Cultural Calendar

Cherry blossoms at Art Phillips Park, site of the Cherry Jam Downtown Concert on Mar. 30.| Photo by AE Creations.

Spring is here! If you’re like me, you may need to stock up on allergy medicine. Otherwise, it’s a great time of the year, with warmer weather, sunnier days and, of course, plenty of dances, film fests, theatre, roundtables and other festivals and events happening around town. Oh, and be sure to enjoy and take pictures of the amazing cherry blossoms in bloom throughout Vancouver: submit a great photo to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s photo contest for a chance to win a prize!


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Challenges and complexities in wastewater reuse in peri-urban Bangalore, India

Mar. 23, 12:30–1:30 p.m.

Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, University of British Columbia

The Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems welcomes Indian social scientist Bejoy K. Thomas to speak on the issue of water in urban areas, especially in and around Bangalore. Wastewater reuse presents multiple challenges: water treatment infrastructure is limited, food crops grown and irrigated with contaminated urban wastewater poses health risks and demands for and claims over wastewater aggravate conflicts between various users. Thomas will address the Indian-specific issues as well as the general role of urban wastewater throughout the world. For more information, please check out the website.


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Mar. 23–25, 7 p.m.

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, Vancouver

OURO is an eclectic, Vancouver-based dance collective that employs hip-hop, breaking, popping and contemporary dance to inspire the creation and production of new work. They’ll be performing at the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall in the closing days of this year’s Vancouver International Dance Festival, Mar. 23–25. This month’s performance is PACE, a unique dance hybrid which explores each dance member’s personal relationship with anxiety, competition, suppression and isolation. For tickets and more information, please visit the VIDF website.


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Mar. 23–April 22

CityScape Community Art Space, North Vancouver

The North Vancouver Community Art Council will be honouring spring with Clouds, an exhibition dedicated to the many forms and characters of clouds. Using media like oil, acrylic, photography, and bead installation, 51 artists explore the power and awe of the darkest stormy cloud to the sheer wonder of a big prairie sky. Visit the gallery to spot altocumulus, stratocumulus and many more types of clouds. The opening reception takes place on Mar. 23, 7–9 p.m.


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Martha Nussbaum: Anger & Revolutionary Justice

Mar. 24, 7–9 p.m.

Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Vancouver

Esteemed philosopher Martha Nussbaum is one of the foremost analytic philosophers working in academia today, writing, publishing and musing on topics from Plato, Aristotle and ancient philosophy to feminism and animal rights. She will be at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema here in Vancouver on Mar. 24 to present a lecture on anger in the public sphere. In this lecture, Nussbaum will clarify the concept of anger and argue that this emotion is neither appropriate nor productive in either personal and political life. For tickets and further information, please visit SFU’s website.


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Valley Song

Mar. 24–April 8

Pacific Theatre, Vancouver

Director Jovanni Sy and the Pacific Theatre will present South African playwright Athol Fugard’s 1996 work Valley Song from Mar. 24 to April 8. Fugard is best known for his plays set in apartheid South Africa depicting how racism, bigotry and hatred affects those who live in such a place. A heartfelt story of tradition, change, and the resilience of the human spirit, Valley Song features a farmer and his granddaughter striving to survive and prosper in the post-apartheid era. For tickets, showtimes and further information, check out the theatre’s website.


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The Lost Fleet

Opening Mar. 24

Vancouver Maritime Museum

The Vancouver Maritime Museum will be opening an exhibit examining the lives and boats of Japanese-Canadian fishermen and how racism played a major part in the seizure of their property and the internment of an entire people. The exhibit will feature photographs, models, replicas, shells and other artifacts detailing the lived experiences of both the fishermen and the community at large. Curator Duncan MacLeod hopes the exhibit creates connections between the past and the present political and economic climate today. For more information, please visit their website.


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Multicultural Women’s Conference and Fair

Mar. 25, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Croatian Cultural Centre, Vancouver

Canadian Immigrant will host the Multicultural Women’s Conference and Fair at the Croatian Cultural Centre on Mar. 25, providing a space for women to interact and network to enrich and empower their lives. Motivational speaker sessions, art therapy, exhibits and tradeshows and more will be on hand to enhance women fitness, careers and personal success. For registration and further details, please visit their website.


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Cherry Jam Downtown Concert

Mar. 30, 12–1:30 p.m.

Art Phillips Park, Vancouver

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival starts on March 30, and one of the first free festival events is the Cherry Jam Downtown Concert at Art Phillips Park, just outside Burrard SkyTrain Station. The outdoor concourse is home to just one of many parks throughout the city with cherry blossom trees, and here’s hoping it will be in bloom that day. Featured performers include Uzume Taiko, South Asian Arts, Lions Gate Sinfonia Brass Sextet with West End Chamber Choir and Son de Maple. For more information, visit the VCBF website.


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Raymond Boisjoly: Listening to Fugazi’s In On The Kill Taker

Mar. 30, 7 p.m.

Western Front, Vancouver

Western Front will be hosting Haida artist and Emily Carr professor Raymond Boisjoly as he uses the conceptual tools of “discrepant” reading on the post-hardcore band Fugazi’s 1993 album In On the Kill Taker. He hopes to draw out the relevance of the lyrical content on contemporary Indigenous art. For further information, please visit Western Front’s website.


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Vancouver South African Film Festival

Mar. 31–April 2

SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver

For the seventh time, the Vancouver South African Film Festival returns to the city to present features and documentaries exploring the culture, history and politics of South Africa – films that both entertain and inform. Watch films about topics as diverse as South African identity, rhino horn poaching, anti-apartheid activism and energy extraction, and about people from all walks of life, including comedians, satirists, dancers and more. For tickets, showtimes and more information, please visit the festival website.


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MEICON-BC Student Conference

April 1, 9 a.m–5 p.m.

SFU Segal Building, Vancouver

Since 2008, The MEICON-BC Student Conference has been hosting academic speakers and discussion on Middle East and Islamic themes. This year’s conferences focuses on the Ottomans, examining diasporas, minorities, citizenship, identity, architecture, art and the social and political contexts of the old Eurasian empire and the modern state of Turkey. The conference will be preceded by a keynote address on Mar. 31, 7 p.m., by University of Washington professor Walter Andrews, speaking on Ottoman poetry and history. For registration and more information, please visit the SFU website.