CONTEST: Vancouver Queer Film Fest 2018

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival has released its lineup for the 30th Anniversary edition of the festival, taking place August 9-19.  Over the 11-day festival, more than 70 films from 15 countries will be featured, along with 11 visiting filmmakers, 27 local directors and numerous local performing artists, in addition to parties and talkback sessions & seminars. Festival passes and tickets are now on sale online.

“Our 30th year is the perfect time to reflect on how queer cinema has evolved,” says Co-Artistic Director Amber Dawn. “We now see queer, trans, and two-spirit themed films routinely winning awards and gaining wide viewership. Even with this recognition, there are still so many stories to be told and so many innovative possibilities for media-based storytelling. You’ll only get a chance to see groundbreaking stories like these at festivals like Vancouver Queer Film Festival.”

Curated by Co-Artistic Directors Anoushka Ratnarajah and Amber Dawn, Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) 2018 opens at the Vancouver Playhouse with Malaysian-born writer and director Yen Tan’s 1985, featuring an acclaimed cast including Cory Michael Smith, Michael Chiklis, Virginia Madsen, and Jamie Chung.

Alaska Is A Drag

This year’s VQFF Centrepiece Gala Film is from LA-based comedian, writer and actress Vivian Bang, who co-wrote and stars in, White Rabbit. In this comedy that premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Vivian Bang plays a Korean-American performance artist who tries to remain dedicated to her art and struggles to pay the bills by doing odd jobs on “TaskRabbit”.  The 2018 Youth Gala Film is Shaz Bennett’s debut feature film, Alaska Is A Drag, a

fish out of water story about life in a small Alaska cannery town.

Festival favourites The Coast is Queer and Troublemakers return, and new this year is The Coast is Genderqueer – VQFF’s first short film program that showcases local transgender, genderfluid, and non-binary stories. As well, Festival Programmer Justin Ducharme curates Indigiqueer Shorts from Turtle Island and Aotearoa, a collection of two-spirit films that subvert colonial constructs of Indigiqueer bodies and sexual agency.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

VQFF 2018 wraps up August 19th, with the Closing Gala Film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the sophomore feature from Desiree Akhavan and 2018 Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Drama at Sundance Film Festival.  Based on the novel of the same name and set in the early ‘90s, the film follows high school senior Cameron Post, who is caught in a small-town scandal when she’s discovered having a secret relationship with her best friend. Deemed a sinner, Cameron is sent by her conservative aunt and guardian to a Christian conversion therapy camp called ‘Promises’.

Festival program guides are now available at Festival venues as well as Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium and Black Dog Video. The complete Festival lineup can also be viewed online at www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

Full ticketing details, including pricing, can be found at www.queerfilmfestival.ca/tickets.

CONTEST:
Vancouver Queer Film Festival has graciously offered a lucky reader, a 6 pack of tickets for your oppertunity to attend Vancouver’s second largest film festival

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who you would take along with you to be your VQFF #Festie  (1 entry)

Tweet the Following & Tag your #Festie (1 entry) :

RT to #Win : Me & my #festie want to win tickets to @QueerFilmFest via @jminter http://ow.ly/hMOk30kPedM #VQFF2018 #contest

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Monday July 30, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random.

CBC Musical Nooners 2018 Line-Up

The CBC Musical Nooners make their return on Tuesday.  For the 9th year, the outdoor plaza at CBC studios at 700 Hamilton Street comes to life with music acts performing live, each weekday from noon – 1pm, from July 10 – August 17

Opening day, July 10th is a celebration of Indigenous Culture and a performance by North West Coast First Nations rap duo Mob Bounce, taking the stage from Noon.  The Indigenous food truck, Mr Bannock, will also be on site to fill your lunch time appetites while you enjoy the music on stage. The rest of the opening week’s performers are in association with the Vancouver Folk Festival, teasing the great music performing at the iconic festival, as well the Surrey Fusion Festival brings performers to the nooners to highlight the world beats on stage there.

The CBC Musical Nooners cover all genres of music from HipHop, Pop, Blues, Folk, Jazz, Soul, Reggae, and more. Many CBC Music Searchlight competitors take the stage highlighting the best of local talent.

