Cultural Calendar

I hope everyone is warm during this cold polar vortex snap we’ve got going on in Canada and the United States this month! It’s pretty chilly out there, but if – like Disney’s Frozen character Elsa – the cold doesn’t bother you, there are plenty of events and festivals to check out in around town. From film festivals, musical performances, roundtables and panels, there is something for everyone!

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How the Fiddle Flows

Feb. 20, 6–8 p.m.

Surrey Public Library,
Newton Branch

On Feb. 20, the Surrey Public Library will screen the Indigenous-created film, How the Fiddle Flows. The film reveals how a distinctive Métis identity and culture were shaped over time. The movie features some of Canada’s best known Métis fiddlers and step dancers. 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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Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

Feb. 22–Mar. 3

Various venues around Metro Vancouver

Running for ten days this year, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival is an annual international community festival, featuring mountain film screenings, live multimedia presentations, photography exhibitions, workshops, seminars and other special events. Presenting unique outdoor and mountaineering films that illustrate experiences and cultures from all corners of the globe, VIMFF brings communities together to promote positive values and active lifestyles. For a complete list of movies and showtimes, check out the festival website.

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Tagore & Beyond

Feb. 23, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Renegade Productions, Vancouver

Enjoy live renditions of select, assorted Bengali songs of different genres including the songs of Rabindranath Tagore, the first Nobel Prize winning lyricist and one of the greatest composers ever in South Asia. Spots are limited; please visit the Tagore & Beyond Facebook page for contact info and further details.

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“L’Elisir D’Amore:”  The Elixir of Love

Selected dates between  Feb. 23–Mar. 2

Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby

Burnaby’s Shadbolt Centre for the Arts will be putting on “L’Elisir D’Amore:” The Elixir of Love by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. This is a delightful tale of lovers’ quarrels and reconciliations, magic love potions and romantic confusions. Donizetti’s comic masterpiece is filled with a colourful cast of characters that is a perfect remedy for any hopeless romantic. Take a sip of this musical love potion and let the magic do its work! For tickets and more information, visit Shadbolt’s website.

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Vancouver International Wine Festival

Raising a glass to the Vancouver International Wine Festival. | Photo courtesy of Vancouver International Wine Festival

Feb. 23–Mar. 3

Vancouver Convention Centre

The Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier food and wine event, returns to the city for the 41st time to celebrate the finest wines throughout the world. This year’s event features 160 wineries from 16 countries, with a special focus on the wines from California, USA with 53 wineries from the Golden State. 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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Song and Dance and the Sonic Territorialization of Xinjiang

Feb. 26, 4–5:30 p.m.

Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC, University Endowment Lands

The School of Public Policy and Global Affairs will be inviting University of London researcher Rachel Harris to speak on the notion of territorialization to probe current developments in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where a “People’s War against Islamic Extremism” has developed into an assault on Uyghur cultural identity, massive securitization of the region and the detention of over a million people. Focusing on the 2014-15 campaign that compelled Uyghurs in Xinjiang to take part in weekly singing and dancing sessions in the name of tackling Islamic extremism, and the ongoing use of singing revolutionary songs within the internment camps, she argues that sound is a crucial aspect of territorialization; the soundscape like the landscape is also a site of struggle; and cultural development, state power and the shaping of habitus are all played out through sound.

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Smetana Trio

Smetana Trio performs Dvořák. | Photo courtesy of Friends of Chamber Music

Feb. 26, 8 p.m.

Vancouver Playhouse

The Friends of Chamber Music will invite the Smetana Trio to perform at the Vancouver Playhouse on Feb. 26. This longstanding and musically exciting Czech group makes its second appearance for the Friends, with a programme that is both melodious and relatively modern, presenting the folk-dance dynamism of Antonín Dvořák’s “Dumky” trio, Bohuslav Martinů’s “Bergerettes” and an early Romantic work by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Please visit the Friends of Chamber Music’s website for tickets and more information.

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Le Soulier

Feb. 27–Mar. 9

Studio 16, Vancouver

Théâtre la Seizième will present the world premiere of its newest production, Le Soulier, from Feb. 27 to Mar. 9 at Studio 16. Written by award-winning Quebec playwright David Paquet, and directed by Esther Duquette and Gilles Poulin-Denis, this dark comedy is full of touching and relatable characters trying so very hard to be happy. Melanie’s son Benoit, age 8, has a pain that won’t go away so she takes him to the dentist. This results in an epic meltdown. You see, with Benoit, nothing is ever simple. Once in the dentist’s chair, the story unfolds and Benoit turns out to have a lot more than cavities inside his mouth. Melanie – with the help of a kind, alcoholic receptionist and a dentist who prefers plants to people – must face the fact that her son’s problems are much larger than a simple toothache. Check out the theatre’s website for more information.

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Mar. 2, 8 p.m.

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

Borrowing from both traditional Zulu music and gospel, the nine-member a cappella South African ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo combines call-and-response, harmonization and soulful melody to vigorously uplifting effect. From hushed bass to soaring tenor, the singers’ jubilant and energetic vocal performances are underscored by their choreographed movements. Designated by Nelson Mandela as “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors to the world,” the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo have for decades delivered messages of peace, love and harmony through their music. They will be joined by two luminaries of Malian music, Habib Koité and Bassekou Kouyate. For tickets and more information, check out the Chan Centre’s website.

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Pursuit of Smart Cities in Municipalities

Mar. 4, 2–6 p.m.

Anvil Centre, New Westminster

The Anvil Centre will be hosting a panel on Mar. 4 on the topic of Smart Cities in Municipalities. This event brings together technology leaders from various municipalities and high-tech industries to discuss the pursuit of smart city vision in B.C. communities. Representing cities of various sizes as well as from the global perspective, the panel speakers will talk about the aspirations, socio-economic benefits and challenges in this endeavour. They will also share their success stories and experiences in trying to make “smart city” a reality in their community. They will also discuss their perspectives on forthcoming technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet-of-Things, and their impacts on businesses and residents.