Femme Series hits The Cultch this winter

This Winter, The Cultch is celebrating the power of female identifying voices, from Jan 15 – Feb 16, 2019, with its third annual Femme Series

Amplifying female identifying voices has always been important to Cultch Executive Director, Heather Redfern.
 “This is our way to say, ‘Come on, guys: you’ve got to pay attention to this,” Redfern told The Georgia Straight about the Femme Series in early 2018 “you have to do it deliberately. You have to commit to doing 50 percent of work [in your season] where the main thrust is from a female creation.”

This year’s Femme Series is bigger and better, than ever before, packed with special events—music, karaoke, new play-readings, and opportunities to mix and mingle. It continues the work from last year, with particular emphasis on deconstructing patriarchal language, expanding the limitations of the way gender is represented, and celebrating the intersectionality of the feminist perspective.

Femme Series Events, including Main Stage Productions:

Jan 11WROL (Without Rule of Law) by Michaela Jeffery—A new play reading presented by Touchstone Theatre, 8PM, Historic Theatre—FREE

Jan 12:  Soft Cedar Presents: Only a Visitor album release, with special guest Wallgrin—Only A Visitor is a quintet that blurs genre boundaries by straddling the line between art music and pop. Their new album, Technicolour Education, focuses on the Chinese diasporic experience in Vancouver through generations of immigrant stories. 8PM, Historic Theatre—$20

Jan 14: Women in the Arts Mixer5-7PM, Historic Theatre—FREE

Jan 14: Pitch, Bitch, and Ditch with Pippa Mackie and Kim HarveyJoin theatre creators and producers Kim Senklip Harvey and Pippa Mackie for an unforgettable night that puts the power in the hands of the patrons. 8-9PM, Historic Theatre—$10

Dakh Daughters
photo: Tetiana Vasylenko

Jan 15 – 19Dakh Daughters (Ukraine), York Theatre—Main Stage Season Production: Six actresses take musical instruments into their hands in order to create a life-affirming performance about love, freedom, and beauty which—at the end of the day—will save the world

Jan 22 – 26
Power Ballad, Julia Croft/Nisha Madhan (New Zealand), 8PM, Historic Theatre—Main Stage Season Production:  an angry, feminist, live art investigation of language and its sometimes hidden ideologies. Part performance lecture, part karaoke party, Power Ballad deconstructs gendered linguistic histories and rips apart contemporary language to find a new articulation of pleasure, anger, and femaleness.

Jan 25: Feminist Karaoke with Julia Croft, after Power Ballad, 9PM, Historic Theatre—FREE

Jan 27: Soft Cedar Presents: Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole, presented as part of CapU Global Roots Series—Kaumakaiwa brings to the stage an immense talent as a singer, chanter, and dancer as well as a deep understanding of her Hawaiian culture and her place as a modern, transgender (mahu wahine) Hawaiian in this contemporary world. She engages Indigenous thought to address today’s issues through music, chant, and sharing of spirit. 8PM, York Theatre—$40

Much Ado About Nothing
photo: Emily Cooper

Feb 5 – 16Much Ado About Nothing, Classic Chic Productions (Vancouver), Historic Theatre—Main Stage Season Production: Featuring an all-female cast, and set in a mesmerizing theatrical world, this deadly serious and sublimely ridiculous story—of soldiers in love and women confined by tradition—is a bold and playful romp through the extremes of desire and ambition, loyalty and redemption.

EAT.DRINK.PLAY at Firehall Arts Centre June 22, 2017

On June 22, 2017, the Downtown Eastside’s Firehall Arts Centre celebrates its neighbourhood with EAT.DRINK.PLAY.  Toasting the incredible food and drink happening in the Firehall’s backyard, the annual event brings together the area’s finest restaurateurs, craft brewers, small-batch distillers, and performers for an eclectic summer evening of sampling and sharing.

