Cultural Calendar

An Indonesian cultural experience for the whole family. | Photo courtesy of Indonesia Fest

From art gallery openings and theatrical performances to the moon festival to cultural gatherings, enjoy the last days of summer 2019 by attending some of the many events and festivals happening around the city. Autumn begins on the fall equinox: Sept. 23. See you then!

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2019 Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: Tea & The Moon

Sept. 13, 5–9 p.m.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver

With a history that goes back over 4,000 years, Chinese tea culture is truly an art. Since ancient times, tea has been an important element of inspiration in Chinese poetry. Tea drinking is not just a simple act of consuming a beverage, but a spiritual enjoyment – a ritual that brings people together in appreciation and reflection. Many a poet would compose with a cup of tea upon their table, the complex fragrance and flavour stimulating the senses and imagination beneath the glow of the bright moon. Take part in this tradition at the 2019 Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, and experience firsthand the intertwined connection between tea, art and the moon. Taste the six types of Chinese tea, enjoy mooncakes and music, and make your own lantern!

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Mother of the Maid

Sept. 13–Oct. 5

Pacific Theatre, Vancouver

The 2019/2020 Pacific Theatre season opens with American playwright Jane Anderson’s play Mother of the Maid, on the Mainstage from Sept. 13 to Oct. 5. Isabelle Arc knows what her teenage daughter Joan needs: discipline, a loving husband and to stop communing with God. As Joan hurtles toward her destiny as the Maid of Orleans, Isabelle must care for the extraordinary child who belongs not just to her, but to all of France. For tickets and showtimes, check out the Pacific Theatre’s website.

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The State of Ethics: Moral and Civic Education in Ulaanbaatar

Sept. 17, 4–6 p.m.

C. K. Choi Building at UBC, University Endowment Lands

The Institute of Asian Research will be hosting an event on Sept. 17 on the state of ethics in Mongolia, with special guest Jade Richards, a PhD student from the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology. In Mongolia, a fundamental breakdown of trust between politicians and electorates has recently given rise to a widespread sense of disaffection among ordinary citizens. Many people feel that the political landscape proposed by democratization has begun to run counter to their sense of moral order in particularly stark ways. As a result, they reject certain dimensions of democracy, such as freedom, that fail to live up to their material and ethical expectations. This talk will explore the question of why democratic freedom has become the object of so much contention and the attempts of moral and civic education teachers to rethink the meaning of freedom and the practice of civic virtue in their classrooms.

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RiverFest 2019

Sept. 18–21, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

New Westminster Waterfront

RiverFest 2019 returns for its 17th year! This week long, free, family-friendly festival is a great way to enjoy the beginnings of fall on the New Westminster waterfront by the Quay. Since its inception, the festival has continued to grow steadily with new and exciting components that highlight and celebrate the environmental, economic and socio-cultural importance of the Fraser River. This year the festival includes vendors whose products embody the Fraser, a diverse assortment of exhibitors, children’s activities and live music. For a scheduled list of events, check out the festival’s website.

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Fourth Annual Festival of Recorded Movement (F-O-R-M)

Sept. 19–21

SFU Woodwards, Vancouver

The Festival of Recorded Movement presents films that deliver strong imagery of the human body in motion, explore the limitlessness of our physical capacity both creatively and athletically and offer a sense of choreographic investigation between camera and movement, regardless of form. They showcase unique and diverse films from around the globe, with innovative concepts, exceptional camerawork and cinematography, experimental editing styles and post-production effects that bring added layers to the subject matter. Check out the festival’s website for a list of shows and activities.

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Indonesia Fest 2019

Sept. 21, 12 p.m.–4 p.m.

Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre

Indonesia Fest is an annual Indonesian festival hosted by the Vancouver Indonesian community at the Nikkei Cultural Centre with the hope of introducing more of Indonesian culture through beautiful traditional dance performances, musical performances and arts & crafts. There will be traditional games for kids and plenty of Indonesian cuisine to try from the rendang beef to the grilled chicken satay. Free festival admission. For more information, please visit their website.

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Kokoro Dance: Reading the Bones

Various showtimes between
Sept. 18–28, 8 p.m.

The Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Vancouver

The Roundhouse Community Arts Centre will host the world premiere of Reading the Bones, a work of five dancers distilled from the 33-year history of Kokoro Dance’s butoh-inspired creations. Reading the Bones draws reference from Osteomancy, or “Bone Reading,” a divination ritual practiced and performed by many cultures worldwide for thousands of years. The practice of foretelling the future through fragments of the past, bones are cast and through the shapes they create, infinity is revealed. Kokoro Dance’s co-founders Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi explore the notion of returning to one’s roots and past in order to anticipate the future. Through primordial humanistic gestures, tremorous cycles of breathing and erratic yet controlled movement, they convey the trials and vulnerability of different stages of life and being. Check out their website for tickets and more information.

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21st Annual Vancouver Improv Festival

Sept. 24–29

The Cultch, Vancouver

The Vancouver Improv Festival is one of North America’s longest running improv festivals, aiming to celebrate spontaneity and collaboration through the art form of improvisation. Since 1999, they have showcased over 1200 international and local performers for thousands of theatre and comedy fans. The annual festival features over 40 unique performances, inspiring public workshops and an opening night gala to celebrate Vancouver’s booming improv scene. For a complete line of performers and shows, check out their website.

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The Shipment

Sept. 24–Oct. 5

Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver

Written by Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee, The Shipment is a subversive modern minstrel show about Black identity meant to wake the world to the ridiculous narratives in dominant media. Five Black actors play a roster of characters that reads like a bad B-list of Black iconography: Video Ho, Crackhead John, Bad Cop, Standup Comedian, Drug Dealer Mama, Grandma from Heaven and Record Company Executive, to name just a few. The brazen mash-up of these stereotypes with clichés, distortions and brilliant sleights of hand all force us to go beyond the lampoon and shift the lens through which we perceive race in order to confront our own bias. Check out the Firehall Arts Centre for tickets and showtimes.

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Under Paris Skies – La Musique de Edith Piaf

Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.

Centennial Theatre,
North Vancouver

Celebrated Vancouver Island jazz singer Edie Daponte is taking her sell-out Edith Piaf show on the road in September to eight different cities in British Columbia, one of which will be at the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver on Sept. 26. The format of the show has the audience transported to an intimate Parisian theatre. With carefully selected music, lighting and costumes, the stage is set to invite the audience in for a captivating evening of music and storytelling. For tickets and more information, please check out their website.