Vancouver International Flamenco Festival Kicks Up Its Heels.

From September 13 to 29, The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival will bring Vancouver stages to life with a thrilling line-up of local and international flamenco artists.

Venues including Vancouver Playhouse, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Waterfront Theatre, St James Community Square, Vancouver Public Library will feature free workshops and ticketed performances throughout the festival. 

“Baile De Autor” by Manuel Liñán Company (Spain)

The 2019 Festival proudly presents the Canadian premier of Spain’s Manuel Liñán Company in Baile De Autor. Manuel Liñán is influencing the renewal of both Spanish and flamenco dance.  An accomplished performer and choreographer for other companies, BAILE DE AUTOR unites both of Manuel Liñán skill disiplines.  

The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival also features many of the finest Canadian and International Flamenco artists, program highlights include:  

  • La Musica del Flamenco” with Victor Kolstee and featuring Manuel Liñán Company Artists (Vancouver/Spain)
    Venue The Hall at St James Community Square, Friday September 13, 8pm
  • World Premiere “MAGNETIKAE – a personal journey” by La Otra Orilla (Montreal),
    Venue: Waterfront Theatre Thursday September 26, 8PM
  • Vancouver Premiere “NRITYA” by La Caramelita Flamenco Company (France),
    Venue: Waterfront Theatre, Friday September 27, 8PM
  • World Premiere “Nuevo II” by Flamenco Rosario & Guests (Vancouver/Spain),
    Venue: Waterfront Theatre Saturday September 28, 8PM
“NRITYA” by La Caramelita Flamenco Company (France)

As one of few festivals devoted to Flamenco Art in North America, the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival has helped to develop an understanding of Vancouver’s multicultural audiences by nurturing the form’s hybridized roots in Sephardic, Persian, Gypsy and Indian cultures.  Since its 1990 debut, local producers Flamenco Rosario have grown the Festival into a two week long annual event filling the city’s stages with the vibrant art form. 

Vancouver International Flamenco Festival runs September 13th to 29th, line-up, information and tickets visit vancouverflamencofestival.org

Westward Music Festival Bring Music To The Street

This weekend, September 12 – 15, the 3rd Annual Westward Music Festival brings a stellar line-up of music to downtown Vancouver. Dozens artists from around the world, perform on 11 indoor and outdoor stages, all within close proximity to downtown Vancouver.  Westward Music Festival gets underway Thursday, September 12th with shows at Vogue Theatre, Imperial, Biltmore Cabaret, and Fox Cabaret. 

Some of the world-class acts performing over the weekend include; Toronto’s Owen Pallett, Kelowna’s Yukon Blonde, New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus, The Wonder Years from Philadelphia, Brooklyn rapper Leikeli47, Thai singer-songwriter Phum Viphurit, Japanese performer Joji, and many more. 

On Friday September 13th, the festivities move outside for the Yaletown Street Party Kickoff, the Music BC Beer Garden Stage at Yaletown Park finds performances starting at 4pm.  Saturday September 14th finds all of Mainland Street closed for Festival entertainment from noon until 10pm.  Two more stages join the Beer Garden Stage to add to the entertainment; Street Party Live Stage at Davie & Mainland, and the Street Party Electronic Stage at Nelson & Mainland.  In between the stages, find artisans and other vendors to keep you interested throughout the day. 

The Yaletown Street Party is free for all but theatre, cabaret and club stages require a Westward Festival Wristband which allows entry to all venues for the entire Festival weekend.  Many venues are all-ages but some are 19+, check venues prior to attendance.  Visit westwardfest.com for line-up, schedule and wristband information. 

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. 

Richmond World Festival brings the Globe to Minoru Park

The Richmond World Festival returns to Minoru Park on August 30-31, 2018. The annual, free family-friendly pubic festival brings two days of music, arts, culture, entertainment, and food from around the globe to the heart of Richmond.

Richmond World Festival Main Stage

Everyone will find something to enjoy at Richmond World Festival. A spectacular line-up of Canadian and international music acts can be found throughout the festival site includes a wide array of musical performers from near and far.  The Main Stage is headlined August 30th by the Juno-award winning, Bedouin Soundclash and on August 31st indie-rockers The Strumbellas take the stage. 

The Global Village Zone reflects Richmond’s multiculturalism, with crafts workshops and cultural expositions. The Global Village Stages welcomes multicultural acts from the world of dance, spoken word and more. Bamboo Theatre features the Vancouver Cantonese Opera Society.  The new Cultural Pavilion Pod Pop-Ups will highlight national costumes to traditional dances of countries from around the world. Get away from the summer heat by heading to Antarctica Zone, located in Minoru Arena, to cool down with some free ice skating. 

