Cultural Calendar

Happy May Day everyone! May Day is an ancient spring festival, traditionally happening on May 1. Dancing, music and good food are a common part of these festivals. In that spirit, why not check out some of the many festivals happening around town!

Sheldon Elter strumming out his story in Métis Mutt.| Photo courtesy of Firehall Arts Centre.

* * *

Sheldon Elter’s Métis Mutt

April 25–May 5

Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver

Métis actor, writer, stand-up comic, musician and director Sheldon Elter’s Métis Mutt will be presented at the Firehall Arts Centre from April 25 to May 5. Métis Mutt recounts the story of Sheldon’s coming of age under extremely difficult family and cultural circumstances. The child of a violently alcoholic father, Sheldon struggles to come to grips with his feelings about being the eldest child in an abusive household. Experiencing bigotry from both sides of the racial fence, he attempts to understand both what drives him psychologically and what is important to him culturally. Through stand-up comedy, original songs, storytelling and brilliant multi-character vignettes, audiences are invited to share the journey of this young Métis man and watch him pull himself out of a destructive cycle and carve out a creative life for himself.

* * *

Vancouver World Music Festival

April 26–29

Various venues around Vancouver

The Vancouver World Music Festival is dedicated to presenting local and international artists playing traditional music from around the globe. This year’s festival features groups playing Mexican fusion, alternative soul, modern Afrobeat, Latin flamenco, Brazilian rhythms and more. Most performances will be held at The Imperial, but there will be an opening night at Guilt & Co., and further performances at Trout Lake Community Centre. For more information, check out the festival website.

* * *

Vancouver Opera Festival

April 28–May 6

Various locations around Vancouver

From April 28 to May 6, under the banner of the Russian White Nights, the second annual Vancouver Opera Festival will celebrate Russian composers with a Russian classic opera, a much anticipated opera premiere, a series of instrumental and vocal chamber music concerts and much more. Performances based on the works of Russian cultural giants like Nikolai Gogol, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff will punctuate this festival. Please visit the festival website for a complete list of events.

* * *

International Dance Day 2018

April 29, 12–7 p.m.

Various locations around Metro Vancouver

In 1982 the Dance Committee of UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute founded International Dance Day, to be celebrated every year on April 29, the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727–1810) who is regarded as the creator of modern ballet. Its goal is to celebrate dance around the world, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross political, cultural and ethnic barriers and to bring people together with a common language – dance. In that spirit, the Vancouver Dance Centre will be putting on performances celebrating the dance form. Check out their website for more information.

* * *

Pan Asian Routes Art Exhibition – Dimasalang Turns 50

May 1–30

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Filipino artistic group Dimasalang, whose artwork and inspired artworks will be on display in May at the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch. The group was co-founded by SYM Mendoza and late artist-writer E. Aguilar (Abe) Cruz in Manila, Philippines in 1968 in honour of the Philippine national hero and freedom fighter, Jose Rizal, a revolutionary writer who used Dimasalang as his pseudonym during the turn of the 19th century when the Philippines was under Spanish rule. In 1981, SYM moved to Canada with his family where he formed a new set of “Canadian Dimasalang Artists,” continuing to teach the Philippine artistic style to Vancouver artists. There will be an opening reception on May 3. Check out the website for more information.

* * *

EMMA Talks: Feminist Muslim Voices

May 3, 7–9 p.m.

SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver

The Goldcorp Centre for the Arts will be hosting the ninth annual EMMA Talks, featuring the voices of Muslim feminists. Feminist voices have been instrumental in shaping, reforming and defining Islamic thought and Muslim identity. The spirit of social justice and the tradition of activism within Islam continues to inspire Muslim communities across the globe to strive for emancipation and liberation. Featuring Amina Wadud, Islamic feminist scholar, and a dialogue installation with local voices Maisaloon Al-Ashkar, Hannah Ali and Sarah Munawar, they will discuss how the erasure of feminism from the Islamic tradition has informed their experience of gender and spirituality. Registration required; please visit their website.

* * *

Tapestry International Celebration of Women’s Choirs

May 4–5, 7:30 p.m.

St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church, Vancouver (May 4)

Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver (May 5)

Every three years, the Elektra Women’s Choir welcomes up to three choirs from around the world to its Tapestry International Celebration of Women’s Choirs. Singing separately and as a massed choir with Elektra, our guest choirs will spend four days together sharing, rehearsing and giving public performances. In May, Elektra will welcome choirs from Japan (Frisches Ei), Iceland (Gardabaer Women’s Choir) and the United States (VOX Femina Los Angeles) to Vancouver. For tickets and more information, visit Elektra’s website.

* * *

Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?

May 5, 2 p.m.

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

As part of explorAsian 2018, the Vancouver Public Library will be hosting the 100 Filipino Film Series as they present one of the best films of classic Filipino cinema: Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? This Is How We Were Before, How Are You Doing Now? This is a romantic musical drama film set in the era of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. The film will be presented in Tagalog with English subtitles, and a panel discussion will follow. Check out the library’s website for more information.

* * *

Rhododendron Festival

May 6, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Deer Lake Park, Burnaby

The City of Burnaby will be hosting Rhodofest on May 6 at Deer Lake Park, a festival promoting the long-term sustainable, ecological health of communities and providing a venue for art and horticultural groups. There will be a ceremonial tree planting event, tours of the Burnaby Art Gallery, a variety of entertainment, rovers, mini-workshops, plant sales, a silent auction and interactive arts activities. Admission is free!

* * *


May 8–12

The Cultch, Vancouver

A new Indigenous-led Canadian play told through dramatic storytelling and choreography, an eight-person chorus, enchanting projections and an evocative electronic soundscape. Bears is an emotional, empathetic performance experience, which will be performed at The Cultch, May 8 to 12. Unapologetically political, Bears gives a voice to the voiceless animals and vulnerable landscapes desecrated by the insatiable human desire for industrial expansion, while striving to increase dialogue about the devastating effects on Canada’s First Nations peoples. For tickets and more information, please check out The Cultch’s website.