The line up for the rest of the season is;

July 10 – Mob Bounce (hip hop)
July 11 – Son de Madera (folk/world)
July 12 – Jimmy “Duck” Holmes (folk)
July 13 – Little Miss Higgins (blues/country)
July 16 – Winsome Kind (indie/folk)
July 17 – Jack Garton and the Demon Squadron (roots)
July 18 – Haley Blais (pop)
July 19 – Dawn Pemberton (soul/gospel)
July 20 – Rumba Calzada (Latin jazz)
July 23 – Adam Robert Thomas (jazz)
July 24 – Portraits of Us (acoustic)
July 25 – Fall Brigade (rock)
July 26 – The Long War (indie)
July 27 – Jen Hodge All Stars (jazz)
July 30 – Old Soul Rebel (soul)
July 31 – Sinclair & Bennett (blues)
August 1 – Will Stroet from CBC Kids (children’s)
August 2 – Lonesome Town Painters (bluegrass)
August 3 – Tanga (world fusion)
August 6 – BC Day, no concert
August 7 – Petunia & The Vipers (rockabilly)
August 8 – David Ward (funk)
August 9 – Roy Forbes (folk)
August 10 – Schwey (R&B)
August 13 – Desirée Dawson (soul)
August 14 – Caleb Hart (reggae)
August 15 – Sister Speak (world)
August 16 – Wooden Horseman (rock)
August 25 – Coco Jafro (funk)

For details about each of the acts and more information, like weather interruptions, about the CBC Musical Nooners visit the CBC British Columbia website.

Picks of the Week – July 4, 2018

Happy 4th to our friends to the South, here at home we’re heading into another busy week of entertainment with these picks of the week.

Bard: Make your picks between a brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It or the dramatic Macbeth at Bard on the Beach 2018

Kicks: The FIFA World Cup is heating up, make your picks for the final rounds and soak up the global vibes at various venues around town

Balls: Catch some live soccer on Saturday as Vancouver Whitecaps host Chicago Fire at BC Place.

Comedy: Join funnyman, David Cross at The Vogue Theatre for an evening of comedy on Wednesday.

Midway: Enjoy summer excitement at Playland opens daily from July 29th for all your family’s summer excitement, or leave the kids at home for Playland Nights, Fridays from 7pm to Midnight

Pop: Fans will be heading in one direction on Friday night, towards Rogers Arena, to catch Harry Styles take the stage.

SkyHigh: Take your dining experience to new heights with Dinner In The Sky, high above the shore of North Vancouver until July 29th.

Stars: The stars and future stars come out as Theatre Under The Stars begins previews this week of its 2018 season of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and 42ND Street. 

Dance: The 30th Anniversary of Dancing on the Edge Festival opens tomorrow at Firehall Arts Centre, then running through July 14th around town.

Abba: You’ll have a hard time not singing along at the Abba musical Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre Stage, until August 12th

Gili Roskies & Adrian Glynn McMorran
photo: Emily Cooper

Irish:  Once is not enough to see, the final show of the 2018 Arts Club Theatre Company season, ONCE, running at the Granville Island Stage.

Party: Khatsahlano the massive, free street party takes over West 4th Ave from Burrard to Macdonald, bringing music, food, shopping and fun to Kits from 11am – 9pm

Resist: Until October 8th at MOA, Arts of Resistance: Politics and the Past in Latin America, invites visitors to take a closer look at the political and social significance of Latin American artistic traditions to express political realities.

Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018. As well, David Milne: Modern Painting  on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern  France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.

Wild: The Museum of Vancouver opens a new exhibit Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, which takes a look at the relationship between local plants and animals and the people and places in the city

Penthouse: Tyrant Studios Lounge, within the famed Penthouse Night Club welcomes Jazz Fridays and The Comic Strip Saturdays.

There’s more than just Shakespeare at Bard on the Beach

Last night Chor Leoni’s Mane Event at Bard on the Beach filled the mainstage tent with the sounds of music.

The perfect way to wrap up the Canada Day weekend, the Lions brought to stage a varied selection of songs including a taste of Canadiana including iconic hits by Tragically Hip,  Ian & Sylvia Tyson along with Quebecois and Maritime folk faves and the touching Gimikwenden Ina from the Indigenous musical Children of God. In the second act, the men of Chor Leoni really let loose and ramp up the fun with the pop and Broadway hits.  Rob McAllister’s colourful costumes add to the comedic flare pop and Broadway hits.  Even Bollywood makes a showing too, really highlighting Ariana Barer’s choreography. Meghan Trainor’s Me Too, a Lady Gaga/Madonna mash-up Born To Express Yourself This Way, and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling brings out the Trolls (not the internet type), to wrap up the feel good show.

This year’s Mane Event was the 25th and final Chor Leoni show at Bard on the Beach but it is just one of the many special events Bard on the Beach hosts each summer.  In addition to the plays in repertoire; Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens & Lysistrata, this year also features;

Bard-B-Q & Fireworks July 28, August 1 & 4 | 5:30pm & 6pm*
See As You Like It or Timon of Athens* followed by a salmon barbecue from Emelle’s Catering. Visit the PIXSTAR Photobooth, take in the award-winning Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band and more, before enjoying a private view of the spectacular Celebration of Light fireworks.

