Cultural Calendar

The matchmaker.| Photo courtesy of Arts Club.

Hopefully your 2019 has been going well so far! It can be hard to beat the post-holiday blues, but there are plenty of events to attend. Why not take some time to check out some of the dance and music performances, film screenings and theatre showings happening around town?

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Murder on Reserve

Jan. 19–Feb. 9

Metro Theatre Centre, Vancouver

Metro Theatre Centre will be debuting the Vancouver premiere of American author Thomas Hischak’s comedy-mystery Murder on Reserve on their stage from Jan. 19 to Feb. 9. Crotchety old Faulkner Seaton has been strangled while the dusty old library was open. Most puzzling of all is the fact that nobody in the place saw or heard a thing. The big city cops are called in. Their investigations reveal a motley crew of oddball suspects, a very limited set of motives and little evidence. Seaton had terrorized generations of young people and was thoroughly disliked by everyone – but why was he killed in such a public place? What motive could possibly justify such a risk? And why didn’t the town have anywhere to get a decent cup of coffee? For tickets and showtimes, please visit the theatre’s website.


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Ninth Annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Jan. 19–Feb. 14

Various locations around Vancouver

The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival was the first city-wide festival of its kind in the world when it first launched in 2011. This January, it returns for its ninth year, bigger and better than ever, with 29 of Vancouver’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, cafes, gelato and ice cream makers coming together to make 74 decadent hot chocolate flavours – hotter than it has ever been before. For a complete list of participants, flavours and locations, check out the festival’s website.


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Forgotten Warriors

Jan. 24, 6–8 p.m.

Surrey Public Library, City Centre Branch

On Jan. 24, Surrey Library will screen the Indigenous-created film, Forgotten Warriors. The film introduces us to thousands of enlisted Indigenous Canadians who fought during the Second World War. While they fought for the freedom of others, they were denied equality in their own country. The film is a part of the Let’s Talk About Reconciliation project aiming to strengthen relations between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities by creating a space where the two communities can interact with each other in a spirit of openness and mutual discovery. A community dialogue and light refreshments will follow the screening.


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International Guitar Night

Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.

Massey Theatre, New Westminster

Each year, International Guitar Night’s founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries from around the world for special concert tours of North America highlighting the diversity of the acoustic guitar. For the night’s 19th year of touring, Gore has assembled another incredible, dynamic quartet: guest host Luca Stricagnoli, Italy’s explosive contemporary showman, returns by popular demand, joined by two of France’s acclaimed young prodigies, Swing guitarist Antoine Boyer and Flamenco guitarist Samuelito and the ground-breaking Turkish fretless guitarist Cenk Erdogan. Please visit the Massey Theatre’s website for tickets and more information.


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Thorton Wilder’s The Matchmaker

Jan. 24–Feb. 24

Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Vancouver

Thornton Wilder was an American novelist and playwright whose works celebrate the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience. The Arts Club Theatre company will be presenting Wilder’s dramatic play The Matchmaker from Jan. 24 to Feb. 24 at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Horace Vandergelder seeks a wife, and matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi doesn’t need to look very far to find her! With forbidden young love and mistaken identities afoot, more than one match is sure to be made. Experience the pandemonium of this classic that embraces the unexpected in a truly modern way. Check out the Arts Club Theatre website for tickets and showtimes.


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Technologies of the Self

Jan. 28, 7 p.m.

North Vancouver District Public Library, Lynn Valley Branch

Philosophers’ Café is a series of informal public discussions in libraries, cafés and restaurants throughout Metro Vancouver. The cafés, which are open to everyone, have brought dialogue and discussion to thousands of people who are interested in exploring issues from the absurd to the sublime. On Jan. 28, join moderator Reena Faris as they lead a discussion asking the following question: what are the processes and the technologies by which we gain knowledge to determine the way we want to be in the world?


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Copper Promises: Hinemihi Haka

Jan. 31–Feb. 2

Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver

Australian dance artist Victoria Hunt’s spellbinding solo Copper Promises embodies the cultural and physical journey of Hinemihi – a female ancestor, but also a ceremonial meeting house connected with their own Māori cultural heritage (a carved ancestral house that was “acquired” and transported to Britain after a devastating volcanic eruption in 1886). Hunt’s mesmerizing stage presence and potent physicality, combined with stunning lighting, sound and visual effects, generates a work of fierce energy and emotional power. Hinemihi’s story is interwoven with their own, tracing themes of reconnecting with family and culture, and learning from the land. Copper Promises creates a world of rupture, foreboding, resilience and catharsis.


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Moody Amiri

Feb. 1, 8 p.m.

Western Front, Vancouver

There are no borders between east and west in the eclectic music of Moody Amiri, a duo comprised of Amir Amiri (santur) and Richard Moody (viola). Inspired by the diversity and fluidity between their respective Persian and Western classical and jazz training, Amiri and Moody have created an engaging and distinctive sound fusing elements of traditional Persian music with jazz, classical, Indian and modern spiritual styles. They will be performing at the Western Front on Feb. 1. Please visit Caravan BC’s website for tickets and more information.


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Feb. 1–16

Michael J. Fox Theatre, Burnaby

Align Entertainment will present the family favourite musical, Annie, at the Michael J. Fox Theatre this February. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls at the orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of New York City. The irrepressible comic strip heroine takes centre stage in one of the world’s best-loved musicals.


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MACHiNENOiSY: Fragile Forms

Feb. 2–7

Anvil Centre, New Westminster

Dance company MACHiNENOiSY’s most ambitious work to date is a site-specific, 360-degree contemporary dance performance tailored specifically for New Westminster’s Anvil Centre. This adventurous piece brings together architecture, sound, visual and lighting design and a team of extraordinary dancers from both Canada and Finland, all to stunning effect. Audience members accompany the artists as the performance moves to various locations throughout the Centre. As the piece unfolds, it evolves into an interplay between the architecture and one’s embodied perception of it. The sensorial, social and political aspects of the space intermingle to redefine the performers, the audience and the place itself. The result is a revelatory dance experience – immersive, radical and utterly unique.