Three BC Artists Join The Skookum Festival Line-up

As previously announced, SKOOKUM festival is bringing music to Vancouver’s Stanley Park September 7-9, 2018.  Headlined by The Killers, Florence + The Machine, Metric, Mother Mother and others on four stages with over 50 performances, live and multimedia art installations; with food, BC wine, craft beer and other events throughout the weekend. 

Last month, Music BC and SKOOKUM festival organizers invited submissions from British Columbia-based music artists to be chosen to join the line up of prestigious artists. 

Due to the overwhelming number and quality of submissions three musical acts have been chosen to perform at SKOOKUM Festival 2018.
“The response far surpassed expectations,” said Lindsay MacPherson, Program Manager of Music BC. “A total of 371 individual artists and bands submitted to perform at SKOOKUM. They demonstrated the immense level of talent that exists in this province and made the final decision, a very difficult one.” 

The three diverse local artists coming to the stage at SKOOKUM are:

Haley Blais: 

A prolific creative force, Haley Blais’ sometimes self-deprecating, yet always self-loving relatability earned her a massive online following, racking in million views on her Youtube channel.  Starting out as a solo folk artist in 2016, audience demand pulled her offline and into the real world, with the release of her debut EP Late Bloomer and a successful tour. Drawing comparisons to heavy-hitters like Feist, The Cranberries and Cat Power, Blais’ new EP “Let Yourself Go” shows the artist continuing to grow with a fully formed indie pop sound and backing band. The lead single “Small Foreign Faction” has already taken the internet by storm, collecting critical acclaim and bolstering over 300,000 streams within weeks of release. 

Andrew Phelan:

Australian born, Vancouver-based singer Andrew Phelan writes close to the chest, and this heartfelt approach to songwriting quickly ledhim cut a path in the Canadian music scene as the charming front man of Vancouver Folk band The River and The Road. The River and The Road were nominated for 2015 best breakthrough album of the year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for their sophomore release Headlights, released in May. Since then, Andrew has continued performing solo and with a trio in Australia and Canada. The 2018 EP titled “Everything Rattles When I Breathe” is scheduled for release this Summer. 

Missy D:

Missy D is a Vancouver-based bilingual female emcee, hailing from the thousands of hills of Rwanda, the Drogba city of Cote d’lvoire and the Victoria Falls of Zimbabwe. She represents a blend of African cultures in her life-force and in her music. She loves to blend old school and new school Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B. Missy D is a blend of your mother’s favorite groovy tunes and your family rap jams, some call it “Rap & Soul”. She recently released her debut album “When Music Hits You Feel No Pain”. Missy D embraces diversity in instrumentals, music, and most of all people! 

For those who don’t want to wait until September, Mother Mother are playing an intimate show at The Imperial on Main Street, this Thursday May 31st. Part of SKOOKUM After Dark series, the show celebrates the 10th anniversary of their acclaimed album O My Heart.

For details about SKOOKUM passes and more information visit skookumfestival.com

Out On Screen Celebrates VQFF’s 30th Birthday

This summer, Out On Screen presents the 30th annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), Thursday, August 9th to Sunday, August 19th. This year’s Festival, presented by RBC, will take place at various theatres around Vancouver.  The 2018 Festival theme is “To the moon and back, 30 years of uplifting queer stories

To kick off the 30th Anniversary celebrations Out on Screen is hosting a community birthday party, sponsored by Vancity, on Saturday, June 2nd at The Imperial on Main Street at 8:00pm. The party for the LGBT2Q+ community and allies will pay tribute to the last three decades of uplifting queer stories at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. The Festival gets nostalgic and will be turning back time to dance the night away to hits from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, and enjoy performances inspired by each decade from talented local artists Maiden China, Shay Dior, and Indigenous burlesque troupe Virago Nation.

“The value of queer film as a transformational art medium is just as critical today as it was 30 years ago,” says Executive Director Stephanie Goodwin. “The Festival is a place for the LGBT2Q+ community to call home as well as an important platform for films that queer the narrative, that illuminate and celebrate LGBT2Q+ lives in all their dimensions and complexity.”

“2018 has proven to be an incredible year for queer cinema, breaking out of familiar stories and into mainstream box office success,” adds Co-Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah. “We are seeing queer filmmakers taking aesthetic and narrative risks, creating art that pushes boundaries, and takes audiences into new queer territories. I feel very fortunate to be witnessing the artistry, intelligence, and courage of queer film today.”

Celebrating the best in independent queer cinema, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada. For the full line-up of the VQFF films, classes, lectures, panels and more visit queerfilmfestival.ca

2018 DOXA Festival Closes With Awards Presentation

As the 2018 DOXA Documentary Film Festival came to a close last Sunday night, the annual DOXA Awards were announced in advance of the Festival’s closing night screening.

Four juried awards were presented to the following;

The Feature Documentary Award :  Mercedes Dominioni’s The Creator of Universes.

