Cultural Calendar

I hope you all had as great a summer as you could in the spectre of the coronavirus. With the passing of the Autumnal Equinox, fall 2020 is finally here – and like the spring and summer, many events have been postponed or cancelled. The world has gotten used to hosting more online and fewer in-person events, and the fall season is shaping up to be no different. So, as you begin to adjust to the falling leaves, why not check out some of the events happening online below?

* * *

The First Century of Opera with Nicolas Krusek

Tuesdays Sept. 22–Oct. 13

The West Vancouver Library will host a series of online discussions exploring the spectacular rise of opera in 17th-century Europe. Simon Fraser University music educator Nicolas Krusek will discuss some of the works that have stood the test of time, alongside others that were once tremendously popular but have since suffered unjust neglect. Krusek will discuss opera’s beginnings in Italy, and the development of the art in France, Great Britain and the Germanic countries.

* * *

Our Existences are Political: Identity and History as Pathways for Transformation

Sept. 23, 2:30–4 p.m.

In 2019, James Makokis and Anthony Johnson became the first two-spirit Indigenous couple to win The Amazing Race Canada. The pair used the competition as a platform to tackle topics like gender and sexual identity, racism, mental health and the environment. They did so through an Indigenous lens, naming their team Ahkameyimok, a Cree word that roughly translates to “never give up.” In this talk, they will share their personal transformations, from their early years facing adversity around two-spirit and Indigenous identities to a lifetime of education, transforming them into leaders, activists and role models.

* * *

Shot of Scotch Vancouver

Enjoy a hop and a scotch | Photo courtesy of Dance Centre

Sept. 23–Oct. 8

According to legend, the roots of Highland dance go back centuries, with warriors imitating epic deeds from Scottish folklore. Dancers from Shot of Scotch Vancouver will demonstrate, through an online streaming session hosted by The Dance Centre, the athleticism and artistry this form requires, emphasizing precise footwork, timing and technique, and talk about its history, tradition and ongoing evolution.

* * *

Witnesses to History: The Life and Death of a Town called Buczacz

Sept. 24, 6–7:30 p.m.

The SFU History Department will host a Zoom session discussing the history of ethnic cleansing in Buczacz, a small European border town now part of Ukraine. For more than four hundred years, Buczacz was home to a highly diverse citizenry. It was here that Poles, Ukrainians and Jews all lived side by side in relative harmony. Then came World War II, and three years later the entire Jewish population had been murdered by German and Ukrainian police, while Ukrainian nationalists eradicated Polish residents. A conversation with Lauren Rossi (SFU History), Omer Bartov (Brown University) will illuminate how significant individual witnesses are to the writing of history, particularly of conflict and war.

* * *

Vancouver International Film Festival

Sept. 24–Oct. 7

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) announces its 39th edition, showcasing more than 100 feature films and events, including boundary-pushing Canadian work, adventurous East Asian cinema, inspiring documentaries, elevated genre cinema and festival favourites. The primarily online festival is available throughout the province of British Columbia on the new VIFF Connect streaming platform, but will also feature a select number of in-cinema presentations, including the opening film and world premiere of Loretta Sarah Todd’s Monkey Beach. To explore VIFF’s 2020 programming, and to purchase Single Tickets and Subscriptions, visit the festival’s website.

* * *

The Spirit Keepers of Makuta’ay: An Artist Talk with Yen-Chao Lin

Sept. 25, 6 p.m.

The Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will be hosting an online artist talk by Montréal-based multidisciplinary artist Yen-Chao Lin via Zoom in conjunction with the current group exhibition, We cast Spells on the Mothers of our Daughter and Daughters of our Mothers, at Centre A. Lin, a self-described postmodern archivist and natural history enthusiast, explores divination arts, occult sciences, oral history, religion and power in her work through means of intuitive play, craft techniques, collaboration, scavenging and collecting. In this talk, she will discuss the inspirations that influence her practice and the making of her 2019 short film, The Spirit Keepers of Makuta’ay.

* * *

B.C. Culture Days

Sept. 25–Oct. 25

Culture Days is a nationwide event celebrating and showcasing local arts and culture in Canadian communities. Traditionally held over a weekend, because of the global pandemic, Culture Days has been extended to a four-week interactive, immersive arts and culture experience happening across Canada in-person, where possible, and online. Here in Metro Vancouver, many municipalities and cultural centres will be hosting hundreds of virtual concerts, live shows, exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and more. Culture Days hopes to instill appreciation for the role artists, historians, designers and creators play in the creation of art and the enrichment of our cultural fabric.

* * *

A Talk with Kent Monkman

Nativity Scene by Kent Monkman | Photo courtesy of MOA

Sept. 26, 11 a.m.–12 noon

Cree artist Kent Monkman’s Shame and Prejudice, currently on display at the Museum of Anthropology, takes you on a journey through the past 150 years of Canada. It is a journey that reclaims and reinserts Indigenous voices into the collective memory of Canada, challenging and shattering colonial ideas of Canadian history. His work is known for its provocative reinterpretations of Romantic North American landscapes, and it explores themes of colonization, sexuality, loss and resilience – the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experience. Monkman will discuss his exhibition online via Zoom on Sept. 26. Check out MOA’s website for registration

* * *

Broken Promises

Opening Sept. 26

Grounded in research from Landscapes of Injustice – a seven year multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, community engaged project, Broken Promises explores the dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s. It illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. The story unfolds by following seven narrators. Learn about life for Japanese Canadians in Canada before war, the administration of their lives during and after war ends and how legacies of dispossession continue to this day. Opening day programming will include the launch of a Landscapes of Injustice book, knowledge mobilization outputs and exciting information about digital offerings.

* * *

22nd Vancouver Improv Festival

Sept. 30–Oct. 4

Since 1999, the Vancouver Improv Fest has showcased over 1200 international and local performers for thousands of Vancouver 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. This year the 22nd annual festival returns in an online format, featuring workshops, shows and a panel, with guests from all around the globe. For festival information, please check out their website.