Cultural Calendar

La Traviata: the classic opera gets a makeover. | Photo courtesy of Vancouver Opera

Thanksgiving in Canada occurs in October, unlike the United States’ holiday of the same name in November. Canadian Thanksgiving has a long history – the Indigenous peoples’ communal feasts celebrated the autumn harvests including prayer, dance and potlatch long before the arrival of European settlers. Sir Martin Frobisher in 1578 and Samuel de Champlain in 1606 also held feasts giving thanks and observing communion. Canadians officially declared this tradition a national holiday in 1879. Whatever you decide to do this month, spare a moment to give thanks, spend time with family and share a delicious meal!

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Garden in the Machine

Sept. 21–Dec. 15

Surrey Art Gallery

The digital world changes as much as the natural world. To mark the past 20 years of digital art programming, the Surrey Art Gallery will present new and recent works from leading artists in this field. Examine the complex relationship between computer technology and nature through digital art, large-scale images and environments. The artists invite visitors to question the limits of technology and nature. There will be an exhibition tour on Oct. 16 and an artists’ talk on Oct. 26. Check out the Art Gallery’s website for artists and exhibit information.

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Sixth Annual Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo

Oct. 11–13

Downtown Vancouver

This multi-day family friendly Halloween Expo in downtown Vancouver starts on Oct. 11 and culminates with a cosplay parade on Oct. 13. Bring out your favourite cosplay costume and watch or participate in the Halloween Parade. This is a family friendly parade, so no blood or gore costumes allowed. There will be dance and musical performances at the Vancouver Art Gallery, expo exhibits at Robson Square on the last two days and the parade on Sunday morning.

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Fort Langley Cranberry Festival

Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Glover Road, Fort Langley

Join in on the Thanksgiving tradition and come celebrate B.C.’s proud berry history at the 24th annual Fort Langley Cranberry Festival. Throughout the day over 100 marketplace vendors line Glover Road displaying their wares, and 16 popular food trucks offer something for everyone. There is a schedule of live entertainment and more than 20 teams participate in the Cranberry Festival Regatta. The childrens’ area includes face painters, balloon artists and the Creative Cube, all providing plenty of fun for the kids. And of course, there are copious amounts of fresh local cranberries for attendees to purchase. The festival starts at 10 a.m. (the pancake breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m.). For more information, check out the festival’s website.

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Vancouver Rare Book, Photograph & Paper Show

Oct. 12–13

Heritage Hall, Vancouver

The Heritage Hall, a beautiful historic venue, will be hosting the Rare Book, Photograph & Paper show, housing a delightful selection of top quality antiquarian material on offer by some very knowledgeable exhibitors. The show features 21 exhibitors with wonderful, rare books, fine maps, significant photographs and interesting paper items. A number of these exhibitors are recognized as Canada’s top dealers in collectible, antiquarian and rare material. Check out their website for a list of exhibitors.

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Oct. 16–Dec. 15

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

The Vancouver Public Library will be host to the collaborative arts exhibit pîkiskwe-speak, featuring the work of Arts Actionist Lana Whiskeyjack and documentary filmmaker Beth Wishart MacKenzie from Oct. 16 to Dec. 15. The exhibit seeks to engage host communities in conversations of reconciliation through art—conversations that will explore the enduring effects of Canada’s Residential School system with the aim of writing a new chapter, painting a new vision and creating a new protocol for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous relations in Canada. Check out the art installation website for more information.

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China Doll

Oct. 17–26

Gateway Theatre, Richmond

This month, the Gateway Theatre will host a presentation of China Doll, a historical drama by Canadian playwright Marjorie Chan. This universal coming-of-age story tells one girl’s journey trying to honour her family’s values in an increasingly changing world. Bound by tradition, Su-Ling’s world is closing in around her. Her grandmother is determined that she will marry well and bring prosperity to them both. But when she learns to read, Su-Ling’s mind is opened to new possibilities, setting her on a dangerous path to independence. Check out the theatre’s website for showtimes and more information.

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La Traviata

Oct. 17, 19, 24, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 27, 2 p.m.

Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

La Traviata, a glorious work by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi was last performed eight years ago at Vancouver Opera. This perennial favourite has been given a brand-new look and features a terrific cast. And, in an unprecedented collaboration, five Canadian opera companies have joined forces to produce lavish sets and costumes inspired by the decadent music hall scene of 1920s Paris. Violetta, a famous Parisian courtesan who is consumed both by love and a life-threatening illness, is sung by Canadian Emily Dorn. Tenor Andrew Haji is the love-struck Alfredo. For tickets and showtimes, check out the Vancouver Opera’s website.

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Tenth Anniversary Sunshine Coast Art Crawl

Oct. 18–20

Various venues along the Sunshine Coast Highway, Sunshine Coast

“The Crawl” is held along the entire Sunshine Coast between Langdale and Earls Cove. Over three days, the Sunshine Coast transforms into one large interactive art show. It is a celebration of events, demonstrations, displays and opportunities to meet the artists behind their amazing creations. There are over 360 artists in 186 galleries, artist studios and a variety of other venues. It is such a great time to gather your friends and family and get a taste of what coast life is all about, and discover some unique and sometimes very off the road locations.

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Discover the unbelievably vast world of apples. | Photo courtesy of UBC Botanical Garden

UBC Apple Festival

Oct. 19–20, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

UBC Botanical Garden, University Endowment Lands

The 28th UBC Apple Festival takes place at the UBC Botanical Garden on Oct. 19 and 20. A family event for all ages, the festival celebrates one of British Columbia’s favourite fruits. With about 75% of B.C.’s orchard lands dedicated to apple trees, there are plenty of apple varieties grown right here in our province. From learning about the diversity of apples to tasting rare and unusual varieties, the festival is a great opportunity to discover more about this delicious fruit.

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Vancouver Writers Fest

Oct. 21–27

Various venues around Granville Island and Downtown Vancouver

Words shape our worlds. They can delight, inspire, provoke, comfort and unite – as do the authors, journalists and poets who wield them. The Vancouver Writers Fest encourages readers of all ages to explore the power of storytelling and books through dozens of events with local and international writers. The celebration takes place in the cultural oasis of Granville Island and continues throughout the year with programs including the free Incite reading series at the Vancouver Public Library, special events with leading writers and youth education outreach programs. For a complete schedule of events, check out the Writers Fest website.