“For 35 years, the Firehall has been producing performing arts in this wonderful heritage building at the corner of Cordova and Gore. Our neighbourhood is so full of great places to eat and we wanted to let our audiences know about them,” explains Donna Spencer, Firehall Artistic Producer, “so we decided three years ago to create an event that would celebrate their contributions to the neighbourhood and invite these businesses to introduce themselves to our audiences by sharing their culinary expressions. The event has quickly become an annual favourite with everyone who attends providing a perfect capstone to the end of our programming season and a refreshing way to start the summer.”

Circle Game photo: Tyler Branston

Attendees will discover the diversity of delectable treats and libations while enjoying performances from the cast of the Firehall’s recent hit Circle Game: Reimagining of the Music of Joni Mitchell, as they roam through the heritage building bidding on some amazing silent auction items. 

Some of the local restaurants contributing tastes of signature dishes include neighbourhood hot spots The Diamond, Deacon’s Corner, Clough Club, Tuc Craft Kitchen, Kofta Meatball Kitchen, Save On Meats, The Pint, and Cadeaux Bakery, among others.  

Local brewers Powell Brewery, Big Rock Brewery, Andina Brewing Company, Strange Fellows Brewing, Strathcona Beer Company, and Steamworks will be here while Odd Society Spirits returns to serve up samples of their signature vodka and gin.  

EAT.DRINK.PLAY takes place June 22, 2017 at 7pm at Firehall Arts Centre tickets are available online now.


Free Discovery Pass opens Parks Canada sites for 2017

With the long winter behind us and a long weekend ahead, it’s time to get outside and explore again.  In celebration of Canada 150, Parks Canada has opened the gates and doors to their parks and sites for free with the 2017 Discover Pass.

The Discovery Pass allows all Canadians to get out and explore the country’s spectacular national parks, marine conservation areas and national historic sites.  Parks Canada sites cover the country Coast to Coast to Coast; from L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland & Labrador to Pacific Rim in BC to Quttinirpaaq in Nunavut.

If a cross Canada trip isn’t in your plans, we have a diverse selection of Parks Canada sites to visit right here in BC.  National Parks, National Historic Sites and a National Marine Conservation Area are all on the list of BC sites including;

  • Yoho National Park
  • Rogers Pass National Park
  • Glacier National Par
  • Mount Revelstoke National Park
  • Kootenay National Park
  • Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
  • Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area, National Park Reserve & Haida Heritage Site
  • Fort St James National Historic Site
  • Chinook Trail National Historic Site
  • Fort Langley National Historic Site
  • Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
  • Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites

Order your own free Parks Canada Discovery Pass online now. One pass is valid for everyone in your party when you visit one the included Parks Canada properties.

In addition to offering free admission to the parks and sites, your Discover Pass also extends a 15% discount to purchases at parkscanadashop.ca

Grab your Discovery Card and explore Canada all year!

The Elephant Wrestler at The Cultch

The Cultch and Diwali Fest have partnered to present the Canadian premiere of the award-winning The Elephant Wrestler for a short run, only until Saturday, November 5 at The Historic Theatre.

New Zealand’s Indian Ink Theatre Company takes the audience on a the-elephant-wrestler_image3_creditrobertcattotrip to the mayhem, and magic of India. Inspired by a traditional Indian fairy tale, The Elephant Wrestler follows a poor ‘chai-wallah’ (chai tea-seller) as he attempts to solve the interwoven mysteries of true love, tragedy, and joy.

The audience sits in rapt attention as Kutisar, (played by Jacob Rajan) our suspect spiritual guide – a buck-toothed chameleon, channeling seventeen characters and leaping to multiple locations, weaves a thrilling tale of romance and intrigue. Incorporating a unique brand of wisdom Kutisar is charming, downtrodden, and inspirational all at the same time.

the-elephant-wrestler_image2_photocredit-john-mcdermottThe Elephant Wrestler adds in a bit of slight-of-hand, audience interaction and a live soundtrack provided by the unspeaking but talented vocalist and musician, Dave.  While Dave is onstage throughout, Jacob Rajan’s charismatic performance draws the attention so it feels more like a one-man show. 

