Cultural Calendar

Canada’s second wave of coronavirus is here and we definitely need to buckle down and stay the course with social distancing, just as we did in the spring. Check out the many events and festivals hosting activities online or adhering to current COVID-19 health and safety protocols. We’re in this together – let’s get through this! Have a safe Thanksgiving holiday everyone!

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Fall at the Farm at Maan Farms

Sept. 25–Nov. 2

Nothing but pumpkins and scary creatures await. | Photo courtesy of Maan Farms

The Maan Farms in Abbotsford is hosting two events this month, Fall at the Farm and the Scariest Cornmaze in Canada. The former activity features family friendly activities such as a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, kart track and a play fort. The latter activity features a Halloween-themed corn maze featuring terrifying creatures and frightening monsters. Because of the pandemic, both events are on a reduced capacity and registration is required. Check out the farm’s website for more information.

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The Doll’s House Project

Oct. 10–17

The first Studio 58 production this season is The Doll’s House Project, a reimagined, ensemble production based on Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. The project examines a classic play – written by a privileged white man about a woman’s self-emancipation from oppression – as told by a troupe of young actors, in the midst of a global pandemic and massive social upheaval. Safely apart, but together, the members of the diverse ensemble take turns stepping into multiple roles and each contributes to the unfolding of Nora’s journey as she breaks free from a restrictive marriage. This stripped down staging focuses on voices, bodies in motion and live music, and asks the question, “How did we get here?”.

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The Remains of Artistic Praxis: the posters, programs and scripts of Kishida Rio

Oct. 15, 4–5 p.m.

A theatre performance is transitory and experiential for performer and spectator, yet traces linger once the time-based act is complete. How does a researcher dig through these remnants to understand or analyze an artist’s praxis? UBC doctoral candidate Colleen Lanki will attempt to shed light on this subject with reference to the Japanese playwright and theatre artist Kishida Rio (1946–2003), who wrote several plays about women and the problems they faced in a patriarchal society. This event will be held over Zoom; for more information, check out the museum’s website.

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2020 Whistler Writers Festival

Oct. 15–18

The annual Whistler Writers Festival, like many other events and festivals, is going online this year, providing workshops for emerging writers, readings that encourage and engage healthy, provocative, and thoughtful debate, and an intimacy and vibrant connection with as broad and inclusive an audience as possible. There will be discussions on alternative publishing, challenges to the writing industry, as well as book launches, literary salons and cabarets, and reading events. For a complete list of guests and events, check out their program guide on the festival website.

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23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention

Oct. 15–18

The Colorado-based Mars Society will be hosting the 23rd Annual International Mars Society Convention all over the world via the Internet! Through the use of unique technology, it will be possible to not only hold presentations, panel discussions and debates, but also to allow people from around the world to participate, posing questions and interacting with one another, creating a virtual global convention of a type never seen before. The Mars Society’s four-day international conference will bring together leading scientists, government policymakers, commercial space executives, science journalists, and space advocates to discuss the latest scientific and technological developments and challenges related to the human and robotic exploration of Mars and the eventual human settlement of the Red Planet.

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Hey Viola!

Hey Viola! explores the life of a Canadian civil rights hero. | Photo courtesy of the Anvil Centre

Oct. 15–25

The Anvil Centre will present the premiere of Hey Viola!, a musical exploration of Canadian civil rights hero, Viola Desmond, performed from Oct. 15–25. Viola Desmond is best known for her courage in refusing to leave the whites-only section of Nova Scotia’s Roseland cinema in 1946. Vancouver songstress and performer Krystle Dos Santos, with the support of local musicians Chris Davis, Steven Charles and Mary Ancheta, brings the life of Desmond to the stage using the dynamic and inspirational music that filled the home of this trailblazer of the civil rights movement. Using the cabaret style musical format enriches the telling of her amazing and powerful story, ultimately an important Canadian story.

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Playing now; Q&A: Oct. 17, 3:30 p.m.

Uprooted is a digitally-adapted theatre production that stems from conversations with diverse youth who are anxious about climate change. Formerly intended to be presented live in May 2020, this production has been re-staged and filmed at the York Theatre. Written by youth with help from professional playwright Valerie Methot, and produced by a team of youth and theatre professionals across Canada, Uprooted hopes to strengthen the response to climate change and promote mental health management. Three friends on an annual camping trip must suddenly face a threat to the B.C. forest they love. Will they take a stand for future generations and protect what they view as sacred?

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Op Art: Victor Vasarely

Oct. 17, 2020–April 5, 2021

Celebrated as the father of Op Art (Optical Art), the Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely (1906–1997) is internationally renowned for his colourful abstract patterns and playful Pop aesthetic. Stimulating the eye, his vibrant paintings, prints and sculptures produce the optical illusion of dynamic movement: they appear to pulse, shimmer and vibrate. This exhibition, being hosted by the Vancouver Art Gallery, showcases Vasarely’s artistic production primarily from the 1960s and ’70s, at the peak of his popularity.

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Halloween Mystery Nights

Every October Night

Looking for something to do for the Halloween season? The Downtown Vancouver Mystery Nights returns this year with games every night in October. Hosted by Canada’s first mystery game company, their outdoor mystery games are unique outdoor gaming experiences, built in Vancouver for Vancouver, based on real-life adventures set specifically in Vancouver. For the month of October, there are two games to choose from: an outdoor murder mystery challenge or an outdoor spy game. For more information on their games, check out their website.

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Hallows’ Eve

Available while supplies last

In lieu of hosting theatre performances this season, Gateway Theatre will be offering Hallows’ Eve, a miniature 3-D theatre and a play that they can stage in the comfort and safety of their own home. Illustrated by local interdisciplinary artist Keely O’Brien, each paper theatre kit features a ready to assemble theatre with whimsical paper characters and enchanting set pieces. To inspire creativity and storytelling, the paper theatre also comes with a fun Halloween-themed play, Hallows’ Eve, written by Jasmine Chen, Gateway’s artistic and community Producer.