Picks of the Week – October 23, 2019

As October rolls on, we find the darker nights leading closer to Halloween and a plethora of spooktober picks.

Eat: Tasting Plates Gastown and Chinatown invites you to find out what’s new in the oldest neighbourhoods, tonight to explore the restaurants and cafés in the downtown Vancouver food scene.

Spooks: The most frightful time of the year, Fright Nights at PNE, fills the fair with haunted houses, thrilling rides and ghoulish ghosts until Halloween

Dracula: Fabulist Theatre & Director Damon Bradley Jang bring a modern adaptation of a old-time radio play to life with Dracula: A Modern Radio Play, performed live (not broadcast) at CBC Studio 700, October 25-27

Trolley: Get spooked and learn some of the dark side of Vancouver’s history on the Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour, until October 31

Train: Head into the Rabbit Hole when you follow Alice in Nightmareland at The Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train until Halloween night.

From Here : acrylic on canvas by David Wilson

Art: In his latest exhibition, Everywhere From Here, Vancouver artist, David Wilson, takes a look at local landmarks The Lions as the starting point for this collection, on view October 24 – November 5 at 1387 Railspur Alley on Granville Island. Wilson will be in attendance at the public opening on Saturday between 2-4pm.

Diwali: The Cultch partners with Diwali in BC to present Pandemic Theatre and Rumble Theatre’s Take D Milk, Nah? a solo show from Jivesh Parasram about his Indo-Caribbean heritage, closing October 26, at the Vancity Culture Lab

BigTop: Cirque du Soleil brings their latest show, Luzia to the Big Top at Concorde Pacific Place, continuing through the end of the year

Bedrooms: The Arts Club Granville Island Stage opens The Birds & the Bees is a Canadian bedroom comedy about love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys, until October 26

China Doll – Jennifer Tong & Manami Hara photo: Tim Matheson

Opening: Gateway Theatre in Richmond opens its 2019-2020 season with Marjorie Chan’s historical drama, China Doll, running until October 26.

Jazz: Friday Jazz is live at Tyrant Studios, this week featuring Jonathan Bauer Project

Comedy: Saturday Comedy takes the stage at Tyrant Studios, this week’s stand-up features Yumi Nagashima supported by Ed Hill and Myles Anderson 

Pucks: Friday night, celebrate Diwali at Rogers Arena with Vancouver Canucks as they host Washington Capitals

Art: Full Circle First Nations Performance and the Vancouver Public Library co-host the art and film installation pîkiskwe-speak: An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation from October 16th to December 15th in the Samuel & Frances Belzberg Family Exhibit Space at Vancouver Central Library.

La-Traviata- Irina Medvedeva as Maid Annina, Emily Dorn as Violetta, Andrew Haji as Alfredo photo: Tim Matheson

Opera: The Vancouver Opera 2019/20 season is underway with performances of La Traviata at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, playing October 24 and 27th.

Home: Get inspired for all your season’s home decor and renovation projects at the Vancouver Fall Home Show at Vancouver Convention Centre October 24 – 27.

BC Culture Days Celebrates 10 Years

From September 27 to 29, 2019 take part in Canada’s largest public celebration the nation’s arts & culture, BC Culture Days.  BC Culture Days has helped facilitate a host of free engaging activities and events taking place throughout the region over the three day event. The weekend of artistic expression explores the intersection of creativity, the arts, and well-being. Featuring painting, theatre, experimental performance art, literature, design, cinema, and beyond, BC Culture Days is a family-friendly weekend that builds community, encourages exploration and discovery, and celebrates creativity in all its forms. 

Drumming at Kamloops Edition of BC Culture Days, 2015. photo: Lori Jantz

“Creative expression is vital for the health and wellness of a community,” says BC Culture Days Manager Nazanin Shoja. “We are proud to shine a light on the essential role arts and culture plays across the province to boost community engagement, foster deeper social connections, and build an understanding and appreciation for the collective artistic experience. With hundreds of engaging and exciting community events taking place across British Columbia, I have no doubt there will be an event that will cater to every taste and interest, while encouraging exploration into new artistic ventures!” 

