Indian Summer Festival brings local & international arts together

The 9th annual Indian Summer Festival returns to Vancouver, from July 4 to 14, bringing locally and internationally renowned artists to venues around the city. With the provocative theme of ‘Tricksters, Magicians, and Oracles,’ the 2019 festival lineup features futurists, novelists, stand-up comedians, musicians and storytellers from around the world.

“What we need more than ever in the world today is a way out of the tumult that seems to surround us. For our ninth edition, we’ve invited an incredible range of artists who do that, and who are either tricksters, magicians or oracles in their own way. So they give us a way out through laughter, or conjure up a new reality for us to reach for, or light a path forward with their prophecies,” says Sirish Rao, Indian Summer Festival’s Artistic Director. “Our roster this year includes some of the most influential artists in the world. The festival, as always, is a model for what the world could look like, if we came together with all the power of human diversity, innovation, creativity, and wisdom.”

Indian Summer Festival

From Grammy award-winning classical guitarists to genre-bending DJs, razor sharp comedians, and award-winning novelists this year’s programming spans literary dialogues, debates, performance art, musical collaborations, interactive public art, and culinary experiences.

Indian Summer Festival has made its mark on Vancouver, becoming one of the city’s leading cultural events with a reputation for unusual pairings of the local with the international and the traditional with the contemporary. By creating a space in Vancouver for local and global conversations, and dissolving cultural borders, Indian Summer Festival challenges and invites artists and audiences to come together in the spirit of dialogue. 

The festival begins with much sought after Indian Summer Festival Opening Party on July 4th at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Wrapping up July 14th with Transformation Tea Party at Museum of Vancouver. In between the festival packs in dozens of events, talks, art installations, concerts and more. 

Find out more details and the full schedule for Indian Summer Festival 2019 visit on line at

Magnetic North Theatre Festival is back for 2019

Following two hiatus years, Magnetic North Theatre Festival is returning to the stage, hosted in Metro Vancouver June 1-9, 2019. Canada’s only national theatre festival focuses on Canadian work and engaging participants from across the country, including invited guests from abroad. The renewed festival will no longer be strictly focused on theatre. As the lines blur between disciplines in the works that artists are creating, the festival will be focused on the live performing arts in whatever form that may take.

Magnetic North Board Chair Heather Redfern says, “The festival has had an incredible amount of fundraising support from our national arts community and long-time MagNorth supporters, with our Vancouver community especially keen to be featured in this year’s festival. There are over a dozen performances, as well as workshops and symposiums throughout the nine-day festival, presented with our partners the Shadbolt Centre, Presentation House Theatre, Progress Lab 1422, Touchstone Theatre and The Post at 750, as well as The Cultch.”

“One of our colleagues coined the phrase ‘potluck programming’,” says Redfern. “Where the indie theatres would bring their projects to the table if Magnetic North would be an umbrella for those shows and host the work in the homes we found for those projects.”

“The other change to the programming model,” says 2019 Festival Producer Amy Lynn Strilchuk , “is that we didn’t want to only feature full-scale productions that had been previously done. It felt important to also utilize the time in our host venues to support and showcase the development of new work in progress. There is so much new work being created across Canada, and rather than only program what’s ‘finished’, why not – in our national theatre festival – celebrate theatre making? So festival audiences will be let-in on the creation process – either through open-studios or sample showcase readings – whatever phase the artists are at that day.”  

Festival passes to all workshops, symposiums, and select shows are either $160 or $60 – participants pick the fee they want to pay.

Magnetic North Festival Mainstage Performance: Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis


·       The Body Project  (Tara Cheyenne Performance, Vancouver)

·       Chicken Girl by Derek Chan (rice & beans theatre, Vancouver)

·       Culture Capital from Milton Lim and Patrick Blenkharn (Vancouver)

·       Eloise by Jeanette Kotowich (Vancouver)

·       HIVE 2019 (Produced by the Hive Performance Collective in association with Presentation House Theatre, North Vancouver)

·       Inheritance: A pick-the-path-experience by Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn (Alley Theatre, Vancouver)

·       In Tune: New Musicals in Development (Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver)

·       Me Love Bingo from Kyle Loven (Vancouver)

·       Mermaid Spring Co-Created by Kyla Gardiner, Barbara Adler, and James Merger (10,000 Wolves, Vancouver)