Already an international success, The Elephant Wrestler has earned rave reviews in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the U.S. and surely will here on its Canadian debut.
Playing at The Cultch Historic Theatre only until November 5th, tickets are limited but some are still available from thecultch.com

Winners & Losers at The Cultch

There’s just a couple more performance to catch Winners & Losers at The Cultch Historic Theatre before it closes on Saturday.

The unique show is a raw and intimate conversation between artists and friends Marcus Youssef and James Long.  Whenever guys get together their competitive side usually rises to the top and conversations turn to one-upmanship.
Winners & Losers centres on a made-up game winners and losers, with each taking a side and delivering their argument to reinforce their stand. The topics range from random pop-culture, like Pam Anderson and Microwave Ovens to deeper current events like the US Election and Goldman Sachs.  Along the way, personal stories of their parents and personal lives are told and become fodder for their side of the arguments, to the possible detrament to their friendship. While only about 20 percent of the show is ad-libbed, it feels much more impromptu than scripted. Parts of Winners & Losers feels much more like a deeply personal conversation we are accidentally overhearing while at other times we’re invited into the debate.  As much as it’s told to be the opinions of Youssef and Long, everyone should be able to recognize themselves or someone close to them in each of the sparing partners.

Whether you end up relating more to one over the other, there’s no way to choose the winner or loser between Long or Youssef but you will come away a winner for having been able to experience such a unique show.

Winners & Losers plays at The Cultch Historic Theatre until Saturday February 27th. Get tickets while you can.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle

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Like many Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel sits grandly at the centre of its home town. A castle in the city, the historic hotel, built in 1924 by Western International Hotels (today’s Westin Hotels), takes up the city block bounded by 4th & 5th Avenues and University & Seneca Streets in downtown Seattle.
FairmontOlympic_16 34 21Added to the US National

Register of Historic Places in 1979 the 450 room property has been managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts since 2003.  Truly a grand hotel the opulent lobby is a relaxing and luxurious heart of the hotel, from there guests will find 28,000 sq feet of meeting space, business centre, retail shops, The Georgian – a 4 diamond French inspired dining room, The Terrace Lounge – a classic piano cocktail bar, and Shuckers – one of Seattle’s oldest Oyster Bars.
FairmontOlympic_10 34 37Upstairs, guests can visit the well equipped 10,800 square foot Health Club which includes a 42 ft indoor swimming pool, large hot tub, sauna and spacious locker rooms that have all the amenities one would need.

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After your health club visit take a stop to the spa, Penelope & The Beauty Bar – one of Seattle’s premier day spas & wellness centres. Without even stepping outside the hotel, you’ve filled your day with activities, when you’re tired of it just sit back and relax in your comfortable room. 


The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is located at 411 University Street, Seattle Washington. Reservations and information online at Fairmont.com/Seattle and Toll Free: 1 888 363 5022 or olympic@fairmont.com. Also follow the hotel on Facebook and Twitter



Haunted Village at Burnaby Village Museum

Step back in time to an era of misty Victorian streets, Jack The Ripper & other ghastly spirits. The 1920’s All Hallows Eve comes to (after)life as the Burnaby Village Museum invites you to creep through the street and shops of the Haunted Village, but be careful, the village is filled with ghouls and goblins around every corner. Patrons are invited to get in the ‘spirit’ and participate with the actors and staff roaming Main Street and wear your own costume and be ready to leap with fright as darkness and mist envelops the historic outdoor village.

Activities abound throughout the village, costume parades, dancing with witches on Main Street, taste terrifying treats at Voodoo Cafe, make a withdrawal from the Blood Bank or check out the latest in witch hat fashion and at the historic carousel watch a circus sideshow.
Haunted Village at Burnaby Village Museum runs October 26-28, admission for adults, youth & seniors is $14, children: $9, admission includes trick or treating for children and unlimited carousel rides.
Burnaby Village Museum is located at 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby