Cultural Calendar

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Take your mom and the rest of the family out to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, and attend some of the events and festivals happening around town this month.

May Day Festival

May 4–13

Various locations in Port Coquitlam

Mark your calendar for May 4 to 13, when Port Coquitlam celebrates its 95th annual May Days with nine days of free family activities, local culture, live entertainment and more. Dating back to 1923, May Days is Port Coquitlam’s annual spring festival and one of its signature events. One of the main highlights is the Rotary May Day Parade, on May 12 this year, followed by an afternoon of entertainment and activities in Leigh Square. Don’t forget the Pancake Breakfast at 8 a.m.! For a schedule of events, please visit the May Day’s website.

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David James Brock’s WET

May 8–27

The Russian Hall, Vancouver

WET is an award winning in-your-face play set during the height of Canada’s involvement in the Afghanistan War, and is playing at the Russian Hall from May 8–27. A soldier returns home from active duty abandoned by her country. She’s broken. Her husband thinks he can fix her. She can no longer be a mother. He becomes her caregiver. She wants to disappear. He wants his wife back. Their basement suite becomes a prison. A former war comrade shows up to make things better. He doesn’t. WET is a provocative examination of poverty, mental illness and the military industrial complex. Presented in ITSAZOO’s trademark immersive style, WET unfolds mere inches from intimately-sized audiences of 28 people per show. For tickets and more information, please visit their website.

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Advanced Placement 17, 2018, by Scott Sueme.| Photo courtesy of Komoto Gallery.

Scott Sueme’s Homework

May 8–June 9

Kimoto Gallery, Vancouver

The Kimoto Gallery will be presenting Homework, a new series of paintings, mono-prints and installation work by Canadian graphic artist Scott Sueme. Building from his previous show, Retreat, Sueme continues his ongoing consideration for shape and colour, explored through hard-edged, yet painterly compositions. Refined to simplistic curves and formations, his work resists identifiable reference, allowing the viewer to consider a subject beyond context or representation. Indebted to 20th century abstraction and modernist design, Sueme brings equal attention to both process and form. There will be an opening reception on May 11 and an artist talk on May 26. Please check out the gallery’s website for more information.

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Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine

May 10–26

Deep Cove Shaw Theatre, North Vancouver

British playwright Willy Russell’s heartwarming one-woman comedy play premiered in 1986 and took the world by storm. Playing at the Deep Cove Shaw Theatre, actress Louise Porter will star in a Deep Cove adaptation of Russell’s play. Shirley is a Liverpudlian housewife. Her kids have left home, and she makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall. Where has her life disappeared to? Out of the blue, her best friend offers her a trip to Greece for two weeks, and she secretly packs her bags. She heads for the sun and starts to see the world and herself very differently. Please visit the First Impressions theatre website for tickets and more information.

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Breaking Boundaries

May 12, 9–11:30 p.m.

Cafe Deux Soleils, Vancouver

The musical group Breaking Boundaries will be performing traditional Colombian rhythms of Vallenato, Cumbia Currulao and others at the Cafe Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive on May 12. These rhythmic styles are a mixture of Spanish, African and pre-contact Indigenous melodies whose fusion created the dance and musical folklore of modern-day Columbia. With the purpose of sharing this folk music with Vancouver, Breaking Boundaries wishes to share with Canadians the sounds of Colombia, providing an exciting experience and overcoming the physical distance that exists between the two countries.

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Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way

May 17–19, 24–26

Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre

The Vancouver Moving Theatre will be presenting a new play and cultural encounter that gives voice to those who have lived within Canada’s long shadow of colonialism at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre in late May. The play brings to life the story of Old One and his journey to reconcile with himself, his family and his community. His dream-like healing journey unfolds as he opens himself to his memories: of the impact of residential school on his family, the effect of intergenerational trauma on his daughter Nicole, the decline of the fishing industry and the resulting loss of a working life on the water. Check out the play’s website for tickets and more information.

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The North American Kant Society Fourth Biennial Meeting

May 18–20

SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver

The North American Kant Society will be celebrating and discussing the works of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant at SFU on May 18–20. Kant ranks as one of the greatest philosophers in the history of philosophy. He synthesized the early modern philosophical debate between rationalism and empiricism, posited highly original thought on metaphysics, epistemology and ethical theory, and influenced virtually all subsequent philosophy. Keynote speakers include respected Kantian scholars Onora O’Neill, Sally Sedgwick and Michael Friedman. Check out the society’s conference page for registration and more information.

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Coast Salish Stories

May 19, 12 p.m.–2 p.m.

Deer Lake Art Gallery, Burnaby

The Deer Lake Art Gallery will be hosting a storytelling of the Kwantlen First Nation that will be featuring cultural storyteller and teacher Fern Gabriel, on May 19. Fern Gabriel, ancestral name Sesmelot from Kwantlen First Nation, is passionate about sharing the history and stories of the Kwantlen. In this storytelling event, Fern will share stories that are hundreds – and even thousands – of years old, passed through generations of First Nations peoples, explaining the importance of environmental stewardship through stories of the salmon, the sturgeon and the eagle. For more information, please visit the website.

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Surrey International Children’s Festival

May 24–26

Surrey Arts Centre and Bear Creek Park, Surrey

Bring your children down to the Surrey International Children’s Festival, which will feature performers and interactive arts activities engaging children up to 12 years old, families and schools groups over three days. There are over 20 different art activities on site including visual, performing arts, digital media and music. Additionally, the festival provides many outreach activities that keep people engaged and creative through various channels including youth mentorship programs, study guides, library resources and the Art Walk. Visit the website for a list of events.

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Fiesta Mexicolombiana

May 26, 8 p.m.

The WISE Hall, Vancouver

The Caravan World Rhythms and Las Estrellas de Vancouver will present a super-duper fiesta at the WISE Hall on May 26. This exciting concert features three groups playing the music of Mexico and Colombia: Mariachi, Son Jarocho, Huasteco, Vallenato and Cumbia. Get ready to move to the sounds of these vibrant groups. Later, dance the night away to the tropical selections of DJ Marc Fournier. For tickets and more information, please visit the Caravan website.

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Mother’s Day Tea on the Train

May 13, 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., 1 p.m.–2 p.m., 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Port Moody Station Museum

Come take your mother to the Tri-Cities for this popular Mother’s Day event. Climb aboard the Port Moody Station Museum’s 1921 passenger train car, the Venosta, and treat your mom and your family to live entertainment and a relaxing tea with fruit, baked goods and other treats on fine china! Afterwards, enjoy a leisurely tour of the museum and a stroll through the Heritage and Meditation Gardens. Reservations required. Please check out the museum’s website for more information.

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Vancouver International Children’s Festival

May 28–June 3

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island is once again the host of the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, an all-ages festival that will delight audience goers with art, acrobatics, dance, puppetry, music and storytelling performances. Spend the day interacting with performers, participating in the on-site activities and much more. For a complete list of events and performers, please visit the festival’s website.