Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival illuminates PNE

This Friday, December 15, 2017, the PNE debuts the Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival, the largest of its kind in Canada. One of the most beautiful and culturally significant festivals will light up the skies of Vancouver with dozens of spectacular gossamer lanterns, some reaching nearly 200 feet in length.

Bin Zhu, Director of Sichuan Tianyu Culture Communication Co. Ltd says, “We believe our lantern festivals can improve cultural communication between China and the world.”

“It is a tremendous honour to have been selected by this leading cultural organization as the inaugural host in Canada for this important festival,” says Mike McDaniel, President and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). “We anticipate people from all ethnicities and cultures from across our region will be excited about the opportunity to see this important and impressive display.”

Lantern festivals started during the Han Dynasty, about 2,000 years ago. For centuries, lanterns festivals have been lit on the fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese calendar to pray for a good harvest, and to gain favor of Taiyi, god of heaven. Today, the lantern festivals are still held each year around the country, with each major Chinese city having its own light festival.  In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs such as the ones that will be on display at the PNE.

The Festival will be featuring Dragon, White Pagoda, Kylin, and Huabiao Column lanterns, each lantern symbolizing a Chinese sage or legend. The columns are said to be protectors of the residents and a reminder for the emperor to pay attention to his duties.

In addition to the lantern displays, the festival will also include two nightly performances in the PNE Amphitheatre: Sunday to Thursday at 6:30pm and 8:30pm, and Friday and Saturdays at 7pm and 9pm. Featuring Face Changing, Acrobatics, Plate Spinners, Folk Dance, Jar Balancing and Erhu. These exciting performances are family friendly, and are sure to wow. The lantern festival will also feature a food and beverage program and additional children’s activities.

Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival opens December 15th, featuring 35 illuminated displays transforming over 14 acres of Hastings Park running daily from December 15th, 2017 (closed Christmas Day) until January 21, 2018.

For further information and tickets visit vancouverlanternfestival.ca 

2018 PuSh Festival Program Launches

This week, 2018 PuSh Festival debuted its program guide with a party at The Fox Cabaret, home of Club PuSh during the festival.

Since 2003, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival has become one of Vancouver’s premier events, bringing life to our stages and venue through  three dreary weeks each winter.  From January 16 to February 4, 2018, PuSh Festival brings world class performing arts to Vancouver.  Local performers and companies take the stages along with those from 11 other countries around the globe who are scheduled for PuSh 2018, including acts from Taiwan, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, USA, and Canada.  Theatre, dance, multimedia, film, talkbacks, conversations and workshops are all on deck for this year’s festival, in venues all around Vancouver.

Check out this year’s Festival trailer to see what’s in store for the 2018 Festival.

Visit pushfestival.ca to purchase passes and explore all that PuSh Festival has to offer during the three weeks or pick up a PuSh Festival Guide and start planning your Festival experience now.

Taste Of Yaletown serves up flavours.

Yaletown is in the midst of a flavourful festival of fixed price menus for Taste of Yaletown.

Running until October 27, 2017, Taste of Yaletown is an annual celebration of Yaletown’s restaurants. Two dozen of the neighbourhood chefs are offering special prix fixe lunch and dinner menus, tastings, and unique pairings that show their eateries at the very best.

Set menus are priced at $25, $35 & $45 with some restaurants making offerings at all three levels.  Taste of Yaletown lets patrons explore the world through the diversity of its restaurants, from Tom Yum at Simply Thai, Mexican at the recently opened Fayuca, Italian fare at La Pentola or Yaletown L’Antipasto, taste the mediterranean at The Greek by Anatoli, grab a sweet and savory slice at Lime & Moon Pie Company, chocolate and whisky at Xoxolat and so many more.

For the full list of participating restaurants and menus visit yaletowninfo.com

VIFF 2017 kicks off September 28

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) returns to screens around the city from September 28 – October 3, 2017.

For over 35 years, VIFF has brought us hundreds of films from around the world and this year continues to build on that legacy.  Screening international films from over 70 countries, alongside Canadian and BC films VIFF is amongst the top five film festivals in North America.  Keeping up with the times, VIFF restructured last year to showcase new media and include interactive experiences, talks, sessions and other events.
VIFF LIVE is live music, showcasing established and emerging BC artists as well as live score presentations of selected films.
Creator Talks bring the audience face to face for a glimpse behind the scenes with those who create the magic on screen.
Virtual Reality Day transports viewers into the new world of VR and AR.
Buffer Festival collaborates with VIFF for a full day for those who are or want to be YouTube Creators.

Not to be forgotten the array of films presented by VIFF bring the globe to Vancouver.

The 2017 VIFF programming includes the following categories:

Panorama – The world’s boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year’s most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.

Sea to Sky – A showcase of the inspired works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.

True North – A celebration of the extraordinary creativity and craft being demonstrated by Canadian storytellers from coast to coast.

Impact – Uncompromising films and insightful discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world.

Next – Interactive screen-based experiences, talks and sessions with creative leaders designed to educate and inspire public and professional attendees alike.

Gateway – Journey into the compelling cinematic worlds envisioned by some of East Asia’s most adventurous artists.

M/A/D – Music, art and design receive their deserved big-screen treatment in this aesthetically alluring stream that’s enhanced by exhibitions and live performances.

