Cultural Calendar

Are you done with the cold weather? I sure am. The spring season is right around the corner and though I loathe to swap a cold weather season for an allergy season, I could use some more sun and warmth right about now. If you’re like me and have been hibernating all winter, hopefully one of the festivals or events below might be the right occasion to get back outside!

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19th Annual Talking Stick Festival

Feb. 18–29

Various venues

The Talking Stick Festival began as a way to showcase and celebrate Indigenous art and performance to a wider audience. Now in its 19th year and bringing out upwards of 20,000 attendees each year, this year’s theme is Chén̓chenstway: “upholding each other, lifting each other up.” This festival of extraordinary Indigenous performance and art features some of the best emerging and established Indigenous artists Turtle Island has to offer, with a lineup of theatre, storytelling, writing, music, spoken word, dance, film, visual arts – and more!

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CelticFest Vancouver

Feb. 20–Mar. 28

Various venues around Vancouver

CelticFest Vancouver is Western Canada’s biggest annual Celtic festival. It is a rich cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations’ kinship and community. The festival showcases the best of Celtic music, dance, spoken word and supports the rich Celtic Community based in the city. This year’s festival features an ever-expanding lineup of guests and events, including a Ceilidh on Mar. 13, a St. Patrick’s Day Family Event on Mar. 15 and more. Visit the CelticFest’s Facebook page for a complete lineup.

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Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

Feb. 21–Mar. 1

Various theatres and venues

The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival is an annual 10-day community festival, featuring mountain film screenings, live multimedia presentations, photography exhibitions, workshops, seminars and other special events. By presenting unique outdoor and mountaineering films that illustrate experiences and cultures from all corners of the globe, the festival brings communities together to promote positive values and active lifestyles. For a list of shows and more information, please check out the festival website.

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Making Our Way Home

Feb. 22, 1–4 p.m.

312 Main Street, Vancouver

Blair Imani, activist, writer and historian, brings her second illustrated tome of radical history to Vancouver in time for Black History Month! This book launch and conversation, co-hosted by SFU Public Square, celebrates Imani’s wisdom and authorship and invites local Black activists for an intimate dialogue on the parallel but different histories of Black Canadians. Join Imani for a rich discussion on the importance of Black history in the context of Black liberation with a collection of influential Black voices. Tickets by donation with proceeds going to cover event costs. Check out the SFU website for tickets and more information.

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Sea Songs & Shanties

Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, University Endowment Lands

Join the musicians and vocal soloists of La Nef and Chor Leoni Men’s Choir as they explore music of the sea with capstan shanties, halyard shanties, laments, forecastle songs and short haul shanties: hear the rich songs and music that accompany a sailor’s work and play. Inspired by a tradition of English maritime music going back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Seán Dagher, the troupe’s musical director, has created modern arrangements of these songs to display all the warmth and depth they deserve. For tickets and programme information, check out the Early Music B.C. website.

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Lineages and Land Bases

Feb. 22–May 18

Vancouver Art Gallery

The artworks in lineages and land bases, on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery until May 18, address differing understandings of the self and personhood in relation to nature as artists seek to represent their relationships to the world around them. At the centre of the exhibition is a focused look at the life and work of Sewiṉchelwet (Sophie Frank) from the Sḵwx̱wú7meshÚxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and Emily Carr. The two women were close contemporaries and friends for 33 years, a relationship that was shaped by the profound inequalities between them resulting from colonialism. A comparison of Frank’s basketry with Carr’s late landscapes both prefigures and extends the critique of the separation of nature and culture seen elsewhere in the exhibition that urge patrons to think anew about the meaning of the self and its ties to the non-human world.

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Vancouver Jewish Film Festival

Feb. 27–Mar. 8

Various theatres around Vancouver

Since 1988, The Vancouver Jewish Film Centre has presented high quality comedies, dramas, thrillers, hot and timely documentaries and whimsical shorts at the festival, showcasing the diversity of Jewish culture, heritage and identity through film. Catch an irreverent cinematic spin on the Israeli Palestinian conflict, a tale of star-crossed lovers in Mexico City and uplifting stories of hope and healing for Holocaust survivors. For tickets, shows and more information, please check out the festival’s website.

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Music and puppetry bring classic tale to life. | Photo courtesy of Carousel Theatre

The House at Pooh Corner

Feb. 28–Mar. 29

The Waterfront Theatre at Granville Island, Vancouver

Bring your young children to the Waterfront Theatre to see the Carousel Theatre’s adaptation of British author A.A. Milne’s children’s classic storybook The House at Pooh Corner, playing until late March. Take a magical trip into the Hundred Acre Wood and discover the wonderful world of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. Music and puppetry without strings make this a very special treat for family audiences. Join the theatre troupe as they explore how the friends around us can shine brighter than any stars in the sky.

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Gwenessa Lam and Hyung-Min Yoon: Trace

Feb. 29–April 26

Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam

Every day, we peer into a black mirror and ask it to help us understand the world. We wake our sleeping, darkened screens and attempt to make sense of the world through pixels and bytes. The exhibition Trace, opening Feb. 29 at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, brings together artworks by visual artists Gwenessa Lam and Hyung-Min Yoon that explore the power of the black mirror in a range of its incarnations. Through multiple mediums, including artists’ books, sculpture and printmaking, Lam and Yoon consider the circulation of images and the evolution of their meaning across time, countries and platforms. There will be an artists’ talk and reception from 2–4:30 p.m. on Feb. 29.

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Resounding Joy: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Mar. 1, 2 p.m.

Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver

The Vancouver Academy of Music (VAM) will be celebrating their 50th anniversary season with a special presentation in honour of the genius of Ludwig van Beethoven on Sunday, Mar. 1 at the Orpheum Theatre. Under the baton of Conductor Emeritus Leslie Dala, more than 100 students from the VAM Symphony Orchestra (VAMSO), four esteemed vocal soloists, Vancouver Bach Choir, and members of VAM’s Choral Program will perform a dazzling concert featuring Beethoven’s most revered works. The program order will see
Fidelio Overture open the concert, followed by Piano Concerto No. 4 and will conclude with a jubilant performance of Symphony No. 9. For tickets and more information, check out the VAM website.

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Inheritance: A Choose-Your-Adventure Experience

Mar. 3–15

Annex Theatre, Vancouver

A remote property is up for grabs. Three people race to claim it. You – the audience – decide how the story unfolds. Set on a vast, rural estate, urban couple Abbey and Noah are on a week-long getaway to visit her father. When they arrive, they find him missing and a local Indigenous man, Frank, staying there instead. When it’s revealed that the colonial property rights to this unceded land are up for grabs, the audience – with anonymous voting devices in hand – decides what happens next. An exciting and daring interactive play like nothing you’ve experienced, Inheritance puts the power in the palms of its audiences, giving them the freedom to choose the action of the play. At key moments, the play is halted, multiple plot choices are offered, and with a click of a button the audience picks the path the play takes next, ultimately deciding its outcome.