 Family Nights July 24 & August 21 | 6pm
A perfect night for the whole family! Geared for ages 6 and up, this special evening is filled with family-friendly activities. Arrive at the Village early for the PIXSTAR Photobooth, face painting, food truck, an exclusive pre-show talk designed just for kids and more. Then enjoy a performance of the Bard/Beatles musical-comedy mash-up As You Like It. 

Operas & Arias: Bold and Beautiful August 27 & September 3 | 2pm & 7:30pm (both days)
Join the UBC Opera Ensemble and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra for a costumed concert performance. Drawn from a set of best-loved operas, the programme will include favourite selections from La TraviataLa BohèmeDie Fledermausand more. Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze hosts all performances, presented on the BMO Mainstage. 

For more information on these and all the other special events, education and speakers at Bard On The Beach visit bardonthebeach.org/special-events

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28th Annual Harmony Arts Festival opens August 3rd

As it enters its 28th year, Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver keeps going from strength to strength.  Surrounding the Ambleside Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, the festival fills the calendar from August 3rd to 12th with over 150 music, arts, film and food events, much of it free!

Highlights of the festival events include;

ARTS:

Indigenous Exhibition: A new feature in the festival, the Indigenous Exhibition, celebrates Indigenous artists and communities, while honouring the tradition of gathering and sharing. The exhibition is inspired by West Vancouver’s origins on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish People, in particular, the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations. Opening at Ambleside Landing August 3rd, with a traditional welcome ceremony, the program invites visitors to learn about Indigenous culture through an exploration of 30 artists in an authentic marketplace and art exhibition.
Indigenous Exhibition runs August 2 – 12, daily until 9pm

ArtSpeaks: Expand your knowledge with over 20 artist talks, demonstrations, workshops, hands-on classes and more. Offered in two waterfront tents near the Ferry Building Gallery. Select artists will also showcase their works as part of the Harmony Showcase Exhibition, held in the Silk Purse Arts Centre. For fashion enthusiasts, the Slow Clothes Fashion Show, takes place on Wednesday, August 8 at 2 p.m. on the John Lawson Stage.
Art Speaks opens August 3–12: 12 – 9p.m.

Art Beat: Discover more than 40 artists showcasing their works on the Ambleside and Dundarave beat as you local shops and restaurants together with West Vancouver’s vibrant waterfront. A street celebration takes place on August 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ?Art Beat opens August 3–12, store hours

Fresh St. Market Art Market: Argyle Street is filled with a diverse array of juried products including ceramics, glass, jewellery, leather, painting, photography, textiles and wood, the Fresh St. Market Art Market is the place to find incredible gifts and one-of-a-kind artistic treasures. Meet artists and artisans who display awe-inspiring works in a row of white tents.
Fresh St. Market Art Market runs August 3–6 and August 10–12, times vary

A complete list of participating vendors can be found at  harmonyarts.ca/art/art-market

MUSIC:
Four Stages to choose from to suit your musical tastes.

ONNI Group Sunset Concerts evenings at John Lawson Park features Buckman Coe, Sara Jane Scouten, Jane Mortiffee & Friends, The Paperboys and more

Jim Byrnes

Parc Retirement Living Garden Concerts at Millennium Park, feature Jim Byrnes, The Adam Woodall Band, Coco Jafro, plus tribute bands The Hip Show, and Eagle Eyes, to name just a few.

Seniors’ Series
, finds Dal Richards Orchestra (August 5), The Bruce James Orchestra – Vancouver’s Big Band (August 6) and The Beauty Shop Dolls (August 12) playing afternoons at John Lawson Park

Live Music at The Silk Purse
 has live jazz and classic sounds in the afternoons August 8, 9 & 10

FILM:?

Outdoor Cinema

Following the ONNI Group Sunset Concerts John Lawson Park becomes an outdoor cinema, with free nightly screenings of award-winning films starting at 9pm.
This year’s line-up includes award-winning films like The Greatest Showman, Coco, Beatlejuice, My Fair Lady, Rocky, Wonder Woman and more.

FOOD:
Every good festival offers good food and Harmony Arts Festival doesn’t disappoint with a hearty selection of its own.

Artisan Eats
, a collection of food trucks at John Lawson Park.

The Park Royal Beachside Patio
finds a pop-up version of Feast The Neighbourhood Table to Argyle Street.

The RE/MAX Waterfront Lounge
features a pop-up Salt & Earth Oyster Bar offering dining alongside the Parc Retirement Living Garden Stage.

Ambleside Pier

Harmony Arts Festival also offers three special ticketed events:

?Indigenous Feast: at Ambleside Landing August 7th, 6pm is a brand new event with a traditional indigenous menu from Salmon & Bannock, accompanied by a performance by Murray Porter.

