Cultural Calendar

Visit Mars virtually

The summer is here! Like summers past, the days are longer, warmer and sunnier, but unlike past summers, we still have the spectre of the global pandemic hanging over us. While social distancing has relaxed in British Columbia, large gatherings, events and festivals will still be mostly online. So, go out and enjoy the sun, but on days when you want to just stay in, why not check out some of the online events below?

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God in Reverse: When Wisdom Defies Capture

June 3–Sept. 9

Richmond Art Gallery is presenting the filmic contributions of invited artists in an online platform for public viewing. The gallery invites the public to take advantage of this opportunity and access these works of fifteen contemporary artists from around the world, most of which are available online for the first time. These works will appear for a limited time on their web platform GODINREVERSE.COM.

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e-Volver Festival

June 18–27

Up in the Air Theatre brings audiences the e-Volver Festival, featuring live streamed virtual performances for emerging and early mid-career artists. Created in response to the isolation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, this festival presents a series of nine performances by local and national solo performers and interdisciplinary companies. The series will expressly reflect on the time we are living in now. Exploring technology and non-traditional platforms for performing arts, the new creations can be viewed online with Discord, Zoom, YouTube live, Vimeo and Instagram Live, as well as streamed person to person intimate performances. For a complete list of shows and performances, please check out the Up In the Air Theatre website.

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Frida Kahlo Online

June 25, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is celebrated around the world for her emblematic work of Mexican national and indigenous traditions. The London Drawing Group will be hosting a session online exploring one of Kahlo’s favourite mediums: the self-portrait. No other artist has taken such advantage of the medium of self-expression offered by the self-portrait; her paintings ooze personal suffering, triumph, love and tragedy through a simplicity and frankness often interwoven by complex symbolism. This class will provide a brief overview of her incredible life, the techniques and styles she pioneered, followed by a series of specially designed exercises that will help attendees explore Kahlo’s personal way of working, help learn to express oneself through painting and create a great self portrait!

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Royal Astronomical Society Bicentenary

June 26, 10–11 a.m.

The Royal Astronomical Society in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. To help celebrate the occasion, they will be putting online their public lecture from astronomer Michelle Collins who will be discussing galactic archaeology. How did our Galaxy form? Is there only one way to form a spiral galaxy like ours, or can they form in different ways? And what role does the mysterious dark matter play in galaxy formation? By treating each star as a fossil of galactic evolution, scientists can piece together a roadmap for how the beautiful spiral galaxies of the Universe are produced.

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Documenting an Ever Changing Chinatown with Jonathan Desmond

June 26, 2–3 p.m.

Currently a member of the Wongs’ Benevolent Association, photographer Jonathan Desmond has been documenting Vancouver’s Chinatown through photography since 2013. This intersects, methodologically, with his professional work in documentary wedding and lifestyle photography. Desmond strives to create photographs that allow stories to unfold on their own. He will be presenting his work and discussing his experiences online courtesy of the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden on June 26.

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Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours

Reopens July 1

Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours reopen on July 1. Peek beneath Vancouver’s sparkling surface to uncover a hidden history of dark crime, outrageous intrigue and filthy scandal. Roam the city with expert guides in these one-of-a-kind walking tours, and hear the scintillating stories of Vancouver’s secret past.

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Dancing on the Edge

dumb instrument Dance is one of the groups that will be performing at this year’s Dancing on the Edge | Photo courtesy of dumb instrument Dance

July 2–11

The 32nd Annual Dancing on the Edge Festival moves forward in a different form – virtually! For the 2020 festival, they will be presenting specially curated digital programming with live-streamed performances, premieres of dance films, dance discussions, four outdoor live performances in the Firehall’s Courtyard (for very limited audiences with safety precautions in place) and one dynamic theatre performance at the Firehall Arts Centre Theatre. Dancing on the Edge has run uninterrupted for 31 years and they did not want to stop that momentum so they are hoping everyone will enjoy this (hopefully) one time only re-imagined version of the festival.

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The Louvre (Online)

The Louvre will be re-opening to visitors on July 6. But for those of us who cannot make it to the French Republic this summer, we’ll always have Paris (online). Visit the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries, contemplate the façades of the Louvre in their virtual tours and enjoy the view. Check out their Founding Myths exhibit, Egyptian antiquities, Renaissance paintings and political art and more!

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Access Mars

Are you just so sick of Earth right now? Why not check out Mars for a little bit, thanks to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Google. Access Mars lets you explore a 3D replica of the Martian surface using data and photography taken from the NASA Curiosity Rover. Imagery from the Curiosity Rover provided the terrain, allowing users to wander the actual dunes and valleys explored by the spacecraft. More than anything, Access Mars offers a visceral impression of what it would be like to walk alongside Curiosity, wandering through the lonely, red desert.