Cultural Calendar

Welcome to February – one month down in the new year, 11 more to go! Some of the events happening this month include Family Day, Valentine’s Day and Black History Month! Celebrate them with your friends, family and loved ones by exploring the many dancing performances, roundtables, film fests, theatrical plays and operas happening throughout the city.

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Black History Month at VIFF

Feb. 1–29

Vancity Theatre, Vancouver

Curated by Barbara Chirinos in partnership with VIFF Vancity Theatre’s Tom Charity, the Black History Month film series is a significant contribution to Vancouver’s cultural diversity. This year’s series provides a wide range of black experience and creativity, from Fela Kuti’s radical Afro-beat to Toni Morrison’s haunting literature, it includes a history of horror movies and the new (Academy Award-nominated) Underground Railroad historical drama, Harriet, as well as an all-ages $5 animation show, a Queer Night and a tribute to the late writer-director John Singleton, with Boyz n the Hood.

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Dana Michel

Feb. 6–8, 8 p.m.

Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver

The audacious and original works of Montreal-based dance artist Dana Michel have earned international attention and prestigious awards including the Jardin d’Europe Award at ImPulsTanz (Vienna), and the Silver Lion for Innovation in Dance at the Venice Biennale. At the Scotiabank Dance Centre, Michel will break through conventions with her daring choreographies, rejecting stereotypical physicality and identity and creating a liberated world of shape-shifting metamorphosis, incorporating elements ranging from sculpture and comedy, to psychology and social commentary. There will be a post-show talkback on Feb. 7.

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Genevieve Robertson: Looking Through a Hole in the Earth

Feb. 6–Mar. 22

Burnaby Art Gallery

Over the past four years, interdisciplinary artist Genevieve Robertson has developed a studio practice that involves extensive physical and material exploration, engaging with the complexities of our relation to land and water in a time of large-scale industrial exploitation and climate precarity. Drawing with found materials, her work links biology, geology and environmental studies with contemporary drawing. The exhibit presents three series of recent explorations: works on paper composed with bitumen and seawater; forest-derived charcoal and graphite; and silt, seaweed and limestone. Robertson’s practice of drawing and painting with found materials – whether harvested, collected or dug up from the ground – is a way of implicating herself directly in the process of landscape representation, and of learning about the entanglement of non-human life forms and geologic landforms that coexist in our biosphere.

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Between Roots and Rings

Feb. 8, 12:30–5:30 p.m.

Maplewood House, North Vancouver

The cedar tree is strong and grounded, bringing hundreds of years of wisdom. Indigenous mixed media artist Melanie Rivers, Tiyaltelwet, will lead the Between Roots and Rings workshop, which will center around the qualities and medicines of the cedar tree. Participants will spend time outside by a cedar tree and write down all that they experience (sounds, colours, textures, smells, emotions). Participants will then create their own 11×14 mixed media painting of a tree person using collage papers, book pages and acrylic paints. No previous art experience is needed.

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Nikkei Mubi

Feb. 8, 2–3:30 p.m.

Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, Burnaby

The Nikkei National Museum has digitized over 40 historical home movies from its moving image collection. These fragile 16mm, 8mm and Super 8 films can now be safely placed in long term storage, and its digitized versions will soon be available online. At this screening, get a glimpse into the personal and public lives of Japanese Canadians from the 1930s to the 1970s on the west coast, throughout Canada, and abroad. Nikkei Mubi presents a unique perspective on Canadian history highlighting generations of the Japanese Canadian community and their resilience in a time of discrimination.

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What Aborigines Sang: Aynu, Yukar and Some Problems in Japan Studies

Feb. 10, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Asian Centre Auditorium at UBC, University Endowment Lands

The John Howes Lecture in Japanese Studies is an annual public lecture for prominent scholars from around the world to speak to the university community and alumni on topics in Japanese Studies. On Feb. 10, University of Chicago professor James Ketelaar will draw on his most recent research into the concepts of the barbarian and the frontier in the construction of Japanese national identity and history; coupled with this, he will examine something of the roles and meanings of emotion in the construction of the historical imagination in Japan.

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Feb. 12–15

Historic Theatre at The Cultch, Vancouver

This February, six of Montréal’s best street dancers will immerse themselves in the mysterious mechanics of breathing, and interpret its life-giving rhythm, at the Historic Theatre at The Cultch. Combining elements of contemporary dance, hip hop and martial arts in a physical score that echoes the subtle pulse of respiration, Tentacle Tribe approaches the body as a musical instrument with infinite possibilities. Inhalations and exhalations sculpt the group’s gestures, movement and rhythm as interconnected bodies form striking human structures that shift, alter and evolve in synergy with the music.

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The Barber of Seville

Feb. 13–23

Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

Chase away the February blues with The Barber of Seville, a feast of frivolous fun, playing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre this month. Enjoy Figaro’s mischievous escapades as he assists Count Almaviva in prising the beautiful Rosina away from her lecherous guardian, Dr. Bartolo. Italian composer Gioachino Rossini’s comic masterpiece fizzes with memorable melodies in an entertaining production that proves that the road to true love is paved with theft, lies, bribery, brawling – and wicked comedy. Check out the Vancouver Opera’s website for tickets and more information.

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Fan Expo Vancouver

Feb. 15–17

Vancouver Convention Centre

The Fan Expo Vancouver is a three-day pop culture convention at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The convention is a wonderful celebration of all things nerdy, with tens of thousands of attendees celebrating all that pop culture has to offer. Attendees can shop hundreds of vendors and exhibitors, check out panels and workshops, meet their favourite stars and creators and celebrate what makes them geeky with thousands of other fans in cosplay. For tickets, show information and more information, check out the expo’s website.

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Family Day in British Columbia

Feb. 17

Various venues around the Lower Mainland

The Family Day holiday in British Columbia happens on Feb. 17 this year and there are many Family Day events happening around the Lower Mainland. Some of the events happening on and around Family Day include the Cypress Mountain Family Day weekend, the Richmond Children’s Arts Festival and local programming at many municipal community centres, museums and galleries.