Kids World

In Kids World young visitors with find plenty of hands-on activities. Face-painting and balloon artistry will keep things lively, plus a pop-up stage of special acts. In the nearby Richmond Public Library, there’ll also be an Imagination Stage where performers will include the popular Vancouver Puppet Theatre.

FEASTival of Flavours brings more than 60 vendors offering plenty of international flavours, in the largest gathering of food trucks in the Richmond World Festival’s history.  The Culinary Stage hosts local chefs demonstrating and introducing flavours from everywhere to your palate.  

FEASTival of Flavours

Between eating, dancing and listening to some great music, do a bit of shopping for unique and handmade wares in the Artisan Market.

For the full line-up and schedule of artists and performers, visit richmondworldfestival.com
Entry to Richmond World Festival is free of charge, with all activities taking place at Minoru Park and the adjacent Richmond Cultural Centre Plaza. The site is open Friday, August 30, 2019 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm and Saturday, August 31, 2019 from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

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. 

Vancouver Bach Festival Brings Back Bach

The Vancouver Bach Festival, presented by Early Music Vancouver (EMV) returns to Christ Church Cathedral and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, July 30 – August 9, 2019. 

J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750) is regarded as one of the greatest composers in Western musical history. His legacy includes some of the most beautiful and well-crafted music ever written. Almost three centuries after Bach’s passing, his vast catalogue of works is still revered, studied, and reinterpreted by music lovers across the globe.

Ensemble Les Boréades de Montréal
photo: Hugo B Lefort

Celebrating EMV’s 50th anniversary, this year’s festival features performances by many the most gifted artists from across Europe and North America. For their second annual ensemble-in-residence program, EMV welcomes Montreal’s internationally acclaimed Ensemble Les Boréades, members of the ensemble perform in multiple concerts throughout the festival.

“For our 50th anniversary we have spared no expense in order to bring our audiences a truly world-class offering of some of the finest artists working in period performance today,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “I think the personal, aesthetic, and intellectual connections one can make during a festival are the happy result of a ‘total immersion’ — multiple events in a shorter window of time provide a perspective and engagement that is otherwise near impossible to achieve. By offering concerts from a wide range of exciting composers like Strozzi, Shostakovich, Purcell, Faure, Poulenc, Chopin, Handel, Mozart, and of course, Bach, the opportunities to explore links and parallels are limitless.”

The 14-concert festival commences with Ensemble Les Boréades, bringing a spectacular two-night performance of J.S. Bach’s Complete Brandenburg Concertos at The Chan Centre. The Vancouver Bach Choir also partners with the festival for the first time to perform a programme featuring Faure’s beloved Requiem with a professional core of twenty of the region’s best professional singers, accompanied by award-winning organist Christina Hutten. This year’s Vancouver Bach Festival also collaborates with Vancouver Chopin Society, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO), and Pacific MusicWorks.

Vancouver Bach Choir
Photo: Sophie Song

Further highlights include the return of audience favourite soprano Amanda Forsythe with Pacific MusicWorks, in a performance of Handel’s early cantatas, as well as sopranos Suzie LeBlanc and Dorothee Mields’ dramatic interpretations of female composer Barbara Strozzi’s 17th century musings on love and loss. The festival’s popular weekday afternoon concert series also returns, offering diverse and delightful selections of acclaimed musicians and performers.

The festival will come to a conclusion with the presentation of Purcell’s Hail Bright Cecilia at the Chan Centre, featuring six internationally renowned vocal soloists and the PBO led by Alexander Weimann.

To complement the musical lineup, EMV will compliment the festival with an array of thought-provoking film screenings and expert talks, which audiences can enjoy with wine and refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere. 

For tickets and a more details and a complete schedule of all Vancouver Bach Festival events, visit: earlymusic.bc.ca 

Outdoor Music Festivals 2019

This week, Victoria’s Rifflandia Festival announced that it was unfortunately not returning for 2019, joining a number of other festivals taking a break due until 2020. However, there are still lots more acts coming to music festival stages around the Pacific Northwest to fill our summer with great music. 