Of the winning film, jury members Tom Charity, Steffanie Ling and Anoushka Ratnarajah stated: “We celebrate Mercedes Dominioni’s patient and caring The Creator of Universes, a layered, captivating film built around a unique collaboration between the filmmaker’s teenage brother Juan, and their grandmother Rosa. This is a film of extraordinary formal creativity balancing Juan’s dramatic home movie/Telenovela footage (often very funny) with a sense of real life spilling over the edges. Dominioni’s love for these characters is simply transmitted.” 

Honourable Mention: Shevaun Mizrahi’s Distant Constellations “A poetic portrait of the inhabitants of an old people’s home in Turkey remarkable for its intimacy, humour and cinematography.”

The Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary : Laura Bari’s Primas.

Jury members Ana Carruzales, Kelly Maxwell, and Susi Porter-Bopp said of the film: “Primas is a timely cinematic tale that travels beyond survival, walking the audience through the inconceivable with artistic sensibility, gently amplifying the voices of these courageous, unforgettable cousins. Filmmaker Laura Bari’s empathetic camera fiercely refuses to shy away from a heinous reality that is still so sadly relevant for young women. With poetic, sublime and rough imagery on its edges, Bari sheds a triumphant light by capturing the beautiful spirit of our Primas.”

Honourable Mention: Simon Plouffe’s Those Who Come Will Hear, for its evocative and unique representation of the languages, speakers, and context in Northern Quebec.  

The Nigel Moore Award for Youth Programming : Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap.

The jury of Steven Hawkins, Jacob Saltzberg, Tegan Dobson, Anna Hetherington, and Maya Biderman stated: “The film follows a group of three young men who bond together through friendship and skateboarding to escape violent families in a small town. Bing has an acute ability to extract raw emotions from his friends. He portrays the cruel cycles of domestic violence, and shows the ongoing dynamic effects these have on all the relationships surrounding them. This allows him to paint a picture of harsh realities that would otherwise be masked by society’s policing of machismo ideals. This is an important film for adolescents and parents alike to see, and therefore a clear choice to receive this award. Congratulations, Bing.”

Honourable Mention: Jules Koostachin & Rick Miller’s Butterfly Monument, “Equal parts a memorial to Shannen Koostachin, and a spotlight on the importance of her advocacy work. It shows the impact one young life can have on both a cause and community, and reminds us that spirit is transcendent.”

The Short Documentary Award : Paloma Martinez’s Cristanto Street.

Jury members Michelle Mason, Tony Massil, and Sonia Medel awarded the prize “for exposing the collateral social damage of contemporary racism and land cartels with surprising tenderness and hope. On a little street in San Francisco, Paloma Martinez captured the beauty of community and the true meaning of home in a powerful short with global implications.”

Honourable Mention: Michelle Latimer’s Nuuca for “its quiet urgency and artfulness in a timely meditation on land, tying the violent nature of resource extraction to the exploitation of indigenous women.” 

For more details about the award winning documentaries and jurist biographies, visit doxafestival.ca/festival-awards.
Return next spring for more great documentary films from around the world at DOXA 2019.

Arts Umbrella Expressions Theatre Festival 2018

arts umbrellaArts Umbrella has revealed the line up for the 2018 Expressions Theatre Festival. Running May 17 – 26, 2018 at the Waterfront Theatre, the festival showcases the talented young artists in Arts Umbrella’s Intensive, Pre-Professional and Theatre Conservatory Programs. This annual festival boasts a bevy of captivating productions, from the whimsical family fun of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the frontier hijinks of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, the audacious programming capitalizes on students’ exceptional range and skill.

Oklahoma

This year, audiences will be treated to an line-up of thought-provoking works, including a modern take on the classic Greek tragedy The Phoenician Women and the perceptive student-created original work, Outside In. Additionally, the Theatre Conservatory Program will be make their festival debut with a performance of Charles Way’s Missing, a riveting modern interpretation of the classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel featuring Vancouverite and Arts Umbrella graduate, Douglas Ennenberg.

“The young and exceptionally talented assemblage of Expressions Theatre Festival students never fail to inspire with their courage, passion, and devotion to their craft. Their dauntless enthusiasm is contagious,” says Paul Moniz de Sá, Artistic Director of the Theatre & Music Program at Arts Umbrella. “We strive to provide an environment where students can take risks and express themselves freely while they hone their art. The skills they learn as they rehearse for and perform in this festival enriches their lives on and off the stage.”

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

While developing their presentations for this year’s Expressions Theatre Festival, Arts Umbrella students have the opportunity to collaborate closely with professional directors and designers. Before staging each festival production, the students perform their works in schools across the Lower Mainland, while learning the important operations involved in mounting and producing technically demanding works. This process allows students to experience the collaboration, creativity, and dedication that goes into a successful theatre production. For the 17-22 year olds who are preparing to audition for professional theatre schools in the Theatre Conservatory Program, the festival gives them a preview of the life of a professional actor.

For the full line-up details and ticketing information visit artsumbrella.com

Vancouver Folk Music Festival Debuts 2018 Line Up

From July 13 to 15, 2018, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival will once again take over Jericho Beach Park.  The 42nd Annual Festival brings folk fans, friends and families, another line-up of the best of traditional and contemporary folk and roots music from around the world.

