Traces of Words coming to MOA

Traces of Words : Art and Calligraphy from Asia is a new exhibit opening May 11th at Museum of Anthropology (MOA).

From Sumerian cuneiform inscriptions and Qu’ranic manuscripts, to Afghan graffiti and digital creations from Japan, Traces of Words: Arts and Calligraphy from Asia honours the special significance that written forms hold across many diverse cultures in Asia.

The multimedia exhibition will examine how artists have reinterpreted written words as visual expressions.  Texts in many styles represent physical traces of time and space, evoking the ephemeral and eternal.

traces of words at MOA
Hisao Yugami, Mikazuki???, Crescent, 2015Sumi ink on gasen paper mounted on wood panel, 14 x 18cm ·3186/4

“All creatures leave traces of themselves as they move through life; but words, whether spoken, written, imagined, or visualized, are traces unique to humans,” explains Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura, MOA Curator, Asia. “Some words disappear, while others remain only in memory or leave physical traces as writing or text. These traces are the theme of the exhibition.  In it we explore the powerful duality that emerges when the written word becomes a medium or canvas.”

The exhibition represents an enormous diversity of calligraphy, painting, digital and mixed media works.  

traces of words at MOA
Leaf from a Qur’an manuscript in Kufic scriptPossibly Iraq, Iran or Syria, 9th centuryVellum and ink, 23.5 x 32.5 cm ·2988/1

Through paper, silk, clay, woodblock and digital projections, Traces of Words invites visitors to experience and sense the works, and gain an appreciation for the cultural significance of Asian writing beyond reading and writing.

Works on display within the Traces of Words exhibition come from across the continent; including Thailand, Afghanistan, Tibet, Japan and more.

Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia at MOA runs May 11 to October 9, 2017. Visit for more information on the art and artists in the exhibition.


The Coachella Music and Arts Festival is underway, ushering in the 2017 Music Festivals season.

Sasquatch! Festival is coming up on the US Memorial Day weekend, starting off the festival season in our corner of the continent.

Here’s a list of some of the multi-artist festivals in Oregon, Washington, Alberta and BC.
(Note: not all the festivals have their artist line-up announced but genre and some featured artists are listed where available)

Sasquatch! – George, WA May 26 – 28, 2017 – Multi-Genre – Frank Ocean, Twenty One Pilots, Change the Rapper, The Head & The Heart, MGMT, The Shins

Concerts in Deer Lake Park

Deer Lake Festival Lawn – Deer Lake Park, Burnaby BC – Ongoing Summer Long – Rock/Pop/Blues  –  Jack Johnson, Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival.

Malkin Bowl Concerts – Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park, Vancouver BC – Ongoing Summer Long – Rock/Pop/Blues – Father John Misty, Midnight Oil, Spoon, John Butler Trio, Fleet Foxes

Concerts at Malkin Bowl

Victoria International Jazz Festival – Victoria, BC June 23 – July 2, 2017 – Jazz – Mavis Staples, Kandace Springs, Ziggy Marley

Vancouver International Jazz Festival – Vancouver, BC June 22 – July 2, 2017 – Jazz – Seu Jorge, Branford Marsalis with the VSO, Ziggy Marley

Sled Island Music & Arts Festival – Calgary, AB June 21-25, 2017– Multi-Genre – Shonen Knife, DJ Quik, Low, Mike Watt, MONO

Tall Tree Music Festival – Brown’s Mountain, Port Renfrew, BC – June 23 – 26, 2017 – Multi- Genre – Tokyo Police Club, Cave Singers, Jon & Roy

Waterfront Blues Fest – Portland, OR June 30 – July 4, 2017 – Blues – 30th Anniversary – Chris Isaak, Jos Stone, Booker T Stax Review

FVDED in the Park – Surrey, BC July 7 – 8, 2017 – Electronic/ Dance/Pop – The Chainsmokers, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Dillon Francis 

Calgary Stampede Virgin Mobile Stampede Series 2016 – Calgary, AB July 7 – 16, 2017 – Country – Johnny Reid, Brooks & Dunn, Alabama, Usher & The Roots, Jeff Foxworthy & Larry the Cable Guy

The Phillips Backyard Weekender – Victoria, BC July 7 – 9, 2017 – TBA

Harrison Festival of the Arts – Harrison Hot Springs, BC July 8 – 16, 2017 – World/Folk/Rock – Buckman Coe, Stephen Fearing, Coco Jafro, Colin Linden

Pemberton Music Festival – Pemberton, BC July 13 – 16, 2017 – Multi-genre – TBA

Vancouver Folk Music Festival – Vancouver, BC July 14 – 16, 2017 – Folk – 40th Anniversary – Ferron, Archie Roach and more TBA

