Cultural Calendar

We’re in the throes of Autumn now, with the falling brown leaves, the shorter days and the smell of pumpkin in the air! Why not check out some of these events happening in the next several days? Stay safe and have a ‘boo’-tiful Halloween everyone!

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Eerie Illusions

Oct. 22–31

This October, visitors will see Burnaby Village Museum transformed into a magical world bathed in breathtaking colour, with talking crows, invisible bands and photo-bombing ghouls as part of Eerie Illusions, a Halloween event unlike anything else in Metro Vancouver. Utilizing state-of-the-art lighting, projections, soundscapes and special effects, Eerie Illusions will amaze and astound visitors of all ages, and showcase Burnaby Village Museum’s 10 acre venue as it has never been seen before.

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Heart of the City Festival

Oct. 27–Nov. 7

The Downtown Eastside’s Heart of the City Festival returns this year, featuring 12 days of live and online events, including music, stories, poetry, theatre, ceremony, films, readings, forums, workshops, discussions, art talks, history talks and visual art exhibitions; including the Art in the Streets program with surprise pop-up music and spoken word activities on sidewalks and small plazas throughout the historic district! This year’s festival theme, Stories We Need to Hear, resonates today as our community grapples with the dramatic impact of the pandemic, ongoing displacement, the fentanyl crisis, and the reality of bigotry and systemic racism.

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Openings: A Cultural Sharing

Nov. 3–6, 7:30 p.m.

The Firehall Arts Centre will be producing and presenting Openings: A Cultural Sharing, a series of conversations and presentations with Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Artists from many different nations about resilience, hope and humour. Filmmaker Rosemary Georgeson and artistic producer’s Donna Spencer have gathered together ground-breaking women in the arts to share how they are telling their stories through film, on stage and in literature; members of the LGBTQ2+ community to share queer Indigenous stories in the arts; leaders in the resurgence of canoe culture; and artists who make us laugh.

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South African Film Festival Canada

Nov. 4–14

The South African Film Festival Canada presents feature films and documentaries that entertain and inform as they explore the culture, history and politics of South Africa. SAFF Canada brings together the combined histories and volunteer efforts of two in-person festivals – the Toronto South African Film Festival (TSAFF) and the Vancouver South African Film Festival (VSAFF). When the pandemic hit in 2020, they joined forces and transitioned to one virtual, online South African Film Festival that could reach audiences across Canada. For program information, check out the festival’s website.

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2021 Chutzpah! Festival

Nov. 4–24

The Chutzpah! Festival: The Lisa Nemetz Festival of International Jewish Performing Arts is an annual festival of world-renowned dance, music, theatre and comedy, through a lens of Jewish experiences, stories and values in all their richness and diversity, creating unforgettable and unique experiences for audiences throughout the Lower Mainland. The festival fosters artistic dialogue and collaboration between Jewish and non-Jewish artists and communities and offers artistic residencies, outreach programs and other professional arts programming of interest throughout the year. Check out the festival’s website for more information.

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Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots

Nov. 4, 2021–March 27, 2022

Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots at the Museum of Anthropology looks at some of the divergent –
and often fragmented – paths of political mobilization and cultural assertion that African and Black people in the diaspora have taken. Centered on works by contemporary artists from Lagos, Nigeria and Vancouver, in conversation with objects in MOA’s permanent collection, this exhibition shares stories, histories and projects of African and Black affirmation. In particular, it draws connections to historical contributions and the growing vitality of Black Canadians in Vancouver. Ultimately, the exhibit celebrates different ways of understanding the world through the lenses of African and Black communities, the wealth of their cultural and art practices and their inspiring legacy.

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Bia Atôbe (Nya) by Michèle Bygodt (Vancouver), 2021. | Photo courtesy of Michèle Bygod

10th Modulus Festival

Nov. 5–10

From Nov. 5–10, Music on Main will present the 10th Modulus Festival featuring moving and inspiring live performances at the Roundhouse and ANNEX in Vancouver. Music on Main challenges audiences and artists to connect with their own thoughts and feelings – and with each other – during the Modulus Festival. At the festival, discover live music, hear behind-the-scenes artist talks and experience some of today’s freshest music. Limited tickets are on sale and a full festival schedule is available on the Music on Main’s website.

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Bear Creek Park Lights

Nov. 5–19

Bear Creek Park has provided lasting memories to its attendees since the first light display in 2012. For nearly a decade, the beloved Bear Creek Park Lights event had brought joy and wonder to the community.The new 2021 Bear Creek Park Lights will be a safe, accessible and family friendly light display throughout the park’s gardens, offering a series of light displays that will dazzle your senses with illuminated natural landscapes, whimsical light displays and stunning photo opportunities. Check out the website for tickets and more information.

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Movie Making with the Cinematheque at the Vancouver Classical Chinese Garden

Nov. 6, 1–3 p.m.

The Cinematheque, founded in 1972, is a film institute and media education centre devoted to understanding the art and history of Canadian and international cinema and the impact of moving images and screen-based media in our lives. They will be at the Vancouver Chinese Garden on Nov. 6 for a hands-on introduction to the basics of visual storytelling. Participants will create a simple stop-motion movie project in the beautiful surroundings of the garden. Through fun, interactive activities, learn about characters, setting and story, and everyone will learn enough to continue making movie projects at home! All necessary materials and equipment will be provided. Check out the Garden’s website for tickets and more information.

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Masters of Illusion

Nov. 8, 8 p.m.

Starring the world’s greatest award-winning magicians, this 21st century magic show, showing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Nov. 8, is unlike anything you have seen before – filled with modern illusions and arts of deception, performed live on stage. Watch closely as you experience things that just can’t be done……or can they? Audiences will be held at the edge of their seats by the jaw-dropping grand illusions, and laugh out loud at the hysterical comedy magic as performers from around the world combine fantasy, fervor and flair with magic created in front of their very eyes.