ALT – Genre-bending features that defy traditional classification and creators who push short form storytelling to its limits

VIFF opens September 28 and continues until October 3, 2017.
Memberships, festival passes and single tickets are available now online at viff.org

Bard on the Beach Announces its 2018 Season Line-Up

Bard On The Beach
2017 Bard on the Beach continues until Sep 23

While you still have a few weeks left to get your Shakespeare fix at the 2017 season of Bard on the Beach, continuing until September 23, Artistic Director Christopher Gaze has announced the lineup the Festival’s 2018 season, running from June 6 to September 22, 2018. The 29th season of Vancouver’s Shakespeare festival will include two audience favourites, a provocative reimagining of a rarely-produced drama, as well as a Greek classic, adapted to add a local, contemporary twist.

 The BMO Mainstage hosts an exciting new production of As You Like Itset in Vancouver and filled with Beatles music; on alternate nights a classical production of Shakespeare’s epic drama Macbeth. Across the Bard Village at Vanier Park two new productions will be featured on the Howard Family Stage: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, redefined with a female-dominated cast, and a Bard-commissioned new adaptation of Lysistrata.

The overviews of the 2018 Bard on the Beach productions are:

As You Like It – It’s the 1960s, and free spirits are escaping from Vancouver to get “back to the land”. This joyful celebration of love features 20 classic Beatles songs from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “All You Need is Love”. You’ll leave the theatre with a song in your heart and a belief in our shared humanity! Directed by Daryl Cloran, who helmed Bard’s 2015 hit musical production of Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Macbeth – On a blasted heath in medieval Scotland, three women tell a General that he is fated to be the King of Scotland. The image takes hold in his mind, and so begins a chain of events that leads to the murder of Kings, friends, mothers and their children. Shakespeare’s great study of power and corruption is both terrifying and sublime – and has never been more relevant. Starring leading Canadian actors Ben Carlson and Moya O’Connell and directed by Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham.

Timon of Athens – Colleen Wheeler stars as Timon, leading an outstanding ensemble of actors in Shakespeare’s exploration of power and greed. A parable for our times, the story is a powerful indictment of capitalism and nihilism. Meg Roe (The Tempest, 2014) directs a production that invites us to think about our place in a shallow world, and to look beyond the wealth of the pocketbook towards the wealth of the heart.

Lysistrata – It is 2018. An environmental threat hangs over Vancouver’s coastline. A company of actors respond by staging Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ outrageous comedic story of the first-ever female strike. First staged in 411 BC, this brand-new adaptation is a glorious, bawdy romp that investigates how humour and art can take their place in the political arena. Directed by Lois Anderson, whose Pericles for Bard in 2016 won her a Jessie Award for Outstanding Direction (Large Theatre).

Season tickets for the 2018 Season of Bard on the Beach are on sale now, with individual tickets and other packages going on sale later in the year.
Visit bardonthebeach.org to purchase or for updates on tickets.

Fringe Festival 2017 Brings Theatre to Everyone

The 2017 edition of Vancouver Fringe Festival gets underway September 7th inviting everyone to partake in 11 days of theatre.  Since 1985, Vancouver Fringe Festival has celebrated theatre of all kinds.

Uniquely, the Fringe Festival employs an everyone is welcome selection process, drawing the mainstage performance out of a hat. All artists from novice performers to veteran theatre companies,  have the chance to participate, and receive 100% of the box-office revenue during the festival.
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.

With more than 100 performances over the 11 days it can be hard to select your personal program so on the evening prior to opening, join The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All, September 6th at 8pm, a two hour performance featuring fast and furious two minute tasters to whet your appetite and help you choose your picks of the Fest.

More than just theatre, Music is part of Fringe at the Big Rock Brewery 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 7 – 17, 2017, in various venues around the city.  Explore the Vancouver Fringe Festival guide and book passes and tickets by visiting vancouverfringe.com

 

Celebrate Salmon at Pink Salmon Festival – August 27, 2017

Join the Pacific Salmon Foundation for its fifth biennial Pink Salmon Festival this Sunday, August 27th.

Part of the FraserFest series of events celebrating the Fraser watershed this summer, Pink Salmon Festival happens from 12 noon to 4:00pm in Hadden Park across from the Maritime Museum.

Pink salmon are the most sustainable salmon species, yet are traditionally undervalued by the public.  Canadian Fishing Company (CANFISCO) has donated 2000 pounds of pink salmon and executive chefs Robert Clark of The Fish Counter, Garrett Schack from Vista 18 Restaurant in Victoria and barbeque specialist Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk will create a delicious barbeque for everyone to sample the sustainable salmon.

Barbeque will be available by donation with all proceeds supporting wild salmon conservation in British Columbia.  In addition to the barbeque, Pink Salmon Festival will include music, interactive storytelling, educational displays and plenty of free family-friendly activities.  Also join in the English Bay Paddle, $20 per person but no canoe experience is necessary to join in a unique guided paddle around English Bay with 7-16 others on a 34′ Voyageur canoe.

Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Pink Salmon Festival
When: Sunday August 27, noon until 4pm
Where: Hadden Park
Admission: Free to attend, Barbeque by donations, $20 per person for English Bay Paddle.