8th Annual Best of the West:
on Ambleside Pier August 8th, 7-9pm is a tasty curated evening featuring a dozen local restaurants paired with wineries celebrating the best of BC.

3rd Annual Mixology Night on the Pier
: on the Ambleside Pier August 9, 7:30-9:30pm welcomes eight of Metro Vancouver’s top mixologists competing to create the best cocktail as voted by the attendees.

With so much to keep young and old entertained from day time to evening, it’s not surprising to see why Harmony Arts Festival has kept visitors returning year after year. ?There’s sure to be something for your whole family to enjoy at Harmony Arts Festival.
Visit harmonyarts.ca for a full list of events and times.

Ensemble Theatre Company 2018 Summer Festival

The Ensemble Theatre Company has announced the trio of dramas in the 6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival.  Taking the stage at the Jericho Arts Centre, Ensemble has programmed a dramatic trio of thrilling, entertaining, and challenging plays. 

Aaron Sorkin’s military courtroom drama A Few Good Men, Martin McDonagh’s tragic-comedy The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Dark Road, the first play from Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, are brought to life by the Ensemble Theatre’s talented group of actors, directors, and designers.

This selection of three highly entertaining plays from three celebrated writers showcases the humour, intricacies, and depths of the darker recesses of our lives. As Tariq Leslie, Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company explains: “To me, theatre is a means of generating empathy. It gives us a window to understanding each other a little more – our different and diverse hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears. Join us for our 6th Annual Festival, and for the journeys that A Few Good MenThe Beauty Queen of Leenane, and Dark Road will take you on.”

6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival features:

Dark Road, by Ian Rankin and Mark Thomson
Directed by Chris Lam 

Featuring Alysson Hall, Paul Herbert, Lindsay Nelson, Christine Reinfort, Anthony Santiago, David Wallace, and Rebecca Walters 

Preview Performance July 9
Opening Night 7:30pm July 12
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am July 22
Matinée 2:00pm July 22
Closing Night 7:30pm August 16

A Few Good Men, by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Alan Brodie and Tariq Leslie

Featuring Zac Scott, Alexis Kellum-Creer, Yurij Kis, Sean Anthony, James Gill, Alysson Hall, Marc LeBlanc, David Wallace, Francis Winter

Preview Performance July 10
Opening Night 7:30 July 13
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am July 29
Matinée 2pm July 29
Closing Night 7:30 August 17

The Beauty Queen of Leenane, by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Kathleen Duborg

Featuring Tanja Dixon-Warren, Ashley O’Connell, Kristen Slenning, Francis Winter 

Preview Performance July 8
Opening Night 7:30pm July 14
Special Sunday Brunch Reading 11:30am August 5,
Matinée 2pm August 5
Closing Night 7:30pm August 15

Ensemble Theatre Company’s 6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival, runs July 8 to August 17, at Jericho Art Centre. Single show tickets and Festival Passes are on sale now at ensembletheatrecompany.ca

Dinner In The Sky elevates your dining experience

Dinner In The Sky North Vancouver takes your dining experience to new heights.   Until July 29, 2018, Dinner In The Sky, presented by Westcoast Sightseeing, combines unique views and an exceptional dining experience over North Vancouver.

Dinner In The Sky was founded 30 years ago in Belgium and has expanded to 60+ countries around the globe. After a sold-out month-long trial last summer, Vancouver now has it’s own Dinner In The Sky experience.

Brunch, lunch and dinner rise over the scenic location at 415 West Esplanade on the North Vancouver waterfront, other locations for this summer will be announced later.  Twenty-two guests along with chefs, servers and safety officer lift off to over 100ft and take in the 360degree views from their secure, rotating, reclining seats.  Guests will enjoy a menu created by Dinner In The Sky Chef Ambassador Ned Bell.  With Chef Bell at the lead, you can be sure that the menu is going to be a masterpiece of local, sustainable quality ingredients.  VIP experiences include sparkling wine and canapes in the ground-level lounge.

Tickets for Brunch In The Sky, Lunch In The Sky, Happy Hour In The Sky and Dinner In The Sky range from $149 t0 $549, most experiences are two hours overall, with one hour in the sky.   Private packages for group experiences can also be arranged. Guests must present identification, and sign a waiver, when they check in 45 minutes prior to the lift.  Guests under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult, and must be a minimum of 4 feet 9 inches in height.
Lifts will take place in rainy weather but may be cancelled or postponed when the wind is strong or during thunderstorms.

Visit dinnerintheskycanada.com for tickets, package details and more information about Meal in the Sky options.