Experience Stage Fright at Presentation HAUNTED House

Presentation HAUNTED House

Presentation House Theatre has long had rumours of paranormal activity in the building, tonight the veil is lifted and the Presentation HAUNTED House invites those who dare, to seek the truth for themselves. Co-produced by the HIVE Performance Collective and Presentation House Theatre, this spooky encounter features nine emerging theatre companies filling every nook and cranny of the building with innovative creepiness. The frights take place tonight, October 31, as well as November 1, and November 2, 2019. 

“This event is going to be different from your traditional haunted house, where you simply walk through a maze with spooky surroundings,” says Andrea Loewen, Presentation House Theatre Managing Director, “It’s a guided, theatrical experience created by some of the Lower Mainland’s most exciting up-and-coming artists. Every theatre has ghosts, and PHT is actually certified as haunted by the Cornerstone Supernatural Society, something the HIVE Collective has taken its inspiration from. What could be creepier than that?”

Says Kim Selody, PHT Artistic Director, “Each of the nine companies has their own take on the idea of a haunted place so there will be lots of different and interesting ways to be scared in some unexpected spaces.”

Audiences will venture through secret and hidden areas of Presentation House that are usually unseen by the public, including vaults, back passages, odd doors to unexplained rooms, along with the more traditional spaces of the building.

The HIVE Performance Collective appeared at PHT as part of the revival of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in 2019. The ad-hoc collective made up of a dozen independent theatre makers works collaboratively as a non-hierarchical group creating and thinking together. Companies appearing at the Presentation HAUNTED House include Little Thief Theatre, Nebula Theatre, Re:current Theatre, Star Star Theatre, The Troika Collective, and Unladylike Co.

“I am incredibly excited to see what the artists from the HIVE Performance Collective create in our building,” adds Loewen. “They’re so creative and innovative in their work, and I know they’ll transform our entire building into something fun and spooky.”

All proceeds from this immersive, multidisciplinary event will benefit the HIVE Performance Collective and Presentation House Theatre.

Tickets are on sale now at 604-990-3474 or online at tickets.phtheatre.org
More information and show details can be found at phtheatre.org. Presentation HAUNTED House is recommended for ages 8+.

American Idiot Comes to North Vancouver

American Idiot, Green Day’s award-winning, Broadway rock musical comes to Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver presented by local production company URP. 

Winner of two Tony Awards and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, American Idiot is the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9/11, Trumpian suburbia, discovering love, loss, sex, drugs, and rock and roll along the way. The production will run for just seven performances over six days, Nov. 5-10 at the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver.  

Although conceived in response to the Bush administration in the years after 9/11, URP has updated the setting to reflect today’s political situation.

“While American Idiot is the coming of age story of three suburban friends, the backdrop of youthful angst and fighting against what their country has become is what makes the show so relevant right now.”

American Idiot takes its name from the 2004 Green Day album of the same name. The electrified rock musical has sent Green Day fans and critics into rapture since it was first performed in 2009, and has introduced a generation of theatregoers to the Bay Area punk trio’s propulsive, catchy musical style, and probably introduced a few punk rock fans to Broadway musicals!).

For this production, URP has gathered a talented cast of 18 professional and emerging performers from across Metro Vancouver. Richard Berg directs American Idiot, which also features lighting design by Robert Sondergaard, known for designs of Grey Cup halftime shows, and the current North American Tour of We Will Rock You…this production has been designed to bring the rock musical to a whole new level.

Under the musical direction of guitarist Rob Hamilton, a six-piece band delivers a hybrid between theatre and rock concert. The show features every song from the American Idiot album as well as several from Green Day’s follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown.

Green Day’s American Idiot plays November 5 – 10, 2019 at the Centennial Theatre, 2300 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver. Find showtimes, details and tickets online at urp.ca

Presentation House Theatre presents launches 2019/20 season

North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre (PHT) launches its 2019/20 season October 8th.

