Cultural Calendar

Goodbye 2021, and hello 2022! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season, despite the presence of the omicron variant. While I have recommended a few events below, please remember to stay safe and follow provincial health orders and venue guidelines when going to in-person events. Have a great January everyone!

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Lights at Lafarge

Until Jan. 31

If you didn’t have a chance to visit Christmas lights last month, try to catch the Lights at Lafarge in Coquitlam, running until Jan. 31. Modified in consideration of current provincial health orders and public safety, this season’s winter lights display is dispersed to provide two walking loops within Town Centre Park.

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Connie Sabo: information + impression

Jan. 4–Feb. 4

Connie Sabo is a Vancouver based artist with a studio practice in mixed media, sculpture and installation. Her work examines life cycles and sustainability, combining these concepts with identity and personal narratives. The interconnectedness of the past, present and future is a theme throughout her work, even as she challenges the physicality, cultural history and traditions associated with her chosen materials and techniques. Sabo weaves hand twisted newspaper into net-like constructions that hang and drape throughout the gallery space. Her latest exhibit, information + impression, examines the dichotomy of how information can enlighten us as well as contain and control us. Impressions formed by the information we receive become the basis of our beliefs and actions, defining who we are as individuals and as a society.

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Cracks in the Rearview Mirror: The Cinema of Lynne Ramsay

Jan. 6–Feb. 4

A poet of wounded people and the traumas they carry, Scottish auteur Lynne Ramsay has, with only four features to her name, become one of British cinema’s most revered contemporary directors. Her bold, intimate, aesthetically immersive films have won festival laurels, international awards and the attention of A-list actors, eager to inhabit the anguished souls at the centre of her fractured character portraits. Slim but superlative – and distinctly, definitely her own –Ramsay’s oeuvre is showcased in The Cinematheque’s mid-career retrospective. The series collects her four extraordinary feature-length films to date, as well as a number of essential award-winning Ramsay shorts. Check out the theatre’s website for more information.

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Laiwan: Traces, Erasures, Resists

Jan. 7–April 10

Since the early 1980s, Laiwan has made a meaningful contribution to Vancouver’s cultural ecology through her engagement with artist-run centres – including as founder of the Or Gallery in 1983 – and her participation with numerous queer, feminist, multicultural and visual art print publications. The Belkin’s exhibit Laiwan: Traces, Erasures, Resists highlights the artist’s attention to the material and symbolic vocabularies of print and lens-based media between 1980 and 2000, and features her early interventions into the logic of the book form and the ideology of historical and encyclopedic genres. The exhibition title references processes related to printmaking, while at the same time speaking to the absent narratives, redacted perspectives and critical refusals that are latent in official publications.

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Jan. 12–15

The Firehall Arts Centre will open their 2022 year with dance artist Helen Walkley’s powerful dance theatre piece, John, taking place from Jan. 12 to 15. John is a memoir of Walkley’s oldest brother who disappeared from Vancouver in May of 1969, never to be heard from again. She sourced from an archive of family letters dating from 1959–2010, which document the years leading up to his disappearance, his medical history and the subsequent tracking her parents did of his disappearance. For more information on this dance theatre showing, please check out the Firehall Arts Centre website.

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Ed Yong: The Future of Media

Jan. 20, 6–7:30 p.m.

Pulitzer Prize-winning science staff writer for The Atlantic Ed Yong will be speaking on “The Art of Science Journalism.” Speaking from his experience writing before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, Yong explores the core of what it means to be a science journalist, how inseparable science is from the rest of society and how it is shaped by our culture, our social norms and our collective decisions. Check out the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs website to RSVP for the live broadcast.

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PuSh Festival

Jan. 20–Feb. 6

The PuSh Festival returns to Vancouver in 2022 to showcase innovative and transformative art. The 2022 program hopes to facilitate an emergence from our social hibernation with works that incept, evoke, activate and confront. In a time when people are all making sense of where we are after what has come to pass, this year’s Festival line-up helps us situate ourselves in the complexity of the human experience. For a complete list of current shows and event details, please visit the festival’s website.

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Jan. 21–Feb. 13

The Jericho Arts Centre will be putting on the United Players of Vancouver’s adaptation of Haven by Canadian playwright Mishka Lavigne, from Jan. 21 to Feb. 13. Haven won the 2019 Governor-General’s award for French-language drama, and is here produced for the first time in English. Elise and Matt meet when a hole opens up in Elise’s road. She’s just lost her mother; he is tracing his ancestry in Sarajevo. Both are adults feeling voids concerning their parents, and they find what they need in their memories and each other. Check out the Jericho Arts Centre for more information.

Photo courtesy of Jericho Arts Centre

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The Medium is the Medium is the Medium

Jan. 22–March 20

For the late Indo-Canadian artist P.Mansaram, repetition was art practice, repetition was meditation, repetition was spirituality, repetition was falling in love, and as he said, repetition was a way to find god. Yet, for all this interest in repetition, Mansaram’s work is never repetitive. Figures and symbols appear and reappear in different spaces and configurations. Text and image play off each other. The Surrey Art Gallery exhibit of Mansaram’s work shows how the artist used recurrence and reproduction through a variety of mediums. Visitors will see drawings, paintings, collage, texts, sculptures, xerox, silkscreen prints and films spanning more than five decades of the artist’s prolific career. The selection of works in this exhibit highlights both material and spiritual elements from his surroundings. Characters, symbols and spaces convey the artist’s meditative and transcendent processes in form and content. In this regard, the ways in which Mansaram assembled different media and created a sense of place give a nuanced narrative of the diasporic experience.

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Jan. 22–April 3

Nourishment – its scope and significance ­– lies at the heart of the works of artist duo, Mizzonk (Wan-Yi Lin and Roger Chen), and Jane Wong. How we are nourished, often characterized in terms of deprivation or abundance, can rouse memories of deep emotional intensity. Wong, a Seattle-based poet and artist, draws upon her experience of growing up in a Chinese American restaurant in New Jersey, and her family’s history of hunger and poverty in China. Taiwanese born artists, Lin and Chen, live and work on six secluded acres in Greater Vancouver, a practice in living that has provided sustenance and inspiration for the past twenty years. Wong and Mizzonk will present two installations respectively at the Richmond Art Gallery: After Preparing the Altar, The Ghosts Feast Feverishly and Six Acres. Check out the art gallery’s website for more information on these installations.