Picks of the Week – May 22, 2019

With Victoria Day behind us, we move into the summer entertainment season and plenty of picks of the week…

Festival: The Arts Umbrella Theatre & Music Department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival, continues to bring entertainment to the stage until May 25 at Waterfront Theatre

MOA : Shadows Strings & Other Things

Puppets:Museum of Anthropologie’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things features a broad array of puppets, old and new, from 15 countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas until October 14, 2019

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Fairytale: Presentation House Theatre brings the comedic spin on ‘The Princess and the Pea” Once Upon A Mattress to the stage until May 26

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports gives audiences the ending of their choosing at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters, but no dragon breath, along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience, until June 15th.

Musical: Adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel about the precocious, pint-sized, imaginative student, Matilda the Musical is running at Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until July 14th.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir Photo: Alex Law Photography

Noise: Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir presents the final concert of their season, The Return of Soul Gospel, May 25th at Christ Church Cathedral.

Country: Award-winning, country superstar Carrie Underwood brings The Cry Pretty Tour to Rogers Arena Saturday night.

Spoken Word: Canadian poet Shane Koyczan takes the stage at The Vogue Theatre Friday May 24

Seven Tyrants : At Steady Rain

Rain: Seven Tyrants closes their first season at Tyrant Studios with the remount from last season’s award-winning “A Steady Rain” from May 23rd – 31st.

Dance: The Dance Centre presents the Global Dance Connections series Davida Monk’s Ashes for Beauty, three varied and beautiful contemporary dance works May 23 – 25

Whitecaps Pride Match

Pride: Whitecaps FC host Dallas FC at BC Place for their annual Pride match on Saturday afternoon.

Punk: Manhattan punk act Gogol Bordello brings their punk & dub sounds to the Commodore Ballroom on Friday night.

Rap: Chinese hip-hop / trap group, Higher Brothers, bring beats and rhymes to the Commodore stage on Saturday night

Good Noise Choir brings the season to a close

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir presents the final concert of their season, The Return of Soul Gospel, May 25th at Christ Church Cathedral. Good Noise will be joined by award-winning gospel singers Dawn Pemberton and Warren Dean Flandezin a high-energy celebration of gospel music that will have audiences raising the roof with pure joy and adoration.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir
Photo: Alex Law Photography

“Our 15th season has been nothing short of spectacular,” says Gail Suderman, Artistic Director of Good Noise. “We decided to celebrate our success by bring together two of Canada’s most powerful gospel singers as guest artists for our grand finale. Dawn and Warren don’t get the chance to sing together very often, so to have them both available was a minor miracle, given their very busy performing schedules —and having them both on stage along with Good Noise and the Good Noise gospel band will be exhilarating beyond belief. The Return of Soul Gospel will be a concert like no other and audiences for these two performances will be on their feet singing right along with us!”

Warren Dean Flandez and the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir
Photo: Alex Law Photography

Good Noise, Pemberton, and Flandez will join forces in performances of the Reverend Al Green’s “Everything’s Gonna be Alright,” Stevie Wonder’s inspirational “Love’s In Need of Love Today” from his iconic album Songs in the Key of Love, and finally Gail Suderman’s unique arrangement of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” inspired by the Al Green/Annie Lennox performance. Solo sets will be offered by both Pemberton and Flandez, and Good Noise will then perform classic gospel songs including “Lean on Me,” by Bill Withers, “Hosanna,” by Kirk Franklin, and “Souled Out” by contemporary gospel artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker who is the pastor of the prominent Brooklyn megachurch, Love Fellowship Tabernacle.

Accompanying Good Noise, Pemberton and Flandez in this season finale concert will be Michael Kalanj (Hammond B3), Laurence Mollerup (bass), Elliot Polsky (drums), Ingrid Stitt (saxophones), and Good Noise Artistic Director Gail Suderman (piano).

