Cultural Calendar

A fresh retelling of Romeo and Juliet by Ballet BC.| Photo courtesy of Ballet BC.

The days are getting longer, and the weather a bit warmer; spring is just around the corner. Soon you will be able to frolic outside while the cherry blossoms are in bloom, the warm spring sun shines down on you and the allergies return. But, there’s one more month of winter left, and it’s not that warm out yet, so why not check out some of these indoor events and festivals happening now around town.

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Feb. 21–March 3

Surrey Arts Centre

Inspired by a poem and opera from the 1800s in which handsome rogue Evgeni Onegin visits the Larin family estate (his romantic charms stirring passions long forgotten by its residents), Onegin creators Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille have turned the story into a hit musical that’s a rock concert, back kitchen party and love poem. The seven-member cast, sharing the stage with three musicians, begins with a wild opening number where they tell the audience “We hope to please, we hope to charm, we hope to break you open.” This play will run until March 3 at the Surrey Arts Centre. Visit the website for tickets and more information.

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Ballet BC: Romeo and Juliet

Feb. 22–24 (Preview Feb. 21)

Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

A first for Ballet BC’s repertoire, English playwright William Shakespeare’s classic story Romeo and Juliet has inspired many artists with its tragic tale of “star-crossed lovers.” Compelling in its timelessness, the work captures audiences with its deeply human story and enduring themes of love, fate and family. Reflecting on the divisions that persist in today’s world and featuring choreography by international dancer Medhi Walerski, Ballet BC will offer a fresh and thought-provoking retelling of the classic that profoundly resonates today. For tickets and showtimes, check out the website.

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Vancouver Badass Film Festival

Feb. 23–25

Rio Theatre, Vancouver

The Rio Theatre on Broadway will host the Fourth Annual Vancouver Badass Film Festival, which features the best in new extreme genre film from around the world. The festival highlights new films from maverick film legends old and new, showcasing a variety of international and Canadian horror, neo noir, wild action and avant-garde films. Festivities include interactive sessions with visionary filmmakers and cast, an awards gala and unforgettable spectacle and parties. Please visit the website, for tickets and showtimes.

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Vancouver International Humanitarian Law Conference: Enforcing Humanity

Feb. 24, 12:30–6 p.m.

Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC, University Endowment Lands

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) limits and prevents human suffering in armed conflict. Attend the IHL conference as they examine the challenges of enforcing IHL in a fast-changing world. Conference sessions include an introduction to international humanitarian law, an overview of the forms of justice, enforcement of IHL and real stories from real people impacted by war. Speakers include Canadian Red Cross advisor Jonathan Somer, Allard law professor James Stewart and Innocence Lost Director Fazineh Keita. To register, please visit the website.

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Vancouver International Wine Festival

Feb. 24–March 4

Vancouver Convention Centre

The Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier food and wine event, returns to the city for the 40th time to celebrate the finest wines throughout the world. This year’s event celebrates wine from the two Iberian countries: Portugal and Spain, featuring 58 winemakers and 22 events from the Iberian peninsula. There will be educational wine seminars, lunch minglers, gala dinners and, of course, wine tastings! For a complete list of events and winemakers in attendance, check out the festival website.

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2018 Vancouver International Dance Festival

March 1–24

Various venues throughout Vancouver

The Vancouver International Dance Festival returns to the city with a diverse and dynamic roster of internationally celebrated artists and local favourites, presenting three weeks of endlessly enriching performances, workshops and a host of dance activities this March at various venues throughout Vancouver. Catch the Shen Wei Dance Arts at the Vancouver Playhouse, Goh Ballet at the Roundhouse, or Amber Funk Barton at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. Please visit the festival website for a complete list of shows.

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šxʷʔam̓ət (home)

March 2–10

Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver

šxʷʔam̓ət (home) is Theatre for Living’s production on issues of Reconciliation, which will be returning to the Firehall Arts Centre this March for a final run after a 20 community tour across B.C. and Alberta. What does Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people look and feel like? How does this idea of Reconciliation translate into our day to day human relationships? This audience-interactive play puts real, tough current issues on the stage about the blockages we all face moving towards Reconciliation. It asks the “What now?” question in regards to Reconciliation and compels audiences to think about Reconciliation not as a “thing of the past,” but something that permeates many aspects of all of our lives. For tickets and more information, check out the website.

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Fire Flowers

March 3, 7:30 p.m.

St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church, Vancouver

The resilience of the human spirit is celebrated in a compelling program by one of Canada’s most renowned choirs, the Elektra Women’s Choir. Named for a work for choir and marimba by choral composer Timothy Corlis, the concert includes a world premiere by composer Carol Barnett, sonorous polyphony by Ferrarese noblewoman Leonora d’Este (1515–1575) and a rich program of other living composers. For tickets and more information, check out the choir’s website.

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The Velveteen Rabbit

March 3–25

Waterfront Theatre at Granville Island, Vancouver

Take your young children to the Waterfront Theatre for the Carousel Theatre’s adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit, by the British-American author Margery Williams running this March. This charming tale celebrates boundless imagination and the power of believing. With a dash of magic, three actors transform their play space into a children’s nursery with a rocking horse, a cavalcade of mechanical toys, a kind-hearted fairy and a toy rabbit who is transformed by one little boy’s love. Please visit the theatre’s website for tickets and more information.

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Living, Building, Thinking: Art & Expressionism

March 3–May 21

Vancouver Art Gallery

Expressionism is invariably associated with the period of art and social activism in Germany between 1905 and 1937, encompassing visual art, literature, philosophy, theatre, film, photography and architecture. In the context of an expanded view on the subject, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibit Living, Building, Thinking offers a rich and thought-provoking perspective on the relationships between artists and societies, and the ever-changing responses and visual expressions that circulate through shared hopes and aspirations for social awareness and change.