I hope everyone enjoyed their long Easter weekend! As April showers give way to May flowers, there are plenty of events and festivals to check out around the city. Wax philosophical in front of international art at Canada Place, watch a man sell his soul to a demon at the Vancouver Opera, learn how to prepare a microgreen meal at Simon Fraser and more!
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Vancouver Convention Centre at Canada Place
Since the first edition of Art Vancouver was launched in 2015, the fair has played host to over 500 artists and galleries that show their work at the Vancouver Convention Centre each spring. The show strives to bring together the global arts community in a city with young and rapidly growing creative talent. Featuring an array of reputable galleries and artists from Canada and around the world, exhibitors can showcase their art work on a thriving and prestigious platform to a global audience. For a complete list of artists and exhibitors at this fifth annual art fair, please check out their website.
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April 26–27, 8 p.m.
BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts, North Vancouver
IELE invites the audience into a dance story of a group of boys that mischievously decide to go into the forest in the hopes of seeing and taunting the IELE – the forest nymphs. Inspired by Romanian folklore, and with original music and story by the Emmy-nominated Hal Beckett, IELE is a timeless journey into the heart of a story full of duels, enchantment, vengeance and passion. The show will be playing at the BlueShore, April 26 and 27. For tickets and more information, check out the Lamondance website.
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IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival 2019
April 26–May 4
Various venues around Vancouver
Every year The Cultch is taken over and transformed by young people. Hundreds of youth are involved in what has grown to be one of Vancouver’s largest youth-driven arts festival. The festival includes showcases in music, dance and spoken word, the world premiere of three one-act plays, a visual arts exhibit, variety shows featuring improv, drag, circus arts and much more. All of this is created by local artists between the ages of 13–26. Check out The Cultch’s website for more information.
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April 27, 8 p.m.
The Annex, Vancouver
Pantayo is an all-women lo-fi R&B gong punk collective based in Toronto. The group combines percussive metallophones and drums from kulintang traditions of the Southern Philippines and synth-based electro grooves, to create a sound shaped by their experiences as diasporic Filipinas. They will be performing at The Annex on April 27 at 8 p.m. and there will be a free pre-show chat at 7:15 p.m. For tickets and more information, please visit the New Music website.
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April 27, 8 p.m.
The Imperial, Vancouver
The Zimbabwean musical group Mokoomba will be performing at The Imperial on April 27. Living in a border city that attracts tourists from all over the world gave Mokoomba’s music an international perspective from the beginning, incorporating everything from reggae to afropop to soul, alongside their own local musical traditions. Mokoomba’s knockout live shows and potent blend of traditional Tonga, Luvale and Nyanja sounds are laced with international styles from Congolese soukous to soul. Mokoomba have become one of Zimbabwe’s most popular bands, playing with such icons as Hugh Masekela, Baba Maal and the Talking Head’s Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz.
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Vancouver Opera Festival: Fairytales & Fables
April 27–May 5
Various locations around Vancouver
The third annual Vancouver Opera Festival aims to engage, inspire and entertain the community over nine days through voice, music, theatre and the visual arts. This year’s theme explores fairytales and fables from around the world. Some of the shows include The Troubadour and the Tallow Candle, a musical re-telling of a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale; a French adaptation of the German legend Faust; The River of Light, an original Canadian musical ensemble. Please check out the festival’s website for tickets and showtimes.
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Journeying through Chinatowns
April 30–Sept. 1
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver
Shaped by commerce, poverty, and community ties, British Columbia’s Chinatowns housed the majority of the ethnic Chinese immigrants who settled in early, segregated Vancouver. These spaces, although transformed, remain today. Journeying through Chinatowns, a photography exhibit which will be hosted by the Vancouver Classical Chinese Garden from April 30 until Sept. 1, includes work by three Vancouver-based photographers who strive to capture the present-day conditions of historical Chinatowns in Vancouver, Richmond and New Westminster. Through their photographs, they seek to share these evolving spaces and their significance to the people who inhabit them. There will be an opening reception from 4 – 6 p.m. on May 4.
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Place des Arts May/June Exhibitions
May 3–June 1
Place des Arts, Coquitlam
Visit the Place des Arts Gallery as they unveil three new exhibits for the month of May. Check out photographers Rita Hernandez and Jennifer Sarkar’s My Mother’s Home, capturing the power and resilience of immigrant and refugee mothers, grandmothers and their children. Next, watercolour artist Mary Kate Woodward’s Connections contain drawings depicting different races, religions, species, ages and genders, celebrating similarities and interdependence rather than focusing on differences. Finally, the Fraser Valley Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists share their best paintings, which they’ve collectively titled Blending Tradition and Innovation. There will be an opening reception at 7 – 9 p.m on May 3.
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May 4–5, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby
The City of Burnaby will be hosting Burnaby Blooms on May 4–5 at Shadbolt Centre, a festival promoting the long-term sustainable, ecological health of communities and providing a venue for art and horticultural groups. View figures dressed in flowers, plants and foliage by floral designers as they create unique floral ladies. Also on site will be the popular Burnaby Eco-Sculptures, floral installations, workshops, market vendors, entertainment and more! Admission is free.
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Burnaby Festival of Learning
Various sites around Burnaby
The Burnaby Festival of Learning celebrates unconventional, lifelong learning. A week-long series of free events, the festival features performances, lectures, discussions, tours and more, all designed to inform, engage and spark creative conversations among Burnaby’s vibrant and diverse audiences. Check out Star Wars Day (May the fourth) at Cameron Complex, listen to the history of B.C. African migration and Black Strathcona at the Burnaby Neighbourhood House and join a garden workshop to learn how to prepare a meal of microgreens at the Embark Learning Garden. For these and other events, check out their website.