·       New Work from Nadia Ross (STO Union, Farrellton

·       Peter Tripp Project from Jayden Pfeifer & Johanna Bundon (Regina)

·       rEvolver Festival (UpintheairTheatre, Vancouver)

·       Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis (2PAR4, Montreal)

·       Stray – Co-created by Tanya Marquardt, Tim Carlson, and Mallory Catlett (Theatre Conspiracy, Vancouver)

·       Svaha (Nova Dance, Toronto)

·       Tucked & Plucked Created by Dave Deveau & Cameron Mackenzie (ZeeZee Theatre, Vancouver)

·       Undivided Colours – a collection of dance works by Peter Chin, William Lau, Hari Krishnan, and Alvin Erasga Tolentino (Co.ERASGA, Vancouver)

·       Unscripted: Kuroko Hosted by Tetsuro Shigematsu (Playwrights Theatre Centre, Vancouver)

Heather Redfern notes, “We (the board) always said we’d only keep the festival going if our community wants it. So the future of Magnetic North really is in our participants’ hands. We’re excited to hear what they have to say.”

Have your say about the festival by attending a performance or more.  Magnetic North Theatre Festival runs June 1 – 9, 2019, at venues around Vancouver, for full programming and schedule are available at

5 Picks for PuSh Festival 2019

Every winter the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival brings together the world of Arts and Performance. This year’s 15th Annual PuSh Festival runs January 17th – February 3rd, 2019 and tickets are selling fast.  Don’t wait, check out the line-up and book your shows now.

The 15th Anniversary festival kicks off January 17th at The Beaumont Studios with a performance by D’BI, the free Opening Night Party, features djs, dancing and pop-up performances by Vancouver’s Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons.

“We launched in 2003 as a three-show series that drew 2,500 people to 21 performances at three Vancouver venues,” says Roxanne Duncan, PuSh Festival’s Interim Executive Director. “The inaugural festival opened a short two years later in 2005. Now as we prepare to celebrate our 15th anniversary, PuSh has welcomed more than 300,000 people to 366 productions from 30 countries.”

The opening performance Attractor by DanceNorth Australia,  January 18th & 19th at Vancouver Playhouse
The show begins with two musicians and eight dancers onstage. Indonesian duo Senyawa plays music spiced with ritual and folk idioms from their native country while choreographers Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek work with Dancenorth Australia and the band to create a wild experience: as the music builds in power, the dancers increase their abandon and pre-selected members of the audience join in.

Some other highlighted picks for PuSh Festival 2019 include:

Marginal Consort by Marginal Consort (Japan) : January 20 at Performance Works
Four musicians, play a multitude of instruments, create ambient, heavily manipulated music, far apart and fully independent of each other.

PALMYRA by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas (France/UK) : January 22–24 at Performance Works
Named after a Syrian city that has changed hands several times during the current fighting, this show slowly builds to the level of violence, creating and sustaining moral ambiguity along the way.

salt. by Selina Thompson photo: Bryony Jackson

salt. by Selina Thompson (UK) : January 24–26 at Roundhouse Community Centre
In this performance Selina Thompson recounts her journey along one stretch of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle route by cargo ship.

Bicycle Thieves by Joelysa Pankanea (Canada) : January 26 & 27 at Performance Works
A special commission for Push Festival, composer and musical director Joelysa Pankanea guides a group of six musicians and four actors as they provide live musical and voice accompaniment to director Vittorio De Sica’s landmark 1948 neorealist film Bicycle Thieves.

These are but a few of the international performances scheduled for the 2019 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Visit to find the full festival schedule and book your tickets and Push Passes now.


PuSh Festival Debuts Its 15th Anniversary Program

This week, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival launched its 2019 Festival Program, at a party at John Fluevog Shoes in Gastown. The 2019 Push Festival, January 17 to February 3 will mark the milestone 15th annual festival, bringing international performing arts to venues around Vancouver. Featuring 26 works from 24 companies from 13 countries — including six world premieres — this showcase of visionary collaboration and cutting-edge arts brings a welcome highlight to the winter culture season.

