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.

Howard Jones brings us Life In One Day

Howard Jones – Rickshaw Theatre – June 28, 2019

British singer/songwriter, Howard Jones filled the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver for a night filled with hits. Celebrating 35 years since the release of his debut album, Jones’ setlist varied between simple stripped-down tunes performed with a electric piano, and full-blown dance hits, with the full force of his band, keytar, synthesizers, and a great light show.

The opportunity to see the synth-pop pioneer in a small venue, brought out a wide demographic to fight the heat at the Rickshaw Theatre, and sing along to the 90+minute set. Bringing a generation of memories to the forefront as Jones stripped some songs to the barebones, No One Is To Blame and re-imagining others like Life In One Day 2.0.

On tour to support his latest album, Transform, the singer was joined for one of the new tracks, The One To Love You, by the duo of Christian Burns and BT, who helped produce the album. Closing out the set with the single that started it all, New Song. With the original video playing in the background, it really showed how well Howard Jones’ music and performing has held up over the decades, even if the 80’s new wave style hasn’t aged as well. Capping off the night with an encore of Things Can Only Get Better, left the audience feeling it would take a lot for it to get better than this.

Corey Hart Never Surrenders

Corey Hart with Glass Tiger – Rogers Arena – June 25, 2019

Corey Hart wrapped up the Never Surrender Tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. His first tour after over two decades away from the music spotlight was supported by Glass Tiger, themselves celebrating the 33rd anniversary of their debut album.

Glass Tiger

As the early audience arrived, they were treated to a set filled with nostalgic hits from three of the original members of Glass Tiger. Alan Frew, who just two weeks prior to the start of the tour underwent surgery on a broken neck suffered in accident, was in fine form and voice. Covering the stage to reach out to their fans who were having a great time singing along to old favourites, plus a couple of new tracks, he built up the energy in the arena.

After a short intermission filled with other retro tracks, Corey Hart bounded on stage to a roar of approval from the now ample audience. The 2+ hours that followed were filled with an array of hits from the Montrealer’s catalogue. From the energy and engagement, you would never guess that the singer had taken a 22 year break from the stage to raise his family with wife (and back up singer) Julie Masse-Hart. While he made light of the fact that he, and we all, were older, he performed like he was years younger than his 57 years.

Corey Hart thanks his fans

However, there were moments of father-figure, maturity as he spoke passionately of his signature theme to Never Surrender and when speaking of his family. A couple of the more nurturing moments came with a couple of surprises. Mid-set the singer regrouped to a grand piano at the centre of the arena, to reach out to more audience members. At this time, he told how he’d had to cancel a 1987 tour and as a result the fan who’d won a meet-and-greet with the singer missed out on her prize. At the start of this tour, she’d reached out on Facebook to remind him of the long lost prize, she was at the show, so keeping true to his word he invited her to the stage to finally claim her meet-and-greet, 32 years later. At the opposite end of the fan spectrum, Corey was also joined onstage by a new supporter, 13 year old singer, Tyson, from the Sarah Mclachlan School of Music. Tyson blew the audience away with his powerful vocals on Goin’ Home.

Not letting any of his fan favourites slip past, the setlist was filled with sing-along tracks, and a couple of new songs from his latest EP, including First Rodeo, with Glass Tiger’s Alan Frew joining onstage to perform a part sung by Jim Cuddy on the record. Boy In The Box, Everything In My Heart, It Ain’t Enough, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Sunglasses At Night and, of course, Never Surrender, all found new life and old memories. Those old memories were joined by new ones from this stellar performance from a genuinely warm, and engaging performer, who seems to be back and ready to bring more music to his fans.

Never Surrender

Chan Centre brings the world to 2019/2020 Concert Series

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC has announced a diverse, global selection of performances for its 2019/20 series. The nine concerts at Chan Shun Concert Hall will welcome extraordinary talent from around the world, including an icon of Americana, the height of jazz royalty, and a compelling Norwegian songstress. Also announced is the 2019/20 Beyond Words series, featuring four heartrending interdisciplinary performances that affirm the importance of diversity in storytelling. In addition, Chan Centre Connects Series complements presentations with artist and expert talks, panel discussions, workshops, master classes, and film screenings, offering more in-depth engagement with the season’s programming. 

