PuSh Festival 2013 Kicks Off

push_imgsLast night a kick off party at Five-Sixty Nightclub launched the 2013 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.  Hosted by CTV’s Mi-Jung Lee and Dan Mangan, the event featured a  performances and works throughout the club as a taste of what’s to come during the festival. Today, the 9th annual PuSh Festival gets underway, presenting groundbreaking live theater works across Vancouver from January 15 until February 3, 2013.
The Festival states its vision is ‘to be a festival of national importance—artistically respected, greatly anticipated and highly valued as a catalyst for cultural and community development.’ PuSh showcases local, Canadian and international works to promote, stimulate and encourage artists and the arts industry on whole to create a connection with audiences.

Venues all across the city from the Arts Club Theatre to SFU Woodwards Campus will be home to one-time only events and run of festival plays, performance pieces and dance works. Festival wide “PuSh Passes” are sold out but individual performance tickets are still available. Pick up a Festival Guide at retailers across the city or download a copy, then get out and support the Vancouver Arts scene.

It’s a BECKstravaganza!

In December 2012, Beck released his latest album, Song Reader, at 20 songs it’s a long player. The unique thing with this release is that in order to hear the songs you must play them yourself, not just on a CD or mp3 player but real instruments. Song Reader is in sheet music form only.  All twenty songs are boxed and catalogued in the ‘album’ for you to read and play yourself or listen to someone else play.
That is just what will happen January 17th at the Rio Theatre.  Vancouver’s The Broken Mirrors will play the album in its entirety before a live audience. To help the night along, the band will be joined by some of their friends, local musicians and bands for this one-night-only event.
I asked The Broken Mirror’s Noah Walker what drew him to plan this performance, he said “That was an easy decision, it’s intriguing, an entire Beck album unrecorded. What does it sound like? There’s only one way to find out, play it”. He adds “Beck is a unifying figure in music, he is a shining example  that you don’t have to get stuck in any one genre and that it is quite alright to to mix it up and play blues, punk rock, hip hop, folk and even country!”
The night promises to be full of genre busting sounds, judging by the line up of other musicians including Headwater, Buckman Coe, Leah Abramson, and Van Driver.
Walker says of the night’s line up, “All of them can come together under one roof and make music together. These are a collection of songs where there is no definitive version.  By not recording them Beck has put such a high value on the live performance of these songs.”
This is a great night for everyone, Beck fans get to hear his latest work plus live music fans can show their support of their fave local bands and a great local venue.

Beckstravaganza takes place Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 8:00pm
at The RIO Theatre, 1660 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Tickets are $15 advance at The RIO Theatre box office, Red Cat, Highlife and Zulu Records, or online at www.riotheatretickets.ca

Fave events of 2012

As the old year closes and a new year begins, it’s a time for all of us to reflect on the events that past before we reboot for the year ahead.

Here’s a few of my favourite activities of 2012 (in no particular order):

London 2012 – my visit to London to visit good friends and take in the 2012 Olympics was a definite highlight of the year.
Bloomsbury Bowls – part of the London experience was a fun night out with a bunch of friends at this super cool venue
Scissor Sisters – the ‘Magic Hour’ came to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom with poptastic results.
Emerson Drive – kicking off the PNE Summer Concert Series, the Canadian country group got the summer off to a great start
David Foster & Friends 25th Anniversary Concert – Victoria’s David Foster brought a host of friends home to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre for an entertaining fundraising evening for The David Foster Foundation.
An Evening With Idina Menzel – the Broadway superstar performed an evening of her hits and (sometimes dirty) anecdotes
Jason Mraz – one of my favourite live performers stopped at Rogers Arena for his LOVE Is A Four Letter Word tour.
2 Days In Seattle – Thanks to Klout and the Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau I got to spend 2 Days in Seattle seeing the sights and tasting the Emerald City.
Whitecaps FC – kicking off a second season in the MLS, the Vancouver team performed much better in their sophomore season managing to make at least one post-season match.
Topshop/Topman Opening Party – the iconic British High Street retailer launched their flagship Vancouver store with an amazing opening night party at 560.
Via Brazil Steakhouse – topping off my friends Lori & Craig’s wedding day with a family style reception was a great highlight of a fun filled wedding week.

I’m sure there’s more great moments of 2012 but these were a good selection of highlights. While these are great, one of my favourites is always being able to spend time with my family and friends whatever we’re doing, especially at the Holidays.
I look forward to starting 2013 off with a long time tradition of New Year’s Day breakfast. My friend Tara and I have been meeting, with whomever else can make it, for an annual catch-up and New Year kick-off for over a decade and hope to continue for many more.

What were your favourite moments of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?


