Cultural Calendar

GO Fest returns to Whistler May 17–20.| Photo courtesy of Great Outdoors Fest.

Victoria Day, the federal holiday commemorating the birthday of Queen Victoria, falls on May 20 this year. Even though summer proper doesn’t start until late June, for many Canadians, the Victoria Day holiday ushers in the informal start of summer, providing a long weekend to go outdoors and enjoy the sunny weather!

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Amanda Strong: anaamakamig (under the ground)

May 4–June 30

Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam

This exhibition goes behind the scenes to explore the world of Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) (2018), the newest short film by Michif interdisciplinary artist Amanda Strong. Accompanied by their friend, a 10,000-year-old shapeshifter known as Sabe, Biidaaban sets out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees in an unwelcoming suburban neighborhood in writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Strong’s mesmerizing stop-motion animation intricately weaves together multiple worlds through time and space, calling for a rebellion. The exhibition, which will be on display at the Evergreen Cultural Centre until June 30, invites visitors into the world of Biidaaban and into Strong’s process by gathering together the elaborate puppets, sets and storyboards used to animate this story.


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May 7–19

The Cultch Historic Theatre, Vancouver

From Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour comes an audacious new theatrical experiment playing at The Cultch Historic Theatre in Vancouver this May. Each night a different performer joins the playwright on stage, while the script waits unseen in a sealed box. Touchingly autobiographical, yet powerfully universal, it is a striking theatrical demonstration of how language can both divide and unite us. Please visit The Cultch’s website for tickets and showtimes.


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Homage to a Homemaker

May 11–June 1

Deer Lake Art Gallery, Burnaby

Homage to a Homemaker is an exhibition that will be held at the Deer Lake Art Gallery featuring the collaborative works of artists Melanie Thompson and Judith Barnett. Thompson and Barnett believe “women’s work” is to be celebrated and appreciated as the backbone of society. To bring this to life they created a truly unique version of a kitchen from the 1950s. Dresses, aprons, mixing bowls and handmade books vie for space with washing lines, an ironing board, shelving units and furniture, with repurposed materials being used throughout. Collage and painting line the walls referencing the world, skill, creativity, determination and resourcefulness of women at their work. The exhibit shows how art can be an inspiration and driver for society. The artists have created an evocative and surprising environment using the skills and creativity of the homemaker to inform and delight the visitor.


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Sampaguita Perspectives: A Celebration of Filipino-Canadian Writers

May 14, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

Join the Vancouver Filipino-Canadian Writers Collective at the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, for a lively and intimate literary evening with some of the city’s best emerging Canadian writers of the Filipino diaspora. From short stories to spoken word, Sampaguita Perspectives promises to be an engaging, cross-cultural and introspective event for all ages. Readings by Moses CC, Nathalie De Los Santos, Raphael Diangkinay, Carlo Javier, IJssel Jacob Ruiz and Tiffany Tarampi. This event takes place in the new Montalbano Family Theatre.


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Digital Democracies

May 14–16

SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver

When the Internet first emerged as a mass medium in the mid-1990s, it was sold as the technological solution to our most pressing political problems: from racism to capitalist exploitation; from citizen apathy to media monopolies. Three decades later, the picture could not be more different. The Internet has been blamed for the rise of cyberbullying, extremist groups, hate speech and global disinformation networks, echo-chambers, world-wide surveillance systems and the establishment of mega-corporations that have decimated small businesses. The question now being debated is not “how can the Internet save democracy?” but rather “can democracy survive the Internet?” Join the discussion at SFU Harbour Centre in mid-May.


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May 16–18

First Nations Longhouse, University Endowment Lands

The Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) will be guests on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) people, facilitating a conference about decolonizing technologies and reprogramming education. The conference will reflect and support Indigenous scholars and knowledge, centering on work by Indigenous women and women of colour. It will engage how technologies are, can be, and have been decolonized. For registration and conference information, please visit the HASTAC website.


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Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival

May 17–20

Olympic Plaza and Village Square, Whistler

The weather’s getting warmer and sunnier! If you’re headed up north to Whistler, why not check out the sixth annual GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, which returns on the Victoria Day long weekend. Come and spend four days trying different outdoor activities in a beautiful outdoor setting: everything from stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing the River of Golden Dreams, daily yoga, the Whistler Parkrun, sailing and tennis clinics to axe throwing. There will also be live music, street entertainment, workshops, food trucks and more. Check out the festival’s website for more info!


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Expressions Theatre Festival

May 17–25

Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island, Vancouver

This May the Arts Umbrella Theatre & Music presents several theatrical productions performed by talented emerging artists. Join them for a performance, and be inspired by the creativity on stage. This year’s lineup includes adaptations of the English writer George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the Scottish novelist J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, American writer James Lapine’s Into the Woods and Welsh novelist Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. There will also be a theatre and musical showcase featuring short musical and theatre performances across a range of genres from improv to film. For tickets and showtimes, please check out the Arts Umbrella website.


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Phoenix Dance 2019

May 18, 6–8:30 p.m.

Kay Meek Arts Centre, West Vancouver

At this year-end show, students of Phoenix Dance and Music School will offer audiences their best performances. As a thank you to parents, family, friends and the community for all their practical and mental support, performers will dance, sing, act and play various instruments at this passionate yet family-friendly variety show. Chinese dance, ballet, musical theatre, Korean pop, traditional contemporary dance and more. Come experience the wonderment of Phoenix Dance 2019! Partial proceeds go towards the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.


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97th Annual May Day Parade & Celebrations

May 20, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Mavis Ave. to Glover Rd., Fort Langley

The May Day Parade is on Victoria Day each year in Fort Langley. In 2019, the 97th annual parade will be on Monday, May 20. The parade will begin on Church Street and will commence at 11:00 a.m. to go west on Mavis to Glover Road, heading towards Fort Langley Community Park. Once in the park, the May Queens and the royal party will be piped in. There will then be maypole dancing followed by live entertainment. The Lions famous BBQ chicken will be available at the park. In addition, there will be rides for the children, mini golf for everyone, vendors, food and much more!