Vancouver Island MusicFest – Comox Valley, BC July 14 – 16, 2017 – Folk/Rock – Barenaked Ladies, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Cockburn, Rita Coolidge, Stephen Fearing

Capital Hill Block Party – Capital Hill, Seattle, WA July 21 – 23, 2017 – Pop/Rock – Diplo, Wolf Parade, Lord Huron, Mykki Blanco

Monster Energy Centre of Gravity– Kelowna, BC July 28 – 30, 2017 – EDM/Pop/HipHop & Sports – Snoop Dogg, Marshmello, ScHoolboy Q

Merritt Rockin’ River Music Fest– Merritt, BC August 3 – 4, 2017 – Country – Aaron Pritchett, Brett Kissel, Kacey Musgraves, The Band Perry, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson & Family

Shambhala Music Festival – Salmo, BC August 11 – 14, 2017 – Electronic – A-Trak, The Orb, Stanton Warriors

Salmon Arm Blues & Roots Festival – Salmon Arm, BC August 17 – 20, 2017 – Blues/Roots – Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Five Alarm Funk, Frazey Ford, Ricky Scaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Rock Ambleside Park – West Vancouver, BC – August 18 – 20, 2017 – Randy Bachman, April Wine, Honeymoon Suite, Glass Tiger, Platinum Blonde.

Atmosphere Gathering – Cumberland, BC August 18 – 20, 2017 – World/Electronic – Dirty Radio, Neon Steve, Half Moon Run, DJ Shub

Motion Notion – Golden, BC August 24 – 28, 2017 – EDM – Datsik, Avalon, Dirtyphonics, Minnesota

Bumbershoot Festival – Seattle, WA September 1-3, 2017 – Multi-Genre – TBA

Rifflandia Festival – Victoria, BC September 14 – 17, 2017 – Multi-Genre – 10th Anniversary – TBA

dirtsong takes the stage at PuSh Festival

On the penultimate evening of the 2017 PuSh Festival, first nations cultures came together for the performance of dirtsong from Black Arm Band of Australia.

Black Arm Band are a collective of artist, musicians, composers, directors of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island heritage who share 40,000 years of history, cultural traditions and memories.

With opening remarks from PuSh Festival Artistic Director Norman Armour and Managing Director Roxanne Duncan acknowledging that we are merely visitors on the lands of the local indigenous peoples, including the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish first nations.  Musqueam elder Shane Point asked the audience to join hands to show unity as he led us in welcoming their visiting brothers and sisters from down under.

The sharing of cultures continued with the talented members of Black Arm Band sharing the stage with local musicians to bring dirtsong to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage.  The title dirtsong comes from the connection Indigenous peoples have with their land and soil. Their bare feet running through their piece of earth bonds the people to their stories.  These stories are shared in song by the septet of Black Arm Band with the local orchestral performers and to the Audience. Visually intriguing documentary films offered a compelling backdrop as hints of the themes scroll across the screen in both English and Indigenous script.

Over the 90 minutes , the audience spontaneously broke out in applause for many of the musical segments. It’s no wonder dirtsong had so much buzz about it during the Festival.

20th Anniversary Eastside Culture Crawl

EastsideCultureCrawl16From November 17 to 20, 2016, the Eastside Culture Crawl invites art lovers to celebrate its 20th anniversary.  East Vancouver comes alive for four-days of visual arts, design, and crafts, filling 78+ open studios, homes, galleries and garages from Columbia Street, to 1st Avenue, to Victoria Drive, and the waterfront. Expected to draw more than 25,000 visitors from across Metro Vancouver and beyond, the Crawl introduces visitors to more than 475 participating visual artists in this year’s monumental event.

Tangible Interaction – Marshmallow Clouds

“This year’s festival represents a remarkable accomplishment; not just for the hundreds of vibrant and creative visual artists who have participated in the Crawl over the past two decades, but for our city as a whole,” says Esther Rausenberg, Executive Director. “For the past 20 years, the Crawl has served as a vital and meaningful intersection between artistic creation and discovery, sparking impactful dialogue and sustaining a passionate engagement in the arts within Vancouver.”

Richard Retrault – Wall Woodcut

Created in 1997 as a place for artists to gather together, bond, and showcase their work, the Crawl has grown each year, becoming an iconic staple of Vancouver’s arts and culture scene.

“This is an opportunity for people to glimpse behind the scenes,” Rausenberg adds. “To witness the creation of new works, understand the inspiration and process behind a piece, and to experience firsthand the methods used to bring works of art to life. Now in its 20th year, the Crawl is a tremendous melding of the resilient and determined artists who have been with us since the beginning, and the youthful and vibrant new artists who shed an exhilarating light on our city’s great future.”