NCHEM?U?S DAY

Before the season begins visit Presentation House Theatre this weekend, for Nchem?u?s Day on September 21st. The annual free community event welcomes everyone to join in the world’s largest Slahal “Bone Game”, an ancient traditional game of the Coast Salish territory. Presented in partnership with Spakwus Slolem (Bob Baker’s Eagle Song Dancers, Squamish Nation) and Tsatsu Stalqaya (Coastal Wolf Pack Dance Group, Musqueam Nation).

The Shipment

The 2019/20 season begins with the satirical comedy The Shipment, from SpeakEasy Theatre, which tests and challenges black culture stereotypes.  SpeakEasy Theatre Artistic Director Kayvon Khoshkam says, “The play does not judge, nor does it preach, rather it invites us in to share and listen. The Shipment is raw, challenging, and incredibly funny which is a perfect fit for the style of experience we have established for the company and our audiences.

Supporting their commitment to intergenerational theatre, PHT follows with Tomson Highway’s The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito from Ontario’s Carousel Players, an indigenous play for young audiences about acceptance and belonging.

Other shows in the 2019/20 season include Jake’s Gift (Juno Productions) the poignant remembrance of the legacy of veteransthe beloved wild rumpus of Where the Wild Things Are (Presentation House Theatre)God’s Lake (Castlereigh Theatre Project), a vivid original work of verbatim documentary theatre about the strength and resilience of the people in the remote fly-in reserve of God’s Lake Narrows, Manitoba. Germany’s Hands and Feet (Theatre Wrede) joyfully invites the littlest theatre newcomers into the magical realm of sound, movement and imagination. The season ends with the delightful House of Pooh Corner (Carousel Theatre with Presentation House Theatre), a celebration of friendship at every age. 

More information and show details can be found at www.phtheatre.org. Tickets are on sale now by phone at 604-990-3474 or online at  tickets.phtheatre.org

Visit The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency

The public launch and first open house of the historic Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency on August 25, is the result of a campaign by grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Creative Cultural Collaborations (C3) to revive the historic floating cabin at the Plaza of Nations in False Creek. 

The Blue Cabin in North Vancouver
pic: John Ward

Originally built in 1927 as a floating house in Coal Harbour, the Blue Cabin was re-located to North Vancouver for more than 80 years. Artists Al Neil and Carole Itter used the space as a studio from 1966 until their eviction in 2015, when the cabin’s site next to Cates Park was purchased by Polygon Homes. When the structure was scheduled for demolition, grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and C3 led a campaign to save, restore, and re-launch the cabin as a residency. Their success brought in artists Jeremy and Sus Borsos to repair the cabin and salvage its cultural history. In 2018, artist Germaine Koh and architect Marko Simcic were engaged to build a small 500-square-foot deckhouse; the energy-efficient structure features off-the-grid water and power systems.

The August 25 public launch will include the announcement of the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency’s first season of programming as well as tours of the facility, including the interiors of the Blue Cabin studio and the newly constructed sustainable deckhouse, every 15 minutes from 11:30am–5:30pm. Participants will be limited to 20 people per tour and will be first come, first served. Additional open house dates will be announced at the public launch. Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine and Rico n’ Lalo All Natural Frozen Bars will be on-site serving food and refreshments.

Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore features the following artists-in-residence:

  • Vicki Couzens (September 15–October 31, 2019)
  • Angela George (November 15, 2019–January 15, 2020)
  • Skwetsimeltxw Willard “Buddy” Joseph and Chepximiya Siyam Chief Janice George (February 15–March 31, 2020)
  • Debra Sparrow (April 15–May 31, 2020)
The Blue Cabin being relocated from near
Cates Park, North Vancouver
pic: Michael Jackson

The inaugural program Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore examines Coast Salish weaving practices and includes three research and residency periods by Angela George(Squamish/Tsleil-Waututh), Janice George and Buddy Joseph (Squamish), and Debra Sparrow(Musqueam). Australian Indigenous artist and activist Vicki Couzens (Gunditjmara) will be the first international artist-in-residence from September 15–October 31, 2019, presented in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts.

