SKOOKUM Festival 2018 Announces Line-up & Tickets.

A multi-day music festival in the heart of the city, SKOOKUM Festival, has released its inaugural line-up and tickets go on sale tomorrow.  Four stages will fill Vancouver’s beloved Stanley Park with music from September 7th to 9th, 2018.

Headliners The Killers and Florence + The Machine will be joined by Metric, Arkells, The War On Drugs, St. Vincent, Father John Misty, Blue Rodeo,
Mother Mother, Chromeo, Bahamas, Stereophonics, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and dozens of more acts.

In addition to 50 plus contemporary music acts, live and multimedia art installations; pop-up and roaming entertainment as well as gourmet food from some of city’s top restaurants; tasting areas showcasing some of the best BC wines, locally brewed craft beer as well as select offerings from local area craft distilleries will round out the weekend.   Festival organizers BrandLIVE are also working with the local First Nations to provide opportunities for Indigenous musicians, chefs, and visual artists as well as an opportunity to inform and educate attendees on aspects of the their historical connections to the land.

With the Stanley Park festival site just steps from downtown Vancouver, and the addition of shuttle buses SKOOKUM is one of the most easily accessible festivals in the region.

Vancouver’s BRANDLIVE, producers of the Squamish Valley Music Festival, are known for putting on exceptional fan experiences and working in collaboration with Virgin Mobile on SKOOKUM Festival, this is sure to be another.  Paul Runnals, Festival Director says “This is the result of a conversation that began five years ago to create a more accessible, inclusive, and sustainable Festival.  We feel this first year lineup reflects the spirit of what are trying to achieve in a way that also acknowledges the significant history of the location”.

SKOOKUM Festival passes go on sale tomorrow, Friday March 16, 2018 and many Pre-Sales launch this morning. Visit for more festival information, the full line up and tickets.

SKOOKUM Music, Food, Art from Skookum Festival on Vimeo.


Forget About Tomorrow at The Arts Club is Unforgettable.

The new play, Forget About Tomorrow, is now playing at The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre.  The new and personal work from Jill Daum, one of the Mom’s The Word Collective, takes the audience through the journey of a family’s trials as the patriarch is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.  Playwright Jill Daum understands this journey all too well, going through a similar experience with her husband, singer/actor John Mann (Spirit of the West), who also has the disease.  Mann provides some of the music sung by characters in the play.

Forget About Tomorrow, centres on empty-nesters Jane and Tom, played by the captivating Jennifer Lines and Craig Erickson.  The couple live comfortably while facing everyday stresses like keeping their daughter (Aleita Northey) in university in Toronto, and concern for son (Aren Okemaysim) who’s just moved to Montreal to pursue a music career with few prospects of income.  The family’s comfortable existence is shattered when a scan confirms the diagnosis, at the end of the first act.

As they deal with the thought of Tom slowly forgetting their lives,the emotional toil wears on the couple as well as their distant children and the characters evolve.   Tom is angry and Jane spends more time at work, a retail shop The Nest.  Her boss and friend Lori, played in broad-style by Colleen Wheeler, provides much needed comic-relief.   Also at work, she meets customer Wayne (Hrothgar Mathews), at first a kindly and flirtatious grandfather but as the play progresses as he aggressively pursues her romantically becoming almost predatory.

Unfortunately, the lack of chemistry between Mathews and Lines makes Wayne a hard character to invest in, no matter how much we care about Jane.  The children mainly appear by webcam calls but Northey and Okemaysim make the most of their two-dimensional characters.  Knowing that this is semi-autobiographical brings added depth and intrigue to the play, the audience is left to imagine how much is real and how much is fiction, the truth is probably somewhere in-between but the emotions generated are 100% genuine.  The play will no doubt serve as support to those who have experienced a similar journey, knowing another family has gone through this as well.

Set Designer Pam Johnson has built a creatively simple turntable stage that easily serves as both The Nest and the family home, and as the cloud descend over the family, Brian Kenney’s Light Design turns the bright and neutral blonde-wood set into a grey.