For art fans from across the Pacific Northwest, the Eastside Culture Crawl showcases an ever-expanding selection of determined and inspired painters, sculptors, potters, photographers, glassblowers, furniture designers, and much more. Featuring the biggest line-up of artists, venues, and events in its decades-long history, the 20th anniversary edition of the Crawl will offer guests an expanded list of insightful juried exhibitions, evocative contemporary films, and engaging artist presentations.

For a full listing of the open venues plus the event listings of featured presentations, installations, and talks visit

L A M P : lighting architecture movement project 2016

lampladiessquaredThe 4th Annual L A M P exhibition is coming November 4 – 6, 2016, bringing out of this world lighting designers and artists.

At the opening on Thursday November 3rd, at the Jan Kath Showroom at 505 Railway Street the 4th Annual L A M P exhibition presents the winning “Cosmic” themed lighting designs.  The finalists work in three categories; established, emerging and student, are displayed alongside Jan Kath’s stunning “Spacecrafted” series of works.  The first time in North America that this series will be presented in its entirety.

In addition to the finalists exhibition and the Jan Kath series, L A M P also features the Quantal Quilt by HFour, an experimental design studio. The Quantal Quilt is a geometric projection mapping artwork.

Saturday from Noon – 2pm L A M P hosts the annual Kids Workshop to get children interested and involved in design by working with Collage Collage for the kids to create their own lampshade inspired by the finalists.

lamplogosquareTickets for opening night on Thursday November 3rd and the Kids Workshop are available online.
L A M P opens to the public, by donation: Friday November 4th 9:30am – 9pm,  Saturday November 5th 1pm – 8pm, Sunday November 6th 11am – 4pm.


Kaytranada wins 2016 Polaris Music Prize

This week the 2016 Polaris Music Prize was presented to Kaytranada for his debut album, 99.9%.  Last year’s winner, Buffy Sainte-Marie made the announcement at the Polaris Music Prize Gala at the Carlu in Toronto.

Kaytranada accepts the 2016 Polaris Music Prize

“For me, it’s crazy to get this award,” said Kaytranada. “It’s really, truly, a big honour. It’s amazing. Ceci est pour Montréal, tous mes Montréalais. Shout outs to all of y’all.  I want to thank the judges and everybody for voting for me. It’s an honour man, I don’t know what to say.”

From the short list of 10 albums, the Polaris Jury of 11 members of Canada’s music media selected 99.9% to receive the $50,000 prize. The other 9 finalists; Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, GRIMES, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessy Lanza, PUP, Andy Shauf, U.S. Girls and White Lung were each awarded $3,000.00, courtesy of Slaight Music.

The Gala, hosted by Amanda Parris, host of CBC Radio 2’s Marvin’s Room and CBC’s Exhibitionists, along with Polaris juristTom Power, new host of CBC Radio One’s q, included performances by Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessy Lanza, Andy Shauf, U.S. Girls and White Lung.  Visit to watch the performances and highlights as well as testimonials from the likes of Finn Wolfhard of Netflix’s Stranger Things, Iggy Pop, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange, actor Amber Tamblyn, and Stanley Cup champion Boyd Devereaux

Kaytranada joins the previous decade of winners of The Polaris Music Prize – Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015), Tanya Tagaq (2014), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007), and Final Fantasy / Owen Pallett (2006).

For more information on the Polaris Music Prize visit


Vancouver Fringe Festival 2016

VanFringeFest_2016_RGB-with-datesWe are just a week away from 11 days of creative theatre performances of Vancouver Fringe Festival 2016.  Vancouver Fringe Festival has a mission of “cultivating artists and audiences to create an open and vibrant independent theatre community”.  For three decades, the Vancouver Fringe Festival has been bringing one of a kind theatre to the stage, this year is no different.

Kicking off with a fun, party-like Opening Night performance of Butt Kapinski Dick on the Fringe, on September 8 and running until September 11 the Festival features over 800 performances by 90 artists all around the city. Theatre performances include Waiting For Garbo at Havana Theatre, One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody at The Rio, Piaf & Brel: The Impossible Concert at Performance Works, or Trump The Musical at Carousel Theatre.  The Big Rock Fringe Bar on Granville Island brings free musical entertainment nightly.  First time Fringe watchers might want to take in the Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All festival preview: 40 artists will get 2 minutes each to woo audiences.  Walk the Talk AdMaking the Vancouver Fringe Festival open and inclusive to all audiences shows like Walk The Talk are by donation or the performers ask the audience to pay it forward with Acts of Random Care as their admission to the 40 minute interactive performance.

Whatever your genre, neighbourhood, or budget Vancouver Fringe Festival 2016 has a theatre performance for you.

Visit for festival information and online tickets. Tickets and passes are available in person at the Fringe Festival Box Office at 1398 Cartwright St on Granville Island.