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Virtual Production Of Wheel Voices: Tune In!

26 Apr

For two nights in May, you are invited to check out the virtual production of Wheel Voices: Tune In!. It is a mashup of original scenes, rap, spoken word, and choral pieces. Featuring a cast of 14 Vancouver-based community artists, this virtual performance weaves personal stories rooted in the disability experience with passionate anthemic scenes, and one hilarious comedic take on revenge fantasy. 

Music is a common language; it dissolves barriers and strengthens bonds between people from many walks of life. Realwheels performers will come together in an online collaboration, demonstrating a range of talents across genres. Wheel Voices: Tune In! is edgy, poignant, funny as hell, and full of heart. 

Originally scheduled for production in May 2020, but postponed due to the pandemic, they have now put together this virtual production through online rehearsals, innovation, and tenacity. Each performer brings their originality, heart, and spark to the “stage”. Virtual shows run May 5 and 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm both evenings. Tickets are Pay What You Can. To grab your tickets, visit Reelwheels Theatre.

Fluevog Shoes Hosts A Virtual Spring Shopping Party April 29th

22 Apr

The Cultch invites you to their first virtual fundraising party with Fluevog Shoes. On April 29th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm you will be invited to purchase shoes during this Zoom event with the one and only John Fluevog in attendance. The bonus, is that 50% of the proceeds go directly to The Cultch and supporting the arts. An RSVP is required so to grab your spot, visit The Cultch.

As an added bonus, you will also have the opportunity to purchase and enjoy a bottle of wine from Liberty Wine Merchants who have curated a selection of discounted wines exclusively for this event. A list of wines will be provided with your RSVP confirmation.

Firehall Arts Centre Presents An Outdoor Exhibition Yellow Objects May 11-22

16 Apr

The Firehall Arts Centre is hosting the world premiere of yellow objects, an exhibition created by Derek Chan, from Tuesday, May 11 to Saturday, May 22, 2021. The exhibition will take place outdoors in the Firehall Arts Centre’s courtyard and is limited to 10 patrons per showing. There will be no live performers – only objects, voice recordings, and projections. Over the 12 day exhibition, there will be a total of 50 showings, each 40 minutes in length. yellow objects invites us to question our responsibility to future generations by stepping into a Hong Kong of two eras – 2019 and 2050. “This piece is a collection of what was, what has been, what is, and what could be,” says Chan. “It’s a rally for the ones who are still risking their lives out there; written in remembrance of those who cannot be there anymore; a lament of families broken and loves lost.”  The production is. inspired by the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and the Chinese government’s oppressive enforcement of the National Security Law in July 2020. Individuals can step into the world of yellow objects through the shoes of protagonists ‘Sandra Wong’ and ‘Uncle Chan’.

Prior to visiting the exhibition at the Firehall Arts Centre’s courtyard, patrons can take part in a series of short digital narrative adventures, which will be available on April 19, April 26, and May 3 via Rice and Beans Theatre. This digital component is an introduction and portal into the exhibition piece.

Through the exhibition piece, taking place May 11-22, patrons can witness the rest of ‘Sandra’ and ‘Uncle Chan’s’ journey to Hong Kong from 2019 to 2050 – with a walk through the Chinese underworld and beyond – culminating in a final act of political defiance against tyranny.

The Firehall Arts Centre’s Artistic Producer Donna Spencer says, “It is exciting to showcase this very pertinent and challenging exhibition at a time when the world’s eyes are on Hong Kong and the dismantling of the democratic movement there. Derek and his collaborators have found a way to share this important information in a COVID-safe exhibition that is dramatically compelling.”

COVID protocols: Between each showing, the venue will be sanitized as per COVID-19 protocols. Patrons will be required to wear a mask and follow the two-metre social distancing rule. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Ticket prices range from $15 to $25. To purchase your ticket, visit the Firehall Arts Centre.

Indian Summer Festival Launches Public Art Street Banner Project with Punjabi Market

12 Apr

Vancouver’s Punjabi Market plays host to an exciting new visual art project and collaboration featuring colourful street banners that line the area. Curated by the Indian Summer Festival, in partnership with the Punjabi Market Regenerative Collective, banners feature high calibre artwork from Musqueam (Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) artist, Debra Sparrow (θəliχʷəlʷət) and Jag Nagra, artist and Collective member. The project looked at the idea of place and placemaking in the context of the Punjabi Market being located on unceded, ancestral Musqueam territory and marking 51 years of existence as an important hub for the South Asian community.

