Cultural Calendar

Debris from Kinesis Dance somatheatro. | Photo courtesy of the danae centre

Spring is just around the corner! Soon you will be able to frolic outside while the cherry blossoms are in bloom, the warm spring sun shines down on you and the allergies return. But in the meantime, there’s still one more month of winter left, it’s not that warm out yet and there’s a pandemic out there, so why not check out some of these online events and festivals?

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Feb. 12–April 3

The social upheavals of 2020 such as the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have catalyzed a global conversation around human rights and equality. Inaction, an exhibit by artist Brendan Fernandes and on display at the Richmond Art Gallery, reflects on this current moment, how our bodies are affected by systemic violence, and the potential for positive change through gathering, protest and physical collectivity. The exhibit addresses the potential for change through collective action. The installation comprises two main components: a newly commissioned series of nine sculptural works and the two channel video projection Free Fall: for Camera. For more information, check out the gallery’s website.

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Talking Stick Festival 2021

Feb. 18–27

The Talking Stick Festival began as a way to showcase and celebrate Indigenous art and performance to a wider audience. Now in its 20th year, this year’s theme is the Season of Four Fires, celebrating acts of artistic transformation, creative defiance, community-building and making space for all voices. Although the provincial COVID regulations prevent the festival from hosting events and gatherings live, they will showcase their performances and events online. Check out their website for a full schedule of virtual performances.

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24th Annual Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

Feb. 19–28

Join the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival virtually to enjoy over 50 films, three interactive workshops, three engaging panel discussions and discover new documentaries about climbing, snowsports, Indigenious cultures, the environment, mountain culture and adventure and more! The festival will also be hosting online workshops with top experts in their field. For a complete list of showings, please check out the festival’s website.

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Stories that Animate Us

Feb. 20–Aug. 22

Storytelling – its scope and ongoing significance – lies at the heart of Stories that Animate Us, a dynamic and compelling exhibition showing at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Highlighting a rich selection of works on paper and animations, the exhibit draws from a diverse range of oral histories, narratives, knowledge systems and cosmologies. Whether evoking the spirit world, delving into the depths of their imagination or endeavouring to make meaning from historical and current events, the featured artists reflect on such existential themes as culture, community, memory, morality and identity in order to speak to the past, present and future. The exhibit invites the public to reflect on the importance of storytelling in their lives while asking: What stories inspire you, what stories need to be told and which will you pass on?

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Over the Alps: Music of 17th century Italy and Austria

Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.

The audience for ‘classical music’ is well familiar with instrumental music from Corelli to Stravinsky, but largely ignores some wonderful repertoire composed before and since. This program by Early Music Vancouver highlights instrumental music composed in Austria and Italy in the 17th century, a time when composers innovated and experimented with musical forms, and explored the technical possibilities and distinct sonorities of individual instruments, including the sackbut (early trombone) and dulcian (early bassoon) as well as string and keyboard instruments.

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Future Economy: Prosperous, Sustainable and Resilient

Feb. 25, 8–10 a.m.

While Vancouver has transitioned from a boom and bust economy to a diverse and knowledge-based one, many residents and workers still struggle to make ends meet. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these concerns and further exposed the vulnerabilities in Vancouver’s economic situation. City planning and economic policies need to support a new economic landscape not just in the present, but into the future. Join the SFU Public Square and the City of Vancouver as they discuss what is required to transition to a city of economic health and diversity. Their panel will bring diverse perspectives on the future of Vancouver’s economy and they’re looking forward to hearing ideas on how to ground equity, reconciliation and sustainability in the local economy for Planning Vancouver Together.

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Lan Tung: Have Bow Will Travel

Feb. 26, 7 p.m.

Prolific composer, erhu player, and vocalist Lan Tung transposes Chinese musical foundations to new contexts, adding Hindustani, Uyghur and Mongolian influences as well as various avant-garde approaches. For this program, Lan Tung will perform two world premieres for erhu and string quintet by composer Tim Brady – Concerto Étude and Peripheral Visions, joined by musicians from Vancouver-based Turning Point Ensemble. Also on the program, the whimsically named duo Have Bow Will Travel connects two of Vancouver’s most dynamic string players for seriously far-ranging improvisation. A vanguard kindred spirit of Lan Tung, Portuguese-born cellist Marina Hasselberg uses extended techniques and electronics to continually push sonic boundaries. There will also be a post-talk show afterwards with Tung and Brady for a live Q&A.

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Walk In Her Shoes

Mar. 8

To celebrate and mark International Women’s Day this year, which happens on March 8, 2021, CARE Canada will be holding a special virtual event featuring one of the leading women’s rights organizations in Kenya. In Kenya and South Sudan, women and girls face expectations to assume unequal, subordinate roles in their homes and communities. Women have less access to and control over land, finances, food, education, employment, health care and political participation. To learn more and to help support women’s rights organizations in Kenya and South Sudan, check out the CARE website for more information.

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Canoe Culture: An Evening with Elder Bob Baker and Kung Jaadee

Mar. 9, 7–8 p.m.

Come listen to Elder Bob Baker speak about the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) people’s history and culture of canoeing. After spending 16 years living with the Indigenous peoples of Hawaii, Bob Baker brought canoe culture back to the place he was born. Hosted by 2021 Storyteller in Residence Kung Jaadee, this event will be full of memories, laughter, and tales of extraordinary paddlers. Find out more about the evening and Kung Jaadee at the VPL’s website:

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Mar. 9–16

Debris is a contemporary dance work inspired by the increasing urgency of pollution and its contribution to the climate crisis. As we buckle under the weight of the accumulation of man-made waste, Debris asks where is the body (humanity) and nature within this? In this collaborative work, five dancers – Alisha Davidson, Arash Khakpour, Eowynn Enquist, Juan Villegas, Matt Wyllie and apprentice Jenna Berlyn – physically explore the effects of ‘debris’ that submerge both their internal and external environment. The work seeks for a hopeful re-integration of a respectful relationship between nature, the body and each other.