Lucy McCormick’s Triple Threat
Feb 2 –
Club Push at XY
Photo: The Other Richard

 “We launched in 2003 as a three-show series that drew 2,500 people to 21 performances at three Vancouver venues,” says Roxanne Duncan, PuSh Festival’s Interim Executive Director. “The inaugural festival opened a short two years later in 2005. Now as we prepare to celebrate our 15th anniversary, PuSh has welcomed more than 300,000 people to 366 productions from 30 countries.”

 Joyce Rosario, Interim Artistic Director of the PuSh Festival, adds: “Our programming ignites important, meaningful discussions about the world around us and is a reminder that we are a part of something bigger. The 15th anniversary holds personal significance to me. Not only does it mark the final iteration guided by the vision of Norman Armour, PuSh’s co-founder and former Artistic and Executive Director, but it’s also the sixth shaped by our collaboration together as a curatorial team. This year’s festival is the result of many such partnerships, amongst the intrepid team at PuSh and with our presentation partners — some of whom have been with us since the very beginning. In 2019, we bring audiences face-to-face with a broad range of thought-provoking works that subvert the dominant narrative by changing whose perspectives are centred.”

Kids by Liu Kuan-Hsiang
Jan 24-26 at Dance Centre
Photo: Etang Chen

The six world premiere performances will be presented by contemporary dance organization Company 605; boundary-breaking dance company MACHiNENOiSY; composer and musical director Joelysa Pankanea; Dora Award-winning dub poet and actor D’BI; the performers of Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons; and Guatemalan performance artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa.

In addition to the world premieres, another 11 performances will be Canadian premieres, including a suite of three sound-based works from Japan by ASUNA, Marginal Consort, and Tetsuya Umeda; Dancenorth Australia featuring music from Indonesian band Senyawa; and a piece from Taiwanese choreographer Liu Kuan-Hsiang.

X Marks the Movement – Opening Night at The Beaumont Studios
Photo: Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons

New for the 2019 season, Club PuSh, the home of the festival’s most edgy and experimental work,  will be located in multiple spaces across the city and home to Opening and Closing Night parties.

The PuSh Film Series at Vancity Theatre, presents movies perfectly paired to the program,  and PuSh Assembly will stimulate dialogue through free talks for the public and industry networking events.

To celebrate its 15th year, PuSh Festival is offering audiences a limited time offer of $15 tickets for 15 days. The 15x15x15 offer applies to the full festival program: 26 critically acclaimed works from different artistic disciplines. The 15X15X15 promotion is on now and November 30th so get your tickets at before they’re all gone.

Never Still opens the Firehall Arts Centre season.

Never Still:
Vanessa Goodman
photo: Ben Didier

Next week, The Firehall Arts Centre kicks off its 2018/2019 season with the world premiere of Never Still.  Running from from September 26 to 29, 2018, Never Still, is the newest work from Vancouver’s Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance Dance Society), created in collaboration with dancers Shion Skye Carter, Stéphanie Cyr, Bynh Ho, Alexa Mardon, Lexi Vajda, and Sound/Projection Designer Loscil (Scott Morgan), Lighting Designer James Proudfoot, Costumer Lloyd. 

Never Still is inspired by the inherent conflicts and dichotomies of water, it is graceful and challenging, like humanity itself.  Never Still explores social, environmental, and biological themes, in a highly physical piece that dives into the distinctions and overlap between three different systems of circulation: global water cycles, communication technology, and fluids within the body.

Never Still:
Shion Skye Carter
photo: Ben Didier

“We are living in an increasingly polarized culture,” says Donna Spencer, the Firehall Arts Centre’s Artistic Producer. “And it is our role as artistic creators to encourage audiences to consider, through what they are seeing on stage, how inextricably linked we all are in finding our way through these challenging times.”

She adds, “This season, our programming is about choices – the ones we make, the ones we think we should make but don’t, and the influences around us that colour that decision-making. Live performance allows us to experience a unique and powerful collective sharing of emotions and information that resonates through our day to day lives long after we have left the theatre, and indeed may influence the choices we make in the future.”

Never Still runs Wednesday September 26 to Saturday September 29, 2018 at The Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street

Explore the Globe at Richmond World Festival

Richmond World Festival Main Stage

In one week , the Richmond World Festival returns to Minoru Park in Richmond, running August 31-Sept 1, 2018. The fourth annual, free pubic festival brings two days of arts, culture, entertainment and food from around the globe to the family-friendly outdoor event.

