Discover Robert Rauschenberg at Vancouver Art Gallery.

Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980
Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980

This summer, the Vancouver Art Gallery dives into its permanent collection to present Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980, an exhibition of important but rarely seen works by the prolific twentieth-century American artist. The presentation features billboard-sized prints, intimate drawings, collages, sculptural works and large-scale fabric constructions from one of the most experimental periods of Rauschenberg’s career.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery is fortunate to count many significant works by important international artists in its permanent collection, and our considerable holdings of Robert Rauschenberg are a highlight,” says Daina Augaitis, Interim Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Rauschenberg’s radical approach to art making blurred the lines between mediums, demonstrating his incredible ingenuity in mixing materials and imagery. We are pleased to share a selection of influential works by this artist, with a focus on his collages and mixed-media pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, many of which paved the way for his own thoughts around art making and inspired others to follow his experimental trajectory.” 

This exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery features a number of significant examples of Rauschenberg’s collages and multi-faceted prints. Such works combine newspaper and magazine clippings, material salvaged from the streets of New York, and his own photographs to create fragmented, layered compositions that unravel the cultural and political milieu of the time. Key works include Autobiography (1968), a monumental three-panel composition from the Gallery’s collection that represents the culmination of the aesthetics and methodologies that occupied Rauschenberg for a decade. The work, which details his biographical history through overlapping self-portraits and objects of personal significance, was the first fine art print made on a billboard press. Another important print is Sky Garden (1969), also from the Gallery’s collection, the largest work in his Stoned Moon series, which emerged from an invitation by NASA to witness the launch of the Apollo 11 Mission. Also included are examples of work Rauschenberg produced after relocating to Captiva Island, Florida, in 1971, when he began to investigate the natural and the handmade, and embrace a more overtly abstract aesthetic, as well as works that use fabric as a support for printed imagery.

See these works and more when Robert Rauschenberg 1965–1980 opens July 6th, on show at Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby, until October 27, 2019.

Bard On The Beach : Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare in Love Charlie Gallant & Ghazal Azarbad Image: Emily Cooper

Most patrons of Bard On The Beach, have a love for Shakespeare but for the 30th Anniversary season, the Festival has flipped the script to present Shakespeare In Love.

Directed by Daryl Cloran, (director of The Beatles themed As You Like It from Bard’s 2018 season), this adaptation of the 1998 Academy Award-winning film of the same name, Shakespeare In Love takes the audience behind the scenes to look, with creative historical liberties, at a period in Will Shakespeare’s life. Suffering from writer’s block while trying to write his next play, “Romeo & Ethel The Pirates Daughter”, Will must overcome battling producers, actors egos, and noble rivals for the love of his muse. Although Shakespeare In Love is not written by the Bard, Lee Hall has adapted the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard into a fast-paced comedy, filled with the familiar tropes and themes found in original works. The play within the play unwraps the script of Romeo & Juliet, as it’s supposedly being written by Will, corresponding with his love affair with muse Viola.

Shakespeare In Love
l-r: Chirag Naik, Jennifer Lines & Paul Moniz de Sá
Photo: Tim Matheson

When remaking a well known and acclaimed work, it can often be difficult to not be compared to the original actors in the source material, but the company of Bard on the Beach makes these characters, both historic and fictitious, their own. Charlie Gallant is charming as befuddled but romantic leading man, Will Shakespeare. In her dual turn as Will’s love interest, Viola de Lessep and her male alter-ego Thomas Kent the actor, Ghazal Azarbad makes you forget about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Actress performance. Regal Jennifer Lines channels Dame Judy Dench as her majesty Queen Elizabeth I. Bard vets Scott Bellis, Warren Kimmel, Andrew McNee, Kamyar Pazandeh and Chirag Naik chew up the scenery to provide some great comedic moments in contrast to Will and Viola’s Romeo & Juliet love story.

Ghazal Azarbad & Charlie Gallant Photo: Tim Matheson

Shakespeare In Love incorporates enough of Romeo & Juliet to keep Bard lovers happy while bringing a contemporary take on Shakespeare to the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach.

Shakespeare In Love plays in repertoire with Taming of the Shrew at Bard on the Beach, under the Tents at Vanier Park (behind Museum of Vancouver) until September 18, 2019. Information and tickets are available online at bardonthebeach.org.

Indian Summer Festival brings local & international arts together

The 9th annual Indian Summer Festival returns to Vancouver, from July 4 to 14, bringing locally and internationally renowned artists to venues around the city. With the provocative theme of ‘Tricksters, Magicians, and Oracles,’ the 2019 festival lineup features futurists, novelists, stand-up comedians, musicians and storytellers from around the world.