To help celebrate its 10th anniversary, BC Culture Days has selected 10 emerging artists from across the province to act as cultural ambassadors in their respective communities, encouraging participation and presenting innovative activities across a broad spectrum of disciplines — including painting, animation, carving, poetry, theatre, and dance — as part of the weekend festivities. The 2019 BC Culture Days ambassadors are Tiffany Blaise (Vancouver), Brock Gratz (Kelowna), Molly Gray (Fort Langley), Alyssa Harms-Wiebe (Vancouver), Mundia Kabunda (West Kelowna), Julian Legere (New Westminster), Sebastian Nicholson (Prince George), Olivier Salvas (Vancouver), Emily Shin (Richmond), and Dyana Sonik-Henderson (Victoria). The artists’ biographies are available at: culturedays.ca/bc/ambassadors.

Dancing at Port Moody edition of BC Culture Days, 2015. photo: Bob Homer

BC Culture Days will officially launch with a provincial kick-off event in Mission, BC on Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 1pm–3pm at the Heritage Park Centre. Mission: A Mosaic of Cultures will showcase a broad range of cultural activities by notable and emerging artists from the Mission community. Beginning with the official opening ceremony, including a welcome by a representative of the Leq’á:mel First Nation, the public is invited to participate and experience artist demos, hands-on arts and crafts, artist talks, storytelling, workshops, and samplings from Mission’s vibrant culinary scene.

During BC Culture Days weekend, visitors are welcomed to seek out, create, participate and share the wealth of cultural activities to be found all around the region; from Music at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver, Claymaking in West Vancouver, Bellydancing in North Vancouver, Heritage bus tours around Burnaby, Art Demonstrations in New Westminster, Art In The Park in Coquitlam, and much, much more.   Visit culturedays.ca/bc to find out how to participate and for full details about all the events. 

Visit The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency

The public launch and first open house of the historic Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency on August 25, is the result of a campaign by grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Creative Cultural Collaborations (C3) to revive the historic floating cabin at the Plaza of Nations in False Creek. 

The Blue Cabin in North Vancouver
pic: John Ward

Originally built in 1927 as a floating house in Coal Harbour, the Blue Cabin was re-located to North Vancouver for more than 80 years. Artists Al Neil and Carole Itter used the space as a studio from 1966 until their eviction in 2015, when the cabin’s site next to Cates Park was purchased by Polygon Homes. When the structure was scheduled for demolition, grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and C3 led a campaign to save, restore, and re-launch the cabin as a residency. Their success brought in artists Jeremy and Sus Borsos to repair the cabin and salvage its cultural history. In 2018, artist Germaine Koh and architect Marko Simcic were engaged to build a small 500-square-foot deckhouse; the energy-efficient structure features off-the-grid water and power systems.

The August 25 public launch will include the announcement of the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency’s first season of programming as well as tours of the facility, including the interiors of the Blue Cabin studio and the newly constructed sustainable deckhouse, every 15 minutes from 11:30am–5:30pm. Participants will be limited to 20 people per tour and will be first come, first served. Additional open house dates will be announced at the public launch. Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine and Rico n’ Lalo All Natural Frozen Bars will be on-site serving food and refreshments.

Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore features the following artists-in-residence:

  • Vicki Couzens (September 15–October 31, 2019)
  • Angela George (November 15, 2019–January 15, 2020)
  • Skwetsimeltxw Willard “Buddy” Joseph and Chepximiya Siyam Chief Janice George (February 15–March 31, 2020)
  • Debra Sparrow (April 15–May 31, 2020)
The Blue Cabin being relocated from near
Cates Park, North Vancouver
pic: Michael Jackson

The inaugural program Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore examines Coast Salish weaving practices and includes three research and residency periods by Angela George(Squamish/Tsleil-Waututh), Janice George and Buddy Joseph (Squamish), and Debra Sparrow(Musqueam). Australian Indigenous artist and activist Vicki Couzens (Gunditjmara) will be the first international artist-in-residence from September 15–October 31, 2019, presented in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts.

