Family Day, Valentine’s Day, Black History Month and the Lunar New Year are all happening this month! Celebrate these occurrences by exploring the many musicals, roundtables, film fests, theatre plays and storytelling happening throughout the city.
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Next to Normal
Studio 16, Vancouver
Next to Normal is a 2010 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and an adaptation of this dramatic musical by West Moon Theatre is returning to Vancouver at Studio 16 this February. The show grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals. It was nominated for 11 Tony awards, winning three for Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a musical. This production features two sets of casts performing on alternate nights and is directed by Chris Lam. For tickets and more information, check out the website.
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The Imaginary Invention of a Nation: Iran in the 1930s and 1980s
Feb. 8, 7 p.m.
SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver
Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Sociology at New York University, Ali Mirsepassi will be coming to SFU Vancouver to discuss shifts in the way Iran is conceived in the popular Iranian imagination. Mirsepassi will draw on French philosophy and Islamic mysticism to explain this shift from imagining Iran as a modern and cosmopolitan nation to a new national social imaginary defined by religious identity and “national” tradition. For more information and RSVP, visit the website.
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Feb. 9, 8 p.m.
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby
Canadian singer-songwriter Ndidi Onukwulu will be performing at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts on Feb. 9. Born of a Nigerian father and a German mother, her lineage, like her music, explores the globe, then brings it back home. Her gypsy journey has collected a diverse range of sounds and styles that she weaves into an orchestration strong enough to support her strong lyrics and relentless vocals. As varied as her influences may be, they culminate in an expression of the blues that is undoubtedly Ndidi. For tickets and more information, check out the website.
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Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival
Various venues throughout Vancouver
The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival is an annual international nine day community festival, featuring mountain film screenings, live multimedia presentations, photography exhibitions, workshops, seminars and other special events. Presenting unique outdoor and mountaineering films that illustrate experiences and cultures from all corners of the globe, VIMFF brings communities together to promote positive values and active lifestyles. For a complete list of movies and showtimes, check out the festival website.
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Black History Month at Richmond Public Library
Feb. 10, 17 and 18
Richmond Public Library, Brighouse Branch
For the third year, the Richmond Public Library will be presenting programs, speakers and performances in celebration of Black History Month. This year’s theme is “Honouring Our Local Heroes,” examining and recognizing the vast contributions Afro-Canadians have made in our country. Topics to be discussed include Afro-Canadian contributions to war efforts, Hogan’s Alley, inspired inventions and childhood experiences. All programs are free and everyone is welcome to attend. Registration is required for all programs except for Hogan’s Alley. Visit the library’s website to register and for more information.
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Tenth Annual Children’s Arts Festival
Feb. 12, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Richmond Cultural Centre
Richmond’s annual festival of creativity for kids is bigger than ever for Family Day on Monday, Feb. 12 and there are four great ways to participate. Celebrate the festival’s tenth year by dancing the day away with the Big Easy Funk Ensemble, getting down with the Blues Berries, being amazed with the ever-popular Magic 2 Go, getting your sillies out with Tickle Me Pickle and creating your way through the many kid-inspired Imagination Stations.
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KDocs 2018: Kwantlen Documentary Film Festival
Vancity Theatre, Vancouver
KDocs, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s documentary film festival, fosters an interdisciplinary culture of faculty, staff, student, and public engagement through the viewing and discussion of documentary film. This year’s festival features documentaries showcasing Indigenous activism, prison life, electronic waste, labour rights, global arms trade and more. Films are introduced with a keynote address and some directors will be in attendance. For tickets and more information, please visit the website.
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18th Annual Chutzpah! Festival
Feb 15–March 15
Norman Rothstein Theatre, Vancouver and other venues
The Chutzpah! Festival is an annual performing arts festival committed to bringing world-
renowned international dance, music, theatre and comedy to Vancouver audiences. For four weeks, more than 100 award-winning performers from cultural hubs such as Canada, Bulgaria, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, the United States and Mexico take the stage of the Norman Rothstein Theatre and other venues around Vancouver. Check out their website for a complete list of performances.
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The 45th Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade
Feb. 18, 11 a.m.
Although the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Lunar calendar will begin on Friday, Feb. 16 in 2018, the Chinese New Year Parade will return for the 45th time on Sunday, Feb. 18. This signature event of Vancouver’s Chinatown will feature lion dances, cultural dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts performances and much more. Come see the sights and hear the sounds of the festivities! For more details, check out the website.
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The Jazz Epistles: Abdullah Ibrahim with guest Terence Blanchard
Feb 18, 7 p.m.
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, University Endowment Lands
The South African band The Jazz Epistles were young, swaggering, smart exponents of bop and cool-famous for their late-night jam sessions. Following the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre and the tightening of apartheid oppression, the sextet scattered to Europe and North America, pursuing individual careers. At the Chan Centre on Feb. 18, original member Abdullah Ibrahim will perform the music of The Jazz Epistles in a tribute to one of the most important jazz sessions to occur on South African soil. Grammy award winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard and others will join Ibrahim for this soul inspiring night.