Cultural Calendar

The Spring of 2021 is here! Can you believe that it’s been one full year since the pandemic arrived in North America and upended our way of life? Social distancing, Zoom and virtual events have become very much a part of our common vocabulary. But still we have to stay the course. With vaccines becoming readily available in British Columbia, there is light at the end of this long tunnel. For now, many events are still held virtually – a sample of these events are below; why not check ‘em out? Have a safe Easter weekend everyone!

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Vancouver International Dance Festival

March 4–June 19

The Vancouver International Dance Festival celebrates its 21st season with 18 livestream contemporary dance performances from Mar. 4 to June 19, 2021. Broadcast from the KW Production Studio, the 2021 VIDF presents cinematic perspectives of contemporary dance streamed live to wherever you are! For a complete list of shows and performers, please check out the dance festival’s website.

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Outsiders and Others

March 5–28

Outsiders and Others is a not for profit arts society with a focus on bringing non-traditional artists to the forefront. This includes outsider, folk, self-taught, visionary, intuitive and artists with disabilities. They opened in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic in North America in order to bring new art and culture to the community on a regular basis. In their first year they have worked hard to produce a new exhibition every month, generally featuring artists that have never shown their work before and have sold over 75 pieces of original art. The arts society is celebrating their first anniversary with their first fundraiser happening this month. Check out their online auction on their website for more details.

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North Shore Art Crawl

March 12–April 12

Art enthusiasts from across Canada can discover the artists living and working on Vancouver’s North Shore through the virtual offerings of the online North Shore Art Crawl! Available online from March 12 to April 12, the online components of the Art Crawl showcases curated web pages of visual artists working in diverse media, ranging from watercolour, acrylic, oil paint, photography, ceramics, glass, woodworking, fibre art, jewellery and more! In its 10 year-history, the North Shore Art Crawl attracts thousands of visitors each year from across the Lower Mainland, as local artists opened their studios for receptions, demos and interactive workshops.

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Imagine Van Gogh

March 19–June 11

130 years after his death, Vincent Van Gogh remains one of the most famous artists of all time. His brushstrokes are widely recognizable and his fandom spans the globe. Imagine Van Gogh, showing in Vancouver until June 11, is an exhibition where one can admire The Starry Night, Irises and Sunflowers, or be drawn into the intimacy of his Bedroom in Arles. An experience that brings viewers to the heart of its images, the exhibit is accompanied by the music of the great composers Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Bach, Delibes and Satie.

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Invisible Indigenous Descendants in Hokkaido

March.25, 6–8 p.m.!view/event/event_id/21085

In this presentation, Mai Ishihara, Assistant Professor in the Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University, will introduce the previously unexplored case of the silent Indigenous descendants in Hokkaido, Japan, and talk about the process of putting the pain of silence into words for those who could not inherit historical and social connections to indigeneity. In this age of diversity, mutual understanding has become increasingly essential. Yet, it remains a difficult task in many situations. It is not always easy to understand others’ pain, especially when there is no social consensus on each individual’s suffering or pain as they may be transparent and invisible. This presentation on Invisible Indigenous Descendants in Hokkaido aims to break the silence, confront the associated pain and shed light on some of the challenges of understanding indigeneity.

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Pharis and Jason Romero

March. 26, 7:30–8:45 p.m.

Pharis and Jason are a sentimental anchoring, and the perfect antidote to this sped-up life. They have a classic story. Some scratchy old records and a custom banjo led to their meeting in 2007, and they quickly knew they were in for the long haul. They’ve since released six records, toured all over, and enjoyed two Juno awards, multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards, and performances on A Prairie Home Companion and CBC’s The Vinyl Cafe. The sound of their two voices together is quietly show-stopping. The songs are inspired by the world the Romeros live in and the lifestyle they have chosen to lead, focused on balance, simplicity and intention, with a powerful dose of the early country and folk they so dearly love. They will be streaming online on March 26 courtesy of the Kay Meek Arts Centre.

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Silent Sky

March. 26–Apr. 18

The United Players will be performing Silent Sky, telling the story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt exploring a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries. When Henrietta Leavitt began work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she wasn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love.

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Trauma Clown

Trauma Clown questions the mediums of modern spectacle.

April. 1–July 1

Oppression and commodification meet in visual artist, author and musician Vivek Shraya’s photo exhibition, Trauma Clown. In a cultural climate where laughter and pain go hand in hand, Vivek Shraya shuffles through a deck of trauma cards, exploring what type of sad clown we embody when we externalize our suffering. Her work invites viewers to question the mediums of modern spectacle and the depths of our appetite. There will be two opening receptions, on April 1 and 2, as well as an artist talk on April 3.

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April. 3–11

A celebration of Easter, a lament for what we’ve lost and a paean to the audacity of hope. In the tradition of Christmas Presence, Testament, streaming courtesy of the Pacific Theatre, brings together musicians, storytellers and singers to weave an evening of meditations on sacrifice and renewal. Filmed live at the theatre with safety restrictions firmly in place, Testament is a film/theatre/music jambalaya, with Pacific Theatre faces both familiar and new. Join the theatre and fellow patrons for the digital premiere on Easter Saturday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m – or stream the show on your own time until April 11.

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Race, Regulation and Resistance: Understanding Vancouver’s South Asian community history

April. 6, 7–8:30 p.m.

Using historical images, government documents, and print media, the hosts of the Nameless Collective Podcast, Naveen Girn, Paneet Singh and Milan Singh, will share stories of the South Asian community’s activism and resilience, delving into the history of the community and connections to local places. They will also detail the formation of the Continuous Journey regulation and its insidious effects, including its impact on ships like the Panama Maru and Komagata Maru.