“The Blue Cabin is a culturally and historically significant work of architecture, and its launch in False Creek will encourage both artists and the public to appreciate the many complex histories that make up the community,” says Glenn Alteen, Blue Cabin Committee Member and Program Director of grunt gallery. “The cabin — and the broader region we now call the Lower Mainland — is inextricably linked to the colonial displacement of Indigenous peoples. As a heritage-focused project, one of our core values is to reflect and engage with the stories of the traditional owners of these lands: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Master weaver Buddy Joseph considers weaving a catalyst that entwines language, storytelling, and ceremony; we curated the inaugural program to pay our respects while bringing together diverse publics. As a floating structure, the Blue Cabin provides a new way for artists and the public to look at the city — from the water.”

Rebuilding the Blue Cabin in Dry Dock. pic: Henri Robideau

“We are delighted to support the first Australian artist in the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency program,” says Dr. Wendy Were, Executive Director, Strategic Development and Advocacy at the Australia Council for the Arts. “Vicki Couzens is a First Nations multimedia artist and cultural leader who will share her arts practice and cultural knowledge in a unique and culturally significant location. This prestigious opportunity ensures that Australia’s highly respected First Nations’ arts, culture, and stories continue to be shared with new audiences across the world, and strengthens our deep connections between Australian and Canadian First Nations peoples.”

The public opening of the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency’s first season of programming takes place August 25.  Free tours of the facility, located at Plaza of Nations Aquabus stop, take place every 15 minutes from 11:30am–5:30pm (on a first come, first served basis). 

Visit thebluecabin.ca for more information on the Blue Cabin, partners and residency program. 

16th New West Cultural Crawl

Now in its 16th year, the New West Cultural Crawl is an annual arts & culture festival that celebrates and exhibits the vast creative talents across New Westminster. For two days, August 10th and 11th, New West artist studios and venues open their doors to welcome thousands of visitors from across Metro Vancouver.

This family-friendly event invites young and old to explore the city’s neighbourhoods; Downtown, Uptown, West End, Sapperton and Queensborough. Map guides allow visitors to explore at their leisure while checking out works by the city’s professional and emerging artists. Sixty + venues, from Galleries, and Community Centres, to Theatres and even a Brewery open the doors to welcome the exploration of the Arts. 

In 2018, the Cultural Crawl welcomed over 4000 visitors, learning about 150 artists. Find out what’s new and up coming in 2019 by exploring New West Cultural Crawl August 10 – 11, 2019. Visit newwestculturalcrawl.com to download the weekend’s brochure and map guides to the five neighbourhoods. 

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,

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.

Discover Robert Rauschenberg at Vancouver Art Gallery.

Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980
Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980

This summer, 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. The presentation features billboard-sized prints, intimate drawings, collages, sculptural works and large-scale fabric constructions from one of the most experimental periods of Rauschenberg’s career.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery is fortunate to count many significant works by important international artists in its permanent collection, and our considerable holdings of Robert Rauschenberg are a highlight,” says Daina Augaitis, Interim Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Rauschenberg’s radical approach to art making blurred the lines between mediums, demonstrating his incredible ingenuity in mixing materials and imagery. We are pleased to share a selection of influential works by this artist, with a focus on his collages and mixed-media pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, many of which paved the way for his own thoughts around art making and inspired others to follow his experimental trajectory.” 

This exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery features a number of significant examples of Rauschenberg’s collages and multi-faceted prints. Such works combine newspaper and magazine clippings, material salvaged from the streets of New York, and his own photographs to create fragmented, layered compositions that unravel the cultural and political milieu of the time. Key works include Autobiography (1968), a monumental three-panel composition from the Gallery’s collection that represents the culmination of the aesthetics and methodologies that occupied Rauschenberg for a decade. The work, which details his biographical history through overlapping self-portraits and objects of personal significance, was the first fine art print made on a billboard press. Another important print is Sky Garden (1969), also from the Gallery’s collection, the largest work in his Stoned Moon series, which emerged from an invitation by NASA to witness the launch of the Apollo 11 Mission. Also included are examples of work Rauschenberg produced after relocating to Captiva Island, Florida, in 1971, when he began to investigate the natural and the handmade, and embrace a more overtly abstract aesthetic, as well as works that use fabric as a support for printed imagery.

See these works and more when Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980 opens July 6th, on show at Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby, until October 27, 2019.