The Indian Summer Festival asked the two accomplished artists to respond to the Punjabi Market’s call for ideas to celebrate cultural traditions in the community. The resulting street banners are installed on Main Street between 48th and 52nd streets and will adorn the neighbourhood from April 12, 2021, until 2023. The Musqueam Nation’s banners are installed on the first and last poles on the street as an ‘embrace’ of this project and the Punjabi Market.

“The two banners I designed comprise of a phulkari pattern and a peacock,” says Jag Nagra, artist and member of the Punjabi Market Regeneration Collective. “Phulkari is traditional embroidery from the Punjab region of India where individual stitches create bold, colourful patterns. And much like the phulkari, what makes up a community is the weaving of individuals. Thread by individual thread is intertwined to tell a story, one that connects us all.”

Roadways in our world today
Replace the rivers that were the roadways of the past
Where people congregate for food and gatherings
In Musqueam, the old people tell a story
Of a two-headed serpent making its way through the waterways
Leaving behind lilies…
Over the last two centuries, the story has disappeared deep into the bottom of the river
Only to reemerge in a vision by Isaiah Sparrow after the story was related to him
It is an honour to have such a young man following his history
Bringing back stories that are never ending and important for the places we live.
The geometric designs reflect the blanket patterns woven by Musqueam women,
And are as old as time…
The modern designed birds are filled with Salish elements
Like us, in this modern day world we adapt to.         
The colours are in keeping with Jag Nagra 
And her amazing reflection of her history,
Both as ancient as time
We walk together on this land

Debra Sparrow

The Cultch Presents The Essentials April 16-18, 2021

25 Mar

The Cultch and Soft Cedar bring The Essentials to the stage for three online performances incorporating live and pre-recorded elements, for a unique concert experience, April 16-18, 2021.

For three days only, live from The Cultch’s York Theatre, renowned Vancouver musician, Khari Wendell McClelland is joined on stage virtually by local and international musicians, scholars, and poets in a multidisciplinary performance exploring the question: What is essential and needed in these times? With the help of award-winning poets as well as acclaimed scholars, Khari and the musicians joining him each night, probe the pressing questions facing us today as we encounter unprecedented societal, environmental, and public health challenges.

While the full allotment of poets and scholars will be a part of each performance, along with sound bath artist Faye Mallet, other musical guests will be different each night. Friday, April 16 sees Wendell McClelland joined by the gospel trio The Sojourners, Kwakiutl Hereditary Chief Henry Seaweed, the St. James Music Academy, as well as the folk duo, Twin Bandit. Saturday, April 17 brings another night of incredible performance with JUNO award-winning oud/guitarist, Gordon Grdina, as well as Soul/R&B heavy hitter, Tanika Charles. Sunday, April 18 will be Inuit style throat singing duo, PIQSIQ, and Vancouver’s favourite high energy dance band, Queer As Funk. 

If you wish to check out this unforgettable performance that aims to bring people together in this time of isolation, visit The Cultch for tickets.


The Cultch Presents Out Of Order March 18 – 21, 2021

9 Mar

The Cultch invites you to a very different online experience with Out Of Order. This is a ground-breaking contemporary circus collective that features spectacular acrobatics from the Montreal based troupe 7 Fingers. During this past year, art has been transformed and this production highlights just that. With theatres empty, meeting places and cultural venues no longer permitted to open, physical contact prohibited, artists have been forced to meet secretly in forsaken spaces. The big top used to be a space where they practiced their craft but was achingly deserted. Out of Order showcases this post-apocalyptic setting with ten gloved and masked characters who scrutinize one another, prepare, approach and avoid contact. They come from all walks of life. These amazing performers forgotten during the pandemic, cling to their vocation and create an apocalyptic new reality. To catch this awe inspiring video streamed performance, visit The Cultch to grab your ticket.

Free Virtual Performance of White Rabbit Red Rabbit March 13th

26 Feb

Do you remember Friday, March 13, 2020? We certainly do, it was when our daily lives changed, some sooner, some later, but this was a defining date for many. On this date, one year later, The Cultch is participating in a worldwide initiative to mark a year of theatre closures due to covid-19. On March 13, 2021, The Cultch along with its theatre community will be celebrating the resiliency of artists. An international company, Aurora Nova initiated this global event in which theatre companies around the world will stream performances of White Rabbit Red Rabbit. This is an award winning play from Iranian playwright, Nassim Solemanipour and performed by Amanda Sum. There are no rehearsals or director. The script is waiting in a sealed envelope on stage. This will be something to see, no two performances are ever the same. To reserve your spot to watch this theatrical experiment, visit The Cultch.

