Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film Opening

As The Oscars celebrated global cinema this week, the second Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film is gearing up to celebrate our home grown film community. From Friday, March 23 to Sunday March 25, 2018 the ACT Arts Centre and The Ridge Film Studios, with the support of the City of Maple Ridge, highlight films created right here in British Columbia.  

The ACT Arts Centre’s Acting Executive Director, Philip Hartwick, says, “As an addition to our programming that includes our Golden Ears Movie Series, we are thrilled to once again present the Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film in partnership with The Ridge Film Studios and the City of Maple Ridge. Through this festival, we are able to not only bring more film to the heart of our community, but high caliber, domestically-made films too. We are proud to be able to support our local film industry in this unique way.”

Feature Film: Drone

The Ridge Studios’ John Wittmayer adds, “The Ridge Studios supports a talented and thriving local film community. We are very pleased to collaborate with The ACT Arts Centre and introduce these remarkable films to the public. It’s important to create a strong Canadian film industry.”

Lino Siracusa, Manager of Economic Development with the City of Maple Ridge, states, “Maple Ridge is regarded as a film friendly community, and this is reflected in the high volume of movies and series that are shot here every year. The film industry provides employment to over 600 Maple Ridge residents. In addition, the wages, which total over $24 million, and services procured by production companies help support local businesses. 

Short Film: Cypher

The Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film contributes to the City’s film profile by showcasing some of these exceptional productions filmed in Maple Ridge.”

The Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film kicks off with an Opening Reception on Friday, March 23 at 6:30pm and features a total of six shorts, four feature films, and one documentary over the course of three days.

CONTEST: This contest is now closed, thank you to those who entered. Thanks to The Festival, who have generously offered a pair of tickets to readers, you can win your way to the Opening Reception on Friday, March 23rd, at The ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge.

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who would be your date to the The Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film Opening Reception (1 entry)

Follow @jminter & tweet the Following (1 entry) :

RT to Enter to #Win a pair of tickets to the #OpeningReception of Maple Ridge Festival of #BCFilm at @MapleRidgeACT via @jminter #contest #FilmFest

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Monday, March 12, 2018.  One winner will be chosen at random.


VIFF 2017 kicks off September 28

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) returns to screens around the city from September 28 – October 3, 2017.

For over 35 years, VIFF has brought us hundreds of films from around the world and this year continues to build on that legacy.  Screening international films from over 70 countries, alongside Canadian and BC films VIFF is amongst the top five film festivals in North America.  Keeping up with the times, VIFF restructured last year to showcase new media and include interactive experiences, talks, sessions and other events.
VIFF LIVE is live music, showcasing established and emerging BC artists as well as live score presentations of selected films.
Creator Talks bring the audience face to face for a glimpse behind the scenes with those who create the magic on screen.
Virtual Reality Day transports viewers into the new world of VR and AR.
Buffer Festival collaborates with VIFF for a full day for those who are or want to be YouTube Creators.

Not to be forgotten the array of films presented by VIFF bring the globe to Vancouver.

The 2017 VIFF programming includes the following categories:

Panorama – The world’s boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year’s most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.

Sea to Sky – A showcase of the inspired works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.

True North – A celebration of the extraordinary creativity and craft being demonstrated by Canadian storytellers from coast to coast.

Impact – Uncompromising films and insightful discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world.

Next – Interactive screen-based experiences, talks and sessions with creative leaders designed to educate and inspire public and professional attendees alike.

Gateway – Journey into the compelling cinematic worlds envisioned by some of East Asia’s most adventurous artists.

M/A/D – Music, art and design receive their deserved big-screen treatment in this aesthetically alluring stream that’s enhanced by exhibitions and live performances.

ALT – Genre-bending features that defy traditional classification and creators who push short form storytelling to its limits

VIFF opens September 28 and continues until October 3, 2017.
Memberships, festival passes and single tickets are available now online at

Vancouver Queer Film Fest wraps for 2017

Sunday night, the 2017 Vancouver Queer Film Festival came to a close with a Gala party at The Junction following the closing film screening of Handsome Devil at Vancouver Playhouse.

“Our Vancouver Queer Film Festival not only showcased cutting edge queer film, it also gave our audiences all the best feels,” said Executive Director, Stephanie Goodwin. “We laughed. We cried. We got angry. And we loved. We forefronted stories that are underrepresented, yet have the power to transform lives.”

With thousands attending the 70+ films, talks and events spread around the city’s venues over the 11 day festival, there was plenty for the jury and audience to choose from in selecting the 2017 Vancouver Queer Film Festival Awards.

