Cultural Calendar

Solaris, Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972. | Photo courtesy of The Cinematheque

It’s June, and the summer season is right around the corner! As we emerge from the third wave of the pandemic with more people being vaccinated and lockdown restrictions are being relaxed, activities and events may start to re-open again – here’s hoping that we have as close to a normal summer as we can!

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rEvolver Festival

May 19–June 6

The rEvolver Festival’s digital presentation series is currently playing 12 events created by artist teams and festival staff, screening live on various online platforms, until June 6. Shaped around digital and audio experiences, conversations and workshops, readings and talkbacks, this year’s festival is dedicated to starting dialogues about change. This can take many forms: change to our planet as well as change to our cultural and societal systems, offering a time for reflection, by participating artist groups and audiences alike. Themes explored include: finding connection, the environment, colonialism, mental health, protest and hope. For detailed descriptions of the events, check out the festival’s website.

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Past Echoes in the Present

May 24–31

The Past Echoes in the Present exhibit, on display both as an online exhibition and live on Granville Island, highlights Asian-Canadian contributions to the creative community, celebrates the resilience of artists with Asian heritage and fosters inclusion through safe and accessible platforms of discussion. The event also features a pre-recorded site tour on Granville Island by filmmaker Ladan Sahraei. The tour is offered in spoken English with English captions, and subtitles in simplified Chinese, Hindi, Punjabi and Tagalog, with ASL interpretation.

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Jordan Abel: Nishga

Jordan Abel’s NISHGA is an autobiographical meditation on the impact of Canada’s residential school system. | Photo courtesy of Vancouver Public Library

May 28, 12–1 p.m.

Nisga’a writer Jordan Abel, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize, will present NISHGA, an autobiographical meditation on the impact of Canada’s residential school system and how it affects contemporary Indigenous existence. Hosted by the Vancouver Public Library and Massy Books, this Zoom webinar will be held in conversation with award-winning poet, author, and scholar, Billy-Ray Belcourt. For the Zoom link and more information, please check out the Vancouver Public Library website.

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2021 Vancouver International Children’s Festival

May 31–June 13

Reimagine fun at the 2021 Vancouver International Children’s Festival with an extraordinary online line-up of world-class theatre, music, dance and storytelling created specifically for children. The reimagined 2021 Festival will offer a mix of live online and prerecorded online performances with an extra seven days of extended show viewing. Watch a show online from the comfort of home from May 31 to June 13 with Pay-What-You-Can pricing. Check out the festival’s website for more information on the performances.

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Concerti Virtuosi Feat. Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Vincent Lauzer

June 2, 7:30 p.m.

Join the Early Music Vancouver team for their season finale with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and recorder player Vincent Lauzer. Gaining a reputation as one of the world’s most virtuosic soloists of his generation, Lauzer is a national treasure whose career is only just beginning. This programme features ravishing music by German composer George Frideric Handel and his Italian contemporaries that are the perfect vehicle for Vincent’s prodigious talents.

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Goh Ballet

June 3–17

Goh Ballet Youth Company joins forces and grace with Goh Ballet Academy’s Senior Professional Division for a unique virtual performance | Photo courtesy of the dance centre

The elegance and precision of ballet comes to life with a performance featuring the dancers of the Goh Ballet Youth Company and Goh Ballet Academy’s Senior Professional Division. Recognized as one of the world’s finest training institutes, Goh Ballet produces graduates who go on to dance with major companies across North America, Europe and Asia. Goh Ballet will perform a selection of ensemble pieces as well as award-winning solos by dancers who recently won top prizes at international competitions, in a performance celebrating classical repertoire, Chinese traditional dance and contemporary works. The presentation will be streamed online; for more information, visit The Dance Centre’s website.

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That Which Sustains Us

Opening June 3

That Which Sustains Us is a long-term exhibition hosted by the Museum of Vancouver that will explore the convergence of different knowledge traditions in the Vancouver area through an examination of people’s interactions with forests and their natural environment. It will do so by showcasing traditional ecological knowledge related to forests; consequences of the deforestation and urbanization of Vancouver; and the possibility of returning to sustainable land use practices in the Greater Vancouver area. The thread that will connect these narratives is the idea that culture ultimately shapes how people choose to interact with the natural world. Teachings that embrace stewardship leave less obvious traces on the land, when compared to historical viewpoints that commodified “natural resources’’ like wood and promoted the clearing of land as a prerequisite of “ownership”.

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Lem 2021: Stanisław Lem on Film

June 4–July 1

The Cinematheque and the Polish Cultural Institute New York will mark the centennial of Polish literary icon and science-fiction master Stanisław Lem (1921–2006), author of Solaris, with an online retrospective of Lem-inspired cinema, including acclaimed Lem adaptations by leading filmmakers Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Steven Soderbergh and the Brothers Quay; rare features and shorts from the former Eastern Bloc; a documentary devoted to Lem’s life and work and more. Check out the Cinematheque’s website for more information.

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The Birth of the Hollywood Musical: 1929–1936

June 8, 7:30 p.m.

If one movie genre has the unique power to uplift the spirit, it’s the movie musical, and couldn’t we all use a shot of that vibrant vaccine now?! In this presentation hosted by the Kay Meek Arts Centre, Capilano University animation history teacher and classic movie scholar Michael van den Bos will explore the early development of movie musicals, which first exploded on screen at the dawn of the motion picture sound era when Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer made the excited exclamation: “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!” How did the sophisticated, integrated musical motion picture (one of the most difficult types of films to make, and make good) find its choreographed footing and singing voice?