For show details and tickets visit goodnoisevgc.com

Picks of the Week – May 15, 2019

It’s that time again, the unofficial kick off to Summer; Victoria Day, May Long, May Two-Four, whatever you might call this long weekend there’s no doubt you’ll find something entertaining to pick from…

Dance: The Scotiabank Dance Centre’s popular Discover Dance! series brings its season to a close with a performance of African dance by Jacky Essombe to the Centre on May 16th, for two shows, at noon + 6pm

Arts Umbrella Expressions Festival – Animal Farm

Festival: The Arts Umbrella brings a variety of performances to the stage with its Theatre & Music Department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival, May 17 – 25 at Waterfront Theatre

Ballers:The Great Leap explores a 1989 exhibition basketball game in Beijing at The Arts Club BMO Theatre Centre until May 19th.

Balls: See if Whitecaps FC can notch another win when they play host to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday evening at BC Place

MOA : Shadows Strings & Other Things

Puppets: Museum of Anthropologie’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things features a broad array of puppets, old and new, from 15 countries across Asia, Europe, and the Americas from May 16 to October 14, 2019.

Jericho: Edward Bond’s The Sea, comes ashore at the Jericho Arts Centre, presented by The Slamming Door Artist Collective, from May 2nd to 19th.

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Jazz: Vancouver’s Alan Matheson Septet bring their ‘little big band’ sound to the stage at Pyatt Hall on May 18th.

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports slays audiences with laughter at Throne and Games – The Last Laugh featuring some familiar characters along with a myriad of unexpected plot twists as suggested by the audience.

Art: Celebrate the Class of 2019 at The Show at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the public exhibition of graduating student works until May 19th

Fairytale: May 16 – 26, Presentation House Theatre brings the comedic spin on ‘The Princess and the Pea” Once Upon A Mattress to the stage

Chan Centre brings the world to 2019/2020 Concert Series

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC has announced a diverse, global selection of performances for its 2019/20 series. The nine concerts at Chan Shun Concert Hall will welcome extraordinary talent from around the world, including an icon of Americana, the height of jazz royalty, and a compelling Norwegian songstress. Also announced is the 2019/20 Beyond Words series, featuring four heartrending interdisciplinary performances that affirm the importance of diversity in storytelling. In addition, Chan Centre Connects Series complements presentations with artist and expert talks, panel discussions, workshops, master classes, and film screenings, offering more in-depth engagement with the season’s programming. 

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my role as curator for the Chan Centre Presents series is the sheer delight of discovery.” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director and curator of the Chan Centre Presents series. “This season brings Vancouver debuts, fresh new sounds, and time-honoured art forms from around the world to the Chan Centre stage. Encounter the ethereal harmonies of an extraordinary Sámi artist from Norway, the impactful gospel-inspired songs of the civil rights movement, and the romance of Cuba’s golden era revived for a new generation. Each of the brilliant artists we welcome will be taking us on an exploratory journey — so bring your sense of adventure!”

The 2019/20 Chan Centre Presents series includes:

Rosanne Cash
photo: Michael Lavine

ROSANNE CASH
Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 8pmThe Grammy award-winning icon of roots music, Rosanne Cash, tours in support of her first album in five years, She Remembers Everything

MARI BOINE
Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 8pmBringing to life the rich sound of her native Sámi languagevocalist Mari Boine has cultivated a following with her trailblazing sound that harmonizes shamanic beats with bold expressionism.

DAKHABRAKHA
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 8pmEastern European quartet DakhaBrakha presents their brand of “ethno chaos,” melding together Ukrainian folk music with Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian instrumentation. 

FLAMENCO LEGENDS: THE PACO DE LUCÍA PROJECT
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8pmPaying tribute to their former bandleader, the Flamenco Legends project celebrates the late guitarist Paco de Lucía with an evening of incredible music and dance that delves into his rich legacy. 

ORQUESTA AKOKÁN
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8pmOld Havana comes to life with this 13-piece ensemble that brings together Cuba’s top musicians and the best of New York’s Latin music scene. 

WE SHALL OVERCOME: A CELEBRATION OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 8pmPianist, conductor, composer, arranger, and arts educator Damien Sneed commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a vibrant, multi-genre performance. 

DIANNE REEVES: BELEZA BRAZIL
Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 7pmFive-time Grammy Award-winner Dianne Reeves explores the sounds of South America in her brand new project Beleza Brazil (“the beauty of Brazil”). 