The trio of awards were presented at the Closing Gala to the following films and directors:

Gerry Brunet Memorial Award for Best BC Short ($2500 prize)

Supported by Su Craik and Lisa Heddema and Directors Guild of Canada-BC, the annual juried prize for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s best BC short film was established in 1997 in recognition of Gerry Brunet, a lifelong contributor to the arts and an early board member of Out On Screen.



Winner: Violet & June directed by Linnea Ritland
Honourable Mention: Stay Gold, Man Up directed by Ray McEachern

OUTTVGO People’s Choice Award for Best Feature ($750 prize)

Voted on by patrons of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Winner: Maybe Tomorrow (Baba Bukas) directed by Samantha Lee


OUTTVGO People’s Choice Award for Best Short ($500 prize)

Voted on by patrons of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Winner: Do I Have Boobs Now? directed by Joella Cabalu & Milena Salazar

If you missed the 2017 Vancouver Queer Film Festival work is starting now for the 2018 edition so keep your eyes on the screens for information about next year’s Festival.


Picks of the Week – August 16, 2017

After weeks of smoky haze, the skies have cleared making it a pleasure to get out and enjoy the picks of the week

Spectacle: The tall ship Amara Zee docks along the shores of False Creek until Sept 3rd and becomes the backdrop & stage for a free, unique, acrobatic aerial musical Climatopian Spectacle – Nomadic Tempest.

Singer: acclaimed Canadian singer/songwriter k.d.lang performs two shows at the Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday

Heartbreakers: Thursday night at Rogers Arena, rock legends Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers take to the stage

VQFF Closing Film: Handsome Devil

Films: Vancouver’s second largest film festival, VQFF continues around the city until Sunday.

Shakespeare:  Bard on the Beach is under the tents at Vanier Park, Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter’s Tale are on the BMO Mainstage with The Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona in previews on the Howard Family Stage

Nooners: Don’t forget to enjoy the free afternoon concerts at the CBC Musical Nooners at the CBC Plaza on Hamilton St

Country: Friday night Rogers Arena is filled with country stars as Zac Brown Band stop in Vancouver

Roar: The BC Lions host Calgary Stampeders at BC Place on Friday night

Mary & Bert on a Jolly Holiday
photo: Tim Matheson

HeldOver: Enjoy the laughter and memories of evenings Stanley Park at Theatre Under The Stars presenting Mary Poppins and The Drowsey Chaperone on alternating evenings until August 26

PNE: Another season of Summer Nights Concerts kicks off as the PNE opens on Saturday

Pride: The Royal City rolls out the welcome mat for the New West Pride Street Party on Columbia Street and parties throughout Saturday

Kicks: Saturday, Whitecaps FC return home to play host to Houston Dynamo for the team’s annual Pride Night at BC Place

: Don’t forget to head outdoors and catch cinema under the stars with Outdoor Cinema BC shows popping up all over Metro Vancouver


Vancouver Queer Film Festival starts August 10, 2017

Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), the city’s second largest film fest gets under way in one week.  Running August 10 to 20, 2017, VQFF brings 11 days of award winning films, talkbacks, performances and parties.

I Dream In Another Language

The Festival opens at the Vancouver Playhouse with the 2017 Sundance Award-winning film, I Dream in Another Language (Sueño en Otro Idioma). Following the screening the Festival’s Opening Gala Party, a celebration under the stars at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza.

The VQFF Artist in Residence for 2017 is the prolific and multi-talented Vivek Shraya. The filmmaker, visual artist, musician, and author will spend the Festival’s opening weekend with audiences at events featuring a breadth of work from her diverse portfolio.

VQFF Artistic Directors Amber Dawn & Anoushka Ratnarajah

“We’re thrilled to be bringing audiences and artists together for once in a lifetime connections at our Festival,” said Artistic Directors Anoushka Ratnarajah and Amber Dawn. “The caliber of talent and diverse perspectives of our visiting and local filmmakers are sure to challenge and delight our highly intelligent and invested audiences. We look forward to the time we will share together.”


Some of the artists in attendance at VQFF include;

Taxi Stories

– Doris Yeung, writer, director and executive producer of Taxi Stories, the most ambitious film of the Festival, filmed in three countries and featuring a mostly non-actor cast.
– Philippines filmmaker Samantha Lee, whose film, Maybe Tomorrow (Baka Bukas), won the Audience Choice Award at the Cinema One Originals Festival in Manila.
– New York City poet and author, t’ai freedom ford, whose work is featured in The Revival: Women and the Word.
– Pakistani-Canadian film and television actress, writer and producer, Fawzia Mirza, for the screening of Signature Move.
– Emerging filmmaker Francis Luta, will speak with audiences after his film Project Gelb.
– Award-winning writer, playwright, performer and filmmaker, Steen Starr, whose short documentary Older than What? tells the story of twelve queer and trans elders responding to ten questions about aging, visibility, and social change.