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my role as curator for the Chan Centre Presents series is the sheer delight of discovery.” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director and curator of the Chan Centre Presents series. “This season brings Vancouver debuts, fresh new sounds, and time-honoured art forms from around the world to the Chan Centre stage. Encounter the ethereal harmonies of an extraordinary Sámi artist from Norway, the impactful gospel-inspired songs of the civil rights movement, and the romance of Cuba’s golden era revived for a new generation. Each of the brilliant artists we welcome will be taking us on an exploratory journey — so bring your sense of adventure!”

The 2019/20 Chan Centre Presents series includes:

Rosanne Cash
photo: Michael Lavine

ROSANNE CASH
Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 8pmThe Grammy award-winning icon of roots music, Rosanne Cash, tours in support of her first album in five years, She Remembers Everything

MARI BOINE
Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 8pmBringing to life the rich sound of her native Sámi languagevocalist Mari Boine has cultivated a following with her trailblazing sound that harmonizes shamanic beats with bold expressionism.

DAKHABRAKHA
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 8pmEastern European quartet DakhaBrakha presents their brand of “ethno chaos,” melding together Ukrainian folk music with Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian instrumentation. 

FLAMENCO LEGENDS: THE PACO DE LUCÍA PROJECT
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8pmPaying tribute to their former bandleader, the Flamenco Legends project celebrates the late guitarist Paco de Lucía with an evening of incredible music and dance that delves into his rich legacy. 

ORQUESTA AKOKÁN
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8pmOld Havana comes to life with this 13-piece ensemble that brings together Cuba’s top musicians and the best of New York’s Latin music scene. 

WE SHALL OVERCOME: A CELEBRATION OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 8pmPianist, conductor, composer, arranger, and arts educator Damien Sneed commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a vibrant, multi-genre performance. 

DIANNE REEVES: BELEZA BRAZIL
Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 7pmFive-time Grammy Award-winner Dianne Reeves explores the sounds of South America in her brand new project Beleza Brazil (“the beauty of Brazil”). 

LA SANTA CECILIA
Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8pmInspired by Pan-American influences while drawing on their own Mexican heritage, LA-based band La Santa Cecilia weave together influences from cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, R&B, jazz, and more.

Kalabanté – Afrique en Cirque
photo: Peter Graham

KALABANTÉ: AFRIQUE EN CIRQUE
Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8pmMontreal-based Guinean Yamoussa Bangoura imports the athleticism, agility, and animation of African music and arts by fusing them with European circus traditions in his stunning multidisciplinary performances. 

The 2019/20 Beyond Words series includes:

HUFF
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 12pm + 7:30pmPerformed by award-winning playwright Cliff Cardinal, the brutally honest, darkly comic one-man performance dives into the lives of three Indigenous siblings caught in a maelstrom of institutional prejudice and abuse.

TRADER TIME
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 7:30pmLong-term collaborators Ivan Coyote and Sarah MacDougall present their latest multidisciplinary work, Trader Time. Made up of a series of interrelated vignettes based on a local Whitehorse buy-and-sell radio show, 

BLACK LIKE ME: AN EXPLORATION OF THE WORD N–––––
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:30pm + Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 12pmInnovative dance artist and choreographer Jade Solomon Curtis uses African, jazz, tap, ballet, musical theatre, and club dance vocabularies to investigate the reverberations of a single word across the global landscape. 

RIDGE
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7:30pmAward-winning writer, musician, and slam poet Brendan MacLeod confronts the misconceptions and misunderstandings of the now-famed Battle at Vimy Ridge, in which more than 10,000 Canadian casualties were recorded.

For more details, season subscriptions and single tickets (on sale from June 18, 2019) visit chancentre.com

Jazz and Strings with Surrey City Orchestra

This weekend, the Surrey City Orchestra (SCO), led by conductor Stuart Martin, presented an evening filled with the sounds of jazz and music from film. The Surrey City Orchestra strings were joined by the Miles Black Trio: Miles Black on piano, Jodi Proznik on bass and Jesse Cahill on drums.

