Cultural Calendar

Children of God at the York Theatre.| Photo by Matt Barnes.

Well, it’s already May! This month has Victoria Day, Mother’s Day, African Cultural Week and Asian Heritage Month, among many others, which means there will be plenty of events and festivals to attend. Visit exhibits and roundtable discussions to stimulate your intellect, watch plays and musicals to excite your senses, and check out farmers markets and food carts to tickle your taste buds! Take a look below for some of the activities and events happening around town this month.

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May 11–12, 8 p.m.

Roundhouse Performance Centre, Vancouver

Caravan World Rhythms and Time Will Tell Artists will present VanAfrica, a collaboration between Vancouver’s top African musicians and dancers in a musical journey across Africa. The performance will feature the traditional music and dance of more than six different ethnic groups and four different countries and will be led by a cast of some of Vancouver’s most exciting practitioners of African performing arts, including special guest Ghanaian performer Awal Alhassan from Seattle. Check out Caravan’s website for a list of performers, tickets and showtimes.


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From Japan to Canada

May 11–June 8

Port Moody Arts Centre

The Port Moody Arts Centre invites you to their latest exhibit, From Japan to Canada, opening May 11. On display are paintings by three Japanese Canadian artists, Mitsuko Fujino, Yoshi Kamei and Ken Suzuki, showing their appreciation of both Canadian and Japanese culture. This show also includes an historical installation by Robert Shiozaki, as well as cultural demonstrations by community groups. There will be an opening reception on May 11 with the artists in attendance and a Spring Festival on Saturday, May 27. For more information, please visit their website.


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I Survived the Deletion

May 14, 2 p.m.

Havana Theatre, Vancouver

The Havana Theatre in East Vancouver will present a true story of defiance, heartbreak and spiritual awakening, written and performed by artist Janette Damsma. This musical monologue is laced with enchantment, satire and gothic undercurrents, as an artist searches for the meaning of life and conveys her personal journey of adopting the theories of Universal Law in order to break free from the grips of addictions, religious dogma and romantic obsessions. For tickets and further information, please visit the website.


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Children of God

May 17–June 3

York Theatre, Vancouver

The Cultch will host Children of God at the York Theatre from May 17 to June 3. In this stirring musical performance, the children of an Oji-Cree family are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. This is a story of redemption: for a mother who was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids, who never knew she came. The musical presents an exhilerating mix of ancient traditions and contemporary realities, celebrating resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit. Visit The Cultch’s website for tickets and further information.


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Comedy on Wheels

May 18–20, 8 p.m.

Performance Works on Granville Island, Vancouver

The award-winning theatre company Realwheels will present Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs! on May 18 to 20 at Performance Works on Granville Island. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the performance will showcase members of the disability community in performances that capitalize on one of our greatest assets – the ability to use humour and storytelling to cope with life’s challenges. For tickets and a list of performers, please visit their website.


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Institute of Asian Art Inaugural Symposium

May 19, 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery will host a symposium on Asian art on May 19. Featuring seven writers, artists and scholars from North America and Asia, this symposium looks at diaspora experiences, art practices in national and transnational contexts and the significance of art institutions in providing cross-cultural encounters that recognize and reflect their diasporic communities. Seating is first come, first served. Please visit the Vancouver Art Gallery’s website for tickets and further information.


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May 19, 8 p.m.

Vancouver Playhouse

Coastal City Ballet will present the illustrious and beloved ballet Giselle on May 19 at the Vancouver Playhouse. Since its Paris premiere in 1841, Giselle has become the epitome of ballet romanticism. The ballet tells the tale of a young peasant girl betrayed by a nobleman disguised as a commoner. Unable to withstand the prince’s deception, Giselle dies of a broken heart only to join the ranks of the supernatural Wilis, restless spirits who have died before their wedding day. A haunting story of innocence and betrayal, and a timeless tale about the redemptive power of love, Irene Schneider’s Giselle features some of ballet’s most dramatic scenes and otherworldly images. For tickets and further information, please visit their website.


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African Roots Ultimate Experience

May 21, 8 p.m.–12:30 a.m.

The WISE Hall & Lounge, Vancouver

Experience your rhythm and enrich your senses at the African Roots Ultimate Experience, a part of the fifth annual African Cultural Week, held at the WISE Hall on May 21. The experience features contemporary dance, West African drumming and afternoon workshops, as well as food and drink. Please visit their websites for tickets and more information.


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European Festival

May 27–28

Swangard Stadium, Burnaby

The mingling of the myriad European cultures returns to Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium for the 20th time. Try a Ukrainian borscht, while listening to Spanish Flamenco and watching dueling European Medieval and Renaissance combatants. Don’t forget to down a mug of European beer at the beer garden! Please visit their website for a complete list of participants and performers.