VQFF Opens August 15

The 31st Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) opens this Thursday, August 15th at the Vancouver Playhouse with the Canadian Premiere of Leon Le’s Song Lang (Vietnam/U.S.A.), Le’s first feature is set in the richly imagined and dilapidated streets of 1990’s Saigon. Song Lang is a tribute to the golden age of c?i l??ng (a form of modern Vietnamese folk opera), a queer romance and gangster film that stars Vietnamese popstar, Isaac.

VQFF’s Closing Gala Film is the Canadian Premiere of a positive, feel-good LGBTQ comedy from Italy, An Almost Ordinary Summer (Italy) by Simone Godano. The film pays homage to the entertaining romantic comedies of Nancy Meyers, about two aging patriarchs who bring their two very different families together on vacation to announce their engagement. 

An Almost Ordinary Summer

In between, VQFF welcomes more than 100 films from 27 countries, plus a series of Festival Spotlights including Coming Into Our Own: Youth Spotlight, Queer Kinship, A Higher Power, and projecting brilliance: a two-spirit showcase. 

Curated by Artistic Director, Anoushka Ratnarajah, VQFF is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada.  Presented by Out On Screen, the Festival runs August 15-25, 2019 at various venues throughout the city, for more information and tickets visit queerfilmfestival.ca

Immerse Yourself, ‘Deep Into Darkness’ at The Cultch

Third Wheel Productions, an experiential production company, brings the world premiere of “Deep Into Darkness”, an immersive theatrical experience at The Cultch Theatre. 

 From August 13th to 25th, “Deep Into Darkness” is sure to be one of the season’s most elaborate theatre experiences. Unlike traditional theatre shows, Third Wheel Productions invites audiences to roam and follow characters through different worlds as all 3 floors, 20 rooms, and 30,000 square feet of The Cultch will be transformed into a 19th-century Victorian world inspired by Edgar Allan Poe.

The ambitious effort to bring large-scale immersive theatre to Vancouver is led by local creative duo Laura Carly Miller and Sydney Doberstein, who co-wrote, co-produced, and co-directed the show.

Deep Into Darkness
l-r: Sydney Doberstein, Laura Carly Miller, Leah Beaudry
Photo: Taylor Kare

“We wanted to bring a ground-breaking and multi-sensory artistic experience to Vancouver that could simultaneously challenge, provoke, and inspire people in a way that traditional theatre could not. ‘Deep Into Darkness’ achieves just that,” says Miller.

After a year of development with a seasoned artistic team, the final product is an enchanting 150-minute, 15-character odyssey chronicling the elusive last moments of Poe’s life.

As he is stuck in a fever dream for his very survival, “Deep Into Darkness” follows the author’s descent into his own tortured mind in a desperate search for his love, Lenore. Each room of the theatre induces a darker dream from his past, while each experience – disguised as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – shows the raw emotions and thoughts from his classic writings like “The Raven and “A Tell-tale Heart”. Through it all, he must come to terms with his own life.

Deep Into Darkness Fraser Larock Photo: Danie Easton

As Doberstein explains, “We were drawn to Poe because the themes of his work and his life – like love, tragedy, loss, death – are universal and will resonate with modern-day audiences through a story that is texturally rich, timeless, and wholly mysterious.”

For audience members who are willing to follow their impulses and chase their own curiosity, the experience will find them fully immersed within a Victorian dream world and eager to return.

Producers remind that “Deep Into Darkness” is an immersive theatre show, the audience is advised to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to stand/walk for the duration of the show.

“Deep Into Darkness” runs from August 13th to 25th at The Cultch Theatre in Vancouver. for tickets and show details visit DeepIntoDarkness.com or TheCultch.com. The production is an 18+ performance with adult themes, nudity and violence.

Picks of the Week : August 7, 2019

BC Day long week may be gone, but the energy and activities of summer continue in this week’s picks.

Cinema: Vancouver Civic Theatres are presenting free outdoor Wednesday evening cinema at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn (formerly QET Plaza) outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, tonight the blockbuster Captain Marvel starts at dusk.

Movie: Downtown Vancouver presents free movies Wednesday nights throughout the summer, tonight a special presentation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in conjunction with Kung Fu/Hip Hop hybrid Can I Kick It? is on at at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square (formerly, Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza)

Vancouver Bach Festival : Les Boreades de Montreal

Bach: Early Music Vancouver’s  Vancouver Bach Festival continues at Christ Church Cathedral and Chan Centre for Performing Arts until August 9th. This week featured performances include; Before Bach: 17th Century Music for Early Strings and Winds today August 7th at 1pm, followed by Handel Early Cantatas featuring Amanda Forsythe, soprano
August 7 at 7:30pm. Tomorrow August 8 finds; Shostakovich Preludes  featuring David Jalbert, piano, at 1pm then Strozzi – 17th Century Divas featuring Suzie LeBlanc and Dorothee Mields, sopranos, at 7:30pm. Finally Purcell Hail Bright Cecilia, August 9, 2019 at 7:30pm at Chan Centre

Rock: BC Place will be buzzing as Mumford & Sons, with special guests Portugal the Man, bring the Delta Tour to the stage.

Gig: Friday, the Vancouver Convention Centre Summer Sounds on Jack Poole Plaza, presents the music of Ten Souljers, taking place from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM, with more performancer schedule each Friday, August

Front Row L-R: Daniel Curalli as “Davey Jacobs,” Adam Charles as “Jack Kelly,” Caitlin McMaster as Ensemble Member, plus the cast of Disney’s Newsies photo: Lindsay Elliott

Stars: Now extended until August 24th, the 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars presents the entertaining musicals Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies on alternating nights

Repertory: The Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival continues with a trio of plays in repertoire at the Jericho Art Centre until August 16th.

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

Harmony Arts Festival – Night On The Pier

ArtsHarmony Arts Festival fills the West Vancouver Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, with a line-up of entertainment from August 2nd to 11th with scores of music, arts, film and food events, much of it free. Ticketed events include the 9th Annual Best of the West tonight, and Thursday’s Night On The Pier.

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Chinatown: Saturday, August 10, from 11am – 9pm, the streets of Vancouver’s Chinatown will be filled with food, shopping, music, dance as the neighbourhood celebrates the 2019 Chinatown Festival.

Blues: The annual Burnaby Roots & Blues Festival takes over Deer Lake Park on Saturday featuring Dan Mangan, Lord Huron and Feist

Waste to Wonder – Caribou

FlipFlops: Opening tomorrow, August 8th, The Waste to Wonder exhibit at the Grand Court of Metropolis at Metrotown, until September 8th, consists of five life-size sculptures of Canadian at-risk wildlife (the narwhal, orca, bison, grizzly, and caribou), each made from more than 6,500 recycled flip flops by Ocean Sole Africa.

Pitch: The Vancouver Canadians host Everett for a 3 game home stand on Thursday including by a fireworks extravaganza on Saturday

Blooms: The second Chilliwack Sunflower Festival runs until September 15th, with a total of 20 acres of flowers, bringing colour to the Fraser Valley community

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage. All’s Well That Ends Well wraps its run this week, August 11, at the Howard Family Stage.

Parks: The Vines Art Festival, opening tonight at Jericho Beach Park, is a free, all-ages, multidisciplinary eco-arts festival, featuring over 80 performing and visual and performing artists at parks throughout Vancouver, August 7th-18th

Pride At The Gallery Gives You An Art-On This Friday.

This Friday Vancouver Art Gallery presents Pride at the Gallery, a night of creativity, fun and connection in celebration of LGBTQ2+, with added programming on top of regular admission.

In the Rooftop Pavillion, overlooking Robson Square, one of the evening’s two themed, licensed bars The Vancouver Art Gallery will host the popular Me Love BINGO!. Part variety hour, part game night and part immersive theatre, Me Love BINGO! is an event that fosters community created by Kyle Loven, a Vancouver-based performance and visual artist. Dressed in drag as the night’s bingo host extraordinaire, Loven will provide endless entertainment with games, performance numbers and prizes all while following an unexpected narrative journey. 

At the Gallery’s second themed bar, in the Annex Workshop, guests will have an opportunity to indulge their creative side with communal mural painting as part of Paint & Drink!.

Stationed throughout the four floors of the Vancouver Art Gallery will be Queer Living Library. Inspired by Human Library, it follows a performance format emulated worldwide that invites people to borrow a human book with the readers becoming listeners. The speakers or “books” will share their lived experiences as members of the local LGBTQ2+ community. Guests will hear from Orene Askew aka DJ O Show, the two spirited activist named a 2019 Pride Parade Grand Marshal, as well as painter Leanne Christie, Shanique Kelly aka DJ Softieshan, photography artist Tom Hsu and gallery owner Wil Aballe of Will Aballe Art Projects (WAAP).

Presented with Vancouver Pride Society, Pride at the Gallery events and activations are all included with admission. In addition visitors will have access to all of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s summer exhibitions and are invited to discover works aligned with explorations of gender and sexuality as presented in Vikky Alexander: Extreme Beauty, Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, Moving Still: Performative Photography in India and Views of the Collection: The Street.

Pride at the Gallery takes place tomorrow, Friday August 2nd, 2019 from 5pm to 9pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street. 

Visit vanartgallery.bc.ca too purchase tickets and access the full schedule for Pride at the Gallery,

Picks of the Week – July 31, 2018

Another month wraps up and the August long-weekend is packed with loads of entertainment in these picks of the week

Cinema: Vancouver Civic Theatres are presenting free outdoor Wednesday evening cinema at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn (formerly QET Plaza) outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, tonight the 2019 live action Dumbo starts at dusk.

Theatre Under The Stars photo: Lindsay Elliott

Stars: The 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars presents the entertaining musicals Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies on alternating nights until August 17th.

Gallery: This Friday Vancouver Art Gallery presents Pride at the Gallerya night of creativity, fun and connection in celebration of LGBTQ2+, with added programming on top of regular admission.

Gig: Friday, August 2 the Vancouver Convention Centre launches Summer Sounds on Jack Poole Plaza, a music experience from The New Shackeltons, taking place from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM, with more performancer schedule each Friday, August

Celebration of Light

Fireworks: The 2019 Honda Celebration of Light continues tonight, with plenty of entertainment to enjoy before Canada brings light to the skies above English Bay.

Repertory: The third play, Superior Donuts, in the Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival opens this week, with the trio of plays in repertoire at the Jericho Art Centre until August 16th.

Bach: Early Music Vancouver brings the Vancouver Bach Festival to Christ Church Cathedral and Chan Centre for Performing Arts until August 9th. This week featured performances include; Part II of Bach Complete Brandenburg Concertos with Les Boréades tonight, Faure Requiem with Vancouver Bach Choir on Aug 1st, and Bach Cantatas with Les Boréades on Aug 2nd.

Parade: Everyone loves a parade, and the Vancouver Pride Parade, on Sunday August 4th promises to be one of the most colourful and lively parades of the year.

Sunset Beach Festival

Pride: The Vancouver Pride Sunset Beach Festival is your destination for entertainment, food trucks, beer garden, vendors, dancing, and more after the Parade or come earlier and get your place to enjoy the entertainment all day

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage, and All’s Well That Ends Well on now at the Howard Family Stage.

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

Blooms: The second Chilliwack Sunflower Festival opens August 1st with a total of 20 acres of flowers, bringing colour to the Fraser Valley community

Korean: The 18th Annual Korean Festival fills Swangard Stadium in Burnaby with Korean culture, food and arts, on Saturday August 3rd from 10am to 8pm

Arts: Harmony Arts Festival fills the West Vancouver Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, with a line-up of entertainment from August 2nd to 11th with scores of music, arts, film and food events, much of it free.

29th Annual Harmony Arts Festival comes to Ambleside August 2nd

West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival is an annual summer destination for people from all over Metro Vancouver.  Filling the Ambleside Waterfront from Ambleside Pier to John Lawson Park, the festival brings a line-up of entertainment from August 2nd to 11th with scores of music, arts, film and food events, much of it free!

Highlights of the festival events include;

ARTS:

Indigenous Showcase: the indigenous exhibition returns to Harmony Arts for a second year, recognizing the tradition of gathering and celebrates Indigenous artists and communities in a modern context to share in the richness of their arts

ArtSpeaks: Artist talks, art demonstrations, workshops, hands-on classes and more. ArtSpeaks takes place daily and most classes are free!

Art Beat: the Ambleside and Dundarave local shops and restaurants highlight local artists in their storefronts. 

Fresh St. Market Art Market: Argyle Street is filled with a diverse array of one-of-a-kind, gifts, and products including ceramics, glass, jewellery, leather, painting, photography, textiles and wood. Meet artists and artisans who display awe-inspiring works in a row of white tents.

MUSIC:

Harmony Arts Festival

Over the 10 days, Harmony Arts Festival includes 50 live music performances on two stages.

The PARC Retirement Living Garden Stage in Millennium Park, features daytime concerts, dinner concerts at 5:30 p.m. and evening headline concerts at 8:45 p.m. 

The Main Stage in John Lawson Park is home to the popular Sunset Concerts, daily at 7:30 p.m., as well as timeless melodies of the Seniors Series, sponsored by Revera Retirement Living – Hollyburn House on August 4, 5 & 11. 
The 2019 line-up includes: The Paperboys, The Matinée, Dreams: The Ultimate Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, Bobby Bruce’s Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band, R&B Allstars, Desirée Dawson and more. 

FILM:

Outdoor Cinema in the Park takes place each night at 9pm at the John Lawson Park stage. 
This year’s line-up includes award-winning current and classic family-friendly films like Green Book, Crazy Rich Asians, The Incredibles 2, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Black Panther, Top Gun and more. 

FOOD:

Every good festival needs good food, and places to take a break and enjoy the music with your friends. Harmony Arts Festival doesn’t disappoint with a hearty selection of its own free dining spots and ticketed events.

Harmony Arts Festival offers three special ticketed culinary events:

Ambleside Pier

2nd Annual Indigenous Feast: at Ambleside Landing August 6th, 6pm features a traditional indigenous menu paired with Nk’Mip wines

9th Annual Best of the West:
 on Ambleside Pier August 7th, 7-9pm 12 of the Lower Mainland’s best restaurants paired with 12 wineries for a culinary arts event and competition

4th Annual Night on the Pier
: on the Ambleside Pier August 8th, 7:30-9:30pm welcomes some of Metro Vancouver’s top mixologists competing to create the best cocktail as voted by the attendees.

Other dining options around Harmony Arts Festival include;

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
 enjoy dining alongside the Parc Retirement Living Garden Stage.

Harmony Arts Festival packs in so much entertainment and activities there’s sure to be something for your whole family to enjoy. 
Visit harmonyarts.ca for a full list of events and times.

Picks of the Week – July 24, 2019

The sun has been making regular appearances to help warm up our summer evenings, perfect for the outdoor activities in our picks of the week.

Movie: Downtown Vancouver presents free movies Wednesday nights throughout the summer, tonight family friendly Paddington is on at at šx????n?q Xwtl’e7én? Square (formerly, Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza)

Cinema: Vancouver Civic Theatres are also presenting free outdoor Wednesday evening cinema at šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn (formerly QET Plaza) outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, tonight Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse starts at dusk

North: Can Whitecaps FC advance when they come home for the second leg of the Canadian Championships against Calvary FC, at BC Place tonight.

Lady In Red Ball Host & Fairmont Pride Ambassador Kendal Gender

Lady: Kicking off Pride Week, July 25th, the second Lady in Red Ball in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Pacific Ballroom, benefiting the Dr Peter AIDS Foundation. 

Stars: The 2019 season of Theatre Under The Stars presents the entertaining musicals Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies on alternating nights until August 17th.

Pride: Vancouver Pride Season is in swing as Pride Premiere gets the fun rolling, a 7 hour party encircling the Vancouver Art Gallery begins at 5pm until late featuring two stages and Silent Disco, outdoor licensed area, drag and dance performances, food trucks, activities, and more

Fireworks: The 2019 Honda Celebration of Light kicks off Saturday July 27, with plenty of entertainment to enjoy before India brings a dazzling display to the skies.

Playland: Playland Nights returns Friday evening bringing dedicated, 19+ activities and entertainment line-up from 7pm to midnight every Friday in July

Folk: The 32nd annual Mission Folk Music Festival brings music to the Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission July 26 -28.

Roar: The BC Place will be filled as BC Lions play host to Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday

Stand-up: Comedian Ali Wong brings laughter to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with 4 shows of her The Milk & Money Tour on July 24, 25, 26.

Backstreet Boys

Pop: The always popular Backstreet Boys return to Rogers Arena on Saturday night with their DNA World Tour

Repertory: The third play, Superior Donuts, in the Ensemble Theatre Company’s 7th Annual Repertory Festival opens this week, with the trio of plays in repertoire at the Jericho Art Centre until August 16th.

Fest: head up the Sea-to-Sky and take in all the music and fun at Squamish Constellation Festival July 26-28

Puppets: Museum of Anthropology’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

Jazz: Singer/Songwriter Norah Jones brings her sounds to the Orpheum Theatre on Sunday evening

Art:  The Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist, until October

Bard: The 30th season of Bard on the Beach is underway at Vanier Park with Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare in Love playing in repertoire through the summer on the Mainstage, and All’s Well That Ends Well on now at the Howard Family Stage.

Pitch: The Vancouver Canadians wrap up a home stand against Everett with a fireworks extravaganza following tonights game, and a nooner at the Nat on Thursday.