The Cultch and Urban Ink have announced the return of TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival. The third annual festival runs September 23-October 2, 2021—launching both companies’ soon to be announced Fall Seasons*.
East Van’s ground-breaking cabaret festival returns with a digital and in-person hybrid format. Co-curated by Corey Payette and Heather Redfern, with the support of Protocol Keeper, Quelemia Sparrow, the TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival focuses on empowering Indigenous artists and encouraging collaboration with non-indigenous artists, bringing the best cabaret to Vancouver audiences, and to fans around the world.
Urban Ink Artistic Director, Corey Payette, says, “This festival is unlike any other. It is a joyous experience, and whether you’re experiencing it digitally at home or in the theatre—that joy is infectious and is something we all need right now. With our extraordinary line up of brilliant collaborating artists, there has never been a better moment to engage with these stories and perspectives and to emerge, transformed.”
Following the success of the 2020 all-digital festival, The Cultch and Urban Ink will once again be offering cutting-edge digital performance accessible anywhere in the world. For 2021’s hybrid festival all shows will be available to watch online at the designated times, and will be followed by live Zoom After Shows, broadcast from The Cultch’s Historic Theatre. In addition, Vancouver fans will be able to purchase Watch Party tickets, which include access to in-person film screenings, as well as the live After Shows. In accordance with BC public health regulations, all patrons will be required to be masked and to show proof of vaccination, to ensure in-person audiences safety is top priority.
This year, TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival artists will present seven explosive days of bold, uncompromising, political, and interactive digital performances. Opening and closing the festival will be a completely new kind of Bash by Queer Based Media—featuring Continental Breakfast, Mx.Bukuru, Lynx Chase, Bo Dyp, Venus Kunt, Maya Ritchey, Shay Dior, Skim, Zaya Sawchyn, and Quelemia Sparrow. These two Bashes set the tone for the rest of the festival, which includes Connective T/issue—Classical Cirque curated by Cris Derksen and Sidonie Adamson, Kim Senklip Harvey’s Break Horizons: A Concert Documentary, Duckie, a family show from Le Gateau Chocolat, as well as brand new shows from returning favourites The Darlings. This year The Candy Show features the legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie, Colin Mochrie, Tom Wilson (Blackie and Rodeo Kings), and newcomer Keenan Simik Komaksiutiksak in performance and conversation with the fearless Candy Palmeter.
“In just three years the festival has become a catalyst for Indigenous artists to make brave new works and build relationships with each other. When I see the projects that these creators are leading and how they are engaging makers seen in the two previous festivals I am blown away. As I see the early edits for the coming shows I am in awe of the visions these artists bring to the screen.” says Heather Redfern, Executive Director, The Cultch.
TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival runsSeptember 23-Oct 2, 2021. All shows are available online with limited Watch Party tickets available for in-person film screenings and live After Show in the The Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St. Tickets are on sale now through The Cultch’s Box Office at 604-251-1363 or online at transformcabaret.com
*Urban Ink and The Cultch have been continually pivoting over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic to bring incredible performances to people all over the world. Both organizations are planning exciting programming for the upcoming year. The announcement of TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival 2021 is the first in both of their Fall Seasons, and will be followed by independent season announcements to come.