Happy Lunar New Year, Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Family Day everyone! Usher in the Year of the Pig by celebrating with friends and family at the many Lunar festival events happening around the city. Watch inspiring Black cinema at VIFF. Take your loved one to a romantic dinner on Valentine’s day and bring the kids to any of the Family Day celebrations going on around the city.
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Jan. 31–Feb. 24
Studio 58 at Langara College, Vancouver
The professional theatre training program Studio 58 at Langara College will be performing Cabaret, a play based on the book by American playwright Joe Masteroff until Feb. 24. It’s 1929 and young American writer Cliff Bradshaw has just arrived in Berlin, a city where the party never ends. At the notorious Kit Kat Klub he meets the beguiling chanteuse Sally Bowles, and his life is turned upside down forever. Meanwhile, Hitler’s tyrannical politics are rising fast – Cliff’s German landlady Fraulein Schneider and Jewish grocer Herr Schultz must face an impending harsh reality and even the Kit Kat Klub’s gender-bending emcee must acknowledge the riotous voices of a new Germany. For tickets and more information, please check out the college’s website.
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Black History Month at VIFF
Vancity Theatre, Vancouver
The Vancouver International Film Festival’s annual Black History Month film series is a significant contribution to Vancouver’s cultural diversity, shining a spotlight on African-North American film and history. Playing at Vancity Theatre, this year’s program includes exciting new work from young Canadian filmmakers with a focus on inspirational women and finds recurring themes in the power of music, political protest and education. The centrepiece of Black History Month at Vancity Theatre is the exclusive Vancouver run of Senegal’s Félicité, one of nine films currently on the shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award, and the Audience Award-winner at the Palm Springs Film Festival 2018. For a complete list of films, please check out VIFF’s website.
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Nach’i’m Studio Gallery Pop-Up
Nach’i’m Studio Gallery on Granville Island, Vancouver
For one month starting on Feb. 7, Skwetsimeltxw Willard “Buddy” Joseph and Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George will be showcasing the beauty of Squamish art and culture at their Nach’i’m Studio Gallery Pop-Up on Granville Island in Vancouver on Coast Salish Territory. The Nach’i’m Studio Gallery Pop-Up will feature the L’hen Awtxw, Weaving House Exhibit and weaving workshops as well as cultural workshops by Squamish collaborators Michelle Lorna Nahanee, Dennis & Lorna Joseph and Kim Seward. There will also be an opening ceremony from 5:30–7:30 p.m. on Feb. 8. Tickets can be reserved on the Eventbrite website.
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Gateway Theatre, Richmond
Richmond’s Gateway Theatre will be putting on playwright Dipika Guha’s Yoga Play from Feb. 7 to 16, a show where commerce, spirituality and comedy meet. Joan has been hired to stabilize Jojomon, a yoga apparel giant, after its CEO is brought down by a fat-shaming scandal. But just as she finds her footing, more trouble surfaces and the sales freefall. Jojomon needs an image makeover – and fast. Risking everything on a wild plan, Joan and her colleagues are willing to try anything to save face. This hilarious satire asks what it takes to find authenticity in a world determined to sell enlightenment. For tickets and showtimes, check out the theatre’s website.
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Year of the Pig Temple Fair
Feb. 10, 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver
The Vancouver Chinese Garden’s annual Temple Fair celebration returns in 2019 to usher in the Year of the Pig. The 12th animal in the Chinese zodiac, the pig is a symbol of prosperity, its rotund cheeks full of good fortune. Everyone is invited to this family-friendly event, where they can enjoy a lineup of traditional activities, explore the wares of local vendors and take in the Suk-Fong, How Are You? exhibition from artist Paul Wong. There will be live music, lion dances, vendors and more.
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Vancouver Aquarium: After Hours
Feb. 14, 6–11 p.m.
Stanley Park, Vancouver
Pucker up for the intimate After Hours Valentine’s Day affair at the Vancouver Aquarium. Explore the galleries with a drink in hand, and enjoy special programming, such as a shark reproduction show, a penguin walk and a sea otter feeding. Only taking place a few times a year, these popular events sell out fast. Buy a pair of tickets and treat your friends and loved ones to a night they won’t forget.
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Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver
The Vancouver Opera (VO) will present a gloriously extravagant production of one of opera’s most enduring love stories, Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. This new production of La Bohème is – literally – an enormous vintage picture postcard of Paris. The curtain rises on a modern-day flea market with sellers touting their wares and an accordion duo entertaining the crowd. A present-day tourist discovers a stall specialising in objets d’art from the 1920s. Amid the bustle, a lone visitor puts a record on a vintage gramophone, and we hear the opening bars of a very famous opera, transporting the audience back in time. Check out the opera’s website for tickets and showtimes.
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Kameelah Janan Rasheed: Artist Talk
Feb. 16–17, 3–5 p.m.
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver
American interdisciplinary artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed is the founder of Mapping the Spirit, a digital archive that documents the textures and nuance of Black religious experience in the United States through long-form interviews, photography, video and ephemera. She will return to Vancouver for a weekend of informal collective learning sessions, the shape of which will be determined by the participants themselves, propelled in part by a word, an image and a fragment of text pulled from Rasheed’s current explorations in archives, scores, and ecology. For more information, please visit the CAG website.
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Heritage Week: The Tie that Binds
Various venues around British Columbia
Heritage reaches back in time to tell stories of our near and distant pasts, to describe our present and to foretell our future. In British Columbia, the third full week in February is Heritage Week and in 2019, the theme is “Heritage: The Tie That Binds.” Heritage in all its forms has the power to bring people together and create a sense of belonging. The Vancouver Heritage Foundation (VHF) will be hosting events at Heritage Hall on Main St., the Jewish Museum and Archives in Oakridge and the Chinatown House in Vancouver in order to help others learn about and celebrate cultural heritage. Please visit the VHF website for details and more information.
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Talking Stick Festival 2019
Feb. 19–Mar. 2
The Talking Stick Festival, now in its 18th year, began as a way to showcase and celebrate Indigenous art and performance to a wider audience. From its humble beginnings, this unique and exciting event has grown into a full two week festival held annually in February at locations across Vancouver. Bringing out upwards of 20,000 attendees, the festival will feature theatrical performances, music concerts, master classes and workshops, film screenings, artist talks, the Celebration of Indigenous Dance and Artisan Fair and more!