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 culturecrawl.ca

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 cbcmusic.ca/polarisprize 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 polarismusicprize.ca


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 vancouverfringe.com 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.

Polaris Music Prize 2016 Long List Revealed

Polaris_400x400Last week in Whitehorse,  the Polaris Music Prize revealed the Long List of 40 albums in contention for the 2016 prize.  This year’s list includes 19 returning and 21 new nominees.

The Polaris Prize Long List and Short List are selected by an independent jury of music journalists, broadcasters and music bloggers from across Canada. Then eleven people are selected from the larger jury pool to serve on the Grand Jury and they will convene the night of the Polaris Gala to select the 2016 Polaris Music Prize winner. The Polaris Music Prize awards $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year.  Each of the nine other short listed artists will receive $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.

The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Long List:

  • Art Bergmann – The Apostate
  • Justin Bieber – Purpose
  • Black Mountain – IV
  • Jean-Michel Blais – II
  • Basia Bulat – Good Advice
  • Daniel Caesar – Pilgrim’s Paradise
  • Tanika Charles – Soul Run
  • City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You
  • Coeur de pirate – Roses
  • Dead Obies – Gesamtkunstwerk
  • Destroyer – Poison Season
  • Dilly Dally – Sore
  • Drake – VIEWS
  • Essaie pas – Demain est une autre nuit
  • Fred Fortin – Ultramarr
  • FOXTROTT – A Taller Us
  • Grimes – Art Angels
  • Half Moon Run – Sun Leads Me On
  • Veda Hille – Love Waves
  • Jazz Cartier – Hotel Paranoia
  • Carly Rae Jepsen – E•MO•TION
  • Junior Boys – Big Black Coat
  • Kaytranada – 99.90%
  • Jessy Lanza – Oh No
  • Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan
  • Michelle McAdorey – Into Her Future
  • Nap Eyes – Thought Rock Fish Scale
  • Safia Nolin – Limoilou
  • Operators – Blue Wave
  • Peaches – Rub
  • PUP – The Dream Is Over
  • Daniel Romano – Mosey
  • Andy Shauf – The Party
  • The Strumbellas – HOPE
  • Suuns – Hold/Still
  • U.S. Girls – Half Free
  • Un Blonde – Good Will Come To You
  • The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
  • White Lung – Paradise
  • Donovan Woods – Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled

The 10 album Short List will be announced on July 14 at The Carlu in Toronto. On September 19th, The Polaris Gala will be held at The Carlu in Toronto and streamed live by CBC Music and AUX.tv.

Friday Find – Picasso: The Artist & His Muses at VAG

This summer at the Vancouver Art Gallery, discover the most significant exhibition of the master of modernism, Picasso.

Picasso: The Artist & His Muses examines the relationship of his artwork and the six women who provided his creative inspiration. From the early 20th Century Paris through to his last year’s the exhibition delves into the evolution of this work in association with his life and loves.   Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque, all the played a significant role in his personal life and development of his artistic endeavours.

The exhibition includes a wide variety of this work, from pencil sketches, prints, paintings, and sculpture.  It’s interesting to see some of his work evolve from more true-to-life sketches to the abstract Moderism style we are usually associate with Picasso.

Picasso: The Artist & His Muses is open until October 2, 2016 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Visit vanartgallery.bc.ca for more information