VQFF Opens August 15

The 31st Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) opens this Thursday, August 15th at the Vancouver Playhouse with the Canadian Premiere of Leon Le’s Song Lang (Vietnam/U.S.A.), Le’s first feature is set in the richly imagined and dilapidated streets of 1990’s Saigon. Song Lang is a tribute to the golden age of c?i l??ng (a form of modern Vietnamese folk opera), a queer romance and gangster film that stars Vietnamese popstar, Isaac.

VQFF’s Closing Gala Film is the Canadian Premiere of a positive, feel-good LGBTQ comedy from Italy, An Almost Ordinary Summer (Italy) by Simone Godano. The film pays homage to the entertaining romantic comedies of Nancy Meyers, about two aging patriarchs who bring their two very different families together on vacation to announce their engagement. 

An Almost Ordinary Summer

In between, VQFF welcomes more than 100 films from 27 countries, plus a series of Festival Spotlights including Coming Into Our Own: Youth Spotlight, Queer Kinship, A Higher Power, and projecting brilliance: a two-spirit showcase. 

Curated by Artistic Director, Anoushka Ratnarajah, VQFF is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada.  Presented by Out On Screen, the Festival runs August 15-25, 2019 at various venues throughout the city, for more information and tickets visit queerfilmfestival.ca

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

Che Malambo steps into Vogue Theatre

CheDrummermiddleVancouver is preparing for a thunderous performance by powerhouse all-male Argentinian dance company, Che Malambo. 

Malambo, which began in the 17th century, as a competitive outlet between South American gauchos (cowboy), is a dynamic step dance blending precision footwork and rhythmic stomping (Zapeteo), drumming of traditional Bombos, whirling Boleadoras and song that is at the heart of the Gaucho tradition.

The 14-gaucho Che Malambo is exciting audiences across North America with their first tour, a spectacle of drumming, foot stomping dance and music, created by world-renowned choreographer and former dancer, Gilles Brinas.  Brinas was inspired by the rich tradition of the dance and created Che Malambo in 2007 to bring the traditional dance to audiences world-wide. After a successful 2015 run in New York City, Che Malambos is on its first North American tour.

Vancouver’s Caravan World Rhythms brings Che Malambo! Direct from Argentina to the Vogue Theatre stage for one night only May 20th.  Tickets are available now at Highlife Records and Banyan Books or online at caravanbc.com 

HSBC Canada Sevens conquer Vancouver

IMG_3800This weekend the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series made its inaugural stop in Canada. The HSBC Canada Sevens saw 192 athletes, from 16 countries play 45 matches of sevens rugby at BC Place over two full days, Saturday and Sunday.

For an inaugural event, the reception for Rugby Sevens was beyond the expectations, selling more than the anticipated number of tickets.  A terrific turnout of 60,000+ over the two days filled the stadium and city with some amazing spirit and enthusiasm.  Fancy dress is a staple of the fan fun on the World Rugby Sevens tour and the Vancouver audiences joined in whole-heartedly.  Mounties, Priests, Furries, Poultry, and many other themes of costumes and groups were spread throughout BC Place adding to the excited atmosphere.

Make some noise!! @rugbycanada & #AUS take the pitch! #RedNation #wallabies #Canada7s #helijet7s

A video posted by Jay Minter (@jminter) on

On the field, fans were treated to an exciting spectator friendly spectacle.  Rugby Sevens is an exciting game, with short 14 minute matches, high scoring and lots of wide-open fast-paced action.  The sixteen team line-up, with Rugby powers New Zealand, Australia, Fiji as well as the home team Canada, made for some lively matches.
While Canada won two round-robin matches they unfortunately didn’t advance to the Cup quarter finals due to points difference. However, the Red Nation was able to hold on and win the Bowl to the thrill of the Sunday fans.

Overall, the HSBC Canada Sevens must be viewed as a success for both the sport and city as thousands filled downtown during the weekend.  With the event scheduled for at least the next few years, we can expect it to grow and grow. The 2017 ticket waitlist is already open. I’m looking forward to next year already!

MUSE Drones World Tour Vancouver

MUSE – Drones World Tour – Rogers Arena – December 10, 2015

Last week, British trio, Muse made a stop at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on their Drones World Tour.  Oft considered one of the best live acts, the group has a reputation for putting on a spectacle that precedes them to the stage.  This tour doesn’t disappoint, with 112 dates around the world, Muse are making sure that everyone gets a chance to experience their live presence.

Presented in the round, on the North American leg, Drones tour starts off with a symphonic display of illuminated aerial orbs leading to the arrival of the band.  Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme, and Dominic Howard along with touring member Morgan Nicholls filled the arena with sounds, lights and technology for their two hour set. The set up of the stage kept the audience to the lower bowl and made it feel a lot most intimate than expected. The revolving central stage with catwalks to the ends ensure there’s no bad seats in the house.  With a setlist including hits from all their studio albums plus the 2015 release, Drones, every fan had their best experience.

Drones Tour continues around North America through January before heading back to Europe. Catch them if you can and see why they’re one of the best live acts.

Harrison Festival of the Arts 2015

HarrisonFestival15The 37th Annual Harrison Festival Of The Arts is set to get underway in just over a week away.  If you haven’t already, make your plans and get your tickets to the world class music festival with small town roots.

For nine days, July 11 – 19,  2015, the hamlet of Harrison Hot Springs is filled with music, entertainment and arts & crafts.  Tickets are available now for the Evenings In The Hall; a nightly line-up of global talents from Scottish Folk act Breabach, Moroccan Ayrad, local Folk/Soul The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, and more.

HarrisonFest_2014-07-12 13.18.17The outdoor Music On The Beach Stage brings the music to the shore with a daily line up of acts from around the world and around the corner.  Access the beach stage with a daily $2 donation for a single day Festival Button or $20 Full-Festival Button.  This year a second beach-side venue, Lagoon Stage, bring acoustic sounds to the swimming lagoon area.

Harrison Festival is not all music, the juried Art Market lines the greenway along the beach with unique arts and crafts finds.HarrisonFest_2014-07-12 13.02.28

Whether it’s for a day or more, a visit to Harrison Hot Springs during the Harrison Festival will fill your excursion with Arts and Culture along with the sun and sand.

Find tickets and more information on Harrison Festival Of The Arts at harrisonfestival.com 

Vancouver International Film Festival 2014

viffYou have just a couple of days to study up and figure out which of the 300 plus films you want to catch at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival.  The 33rd Annual Festival welcomes an array of films from around the world to Vancouver from September 25 until October 10, 2014.  The 16 days of the fest will be filled, not only with the fine cinema but also dozens of writers, directors and actors on hand for post-screening Question & Answer sessions. In addition the festival provides the filmmakers and the media the opportunity to meet one-on-one and network to help spread word on their work.

Buy your tickets VIFF14online or at the box office 30 minutes prior to screenings.  Take a look through the Festival’s Film listings to find the screenings you want to attend then enjoy your VIFF experience.