“The Blue Cabin is a culturally and historically significant work of architecture, and its launch in False Creek will encourage both artists and the public to appreciate the many complex histories that make up the community,” says Glenn Alteen, Blue Cabin Committee Member and Program Director of grunt gallery. “The cabin — and the broader region we now call the Lower Mainland — is inextricably linked to the colonial displacement of Indigenous peoples. As a heritage-focused project, one of our core values is to reflect and engage with the stories of the traditional owners of these lands: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Master weaver Buddy Joseph considers weaving a catalyst that entwines language, storytelling, and ceremony; we curated the inaugural program to pay our respects while bringing together diverse publics. As a floating structure, the Blue Cabin provides a new way for artists and the public to look at the city — from the water.”

Rebuilding the Blue Cabin in Dry Dock. pic: Henri Robideau

“We are delighted to support the first Australian artist in the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency program,” says Dr. Wendy Were, Executive Director, Strategic Development and Advocacy at the Australia Council for the Arts. “Vicki Couzens is a First Nations multimedia artist and cultural leader who will share her arts practice and cultural knowledge in a unique and culturally significant location. This prestigious opportunity ensures that Australia’s highly respected First Nations’ arts, culture, and stories continue to be shared with new audiences across the world, and strengthens our deep connections between Australian and Canadian First Nations peoples.”

The public opening of the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency’s first season of programming takes place August 25.  Free tours of the facility, located at Plaza of Nations Aquabus stop, take place every 15 minutes from 11:30am–5:30pm (on a first come, first served basis). 

Visit thebluecabin.ca for more information on the Blue Cabin, partners and residency program. 

Discover New Releases From Shari Ulrich & Mike Bryden

This week finds a pair of artists with record release events, veteran singer/songwriter Shari Ulrich launches her 9th studio album while children’s entertainer Mike Bryden makes his debut.

First up, Shari Ulrich celebrates 45 years as a touring recording artist and player (violin, mandolin, piano, guitar, dulcimer and harmonica) with the Borealis Records release of her 9th solo album Back to Shore, and a special album release concert at North Vancouver’s Centennial Theatre on June 18th.

Back to Shore stands out as one of Ulrich’s finest recordings, featuring 12 new songs that touch on themes ranging from love, infidelity and space travel, to a joyous celebration of Canada, her adopted country. 

A multiple Juno award winner, Shari Ulrich’s rich warm voice, dynamic stagecraft and accomplished musicianship as a soloist and bandleader, as well as with the legendary Pied Pumkin, The Hometown Band, UHF, and BTU, among others, have garnered her enthusiastic fans, awards, and accolades from across Canada and around the world.

Join her for the Back to Shore release concert Tuesday June 18th at Centennial Theatre. Tickets are available online at centennialtheatre.com

Later in the week, children’s entertainer Mike Bryden releases his debut album, Sing Song Sayings at an event at Havana Theatre, Sunday June 23rd.

In Bryden’s previous life he was a successful creative director with his own Vancouver advertising firm. Seeking a new direction for his creativity, as a children’s entertainer he brings his passion for a strong metaphor and has found his calling in “kid-splaining” proverbs through storytelling.

Sing Song Sayings is a beautifully-crafted concept album for children that sets commonly-used expressions to music in a delightful new way. This unique collection of tunes will captivate young listeners and parents alike. Through creative storytelling and catchy melodies, each song sheds a playful light on the lessons hidden within every day sayings. Intelligent, witty (and bilingual), Mike Bryden’s debut album has found the balance between entertainment and discovery. Mike Bryan performances are not your typical children’s concert, entertaining blend of songs, stories, and live drawings that he brings to life through projections and an oversized sketchbook. Mike’s multi-disciplinary performances literally draw everyone in and keeps them humming long after the show is wrapped.

To celebrate the album release, Mike will be performing on Sunday, June 23 at the Havana Theatre with 2 shows, at 11am and 2pm, perfectly timed for family visits. Seating is limited at Havana Theatre so book early.  Find tickets and more information at mikebryden.com

Vancouver Foodster Best Taco Challenge 2019

Tuesdays aren’t the only day we dream about Tacos so Vancouver Foodster’s Best Taco Challenge is helping us find a new favourite taco for every day of the week.

