Cultural Calendar

Enjoy a few weeks under the cherry blossoms.| Photo by Clarence Chan.

Spring is here and a lot of events happening around town are focusing on the beauty and importance of our environment. Check out the cherry blossoms at this year’s Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Experience a visual feast of wildlife and nature, conservation and the environment, through the lens of international and local filmmakers at the Elements Film Festival. And march down Commercial Drive in honour of Earth Day, a global event dedicated to bringing awareness of the multitude of environmental catastrophes affecting our planet.

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Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

April 3–29

Various neighbourhoods around Vancouver

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival story is one of romance. It is an annual celebration that marks the reawakening in our community of all that makes us alive and human. We smile at one another. We take our lunches under the spreading blossoms. We spend the warming nights beneath illuminated clouds of flowers. We celebrate as people have celebrated since time immemorial, with poetry, music, dance, good food and drink, laughter and love. This April visit the myriad neighbourhoods for events centered on the cherry blossom tree. Visit the festival website for more information.

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Incident at Vichy

April 11–22

Studio 16, Vancouver

Arthur Miller’s tale Incident at Vichy playing at Studio 16 this month portrays persecution and anti-Semitism during the early days of the Second World War. During the Nazi occupation, a group of people are detained in a warehouse in the “Free Zone” of Vichy, France under suspicion of being Jewish. Their unease, fear and confusion is stirred up as they contemplate what options they may have left. What fate awaits them? For tickets and showtimes, check out Theatre in the Raw’s website.

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Elements Film Festival

April 14–15

Telus World of Science, Vancouver

The Elements Film Festival will be held at the Telus World of Science on April 14 and 15, featuring dozens of environmentally-focused films, both shorts and feature length, from countries all over the world. Experts, filmmakers and accomplished scientists will engage in panel discussions and Q&A’s following the sessions. Take an extreme look at the waters of the Indian Ocean, the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Marañón River in Peru through the lenses of some of the world’s most intrepid filmmakers. Check out the film festival’s website for a complete schedule of events.

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Elizabeth Hollick: Body Politic

April 14–June 10

Surrey Art Gallery

The Surrey Art Gallery will be showcasing the works of White Rock painter and muralist Elizabeth Hollick until June 10. Often startling and always colourful, the paintings by Hollick unite the human body with the world at large. She is celebrated throughout Surrey for her lively figurative paintings of local places, stories and characters. For many years she has also been fascinated by human anatomy, as well as the architecture and landscape of White Rock. With her signature humour, each painting in Body Politic portrays the connections between the privacy of the interior world and the development of society at large.

Elizabth Hollick’s paintings unite body and world.| Photo courtesy of Surrey Art Gallery

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Daymé Arocena and Roberto Fonseca

April 15, 7 p.m.

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, University Endowment Lands

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts will present Afro-Cuban neo-soul singer Daymé Arocena and Havana-born piano virtuoso Roberto Fonseca in an exhilarating co-bill on April 15. These shining talents who draw from Cuba’s storied musical tradition will each ignite the stage – Arocena with her intoxicating vocals and Fonseca with his sophistication on the keys – offering a fresh and modern take on the styles rooted in their Caribbean home country. For tickets and more information, please check out the Chan Centre’s website.

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National Canadian Film Day

April 18

Various venues across Canada

The National Canadian Film Day has always been about encouraging all Canadians to celebrate the incredible achievements of the country’s filmmakers. On April 18, join your fellow Canadians in theatres, libraries, schools, public squares and drive-ins across the country as we celebrate our nation’s cinema. For a complete list of films playing around Metro Vancouver, please visit the NCFD’s website

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Light Transforming: Choral Explorations II with Michael Zaugg

April 20, 8 p.m.

Dunbar Ryerson United Church, Vancouver

On April 20, the Vancouver Chamber Choir will be presenting Light Transforming, a collection of choral works guest conducted by Swiss-Canadian conductor Michael Zaugg. This last choral presentation of this musical season will bring the whole range of vocal expression – from the majesty of choir and orchestra to the multi-hued palette of unaccompanied voices. Zaugg’s programme will have many new and intriguing choral works by Rautavaara, Rheinberger, Whitacre, Archer, Saint-Saëns, Elgar, Knudson and Joby Talbot. Visit the choir’s website for a full repertoire list.

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Make It! The Handmade Revolution

April 20–22

Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver

Since 2008, Make It has grown to become one of the most popular and well-attended craft fairs in Canada, with biannual shows in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Over 180 Makies (and some brand new ones too!) are bringing their beautiful handmade goodies back to the Forum at the Pacific National Exhibition for a fabulous spring show! Stock up on accessories, jewellery, clothing, art, home decor, food, baby/kid items and lots of other beautifully crafted goods. As always, there will be delicious food trucks and a beer garden so make sure you come hungry and thirsty! Check out the Make It website for more information.

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Eighth Annual Earth Day Parade

April 21, 1–5 p.m.

Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Earth Day is a global event campaigning on behalf of environmental protection of our precious Earth. On April 21 at 1 p.m., there will be an Earth Day parade on Commercial Drive from Broadway-Commercial Station to Grandview Park to bring awareness of the problem of excess plastic pollution. Participants will be greeted by a celebration complete with speakers, musicians and all the good things that come with gathering together as a community to address the things that matter most today. The event is family friendly, and youth from the across the Lower Mainland are welcome and encouraged to come. To learn more about the parade visit To learn more about the global initiative, please check out

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Spirit Horse

April 21–29

Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island, Vancouver

Spirit Horse will be playing at the Waterfront Theatre from April 21 to 29. This powerful production follows the adventures of two First Nations children whose family is caught between traditional ways and urban culture. Angelina and Jesse’s lives are changed forever when their grandfather, who lives by the old ways on a prairies reserve, brings them a horse that has mysteriously appeared to him. The children feel an incredible bond to this majestic animal, which links the girls and their dad to their Stoney Nation heritage. The play is recommended for ages eight and older due to some challenging themes, intense moments and high-stakes scenes of action and adventure.