Love is in the air! Celebrate Family Day and Valentine’s Day with your loved ones this month. Take your children to arts and crafts festivals to unleash their inner creativity. Take your special someone on a dinner cruise, to a fancy restaurant or to a burlesque show to enhance and spice up your relationship. And don’t forget to explore the many roundtables, dancing, orchestral music, theatre plays and storytelling happening throughout the city. It is also Black History Month, so be sure to catch the exhibits, displays and performances recognizing the achievements of people of African descent.
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‘How do we be together?’
A Roundtable on Art, Memory and Responsibility
Feb. 8, 6–9 p.m.
First Nations Longhouse, University of British Columbia
The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies will be hosting a roundtable at the UBC First Nations Longhouse to discuss the role of engaged artistic practice and creative scholarship. Featuring reflections and performances by invited artists and scholars, including Erika Diettes, Bronwyn Leebaw, Koju Kojwang and Anson Ching, they will discuss questions of social responsibility and transformative justice during or after mass atrocity, including genocide, disaster, war, displacement, colonialism or slavery. To reserve a seat for this free discussion, please visit their website.
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Children’s Art Festival
Feb. 13, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Richmond Cultural Centre at Minoru Gate
Richmond’s Cultural Centre at Minoru Gate will host the annual festival for creativity this year on Family Day. Especially designed for children of all ages, there will be exhibits, playgrounds, circus acts, magic shows and more. This year’s theme focuses on the 150th anniversary of the confederation of Canada. Learn how to create vivid animation and button blankets at creativity classes, watch Glowing Hearts, a heartfelt circus exploration of the true north, at the Imagination Stage and listen to the youth choir who will be representing B.C. as Unisong in Ottawa on July 1, 2017.
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Family Day at the Carousel
Feb. 13, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Burnaby Village Museum
Bring your young children down to Family Day at the Carousel at the Burnaby Village Museum. There will be entertainers, heritage-themed games, plenty of food and drinks, arts and crafts and, of course, unlimited carousel rides for the children’s riding pleasure. Pre-registering is recommended, although drop-ins are welcome, provided there is space. For further information and to pre-register, check out their website.
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Feb. 14, 8 p.m.
Rio Theatre, Vancouver
Spice up your relationship by taking your significant other to the Rio Theatre to enjoy Burlesque Duos, coupling renowned dancers together to perform truly memorable numbers and innovative duets. This highly anticipated Valentine’s Day event will feature eight Vancouver teasers paired up to present twice the fun and twice the feathers. Please visit their website for tickets and further information.
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Granville Island, Vancouver
Granville Island’s Winterruption Festival returns to Vancouver to provide a welcome respite from the city’s cold and grey winter. Featuring plenty of food, art, film, music and performances, there’s something for all ages on the Island. Check out Japanese Box Making at Opus, see artist Ola Volo paint a large mural at the Forge and watch Zimbabwean Master Carver Patrick Sephani carve works of art from stone live at the Ukama Gallery, among many other events. Please visit the Granville Island website for a complete list of events and attractions.
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Feb. 18, 8 p.m.
The Annex, Vancouver
Vancouver New Music will host the Norwegian vocal sextet a cappella group Nordic Voices at The Annex on Feb. 18. Featuring a new program of choral works, this performance will include Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, a humourous and positive thinking piece that brings together contemporary vocal works by György Ligeti, Goffredo Petrassi, Maja Ratkje and Lasse Thoresen. A highlight of the night includes Cecilie Ore’s new piece Dead Pope on Trial. There will be a free pre-show chat starting at 7:15 p.m. For excerpts of the group’s singing, tickets and more information, check out their website.
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Feb. 19, 2 p.m.
Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver
The Vancouver Academy of Music will be performing the spellbinding sounds of the 19th century French Romanticist composer Hector Berlioz at the Orpheum Theatre on Feb. 19. Conductor Leslie Dala will unveil the depths of despair of Berlioz’s artistic hero suffering from unrequited love and the spiritual journey he undertakes with the help of his lively imagination. Compositions from Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and local composer Benton Roark will open this performance. For tickets and information, check out VAM’s website.
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Black History Month Celebration
Feb. 23, 5 p.m.
Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall
The African Stages Association of B.C. is putting on one of the many Black History Month events throughout the province with their celebration of African culture and wisdom. Join teacher-director Comfort Ero and her youth group ensemble who will use dramatized storytelling, drumming and dancing to herald messages of solidarity and inclusion. Special guest Dr. Neal Hall will be reading from his poetry, bringing his message of fairness, justice and equality to the performance.