Neko Case

Legends, up and comers, deliver global rhythms, from the likes of Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Rodney Crowell and James McMurtry; to The Dead South, Carole Pope and Archie Roach or Ranky Tanky, Wazimbo & Banda Kakana and Dakhabrakha.  The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has an extraordinary range of cultures and genres on stage – a gathering of sound, sight and experience you simply won’t see anywhere else.

The line up for The 2018 Festival includes;

Ry Cooder

Art Bergmann, Wallis Bird, Mariel Buckley Band, Steph Cameron, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Joachim Cooder, Rodney Crowell, Alex Cuba, DakhaBrakha, Dálava, Darlingside, Guy Davis, The Dead South, Las Estrellas de Vancouver, Mick Flannery, Dori Freeman, Gamelan Bike Bike, Ilaria Graziano e Francesco Forni, Gordon Grdina’s Haram, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Iskwé, Kacy & Clayton, Martin Kerr, Ezra Kwizera, Grant Lawrence and Friends, Little Miss Higgins, John Lowell Band, A Familia Machado, James McMurtry, Melingo, Mike Munson, Murfitt and Main, Dawn Pemberton, Petunia and the Vipers, Carole Pope, Les Poules a Colin, Professor Banjo & Estro Jennies, Quantum Tangle, Ranky Tanky, Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys, Archie Roach, Small Glories, Son de Madera, Jayme Stone’s Folklife, Leonard Sumner, Three Women and the Truth, Viper Central, Skye Wallace, Wazimbo and Banda Kakana, Donovan Woods

See for yourself why readers of The Georgia Straight has voted the Vancouver Folk Music Festival “Best Local Music Festival” 6 years in a row.
Discounted early bird weekend passes are on sale now for the 2018 Vancouver Folk Music Festival until May 11th

2018 DOXA line-up keeps it real

In an age of “fake news” the 2018 DOXA Documentary Film Festival celebrates those filmmakers who take the time to research and document real life and get to the bottom of the story without a script or teleprompter.  The DOXA 2018 program screens radical and transformative ideas through music, art, and the power of people working together to create and share solutions. 

The 93 films in the festival this year, including 9 world premiers and 13 Canadian premiers, cover activism, politics, disability rights, women’s rights, family life, music and so much more to keep you stimulated and intrigued.

The Rankin File

With municipal elections just around the corner, DOXA opens the Festival with the world premiere of Teresa Alfeld’s The Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical. Vancouver lawyer, city councilor, housing activist, and legendary firebrand Harry Rankin left a long shadow in the city, but some of his most passionate battles are still being fought. Another rebel closes out the Festival, with Kusama – Infinity, a celebration of fearless spirit and passionate determination. Yayoi Kasuma battled her way to the top of the art world. But her struggle took a highly personal toll. 

Kusama – Infinity

Double Spotlight features Press Play and Quietude respectively explore the revolutionary power of music, and the subtle strength of silence and close observation. Guest Curated Programs grapple with some of the most challenging issues from the rise of the rightwing (Embedded with Extremists curated by Geoff Dembicki) to environmental crises facing Tibetan China (From Our Eyes curated by Yi Cui). 2018 DOXA also welcomes the fourth edition of French French, featuring a special program dedicated to the work of legendary cineaste Alain Cavalier. 

Cornerstone programs Justice Forum and Rated Y for Youth are back for 2018, with a remarkable collection of work that tackles the most intractable issues of the day (climate change, censorship, Indigenous language revitalization, reproductive rights and technologies) with intelligence, thought, and a fierce dedication to the art of documentary cinema. With an expanded Industry Day, artist talks, panel discussions, and parties, there is something for everyone in the 2018 DOXA Festival – lovers, fighters, and organizers.  

DOXA Documentary Film Festival runs May 3 –13, 2018. Tickets are available online at doxafestival.ca.

5th Annual Capture Photography Festival captures April

This week, the 5th Annual Capture Photography Festival opens another month-long celebration of photography and lens-based art forms.  Until April 30th, a hundred-plus free and ticketed exhibits cover the city like the spring blossoms, bringing colour, and sometimes black & white, images to public spaces and galleries.

Capture Photography Festival is devoted to exhibiting challenging and thought-provoking photography from local and international artists.  Since 2013, the not-for-profit Festival nurtures emerging artists and engages the public with tours, films, talks, events and exhibitions at dozens of galleries and community spaces throughout Greater Vancouver as part of the Festival’s Selected and Open Exhibition Programs.

Festival Opening

Some of the public installations have been popping up at Transit stations already, but the official kick-off, takes place this Thursday, April 5th with the festival launch and Featured Exhibition, The Blue Hour, opening at Contemporary Art Gallery, 555 Nelson Street.  In addition to the Metro Vancouver based installations, Capture Photography Festival also reaches throughout BC with three television features on Knowledge Network; Jeff Wall: In Order to Make a Picture, and The Salt of the Earth on Tuesday April 3rd, and Annie Leibowitz: Life Through a Lens on April 5th.

I Was a Teenage Skateboarder in the 90s

Capture Photography Festival runs throughout the month of April 2018, for the full calendar of events visit capturephotofest.com