances and meeting some of the artists over the week like Sugarbeach, Wynter Gordon, Dragonette and Ace of Base. 5. Watching my friend Tyrell Witherspoon perform absolutely everywhere throughout the week, often multiple shows in the same day. 4. Meeting up and hanging out with friends from out of town an showing them Vancouver is a fun city…and hearing that they agree! 3. Going to parties and events from afternoon to morning, like Davie Street Party, Celebrities, Five-Sixty, IronRod, Outgames Opening, Showcase and Closing parties, Anthem Party… 2. Having had a blast at an Anthem Party, bumping into old friends on the street after, then not getting into one party to meet up with friends, only to have an unexpectedly fantastic night with different friends at another party. 1. Winning The Feud at Numbers with a dream team and beating the more seasoned (and trash talking) teams!
Wynter Gordon – Anthem Party/Plaza Of Nations – July 31, 2011
Under a bright and sunny evening, the sensational Wynter Gordon turned up the heat further when she took the stage at the 2011 North American Outgames, Anthem Party. The New York native performed alone onstage but filled it with her presence. The party was already in full swing when she came on to perform “Til Death,” “Dirty Talk,” and “Toy Friend“. Unfortunately, that was the extent of her set, just a quick three songs. The audience was clearly disappointed and wanted more. She inquired about doing one more song but hadn’t brought the track for “Believer” or anything else with her so we were left craving more that hopefully Wynter will return to satisfy soon!
This summer why not vacation close to home and celebrate the arts & culture scene in your own back yard. British Columbia communities are full of great local arts & culture, events, performance, displays and celebrations are happening every day across the province. “The BC Cultural Crawl is a celebration of the arts and culture of BC, hosted by a diverse mix of artists and business owners in a specific region”, explains Trudy Van Dop, founder of the BC Cultural Crawl and Publisher of the Arts and Cultural Guide to BC. The Cultural Crawl is a self-guided tour of the many community events happening throughout the month of August. For a full list of events and to create your own culture crawl visit www.bcculturalcrawl.com
Get out your lawn chair and picnic basket and find your spot on the Inner Harbour in Victoria tomorrow for one of the largest symphony events in North America, the annual Symphony Splash. Each year Victoria Symphony moves out of the auditorium and onto the water of Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour to perform for an estimated audience of 40,000 lining the harbour causeway. Performing a mix of classical and popular pieces the event wraps up each year with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with bells, cannons, and fireworks. The performance begins at 7:30pm and concludes approximately 10:00pm but arrive early to get a spot to view. A Family Zone with activities to keep kids entertained is open from 1-4pm. For more information visit Victoria Symphony’s website