“What we need more than ever in the world today is a way out of the tumult that seems to surround us. For our ninth edition, we’ve invited an incredible range of artists who do that, and who are either tricksters, magicians or oracles in their own way. So they give us a way out through laughter, or conjure up a new reality for us to reach for, or light a path forward with their prophecies,” says Sirish Rao, Indian Summer Festival’s Artistic Director. “Our roster this year includes some of the most influential artists in the world. The festival, as always, is a model for what the world could look like, if we came together with all the power of human diversity, innovation, creativity, and wisdom.”

Indian Summer Festival

From Grammy award-winning classical guitarists to genre-bending DJs, razor sharp comedians, and award-winning novelists this year’s programming spans literary dialogues, debates, performance art, musical collaborations, interactive public art, and culinary experiences.

Indian Summer Festival has made its mark on Vancouver, becoming one of the city’s leading cultural events with a reputation for unusual pairings of the local with the international and the traditional with the contemporary. By creating a space in Vancouver for local and global conversations, and dissolving cultural borders, Indian Summer Festival challenges and invites artists and audiences to come together in the spirit of dialogue. 

The festival begins with much sought after Indian Summer Festival Opening Party on July 4th at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Wrapping up July 14th with Transformation Tea Party at Museum of Vancouver. In between the festival packs in dozens of events, talks, art installations, concerts and more. 

Find out more details and the full schedule for Indian Summer Festival 2019 visit on line at indiansummerfest.ca

Bard On The Beach : Taming Of The Shrew

The 30th Season of Bard on the Beach is underway, with Taming of the Shrew starting the season under the tents at Vanier Park. There are few spots in Vancouver nicer to spend a summer evening, add in a new adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s classic comedies by a brilliant company and it’s a near perfect theatre experience.

Bard on the Beach Taming of the Shrew Image: Emily Cooper

Taming of the Shrew tells the story of the fair Bianca and her sister, foul Katherine (Kate), and their suitors. Lady Baptista, the sister’s mother, has decreed that Bianca may not marry until after the elder Katherine is suitably married, much to the chagrin of Bianca’s many admirers. Seeing mutual benefit from working together, Bianca’s beaus conspire to find a husband for the shrewish Kate. Success comes with the arrival of Petruchio, who, in need of her large dowry, steps up to the challenge. Upon marriage, Petruchio ‘breaks’ Kate with a series of psychological gamesmanship and returns to Padua victorious in his taming of the shrew…or was he?

Shifted from late 16th Century Italy to the late 1800s America West, Director Lois Anderson has created a play that fits well into its new era. Costume Designer Mara Gottler and Set Designer Cory Sincennes have crafted a look straight out of Gunsmoke.

Jennifer Lines & Andrew McNee | Photo: Tim Matheson
Taming Of The Shrew
Jennifer Lines & Andrew McNee
Photo: Tim Matheson

Leading the cast, Jennifer Lines and Andrew McNee play off of each nicely as Kate and Petruchio. Ms Lines’ intense and dramatic Kate contrasts with McNee’s comedic skills and mugging. Kate Besworth’s sweet, giggling Bianca was a contrast to Line’s abrupt character. Kamyar Pazandeh’s Lucentio, stood out amongst Bianca’s many suitors. Portraying his servant Triano, Chirag Naik is always dependable, both the character and actor.

At 2.5 hours, the light comedy is nicely paced to keep the show moving and manages to avoid feeling long. See for yourself why Taming of the Shrew makes for an enjoyable Spaghetti Western / Shakespearean mash-up.

Taming of the Shrew runs, in repertoire with Shakespeare In Love, until September 21, 2019 at Bard on the Beach tents at Vanier Park (behind Museum of Vancouver). Information and tickets are available online at bardonthebeach.org.

Spend An Evening of Wonders with Vitaly

Fresh from performing Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre in New York City, Vitaly Beckman brings his latest and most ambitious production to the stage with An Evening of Wonders on Wednesday, June 5th, to the River Rock Show Theatre.

Hailed as one of the most unique and innovative illusionists in the world, Vitaly Beckman’s acts are so astounding that he has fooled famous Las Vegas duo Penn & Teller in their hit TV show Fool Us. The Westside Theatre also connects Vitaly to the famed duo, as they got their break performing at the New York venue in the 1980s.

Every illusion in Vitaly’s performance is original and represents an ‘impossible dream’ that he has set out to accomplish. From making drawings and paintings come to life to teleporting playing cards from one audience member to another, Vitaly’s illusions defy logic and belief. 

“Vitaly: An Evening of Wonders”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Vitaly is constantly inventing new illusions. He is willing to risk arrest and imprisonment for identity theft by promising that he will channel his powers to make the photo from your driver’s license disappear. So, if you’re brave enough to surrender your ID to him, you will have to expect the unexpected.  Will he restore your photo, or will it come back with a different face, say of Marilyn Monroe or George Clooney? Is it magic or trickery? The only way to be sure is to catch one of Vitaly’s increasingly popular performances before all of the tickets have disappeared into thin air. 

