Cultural Calendar

Aphoristic Currents by Meryl McMaster, on exhibit at the Richmond Art Gallery.| Photo courtesy of Meryl McMaster and Katzman Contemporary.

Welcome to 2017! I hope all of you had a great holiday season, and I wish all the best to everyone for a prosperous year! Start off the new year right by checking out the many festivals, exhibitions, talks, plays and expos throughout the Lower Mainland this month. Check out French Canadian culture at Fort Langley or take in an engaging theatrical play. And make sure to warm yourself up this winter by enjoying a cup of delicious steaming hot chocolate!

* * *

The Fighting Season

Jan. 10–21

Bleeding Heart Theatre, Vancouver


The Fighting Season, a critical favourite from the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival, returns to the city this month at the Bleeding Heart Theatre. Written by Sean Harris Oliver and directed by Evan Frayne, this play examines the Afghan war through the eyes of a Canadian field medic, a doctor and a recovery room nurse. The play was inspired by Oliver’s father’s real-life experiences as a military surgeon in Afghanistan. For showtimes and tickets, check out The Cultch’s website.


* * *

The Suitcase: Intergenerational Healing through Traces of the Past

Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m.

Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia


Join Liu Scholars Lyana Patrick and Ashli Akins on Jan. 13 as they discuss their current exhibit The Suitcase, on display until Jan. 31 at the Lobby Gallery at UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues. Patrick and Akins’ interests lie in intergenerational memory and the power of art to palatably convey the themes of collective memory, intergenerational knowledge transmission and intergenerational storytelling. Their multimedia exhibit examines the life of Patrick’s Gramma Aloo exploring the themes of intergenerational healing and reconciliation through the written word through the lens of the B.C. Carrier Nation. A reception will be held after the talk. For more information, check out their website.


* * *

TedXLangleyEd: Courage and Curiosity

Jan. 14, 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Chief Sepass Theatre, Fort Langley


This independently organized TED event returns for a third year to bring together speakers and presenters dedicated to discussing the future of learning, education and educational pedagogy at Fort Langley’s Chief Sepass Theatre on Jan. 14. Speakers will touch on many topics including empathy, community building, inclusion, imagination, reconciliation and perseverance. For further information, check out their website.


* * *

Gluten Free Expo

Jan. 14–15

Canada Place, Vancouver


The Vancouver Convention Centre at Canada Place will be hosting the Gluten Free Expo on the weekend of Jan. 14, featuring numerous exhibitors, cooking demonstrations, dietitian presenters and, of course, plenty of tasty gluten free culinary dishes to sample. Listen to presentations from registered dietitians helping you to create healthier diets, and watch chefs create healthy gluten free versions of pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese puffs), cinnamon buns, feta rolls, perogies and more. For tickets and further information, please check out their website.


* * *

Meryl McMaster: Confluence

Jan. 14–March 19

Richmond Art Gallery


The Richmond Art Gallery will be hosting photographic artist Meryl McMaster’s latest exhibit Confluence from Jan. 14 to March 19. An artist of Plains Cree and Euro-Canadian heritage, McMaster explores the dimensions of her own sense of identity and the complex history of the photographic representation of Indigenous peoples. Join the artist and curator Heather Anderson at the opening reception on Jan. 14, 3–5 p.m. For more information, check out their website.


* * *

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Jan. 16–Feb. 5

Various venues


For the 13th time, the PuSh Festival returns to Vancouver to showcase innovative and transformative art from artists representing 11 countries. There will be 27 performances spread over three weeks, featuring staggering spectacles, immersive encounters, theatrical adaptations and more. Catch a Korean performance piece about sexuality and technology, an African adaptation of MacBeth, an Australian aboriginal music band and more at PuSh. For more shows and event details, please visit their website.


* * *

Moved by Portraits

Deer Lake Gallery, Burnaby

Jan. 16–Feb. 6


Deer Lake Gallery will be hosting a group exhibition, Moved by Portraits, featuring the work of Yue Baoyu, Bill Edmonds, Jeremy Henrickson and Louise Solecki-Weir, who have infused the portrait art form with creative new life. Baoyu combines Chinese and European portraiture traditions into his work. Edmonds’ work explores the themes of anonymity and the Internet. Henrickson uses watercolour, acrylic, inks, oils and collage to explore the nature of persona. And Solecki-Weir uses clay to create connections between art, healing and forensics. The gallery will host an opening reception on Jan. 16, 2–4 p.m.


* * *

Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon 27

Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver Playhouse


The Global Civic Policy Society will be hosting their 27th salon featuring notable individuals who have contributed to the civic well-being of the city through their profession or research. This salon will feature presentations from an addiction physician, a comedian, an entrepreneur and architects, among others. For tickets and further information, check out their website.


* * *

The Nether

Jan. 18–28

Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver


Come on down to the Firehall Arts Centre to take in one of the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s critics’ favourite productions, The Nether. In the near-future, the Internet has evolved into the Nether, a next-generation network featuring virtual-reality realms. Directed by Chris Lam and featuring David Bloom and Lissa Neptuno, this detective story explores the nature of virtual realms, fantasy and morality and raises questions about ethical behaviour, both online and offline. For tickets and showtimes, check out the Firehall Arts Centre website.


* * *

Seventh Annual Hot Chocolate Festival

Jan. 19–Feb. 14

Various stores


Warm up this cold winter with a cup of delicious hot chocolate at the Hot Chocolate Festival, returning to Vancouver for the seventh time. Local chocolate makers will come together to create some of the most unique, flavourful and delicious hot chocolate beverages for your drinking pleasure. Previous years’ concoctions have included 60 different flavours like butternut squash almond milk with a smoked oyster on the side and additions like hazelnut Crown Royal whiskey marshmallows. For this year’s menu, visit the festival website.


* * *

Vive les Voyageurs – French Canadian Winter Festival

Jan. 21–22, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Fort Langley National Historic Site


Bring the family down to take in the sounds of French Canada with the folklore and culture of 19th century voyageurs and fur traders at Fort Langley’s National Historic Site. Workshops, dancing, food and music of the French Canadian voyageurs will be on full display at this Canada 150 Anniversary event. For further information, check out their website.