Cellist Harold Birston arranged the evening’s program to creatively combine the lush symphonic strings with the classic jazz trio sounds. Birston’s arrangements made both genres uplifting and accessible for everyone listening. Familiar tunes helped to get everyone in the audience tapping their feet along to the snappy beats from the likes of Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Gordon Goodwin, John Barry and others. Miles Black’s and Harold Birston’s own originals also joined the setlist.

If having the accomplished and acclaimed Black, Proznik and Cahill, the SCO was also joined by Amarjeet Singh on the Tabla, Coach Sandhu and Robert Alexander on Guitars, plus special guest vocalist Julia Copeman-Haynes. When incorporated, bringing the unique eastern sound of the tabla brought a new depth to the usual beats of the jazz percussion. Teenagers Alexander and Copeman-Haynes demonstrated the quality of music education coming from our local schools. Alexander’s own group of other Semiahmoo students performed pre-show and during the interval to the delight of the audience. Without trying to emulate Dame Shirley Bassey, North Delta graduate, Julia Copeman-Haynes brought clear crisp vocals to John Barry’s Bond iconic themes; Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.

Surrey City Orchestra led by Conductor Stuart Martin

The rousing 2 hour (plus intermission) performance held the audience’s interest throughout and made those of us seeing the SCO for the first time, look forward to returning. According to the program, other shows from the performers include a charity show from The Miles Black Trio, along with Julia Copeman-Haynes, June 15, 2019 at Crossroads United Church. The SCO performs The Nutcracker, joined by local ethnic dance troupes in December 2019. The Music of Bollywood, and Gustav Holst’s The Planets, are brought to comes to the SCO stage in Spring 2020.

Visit Surrey City Orchestra online for more information and tickets when they come available. You won’t be disappointed if Jazz and Strings was a taste of what just part of an orchestra can produce.

Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture Celebrates 21 Years

This Friday, Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture Celebrates its 21st Anniversary with a special fundraising evening featuring Gaelynn Lea in concert with a performance by David Roche and a visual arts presentation by Mujtaba Saloojee

Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture supports and promotes artists who identify as living with a disability.  with a very special concert event headlined by the incomparable singer Gaelynn Lea, a featured performance by inspirational humourist, David Roche, and a presentation by talented young painter, Mujtaba Saloojee. 

This very special anniversary celebration features three diverse artists: 

Gaelynn Lea is a classically trained violinist and singer-songwriter who’s been bewitching scores of fans with her singular voice, haunting original songs and experimental takes on traditional fiddle music. 

David Roche has transformed the challenges and gifts of living with a facial difference into a compelling message full of spirit, warmth, wit and authenticity that uplifts and delights audiences around the world. 

Self-taught painter, Mujtaba Saloojee, is re-learning how to make art after a spinal injury, and both his story and work are empowering, fascinating, and inspirational.

The evening at The Cultch, also includes a silent auction with original art, jewelry, experiences, and gift baskets.

Kickstart’s 21st Anniversary Celebrations take place Friday, April 26, 7:30pm at The Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St. 

Tickets are on sale now at thecultch.com  
The event will be ASL interpreted, and the Cultch is wheelchair accessible. 

MOV Happy Hour Choir Series

This week, Museum of Vancouver (MOV) presents the Happy Hour Choir Series on Thursday April 25th.

Explore feature exhibitions and enjoy live music performed in our auditorium. Two of Vancouver’s dynamic choirs share an evening of singing and engagement.

The West End Chamber Choir performs classical and contemporary music under the inspirational direction of Natalia Manolov. In its 10 year history WECC has performed in as many languages, during its 3-5 concerts each year.

Rhythm ‘n’ Roots is a community choir, with roots in East Vancouver, under the direction of Karla Mundy. The upbeat, adventurous and soulful ensemble performs powerful songs drawn from diverse vocal traditions throughout the world.

MOV : Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver

Admission to MOV Happy Hour Choir Series is pay what you can at the door (suggested donation $10, regular adult admission is $20.50). The auditorium only seat 200, seating is on a first come first seated basis. The performance runs 7pm to 9pm, doors open for pay what you can admissions at 5pm.

Arrive early and take in all of MOV’s permanent exhibitions plus the current feature exhibits; There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools; Wild Things: The Power of Nature In Our Lives and Haida Now: A Visual Feast Of Innovation And Tradition.