The Arts Club Theatre Company production of Forget About Tomorrow runs at the Goldcorp Stage at BMO Theatre Centre until March 25, 2018.  Purchase tickets online at


Canada Sevens 2018 brings out a record crowd

The 2018 edition of HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver wrapped up with a record attendance of 77,096 coming through the gates at BC Place this weekend.   If you haven’t attended Canada Sevens or any other stop on the Sevens Series, it’s hard to imagine just how much fun the fans have at the stadium.  Fancy Dress, costumed groups of supporters fill the stadium (and the city) from 8:30am until after 7pm for two days to watch two days of quick, high scoring, action-packed matches of Rugby Sevens.  With sixteen teams from around the globe competing, it feels like the world comes to BC Place for the tournament, even Marvel hero Thor got into the spirit and dressed up as Chris Hemsworth when he stopped by the stadium on Sunday.

Chris Hemsworth starts the countdown for the final

After 45 exciting matches over the two days, Fiji came away with their second win of then 2018 HSBC Seven Series.  The crowd packed in all 39,000 seats on a sold out Saturday, not an empty seat was had for the home team’s debut against Australia. A thrilling match that Canada pull even with Oz on the final play.  A hard fought match against the USA ended in a loss on a last minute turn over before wrapping up the day on a convincing 47-5 win over Uruguay.  Combined with an Australian win over USA on Day 1’s final match meant Canada finished 3rd in Pool A and wouldn’t advance to play for the Cup on Day 2.

A sunny Sunday brought more fancy dress wearing crowds and more action-packed matches.  A Canadian loss to Scotland early on Day 2 meant the home team wouldn’t challenge for the Challenger Trophy and at the end of the day one more win and loss meant 14th place for Canada.
The audience was far from disappointed with Canada’s good play over all their matches but Rugby Sevens moves so quickly one play can change the outcome in a snap.  The final set up to between Kenya and Fiji, both teams with large contingents of cheering fans.  Team Fiji has so many supporters in BC Place that it felt like a home match for them.

The 2019 Canada Sevens men’s tournament is set for next spring but this year Vancouver is bidding to bring 4 more years of Canada Sevens to the city from 2020 – 2023.  If you missed out this year make sure to get your tickets for next year’s HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver.  For more great Sevens action,  catch Canada’s Olympic Bronze medal winning Women’s team at HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens at Westhills Stadium in Langford (Greater Victoria) May 12-13, 2018 and catch the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco July 20-22, 2018.

7 Minutes In Heaven with Eternal Theatre Collective

Playwright Steven Levenson is Broadway’s hot writer, the 2017 Tony Award winner for Best Book of a Musical, but before Dear Evan Hansen,  Levenson cut his teeth on 7 Minutes In Heaven.

Eternal Theatre Collective, brings 7 Minutes In Heaven to Vancouver with a run at Studio 16, until March 10th.  The youth run theatre organization is dedicated to providing young actors experience in live theatre.  Seven Minutes In Heaven is a perfect production for this type of troupe, the play, set in the early 90s, centres around 6 teens at a basement party. What follows is a series of random vignettes spanning their evening’s activities. Filled with non sequiturs as the teens, each filled with their own angst and insecurities, try to amuse themselves with games of Candyland, Truth Or Dare, Wink Murder, Spin The Bottle and of course Seven Minutes In Heaven.  Moments of maturity compete with the adolescent insecurities, peer pressure, hormones and awkwardness.

The awkwardness played well with the varying experience of the cast, the play allows any fumbles and slips to seem like natural social stumbles that we all remember from our youth, no matter when you grew up.  The script is filled with cringeworthy moments of mocking, bitchiness, scandal and emotions. Some of the characters break the fourth wall with the awareness of where they’re going in life or what brought them to this time, just to remind us in hindsight that what was so important at 15 years of age, is just a blimp in our road of life.
Director Allyson Fournier and the cast have created a world that will feel familiar to most of us, the realistic basement set and 90s era pop soundtrack take us back to a time before the internet, cell phones, selfies and social media. While we like to think of those times as simpler and more innocent, 7 Minutes In Heaven reminds us that the trials and tribulations faced by teens is the same through every generation, only amplified in our globally connected times.

Now let’s use that social connection for good and share the word about Eternal Theatre Collective’s production of 7 Minutes In Heaven, at Studio 16 until March 10, 2018, tickets are on sale online at

Get Outside To The JFL NorthWest Block Party

JFL NorthWest – Vancouver’s Comedy Festival is well underway bringing laughs to our long winter.  Now with spring around the corner JFL NorthWest challenges us to take the comedy outside,  The JFL NorthWest Block Party takes us to the street at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza on Wednesday, March 7 to Friday, March 9 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm each day. 