LA SANTA CECILIA
Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8pmInspired by Pan-American influences while drawing on their own Mexican heritage, LA-based band La Santa Cecilia weave together influences from cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, R&B, jazz, and more.

Kalabanté – Afrique en Cirque
photo: Peter Graham

KALABANTÉ: AFRIQUE EN CIRQUE
Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8pmMontreal-based Guinean Yamoussa Bangoura imports the athleticism, agility, and animation of African music and arts by fusing them with European circus traditions in his stunning multidisciplinary performances. 

The 2019/20 Beyond Words series includes:

HUFF
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 12pm + 7:30pmPerformed by award-winning playwright Cliff Cardinal, the brutally honest, darkly comic one-man performance dives into the lives of three Indigenous siblings caught in a maelstrom of institutional prejudice and abuse.

TRADER TIME
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 7:30pmLong-term collaborators Ivan Coyote and Sarah MacDougall present their latest multidisciplinary work, Trader Time. Made up of a series of interrelated vignettes based on a local Whitehorse buy-and-sell radio show, 

BLACK LIKE ME: AN EXPLORATION OF THE WORD N–––––
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:30pm + Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 12pmInnovative dance artist and choreographer Jade Solomon Curtis uses African, jazz, tap, ballet, musical theatre, and club dance vocabularies to investigate the reverberations of a single word across the global landscape. 

RIDGE
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7:30pmAward-winning writer, musician, and slam poet Brendan MacLeod confronts the misconceptions and misunderstandings of the now-famed Battle at Vimy Ridge, in which more than 10,000 Canadian casualties were recorded.

For more details, season subscriptions and single tickets (on sale from June 18, 2019) visit chancentre.com

Jazz and Strings with Surrey City Orchestra

This weekend, the Surrey City Orchestra (SCO), led by conductor Stuart Martin, presented an evening filled with the sounds of jazz and music from film. The Surrey City Orchestra strings were joined by the Miles Black Trio: Miles Black on piano, Jodi Proznik on bass and Jesse Cahill on drums.

Cellist Harold Birston arranged the evening’s program to creatively combine the lush symphonic strings with the classic jazz trio sounds. Birston’s arrangements made both genres uplifting and accessible for everyone listening. Familiar tunes helped to get everyone in the audience tapping their feet along to the snappy beats from the likes of Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Gordon Goodwin, John Barry and others. Miles Black’s and Harold Birston’s own originals also joined the setlist.

If having the accomplished and acclaimed Black, Proznik and Cahill, the SCO was also joined by Amarjeet Singh on the Tabla, Coach Sandhu and Robert Alexander on Guitars, plus special guest vocalist Julia Copeman-Haynes. When incorporated, bringing the unique eastern sound of the tabla brought a new depth to the usual beats of the jazz percussion. Teenagers Alexander and Copeman-Haynes demonstrated the quality of music education coming from our local schools. Alexander’s own group of other Semiahmoo students performed pre-show and during the interval to the delight of the audience. Without trying to emulate Dame Shirley Bassey, North Delta graduate, Julia Copeman-Haynes brought clear crisp vocals to John Barry’s Bond iconic themes; Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.

Surrey City Orchestra led by Conductor Stuart Martin

The rousing 2 hour (plus intermission) performance held the audience’s interest throughout and made those of us seeing the SCO for the first time, look forward to returning. According to the program, other shows from the performers include a charity show from The Miles Black Trio, along with Julia Copeman-Haynes, June 15, 2019 at Crossroads United Church. The SCO performs The Nutcracker, joined by local ethnic dance troupes in December 2019. The Music of Bollywood, and Gustav Holst’s The Planets, are brought to comes to the SCO stage in Spring 2020.

Visit Surrey City Orchestra online for more information and tickets when they come available. You won’t be disappointed if Jazz and Strings was a taste of what just part of an orchestra can produce.

5 Mother’s Day Picks for 2019 That Aren’t Brunch

This Sunday, much of the world celebrates Mother’s Day. While each country & culture has its own traditions, here in North America, the 2nd Sunday in May usually includes brunch, flowers & family.