One of the festival’s fan favourite events, The Coast is Queer, an evening dedicated to local talent, will screen on Friday, August 18 at the York Theatre. Featuring nine stellar short films from some of BC’s most standout emerging and established filmmakers, our annual local programming covers documentaries, romance, fantasy, and drama.

Handsome Devil

The Festival closes August 20th at the Vancouver Playhouse with the Closing Gala screening of 2016 Dublin Film Critics Circle Award winner Handsome Devil by Irish director John Butler.  Following the  screening the annual Closing Party at The Junction wraps another VQFF.

For full Vancouver Queer Film Festival line-up and tickets visit

Harmony Arts Festival kicks off Friday

As other festivals come and go, Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver is still going strong after more than a quarter century.   Centred on the Ambleside Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, the festival packs August 4th to 13th with music, arts, film and food, much of it free!

Highlights of the free festival events include;

Four Stages to choose from to suit your musical tastes.
ONNI Group Sunset Concerts at John Lawson Park feature the likes of Valdy, Dawn Pemberton, The Paperboys and more
Parc Retirement Living Garden Concerts feature Bobby Bruce’s Nearly Neil and The Solitary Band, Coco Jafra, Lion Bear Fox, Melanie Dekker, Jim Byrnes, The Boom Booms to name just a few.
Hollyburn House Seniors’ Series finds Dal Richards Orchestra and others playing afternoon sets
Live Music at The Silk Purse has live jazz and classic sounds

Fresh St. Market Art Market lines Argyle Street with an open air art market keeping the attention on visual arts that have been the core of Harmony Arts Festival since the beginning.
Fresh St. Market Art Market Daylight and Twilight is a multi-media installation featuring photography, film and interactive mediums.
Art Beat invites visitors to walk the beat in Ambleside Beach and Dundarave Village exploring the multitude of artists displaying their works in shops and galleries around areas.
Plenty of other visual arts exhibitions, shows and even competitions take place throughout the Festival to keep your senses amazed.

After the ONNI Group Sunset Concerts stick around John Lawson Park for free nightly screenings of award-winning films starting at 9pm including classics like In The Heat Of The Night, or From Russia With Love, action hits Jurassic Park or E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, to the contemporary musical Moulin Rouge, or animated Zootopia.

What’s a festival without great food, Harmony Arts doesn’t disappoint with Artisan Eats, a collection of food trucks at John Lawson Park.  The Park Royal Beachside Patio brings The Fish Shack by Glowbal Group to West Van. The RE/MAX Waterfront Lounge welcomes Caffé Al Mercato to provide al fresco dining alongside the Parc Retirement Living Garden Stage.
Along with these dining options two special ticketed events:
Best of the West is a sold out evening featuring 13 local restaurants paired with 13 wineries celebrating the best BC has to offer.
Mixology Night on the Pier, now in its 2nd year, celebrates the rebirth of cocktail culture with eight of Metro Vancouver’s competing to create the best cocktail as voted by the attendees. Tickets are just $75

With plenty of events to amuse young and old, from day time to evening, there’s sure to be something for your whole family to enjoy at Harmony Arts Festival. Visit for a full list of events and times.

Summer Outdoor Movies 2017

This week Fresh Air Cinemas’ outdoor movies got underway at Stanley Park, Lansdowne Centre and other spots around Metro Vancouver, bringing in another season of outdoor movie fun.  Harkening back to the days of the drive-in, Outdoor Movies make parks, parking lots and piers into open-air cinemas. Bring a blanket, a picnic, friends and sit back and relax as you watch a film as dusk sets in.

Some central spots to watch a weekly outdoor movie are;

Theatre Under The Stars at The Shops at Morgan Crossing in Surrey, next showing Big Hero 6 tomorrow night, July 7th.

North Vancouver Family Movie Nights at Civic Plaza, next showing The Neverending Story tomorrow night, July 7th.

Lansdowne Centre’s Starlight Drive-In / Walk-In, (watch from your car or bring your own patio chair) next showing Beauty and the Beast on July 12th

Evo Summer Cinema Series at Ceperley Meadow in Stanley Park, next hosting The Goonies on July 11th


Many more spots around Metro Vancouver and throughout BC host regular or special event outdoor movies. Visit Outdoor Movies BC on Facebook or download the Ourdoor Movies BC app on the App Store or Google Play, to keep up to date on other Fresh Air Cinema movies coming up near you.