Cultural Calendar

Celebrate spring in full color at the Tulip Festival in Chilliwack.| Photo courtesy of Chiliwach Tulip Festival.

I hope everyone is enjoying their April so far. With the flowers and trees in bloom, the weather getting warmer and the long Easter weekend, there is much to see and do outside in Vancouver. But of course, there are plenty of indoor events to keep you busy: theatre plays, music festivals and orchestras, art exhibitions and more! Also, Earth Day is on April 22 – be sure to celebrate by conserving energy or planting a flower or two!


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Elements Film Festival

Apr. 8–14

Telus World of Science, Vancouver

The Elements Film Festival is a showcase of the best environmental films from British Columbian, Canadian and international filmmakers. There is something for all ages, featuring wildlife, conservation and political action films, special events, guest speakers and expert discussion panels. In the daytime program there will be Science Theatre Shorts, Omnimax Theatre Features and special guest panels. In the evening program there will be a series of beautiful feature films that showcase incredible places on our planet and the people working hard to save them; there will also be special guests and keynote speakers who shine a spotlight on the wonders of nature and humanity as part of nature.


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Chilliwack Tulip Festival

Apr. 10–May 5

41310 Yale Rd, Chilliwack

The cherry blossom isn’t the only flower around! Why not visit the Chilliwack Tulip Festival, Western Canada’s largest and most recognized tulip festival returning for the 13th time. Roam through 20 acres of tulip fields set against a Dutch-themed countryside. Check out handmade floral mosaics, a traditional windmill, tractor rides, kids’ crafts and more. There will also be food trucks onsite, serving traditional Dutch foods including stroop waffles. For more information, please check out the festival’s website.


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qaʔ yəxw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways

Apr. 10–Oct. 2

Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art will present qaʔ yəxw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways from Apr. 10 to Oct 2. The exhibit features video, photography, carving, printmaking, beading and performance by artists affiliated with various Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast and the interior of British Columbia. Each of the artists in the exhibit considers a unique experience with the life-giving element of water and creates innovative works based on culturally specific practices. The show honours the important role of Indigenous women on the coast, both past and present, in a timely investigation amid ongoing debates about pipelines and Indigenous rights. qaʔ yəxw is a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓expression that means “water honours us.” For more information, please check out the gallery’s website.


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Is Social Media Destroying Democracy?

Apr. 11, 7–9 p.m.

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch!view/event/event_id/4872

Democracy, the fundamental idea that an individual can express their personal choices through a vote, hangs in the balance. But is social media a tool that informs and unites, or is it responsible for deeper divisions and a more polarized society? Are misinformation, digital propaganda, algorithmic biases and campaign hacking scandals determining the results of our elections? What role can public policy play in regulation – will regulation even work – and can we save our democracy before it’s too late? Don’t miss this Oxford-style debate on Apr. 11 at the VPL Central Branch.


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Cristina Pato Quartet

Apr. 11, 8 p.m.

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

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts will present the sensational sounds of the Cristina Pato Quartet 8 p.m. on April 11. Cristina Pato is a musical force, skillfully playing at the edges of jazz, classical, Latin and world music with a tightly knit, synergistic band featuring Julien Labro on accordion, Edward Perez on double bass and Mauricio Zottarelli on percussion. The multi-talented Pato can be heard in collaboration with musicians from around the world, including Yo-Yo Ma and the supergroup Silkroad Ensemble. There will also be a number of ancillary events around town related to Pato, including a film screening and pre-show talk. Check out the Chan Centre’s website for more information.


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Sakura Days Japan Fair

Apr. 13–14, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver

As part of the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF), explore a bit of Japan at the Sakura Days Japan Fair, a favourite family-friendly fair featuring traditional food, cultural arts and performances. Experience the special ritual of the Japanese tea ceremony, watch culinary demonstrations, enjoy Japanese festival food, sample premium sake, take guided Tree Talks and Walks to the cherry trees and listen to haiku readings. There will also be hands-on workshops in calligraphy, origami and other Japanese arts and crafts demonstrations. Check out the VCBF’s website for more information.


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Omer Arbel: Particles for the Built World

Apr. 13–June 16

Surrey Art Gallery

Experimentation drives artist Omer Arbel’s art and design practice. He manipulates basic materials by applying heat, force, pressure, electricity or movement to achieve surprising results. Particles for the Built World, on display at the Surrey Art Gallery until June 16, focuses on Arbel’s experiments with concrete over the past five years. What if we poured concrete into fabric forms rather than plywood boxes or tube columns used in most building construction? The astonishing results are on display in this exhibit. Celebrate the launch of the exhibit at an opening reception where Arbel will be part of an artist conversation with Gallery Curator Jordan Strom, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. on the evening of Apr. 13.


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Musical Mariza: the Portuguese singer presents an evening of fado.| Photo courtesy of Chan Centre.


Apr. 17, 8 p.m.

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

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts will present Portugal’s brightest star Mariza at 8 p.m. on Apr. 17. The internationally lauded fadista – a performer of Portugal’s traditional soul music, fado – will showcase brand new material from her recently released eponymous album, her seventh studio recording, produced by Spain’s Javier Limón, the singer’s. Effortlessly effusing passion, joy and nostalgia, the talented vocalist will weave her impressive vocal range and commanding stage presence into a deeply moving and memorable evening of music. Please check out the Chan Centre’s website for tickets and more information.


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Surrey Vaisakhi Parade

Apr. 20, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar Temple, Surrey

The annual Vaisakhi Parade, taking place on Apr. 20, will once again host a lively and celebratory event to mark the birth of the Sikh faith. The parade is expected to draw in excess of 300,000 people to the community to celebrate and enjoy one of the most important elements of the annual event: the amazing foods of India. Each year hundreds of local businesses and individual families present free food offerings to the crowd in celebration of the Parade. For more information about the event including the parade route, check out the parade’s website.