The Cultch presents Mx February 18 – 24, 2021

14 Feb

The Cultch and Off The Corner Productions bring you a live streamed show to your living room February 18 – 24, 2021. You are invited to The Nancy Show where each night one lucky guest from the African Diaspora is granted a unique opportunity to reconnect to their ancestors. This is where you will find Max, a gender-questioning and mixed-race introvert, who has hopes of gaining insight into their African ancestry, and finding a better understanding of where they fit in the Black community. Max is seeking answers to some of life’s major questions – What of culture and ancestry lives within us, and how much is determined by our upbringing? Does blood equal belonging?—Max meets the famed Mz Nancy, our host for the night. Witty and glamorous, Nancy seems to have an answer for everything… but, as Max discovers, things are never black and white. 

Mx is written by an emerging playwright Lili Robinson which is inspired by personal experience. Robinson was “Raised in Vancouver by my white Canadian mother, I grew up with little connection to the city’s Black community, which was at that time particularly small in number. It was not until late into my teens, witnessing the onslaught of police murders of unarmed Black people in the States, that I was unavoidably confronted with the question, ‘Where do I fit?’ Robinson goes on to say that . “Doing this show means being able to engage frankly with dynamics around the consumption of Black culture, the politics of mixed-race identity, and white folks’ engagement, or lack thereof, with the topic of race.”   To pick up your tickets, visit The Cultch.

What people are saying about Mx:

“Mx addresses racism, Black erasure, and the complicity of false “color blindness” — but leaving no stone unturned, it also confronts what can be the false promises of performative Black culture.”
THE PEAK

“Check your privilege at the door. Mx will challenge and make you feel uncomfortable…At its most powerful, Mx also calls upon members of the audience to be more than purely witnesses.”
VANCOUVER PRESENTS

Love Songs With Jill Barber February 14th

3 Feb

The Cultch along with The National Arts Centre invite you for an evening of live music by Jill Barber this Valentine’s Day. Jill will be performing some heartbreak ballads, steamy love songs and classic French chansons. The event will be live streamed from The Cultch to your living room. You can get dressed up for the occasion, or well not. Entirely your call. As with most celebrations this past year, Valentine’s Day will be a little different. This is a great way to support local arts and take in some beautiful music. This performance will be live streamed at 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time and 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on February 14, 2021. Tickets start at $17.93. To purchase yours, visit The Cultch. If you aren’t familiar with Jill Barber, we invite you to give this You Tube clip a listen.

East Van’s Housewives Of Hip Hop Kicking It On Tik Tok

17 Jan

Truth be told, we are not big fans of reality TV shows and even the mention of the housewives shows make our eyes glaze over. Then something caught our eye on a scroll through Instagram recently and we were hooked, East Van’s very own Housewives of Hip Hop.   These ladies we can get behind.  They are 6 moms brought together by their love of dance and having fun. Along their journey, they have built meaningful friendships as an added bonus.

It all started 6 years ago when the moms were dropping their kids off at Boogaloo Academy for a dance class. The ladies decided the kids were having all the fun and they wanted in on some of that. Soon after, the owner of Boogaloo Academy, Jheric Hizon, taught them some hip hop moves which they then performed at a studio year end dance and that’s where the journey took off.  In 2018, they entered some dance competitions in the “adult street dance” category and next thing you know, the ladies won 2 silver medals and invites to perform at the WestCoast Women’s Show and the Victoria Women’s Show.

So who are the women behind the Housewives of Hip Hop?  There are 6 women in total, Kerrie, Mirella, Alexa, Jen, Julie and Natalie.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they have been unable to dance as a group in studio, so 3 of the East Van moms who live close to each other have been dancing in back lanes, carports and parks in various parts of East Van getting their grove on to some great tunes. For those who danced their way through the 80s and 90s, you’ll recognize a number of songs. The music takes us back to a much simpler time in life, a lot to be said for that in a pandemic.

To date, the Housewives of Hip Hop have 2.7 million views on TikTok. You can check them out there, or give them a follow on Instagram @thehousewivesofhophop to cheer them on. Most video clips are 12 -15 seconds.

The Housewives of Hip Hop also have a message they wish to share with women of all ages. Find something that brings you joy.  They would like to inspire others to be true themselves, have fun and follow their passions.  They have secretly found theirs.

Photos & Video: Courtesy of The Housewives Of Hip Hop

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