An Evening of Wonders stars Vitaly Beckman, brings the Vancouver-based back home after performing Stateside for most of the year. Be prepared for an evening of wonderment and witty banter.  Tickets are still available for the show on Wednesday at 8pm in the River Rock Show Theatre. For more show information visit eveningofwonders.com.

Take a bite out of June with a trio of Tasting Plates

Vancouver Foodster has a planned a tasty June for fans of Tasting Plates, with three delicious events lined up for the month.

If you don’t already know, Tasting Plates are roaming food tours, visiting diverse neighbourhoods around the city, or focusing on one style of cuisine served in diverse ways. Tasting Plates patrons are sure to find something to savour when they roam the cafes and eateries that Vancouver Foodster has curated. Guests will check-in at the central registration location then head out with Tasting Plates map in-hand to try each restaurant, which will serve up a ‘tasting plate’ or ‘tasting cup’ from their menus. Since everyone has a love of food in common it’s easy to meet some new foodie friends in the line-ups or at the next table, also often the chefs and proprietors are on hand to answer questions and help visitors learn about their establishments.

For June, Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates is exploring three neighbourhoods, North Vancouver – Lonsdale, Richmond, as well as an all vegetarian edition in East Vancouver.

June 12, 2019 – Tasting Plates North Vancouver Lonsdale
Explore the new Shipyards District and surrounding Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood in North Vancouver. The ever changing area is filled with great restaurants, cafes and markets waiting to be explored.

June 19, 2019 – Tasting Plates Richmond
The heart of Richmond can be overwhelming for choice, so take some time to visit the Richmond area, centered around Westminster Hwy and No. 3 Road to see what’s on offer.

June 26, 2019 – East Van Vegetarian Summer Edition
After a successful all Vegetarian tasting tour last fall, Tasting Plates brings a Summer all Vegetarian edition to the plant-based restaurants in East Vancouver between Commercial Drive and Main Street

Tickets for all three editions of Tasting Plates are on sale now via Eventbrite (click links above).
If it’s your first visit, get an idea of what’s in store for your Tasting Plates experience from a recap of the recent Tasting Plates Main & Fraser Street
On Social Media follow along with @tastingplatesyvr #tastingplatesyvr to see what the bites are all about!.

2019 PNE Summer Night Concerts

The line-up has only just been announced, but already the 2019 PNE Summer Night Concert Series is building anticipation. Once again, each summer night at 8:30pm the Pacific National Exhibition will come alive with the sounds of music, and this morning is your chance to get tickets to the PNE Summer Night Concerts, the summer’s best entertainment value.

Boyband 98 Degrees, Motown’s Smokey Robinson, Canadian legends Blue Rodeo and Burton Cummings, rock icons ZZ Top, Vince Neil and Billy Idol, Hip Hop stars Bobby Brown, TLC and so many more are coming to the PNE Amphitheatre stage throughout the 15 Summer Night Concerts (note PNE is Closed Mondays August 19 & 26)

PNE Summer Nights Concerts

The 2019 Summer Night Concerts are included free with admission, with 2000-4000 general admission tickets available each day at 11am from the Amphitheatre Box Office or online ($3 service charge) but be aware that seating is first come-first seated so you’ll want to make sure you arrive early.  Beer Gardens around the PNE Fairground usually show the concerts on big screens so you can still enjoy the shows even if the Amphitheatre is already at capacity.  If you don’t want to wait, limited reserved seating is available from $25 + admission.  Reserved seats go on sale today, May 24, 2019 at 10am.

In addition you can gather your friends and family to reserve a private party suites  that cater to groups of 12 or 14 including the private suite, gate passes, concert tickets, food & beverage service, plus parking passes.

The 2019 Summer Night Concerts line-up includes:

  • Saturday, August 17: Blue Rodeo
  • Sunday, August 18: ZZ Top – 50th Anniversary Tour
  • Tuesday, August 20: 98 Degrees
  • Wednesday, August 21: Burton Cummings and Band
  • Thursday, August 22: Vince Neil the Legendary Voice of Mötley Crüe
    Performing All The Mötley Crüe Hits
  • Friday, August 23: Smokey Robinson
  • Saturday, August 24: Now’s The Time Tour – Collective Soul and Gin Blossoms
  • Sunday, August 25: STYX
  • Tuesday, August 27: UB40 – For The Many – 40th Anniversary Tour
  • Wednesday, August 28: Colin James
  • Thursday, August 29: I Love the 90’s featuring Vanilla Ice, Montell Jordan, Biz Markie, Rob Base
  • Friday, August 30: Hammer’s House Party – MC Hammer with Special Guest Bobby Brown
  • Saturday, August 31: Billy Idol
  • Sunday, September 1: The Beach Boys
  • Monday, September 2: TLC – 25th Anniversary Tour

Get your tickets online at PNE now.