Richmond World Festival has something for everyone.  The spectacular line-up on the festival’s nine live stages includes a wide array of musical performers from near and far.  The Main Stage features internationally known Canadian pop acts, like Lights, Magic!, and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine plus other musicians from all corners of the world.

Global Village

While on the Global Village Stages find multicultural acts from the world of dance, spoken word and more. Bamboo Theatre features the Vancouver Cantonese Opera Society. Your Kontinent Digital Carnival, features a collaboration between interdisciplinary artist Terrance Houle and award-winning video artist Lisa Birke.

Kids World

The Culinary Stage and Food Truck Zone introduces flavours and taste experiences from everywhere to your palate.  Kids World makes sure that sure everyone in the family is entertained. 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

Festival of Flavours Food Zone

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 31 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm and Saturday, September 1from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

Vancouver Fringe Festival 2018 opens September 6

The 2018 edition of Vancouver Fringe Festival is onstage from September 6th to 16th, bringing 11 days of theatre for everyone.  Since 1985, Vancouver Fringe Festival has consistently  produced “Vancouver’s Best Arts Festival” (as voted by Georgia Straight readers), with the mission to cultivate artists and audiences to create an open and vibrant independent theatre community.

Vancouver Fringe Festival employs an everyone is welcome selection process, drawing the mainstage performances out of a hat. Giving all artists from novice performers to veteran theatre companies, the chance to participate, and artists receive 100% of the box-office revenue during the festival. To make sure everyone has the opportunity to experience live theatre, Vancouver Fringe Festival keeps ticket prices affordable for all, most shows are just $15 or less. Some performances employ a pay-what-you-can policy.

Mainstage shows centre around Granville Island at the Revue Stage, Performance Works, and Waterfront Theatre. Other shows in the BYOV (Bring Your Own Venue) category allow artists to stage their performances in unique and different venues, and in collaboration with The Only Animal, at site-specific performances.

With more than 100 performances over the run of the festival it can be hard to select your personal program, so join The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All, September 5th at 8pm, and write your notes as 40 companies and performers offer a two minute taster of their show to entice you to put them on your must-see list.

A few of the diverse performance for this Vancouver Fringe Festival include:

Big Sister – Naomi Vogt photo: Matt Reznek

Big Sister – A One Woman Show About Sisters : A comedy about the relationship between two sisters and what happens when one of them changes, Big Sister explores a world of evil siblings, fat shaming, and unlikely collaboration. Written by Little Sister Deborah Vogt, performed by Big Sister Naomi Vogt, directed by award-winning Jamie King, playing at Revue Stage.

The Shape of Things : New Westminster’s Heckin’ Good Theatre brings acclaimed playwright Neil Labute’s biting tale of love, lust, and betrayal to The Cultch Vanity Culture Lab

Weirdo: Playwright Robbie T, a magician, yes, a magician, takes audiences on a one man journey, from socially awkward to utterly inept, through a mix of storytelling, magic, and hilarious overshares, Robbie reveals his inner weirdo, and encourages you to embrace your own. Onstage at Performance Works.

La Palabra en el Tiempo : Victoria’s Palabra Flamenco present a blend of poetry and flamenco, with dancer Denise Yeo, poet Garth Martens, guitarist Gareth Owen, and singer Veronica Maguire plunging mythological depths and excavate human shadow. Playing at Studio 16.

Midtwenties Theatre Society – The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant

The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant : An intimate melodrama about a successful fashion designer who becomes obsessed with a cold-hearted aspiring model. Presented by Midtwenties Theatre Society, an all-female cast tackles playwright Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s themes of narcissism, intergenerational love, sexuality, and sadomaschocism, as part of the Dramatic Works Series at The Cultch Vancity Culture Lab

In addition to cutting edge theatre, Fringe Festival prides itself one being part festival and part party with live music and fun at the Phillips Fringe Bar located at Ocean Art Works (outside the Ocean Concrete on Granville Island) offering music performances every night, with no cover.

Vancouver Fringe Festival takes place September 6 – 16, 2018, in various venues around the city, mainly centred on Granville Island.  Explore the Vancouver Fringe Festival guide and book passes and tickets by visiting