While a family meal with the matriarch is common, you might be looking for a different option to celebrate Mom. Here’s a five options for Mother’s Day, May 12, 2019, in Metro Vancouver that don’t include making reservations but do included doing something with Mom.

RUN: Blueshore Financial Mother’s Day Run presented by Westin Bayshore: start the day with a 3k, 5k, 10k family fun run / walk through scenic Stanley Park, from Ceperley Field to Coal Harbour with a festival-like wrap up at the finish line or brunch at Westin Bayshore.

MOM=WOW

LAUGH: Vancouver TheatreSports celebrates Moms everywhere with its ‘mother of all Mother’s Day shows’ – MOM=WOW – a special, one-performance-only, Mom-themed show just for her at 4:00pm, after toast mom with a sip and the sunny views of the marina from the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge.

MUSEUM: Celebrate Mom at Burnaby Village Museum, from 11am to 4:30pm, with a day packed with special activities, exhibitions and crafts planned with Moms and families in mind, top off your visit with a visit to the Ice Cream Parlour for a slice of Mother’s Day lavender cheesecake & tea.

TREES: If you’ve taken Mom for a visit to enjoy the gardens of Queen Elizabeth Park, enhance your own urban forest with the Vancouver Park Board Tree Sale, any unclaimed or unpurchased trees from the online sale may be purchased for cash on between 2-4pm at Nat Bailey Stadium parking lot.

MATINEE: Vancouver Academy of Music (VAM) Symphony Orchestra, joined by internationally renowned pianist and VAM alumnus Jon Kimura Parker, brings its season to a close with a riveting performance of Stravinsky’s vibrant, folk-inspired Suite from The Firebird, at The Orpheum at 2pm.

Picks of the Week – May 8, 2019

May is heating up, not just outside but on the Vancouver entertainment scene, find out what’s hot in these picks of the week

Anniversary: Tonight, Passion Pit takes to the Commodore Ballroom on tour in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of their debut album

MOM=WOW

Improv: Vancouver Theatresports celebrates Moms everywhere with its ‘mother of all Mother’s Day shows’ – MOM=WOW – a special, one-performance-only, Mom-themed show on Sunday at 4:00pm. As well,  Throne and Games – The Last Laugh continues to slay audiences with laughs.

Dance: Ballet BC, Program 3, wraps up its season with a trio of pieces performed at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings.

Jazz: Saturday, Surrey City Orchestra plays Jazz & Strings, an evening of jazz and movie music, featuring the Miles Black Trio – Miles Black (piano), Jodi Proznick (Bass), Jesse Cahill (drums) and special guest, singer Julia Copeman-Haynes

Ballers:The Great Leap explores a 1989 exhibition basketball game in Beijing at The Arts Club BMO Theatre Centre until May 19th.

Party: After a 4 year break The Tea Party are back with new music and taking to the stage for two shows at the Commodore Ballroom, Thursday and Friday

Bizet: Thursday at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC, Carmen in New York, presented by the 45th Avenue Jazz Band, is a novel arrangement of Georges Bizet’s Carmen Suite for Jazz Orchestra.

Film:DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Western Canada’s largest documentary Film Festival, returns to Vancouver for the 18th annual festival May 2nd through May 12th in cinemas around town.

Gallery: Friday night Vancouver Art Gallery FUSE : Gestures comes alive after hours with art, music, performances, artists bars throughout the gallery

Reconcile This by Krystle Coughlin at Bill Reid Gallery

Water: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways until October 2, 2019

Piano: Saturday night, award winning British singer-songwriter Tom Odell stops at the Commodore Ballroom in support of his third album

Choir: SummerSing! is the Vancouver Bach Choirs’ season finale, bringing together all eight choirs joining in song to celebrate the operatic tradition in an Operamania themed program at the Chan Centre, Saturday

Edward Bond’s The Sea

Jericho: Edward Bond’s The Sea, comes ashore at the Jericho Arts Centre, presented by The Slamming Door Artist Collective, from May 2nd to 19th.

Rock: Abbotsford Centre welcomes the 10th Anniversary tour of the 5 time Tony Award-winning Rock Of Ages for one night only on May 11th