Cultural Calendar

Joe, by Montreal choreographer Jean-Pierre Perreault, is said to be one of the most iconic creations in the Canadian dance canon. | Photo by Robert Etcheverry, courtesy of the dance house

Spring begins on March 20 this year! Celebrate the start of spring with some delightful film festivals, music and dance. Alas, since the coronavirus is still around, many of the events and festivals are still being hosted virtually. But, you can take your laptop, find a socially distant area outside and enjoy some of the online events below!

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16th Annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

Mar. 4–14

This year’s Vancouver International Women in Film Festival is a virtual festival showcasing an international lineup of short- and feature-length films, from narrative and documentary to experimental and animation – celebrating the complexity and diversity of ways girls and women choose to challenge, overcome and inspire – themselves, each other, their communities and our world today. For tickets and a lineup of films, check out the festival’s website.

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Corelli, Janitsch and J. B. Bach

Mar. 10, 7:30 p.m.

In this online performance, members of the Baroque Mentorship Orchestra reconvened at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts to record this varied programme of instrumental music spanning over a half-century of music from Italy and Germany. Smaller chamber ensembles and the full baroque string orchestra play the music of Arcangelo Corelli, J.G. Janitsch, and J.B. Bach, one of J.S. Bach’s talented cousins. For more information about the music, the composers and the performers, check out the Early Music Vancouver website.

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CelticFest Vancouver

Mar. 11–20

CelticFest Vancouver returns this March with a fantastic virtual festival! Participate in a virtual cocktail class, watch live online concerts, play in virtual game shows and enjoy comedy, music and more! For more information, please check out the CelticFest Vancouver website.

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The Music Shop

Mar. 13, 7:30 p.m.

The Vancouver Opera will digitally premiere American composer Richard Wargo’s The Music Shop online this March 13. A mild-mannered man comes to the music shop on an urgent mission–to purchase music for a song that his wife has been requested to sing at the wedding of the prince. Unfortunately, he cannot remember the title or the tune. What ensues are hallucinations of the rage of his Wagnerian soprano wife, his own unhappy fate when he returns empty-handed and a mad scramble through the entire stock of ‘the largest collection of music in all of Russia’ in a desperate attempt to recognise the requested melody in the ill-fated music shop. Check out the Vancouver Opera’s website for tickets and more information.

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Virtual Cosmic Nights: Einstein’s Relativity

Mar. 14, 7–8 p.m.

The latest in the H.R. MacMillian Space Centre’s series of astronomy live streams, for adults, is Virtual Cosmic Nights: Einstein’s Relativity. This special broadcast will take place on March 14th, which is Pi Day and Einstein’s birthday. Join the Centre for talks by industry experts, shows and trivia that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. By tuning in live you will have an opportunity to ask questions and join the discussion. So grab your favourite beverage and tune in as they celebrate Pi Day and Einstein’s Birthday!

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The Caribbean Sea in Canada: Notes on Tributaries

Mar. 16, 1–2:30 p.m.!view/event/event_id/20764

Rinaldo Walcott is a professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto and he will be speaking on Mar. 16 on the relationship between Canada and the Caribbean. Drawing on historical evidence and an impressionistic reading of that evidence, Walcott theorizes the long relations between white Canada and the Caribbean making a case that blackness in Canada is not simply denied because of racism, but rather that Canada as a geopolitical entity does not exist outside of the terrible history of the Caribbean Sea. Walcott draws on impressions of history to offer a different way to think about the long history of and the current manifestations of anti-Black racism in Canada.

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Decolonization: 160 Years of Italian Unity

Mar. 17, 4:30 – 5:30

Grab a drink and attend UBC’s Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies’ virtual Italian Happy Hour! UBC Professor of Italian Carlo Testa will be giving an interactive presentation on “Risorgimento” or “Decolonization: 160 Years of Italian Unity (1861-2021)” on Mar. 17 over Zoom. The presentation will mostly be in English, with a little bit of Italian; all are welcome to attend. RSVP on the UBC department’s website.

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Mar. 17–23

DanceHouse will stream the exclusive online broadcast of Montreal choreographer Jean-Pierre Perreault’s (1947–2002) milestone work Joe from Mar. 17 to 23. Having premiered in 1984 to critical acclaim, the visually arresting work is considered one of the most iconic creations in the Canadian dance canon and showcases the brilliance and scope of Perreault’s vision, as a company of 32 power through a driving commentary on the human condition. Despite Joe’s revered status in Canadian dance, the broadcast will mark many audiences’ first opportunity to experience the massive spectacle, in particular for Vancouverites, as the work never toured to the west coast and has not been staged since 2005. For tickets and more information, check out DanceHouse’s website.

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Out of Order

Mar. 18–21

Tongue firmly in cheek, Out of Order – a livestream by The Cultch on Mar. 18 to 21 – is a look at the social balance between raw animal instinct and the elevation of minds, bodies and souls in an educated and conformed society. In a not-so-distant future lingers the bitter aftertaste of a déjà vu, the theatres are empty, meeting places and cultural venues are no longer permitted, physical contact is prohibited. Artists are forced to meet secretly in forsaken spaces. The big top is achingly deserted. Spread out across this post-apocalyptic setting, ten gloved and masked characters, scrutinize one another, prepare, approach and avoid contact. Coming from all walks of life, these forgotten acrobats cling to their vocation as best they can. What was a performance now feels more like a masquerade of fallen aristocracy wavering between the thrill of shining in the spotlight and the futility of exhibition without an audience.