The Best Taco Challenge runs May 16 – June 9, 2019 at restaurants around Metro Vancouver! 

Vancouver Foodster has challenged chefs to create their taco however their imagination can dream of; complicated or simple, traditional or uniquely non-traditional, vegetarian or meat-filled.

The public is invited to try out all of the Taco Challenge dishes then vote for their favourite creation at vancouverfoodster.com/taco-challenge to determine the People’s Choice Best Taco. 

In addition to the public vote, a panel of media judges, of which I’m proud and excited to be one, will be tasting the Best Taco Challenge entries to choose the Judges Choice Winner. Follow me, @jminter on Twitter and Instagram to see the Taco Challenge creations landing on my plate and those of the other Media Judges too, follow them at @lforlife_vancouver and @domoiscraving. See what other diners are talking about too by following #TacoChallengeYVR.

Don’t forget to follow the participating restaurants too, to see what they’re entry in the Best Taco Challenge;

Vancouver 
Las Tortas, 3353 Cambie Street

North Vancouver
Cinco De Mayo Mexican Grill, 200 Esplanade W.

Richmond
Little Mexico Cantina, 3131 Chatham St #150

Surrey
Hugo’s Mexican Kitchen,19151 Fraser Highwayn

Richmond
Hugo’s Tacos & Churros, 7899 Templeton Station Rd

Chilliwack
Hugo’s Mexican Food, 7101 Vedder Rd

Start planning your visits to Van Foodster Best Taco Challenge participants, try them all, and remember to vote for your favourite!

Jack and the Magic Bean comes to Presentation House Theatre

North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre and Mexico’s Marionetas de la Esquina present Jack and the Magic Bean, at Presentation House Theatre from April 11th to 28th.

Jack & the Magic Bean pic: Emiliano Leyva

In this whimsical and enlightening adaptation of the classic fairy tale, when Jacky tries to sell her beloved toys to buy food for her family and then trades them for a magic bean, she discovers something much more valuable than money — how to sustainably grow your own food and care for the land.

“This is a delightful and interactive presentation with an incredibly powerful underlying message,” saysKim Selody, Artistic Director of Presentation House Theatre and Director of Jack and the Magic Bean. “Young audiences ages three to eight are urged to accompany Jacky on her journey, helping her grow the beanstalk and climb it, and then become the bugs in the dirt to help make her garden grow. At the same time, the play tackles themes of poverty, irresponsible farming practices, and sustainability, offering a vital and urgent message — we must all learn to respect and care for the Earth for the sake of future generations.”

Jack & the Magic Bean pic: Emiliano Leyva

 Jack and the Magic Bean is a newly imagined version of the original Jessie Award-winning adaptation, written by Vancouver playwright Linda A. Carson, and co-produced by Presentation House Theatre and Mexico’s Marionetas de la Esquina, the company behind last season’s Sleeping Beauty Dreams.  Inspired by its recent international debuts in Kansas City, MO and in Mexico City — in which the play was translated into bilingual and Spanish versions — the beloved tale has been reworked in a joyful collaboration between the award-winning theatre companies.

A 55-minute interactive experience for families with children ages three to eight, Jack and the Magic Bean offers rich imagery and playful immersion, encouraging kids to not just watch Jacky’s story unfold, but to be an active part of its unfolding. Children will be captivated by the narrative’s ‘story gardener’ who needs their fertile imaginations to make the story grow; delightfully scared by the health-conscious ogre who likes to eat humans but refrains due to his indigestion; and gleefully enthusiastic to become the tiny bugs wriggling through the soil — both to escape the grasp of the mighty giant and to help teach Jacky about the process that will ultimately save her garden and help feed her family: composting.

Jack and the Magic Bean, runs from April 11th to 28th, 2019 at Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield Ave, North Vancouver. Visit phtheatre.org for show details and tickets