Celebration 2012 – Music BC Foundation

On December 7th, 2012, the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver plays host as the city comes together to support and thank those who contribute to the Music BC Charitable Foundation. Hosted by the PEAK 102.7FM’s Tamara Stanners, this one of a kind event features performances by some of BC’s best artists and bands, including:


Jim Byrnes
David Gogo
Shaun Verreault (of Wide Mouth Mason)
Steph Macpherson
Steve Dawson
Murray Porter
Terri-Lynn Williams Davidson
Portage and Main
The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer
Tonye Aganaba & The Foundation
Rainbow Creek Dancers
+ more

After the event, Vancouver’s new music venue FanClub will host an exclusive after party for guests and sponsors.

A Celebration Of BC Music takes place
December 7th, 2012, The Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville St, Vancouver
Doors at 7:00pm, Show at 7:30pm
Tickets on sale from the Vogue box office or at NorthernTickets.com
General Admission: $30 + Tax/Fees

Proceeds of this event will support Music BC Charitable Foundation‘s programs!
Music BC Charitable Foundation supports music education throughout British Columbia by providing instruments to underfunded music programs in public schools, Aboriginal schools, community centres, and regional youth orchestras; scholarships for young artists pursuing a career in music, and mentor-based music programs for at-risk youth.


Halloween comes to PNE – Playland

As the weather has taken turn to Fall there is a chill in the air, it’s time to get a chill up your spine as the PNE and Playland get ready for Halloween.
Fright Nights welcomes you to scare your pants off with the fun starting Wednesday October 17.  Six flight houses, including a new house – FEAR, 13 rides and the new show Monsters Of Schlock bring out the freaks and fun.
Watch a preview of Fright Nights

For something a little less frightening and more family friendly check out The Great Big Boo. Five family friendly performances run October 20 & 21 in the safe, dry  and not-so-scary PNE Forum.
Follow Justin, Zoe and their zany character friends from Boo Alley as they sing and dance their way through a maze of wacky adventures to save Halloween! Dress up in you favourite Halloween costume and go trick-or-treating with the stars of the show after the curtain closes.
Produced by Patrick Roberge Productions, famed for the Vancouver Olympic & Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, The Great Big Boo! is the ultimate family Halloween experience that combines a theatrical musical show with trick-or-treating fun!

The Great Big Boo showtimes are Saturday, October 20th at 11:00am, 2:00pm and 5:00pm; Sunday, October 21st at 2:00pm and 5:00pm. Visit Ticketleader.com for tickets from $19.50 plus fees.
Fright Nights at Playland run October 17 – 31, from 6pm until late nightly. When you purchase passes online at www.fightnights.ca, you’ll save $3 per pass! Buy early, evenings may sell out!

Culture Days 2012

Since its inception in 2010, Culture Days has taken root in more than 700 cities and towns across the country.
Culture Days are a volunteer driven national movement with a goal to raise awareness and participation in the arts and culture community. This year’s Culture Days takes place on September 28, 29 and 30.  Across the country free, hands-on, interactive events will encourage the public to take a closer look at the arts scene in their hometown.
Cultural Days relies on volunteers and collaboration to evolve and grow.  Arts and cultural organizations, artists, governments, schools, businesses or individuals can submit their events to the Culture Days website to help spread the word and promote Arts and Culture.
Some of the events happening in Vancouver include backstage tours of the historic Orpheum Theatre, WritersConnect Vancouver – a look behind the process as songwriters work on new pieces, Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival – a celebration of the full moon, Renfrew Ravine, Still Creek and the autumn or Discover the Lost Chinese Arts – a look at Chinese dance, music and culture.


Feist wins The 2012 Polaris Music Prize

Monday night at Bell Media’s Masonic Temple, Concert Hall Studios in Toronto a gala concert was held to celebrate the 2012 Polaris Music Prize Short List and announce the winner of the prestigious prize.
Short list nominees, Cadence Weapon, Cold Specks, Kathleen Edwards, Fucked Up, Grimes and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan performed for the live and streaming audience.
The Polaris Prize is presented annually to the best Canadian album of the year based on “artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation”. This year’s Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals; Gregory Adams (Georgia Straight), Michael Barclay (Maclean’s, Radio Free Canuckistan), Chris Bilton (The Grid), Ryan Bresee (CKCU 93.1fm), Lisa Christiansen (CBC Radio 1), Shawn Conner (The Snipe News), Melissa Hetu (TFO), Kevin Laforest (Freelance, ex-Hour), Ryan B. Patrick (Freelance), Tabassum Siddiqui (Freelance) and Nicole Villeneuve (AUX TV) came from the original Polaris jury of 200 Canadian writers, editors, broadcasters and DJs. The 11 jurists were tasked with selecting the winner from the 10 short list nominees and Feist’s Metals came out on top.  Members of 2011 Polaris Prize winners Arcade Fire made the announcement and presented Feist with her $30,000 award.  All other nominees received $2000 for making the Polaris Short List.
Highlights from Monday night’s gala, hosted by CBC Radio 3’s Grant Lawrence and MuchMusic’s Lauren Toyota will be telecast September 29th on MuchMusic.

Gala hosts Lauren Toyota, Grant Lawrence and
Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire present Feist with the 2012 Polaris Prize