JFL NorthWest Block Party patrons will be entertained by various Just For Laughs stand-up specials plus Just For Laughs GAGS, presented by Tim Hortons, on the big outdoor screen and will be treated to performances by Coldwater Road’s Patrick Spencer and music by Adrienne featuring Drix. Audiences can expect a few surprise special guests as well as meet and greets with Victor, the Just For Laughs mascot!

In addition to the outdoor entertainment, JFL NorthWest Block Party-goers can look forward to tasty food truck treats from The Reef Runner and Cheese Street Grill along with complimentary beverages from Tim Hortons, and libations from Sleeman Breweries and Hopping Mad Cider in the beer garden. The JFL NorthWest Block Party will also feature an LED Games Tent for anyone wanting to satisfy their ping pong and foosball needs.

JFL NorthWest runs until March 10th, bringing 100+ performances to the stages and venues, as well as the Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival running in conjunction with the comedy festival.

For tickets, schedules and more information visit

Vancouver International Dance Festival Takes The Stage

Shen Wei Dance Arts Photo: Christopher Duggan

The 2018 Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) is now on stages around Vancouver until March 24, 2018.   The 2018 VIDF features a diverse and dynamic roster of internationally celebrated artists plus local favourites, over the three weeks of performances, workshops, and other dance activities. The Festival presents three Canadian premieres from New York’s acclaimed contemporary company White Wave Dance, Mexico’s Compañía de Danza Experimental de Lola Lince, and Hungary’s Ferenc Fehér; as well, a Western Canadian premiere of New York’s Shen Wei Dance Arts; a West Coast premiere from Montreal’s Lucie Grégoire Danse; and a world premiere from Vancouver’s own Amber Funk Barton/the response..

Harbour Dance ITP
Photo: Ernest Von Rosen

“Dance as a primal human instinct transcends language, cultural norms, and international borders. It has the potential to communicate any aspect of the human experience,” says Barbara Bourget, Co-Producer of VIDF. “In the current international climate of parochialism and division, it is more important than ever to connect with individuals from around the globe in a spirit of inclusion, connection, dialogue, and empathy. This year’s festival hopes to achieve this goal by bringing communities together through the presentation of innovative, thought-provoking, and breathtaking work of world class artists from the United States, Mexico, and Hungary, as well as trailblazing artists from Vancouver and Montreal.”

Vancouver International Dance Festival performances take place around downtown Vancouver at; Vancouver Playhouse, Roundhouse Community Centre, ScotiaBank Dance Centre, Woodwards Atrium and KW Production Studio.   For the full March 1 – 24, 2018 calendar of events and to purchase tickets visit

Dance House & Toronto Dance Theatre Celebrate Anniversaries

Toronto Dance Theatre

This weekend Vancouver’s Dance House welcomes cross-county compatriots Toronto Dance Theatre to the Vancouver Playhouse.  As Dance House celebrates their 10th anniversary, Toronto Dance Theatre celebrates their 50th with House Mix, a retrospective of the works by Artistic Director and Choreographer Christopher House.

Dance House has a goal to connect Vancouver with the world of dance, including the best of what’s right here in our country. 50 years is a feat for any organization, let alone an arts group, to celebrate, Toronto Dance Theatre assembled a collection of pieces from the last 3 decades to showcase the diversity in their company’s performances and artists. Their 90 minute showcase included;

Martingales – first performed November 2014 in Toronto
An energetic piece filled with rapid movements and playful rhythms.

Fjeld (excerpt) – first performed March 1990 in Toronto
A sculptural work inspired by the films of Ingmar Berman & Renaissance art.

Thirteen – first performed November 2017 in Bogota, Columbia
Revisiting an early Christopher House work from 1983, with the movements repurposed with a new score.

Echo Dark – first performed November 2015 in Toronto
A modern, dance set to a dark, heavy beat.

Toronto Dance Theatre

Vena Cava – first performed November 1998 in Toronto
A fast-paces, energizing show set to the music of composer Robert Moran.

Dance House continues to bring world-class dance performances, next up Betroffenheit, a collaboration between Kidd Pivot & Electric Company Theatre, March 14 – 17, 2018 at Vancouver Playhouse. Tickets online at