Here’s a list of some of the multi-artist festivals and outdoor shows right here at home, or within easy reach to make a great short music break.
(Note: not all the festivals have their artist line-up announced but genre and some featured artists are listed where available)

Victoria International Jazz Festival – Multiple Venues, Victoria, BC, June 21 – June 30, 2019 – Jazz – Marquee Series at Macpherson & Royal Theatres include; Raul Midón and Lionel Loueke & Laila Biali, The Suffers, Patricia Barber Trio, Joey Alexander Trio, Jesse Cook…  

Wu Tang Clan plays Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Vancouver International Jazz Festival – Multiple Venues, Vancouver, BC, June 21 – July 1, 2019 – Jazz – BC’s largest music and arts event features; Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, Herbie Hancock, Marquis Hill Blacktet, The Suffers, Patricia Barber, Makaya McCraven, Jacob Collier, Melissa Aldana, Five Alarm Funk…

Malkin Bowl Concerts – Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, Vancouver BC – Rock/Pop/Blues – June 7: Chromeo. August 31: Anjunadeep Open Air. September 5: Death Cab For Cutie. September 6: Said The Whale. September 10: Gary Clark Jr. September 21-22: Mother Mother with guests Tokyo Police Club, The Zolas, and Sam Lynch

FVDED in the Park – Holland Park, Surrey, BC July 5 – 6, 2019 – Electronic/ Dance/Pop – Khalid, Zedd, Tory Lanez, French Montana and many more. 

Calgary Stampede 2019 – Multiple Stages, Calgary, AB July 5 – 14, 2019 – Rock/Country – In addition to nightly music throughout the Stampede the Virgin Mobile Stampede Series headliners are July 12: Zac Brown Band. July 13: Sugerland. July 14: Tim McGraw.

The Hamiltones perform at Harrison Festival of the Arts, plus Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Salmon Arm Blues & Roots Festival, and Vancouver Island Musicfest

Vancouver Island MusicFest – Comox Valley Fairgrounds, Courtenay, BC July 12 – 14, 2019 – Folk/Rock – Colin James, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Asleep at the Wheel, Sue Medley and more

Harrison Festival of the Arts – Multiple Stages, Harrison Hot Springs, BC July 12 – 21, 2019 – World/Folk/Rock – Harry Manx, Tal National, The Hamiltones, Veda Hille, Daniel Lapp, and more

Vancouver Folk Music Festival – Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver, BC July 19 – 21, 2019 – Folk – Basia Bulat, Corb Lund, Sam Roberts Band, and more

Capital Hill Block Party – Capital Hill, Seattle, WA July 19 – 21, 2019 – Pop/Rock – RL Grime, Lizzo, Phantogram plus more

Mission Folk Music Festival – Heritage Park, Mission, BC July 26 – 28, 2019 – World/Folk – Beaton-Plasse, Geoff Berner, Irish Mythen, Railyard Youth Open Stage Project and many others.

The Phillips Backyard Weekender – Phillips Brewery Backyard, Victoria, BC July 26 – 28, 2019 – various artists(pending)

Squamish Constellation Festival – Hendrickson Field, Squamish BC, July 26 – 28, 2019 – Pop/Rock – Jesse Reyez, Bahamas, Serena Ryder, Wintersleep, plus more

Merritt Rockin’ River Music Fest– Merritt, BC August 1 – 4, 2019 – Country – Jason Aldean, Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Brett Kissel and many more

Sunfest Country Music Festival – Laketown Ranch, Youbou, BC August 1 – 4, 2019 – Country – Jason Aldean, Maren Morris, Kip Moore, Terri Clark, Randy Houser and others. 

Harmony Arts Festival

Harmony Arts Festival – Multiple Stages, Ambleside, West Vancouver, BC August 2-11, 2019 – Multi-Genre – various artists (pending)

Deer Lake Festival Lawn – Deer Lake Park, Burnaby BC – Rock/Pop/Blues  – August 10: Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival featuring Feist, Lord Huron, Dan Mangan and more. August 28: The National. September 25: Vampire Weekend.

Shambhala Music Festival – Salmo River Ranch, Salmo, BC August 9 – 12, 2019 – Electronic – Bonobo, Kascade, Silk City (Diplo + Mark Ronson), Zeds Did and more

Salmon Arm Blues & Roots Festival – Salmon Arm Fairgrounds, Salmon Arm, BC August 15 – 18, 2019 – Blues/Roots – Jim Cuddy Band, Ruthie Foster, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Dawn Pemberton, Valdy, plus more

Rock Ambleside Park – Ambleside Park, West Vancouver, BC – August 16 – 18, 2019 – Classic Rock – Headpins, Honeymoon Suite, Saga, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Quiet Riot, Blue Oyster Cult and others

Too Many Zooz play Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and Cumberland Wild

Cumberland Wild– Cumberland, BC August 17 – 18, 2019 – Pop/Rock – Too Many Zooz, The Sorority, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Dirtwire and other live acts, plus numerous Silent Disco DJs 

Bumbershoot Festival – Seattle Centre, Seattle, WA  August 31- September  2, 2019 – Multi-Genre – various artists (pending)