Cultural Calendar

The Electric Company Theatre poses the question: “How do you engage”. | Photo courtesy of Electric Company Theatre

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021! Even though many of 2020’s problems continue this year, here’s hoping a new year brings with it a new perspective and better changes over the next 12 months! Below are just a few of the many online events, exhibits and activities available for you to view and check out from the comfort of your home this month.

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Streams Jan. 7

Gathering dozens of performers in a natural environment, moving together in choreographed formations, Reframed, by the Electric Company Theatre, gives poetic voice to online shorthand and emojis. In contrast to the isolation of reacting to information on a screen, the project aims to physically transform an escalating online discourse into a voiced expression of multiple perspectives. As an examination of outrage and divisiveness, propelled and exacerbated by virtual algorithms, Reframed poses the question: “How do we engage?” Check out the ECT website for the online video and more information.

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2021 Italian Film Festival

Jan. 8–21

The Vancouver Italian Film Festival migrates online for the 2021 year and is available on the Vancouver International Film Festival’s website, VIFF Connect, between January 8 and 21. The festival features a new, acclaimed, live action version of Pinocchio, which was described by critics as “a landmark adaptation,” was a big hit in Italy last Christmas. The opening film at the Venice Film Festival last year, The Ties wrests meaningful new perspectives on age-old relationship conflicts and is a piercing study of adultery and betrayal. For more information on these and other films playing at the festival, please check out the VIFF’s website.

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Vivaldi & Bach: The Trio Sonata in the 18th Century

Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy two of Canada’s most revered and influential violinists specializing in historically informed performance practice, Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik Music Director Emerita, and Marc Destrube, longtime concert master of the Orchestra of the 18th century as they sample the splendours of Baroque chamber music as realized by the great J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, and French composers Jean-Marie Leclair and Marin Marais. Please visit the Early Music Vancouver’s website for program information and artist biographies.

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Inside the Mind of a Crow

Crows are smarter than you think. | Photo by Frank Lin

Jan. 14, 5–6:15 p.m.

If you live in Vancouver, it’s safe to assume you are well acquainted with crows. But did you know that crows can remember your face for years, solve puzzles too hard for human toddlers, and know to only use crosswalks when the light is red? As a postdoctoral researcher at UBC, Ben Freeman has studied how crows interact with their raven relatives. Find out how crows live alongside people as Ben tours you through crows’ lives in Vancouver and explains why they have evolved so many fascinating behaviours. Check out the Stanley Park Ecology’s website to register for this interesting Zoom webinar.

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Clementine Literature:A Portrait of the Writeras a Young Christian

Jan 15, 2:30–4:30 p.m.!view/event/event_id/16562

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Hellenic Studies will be hosting a virtual seminar on Jan. 15 entitled Clementine Literature: A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Christian, presented by their postdoctoral fellow Sergio Basso. Under the name of Clementine literature, we can read today a 4th-century romance, the adventurous journey that the young, boisterous Roman Clement makes to Palestine in search of spiritual enlightenment. When it comes to the Clementine Romance, Basso recommends picking up the book and immersing yourself in its mind-blowing odyssey. After introducing the book’s main events, he will present the influence of the ancient, rhetoric-centered school programs on the structure of the novel; the Syriac contribution to the imagery of the author; and some underrated comical aspects of the story. It will be an intrepid journey into the writer’s cabinet and his audience, in the Greek-speaking Near East of the 4th century.

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Sea Signals: Communications at Sea

Launches Jan. 18

Sea Signals, a joint exhibit by the Vancouver Maritime Museum and Langara College, explores the history of communications at sea over the past century with a focus on how developments in marine communications impacted British Columbia and the Arctic. The exhibition includes exhibits on Morse code, radio communications, flags, shipwrecks and aids to communication. To build the exhibition, five design teams each worked on a subtopic, creating a multimedia experience with a unique look for each aspect of maritime communications. The virtual exhibit also features a 3D fly-through animation of the plans for the physical exhibition.

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Shakespeare’s London:1564–1616

Jan. 24, 8–9:30 a.m.

London-based tour guide Edward Calcutt will be hosting a fascinating online Zoom tour exploring the world and era of William Shakespeare (1564–1616) in London. It was an intriguing time both in the wider picture of Medieval England, but also in the personal and professional life of Shakespeare. Using high-quality images and engaging storytelling, Calcutt will be guiding you through how these different elements wove together, both zooming back and recreating medieval London, and also looking at and exploring the various surviving buildings and places from Shakespeare’s time where he used to live, the churches he worshipped in, where he put on his plays and much more. Check out the Eventbrite page to register and for more information.

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The Plague’s the Thing: Theatre Before, During and After the Pandemic

Jan. 26, 5–6:30 p.m.

Long before the pandemic struck, theatres were being pressured into becoming ‘safe spaces’ to gather, but the virus turned them into unsafe, possibly even fatal, gathering spaces. What place does live theatre have when the life and death stakes of a pandemic are raging around the world and up-to-the-minute news becomes more urgent than any theatre drama on zoom? Zoom keeps people safe in every way but when the danger recedes and live theatre returns, what might those ‘safe/unsafe spaces’ look like? What kind of safety will artists and audiences demand when they gather together again? What kind of ordeals and afflictions will they hunger for? Please check out the Green College for more information on this webinar.

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PuSh Rally

Jan. 26–Feb. 7

The PuSh Festival returns to Vancouver as the PuSh Rally to showcase innovative and transformative art. This year’s format, because of the pandemic, will be a free online series. The PuSh Rally, curated by two of Vancouver’s most celebrated theatre artists, Theatre Replacement’s Maiko Yamamoto and Neworld Theatre’s Marcus Youssef, will provide a global platform for meaningful discourse and idea exchange about the challenges and possibilities inherent in conflict, and the future of live performance. The Rally will include a variety of artist encounters and conversations, international artist presentations and surprise performances from some of the world’s finest artists, thought leaders and change makers. For a list of shows and event details, please visit their website.

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B.C. Black History Awareness Society


The British Columbia Black History Awareness Society celebrates the achievements of Black people in British Columbia by creating an awareness of the history of Blacks in B.C., stimulating interest in the contributions of persons of African ancestry to B.C. and Canada today, and celebrating historical and current achievements in the arts, education, government, sports and science. Check out their expanded online exhibits, learning centre and feature stories to learn more about this vibrant community.