Cultural Calendar

Le nozze di Figaro is a comical story of love and dubious royal entitlement. | Photo courtesy of Chan Centre

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! The Lunar New Year is Feb. 1 ushering in the Year of the Tiger symbolizing strength, power and prosperity according to the Chinese zodiac. I hope everyone has a prosperous year ahead!

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Yukon Landscapes

Jan. 21–Mar. 2

Photographer Caroline Jalbert will present her photo exhibition, Yukon Landscapes, at Le Centre. When we think of the Yukon, of course we think of the beauty of the vast landscapes and immense vistas, but we often forget to mention that in the atmosphere of the Far North, people are touched by an almost palpable emotion. Immersed in this place of contrasts, Jalbert spent time contemplating each landscape, even the most familiar scenes, and observing their transformations as the seasons turn. Leaving herself open to being surprised by this ceaselessly renewing territory, accompanied by a feeling of freedom in the face of these wild open spaces, she likes to shrink her frames and compress her perspective to emphasize a certain part of the landscape or focus on a detail. The result is that her compositions resemble graphic images that put forward another vantage point on this unvarnished nature with its many facets.

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Vancouver Short Film Festival 2022

Jan. 28–Feb. 6

In response to the Omicron variant surge, the VSFF will be a fully online festival experience this year, featuring 51 films, six programmes and three days of Filmmaker-Exclusive Events. Check out the Film Guide on their website to explore the lineup of short films available to watch.

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Soma Topika

Jan. 28–May 1

Across her work in painting, wall treatments, writing and sculpture, artist Alison Yip moves between the observational and the speculative. Known for an ongoing concern with the ambiguities and ambivalences of figuration and perception, Yip’s works often evoke transitional states, mystical forms and psychic or spiritual phenomena to consider the disconnected ways humans experience time, space, self and relationships. Reflecting on the radical systems failures and temporal shifts of the current moment, Yip’s most recent body of work, Soma Topika, led the artist to look for ways to envision alternative futures. Undertaking parallel divinatory processes, Yip engaged both a neo-shaman and a psychic, posing to each an identical set of questions about her life, relationships and desires.

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UBC Opera: Le nozze di Figaro

Jan. 29–Feb. 6

Based on Beaumarchais’ stage comedy, Le nozze di Figaro was the first of three collaborations between Da Ponte and Mozart. On May 1, 1786, it had its successful premiere in Vienna, receiving its Prague debut that December. Le nozze di Figaro is regarded as a cornerstone of the standard operatic repertoire, appearing sixth on the list of the most-performed operas worldwide. Critics reported “a masterpiece… no piece has ever caused such a sensation.” This sensation led to the commissioning of another famous Mozart/Da Ponte opera, Don Giovanni. The Chan Centre will be hosting an adaptation of this play from Jan. 29 to Feb. 6.

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Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

Jan. 31, 7:30–9:45 p.m.

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, being held at Grosvenor Theatre on Jan. 31, is a dazzling, worthy tribute to American writer Vonnegut and a compelling introduction for the uninitiated. The feature documentary is a deep, immersive dive into the author’s upbringing and his creative output. It spans his childhood in Indianapolis, his experience as a Prisoner of War in World War II, his marriage, family and divorce, his early careers as a publicist for General Electric and a car salesman and his long years as a struggling writer, leading to eventual superstardom in 1969 following the publication of his lightning-bolt anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. In the film, past, present and future cease to become linear as filmmaker Robert Weide strives to get an overview of his subject’s life and his own role in it. The film documents a filmmaker’s odyssey as he examines the impact of a writer’s legacy on his own life, extending far beyond the printed page.

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Care and Crisis in India

Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m.

SFU professor Vaibhav Saria will give a talk at the SFU Public Square on Feb. 2 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in India. India has seen a valorization of the work that health care providers do, but at the same time, increased violence against them. Health care workers were appreciated by a grateful state and public through symbolic gestures, including everybody clapping hands at a decided time, but they were also being attacked in their neighbourhoods and hospitals. This contradiction is not particular to the present crisis, but is a characteristic of health care in India. Studying the figure of the doctor in the history of health care in India reveals the clinical encounter to be a complex moral and ethical negotiation. The recognition of the importance of a robust health system alongside its vulnerability to violence influences how health and crisis are defined.

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Mayday: La Goddam Voie Lactée

Feb. 4–6

An award-winning choreographer and multidisciplinary artist based in Montreal, Mélanie Demers dives into the political and the poetic with audacious works which fuse dance, theatre, literature and music with explosive effect. La Goddam Voie Lactée is her response to the harshness of the world: a pagan mass, both celebration and challenge, inspired by the constant mourning that marks our current age. Five charismatic women deploy their bodies, voices and instruments in a series of visceral scenes full of raw physicality and emotion. Reflecting on the need for solidarity in the face of adversity, this work is an exercise in self-imagination and creativity, and a means of finding our bearings in this imperfect world. Check out The Dance Centre’s website for more information.

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Online Indigo Dye Demo

Feb. 5, 1–3 p.m.

The Museum of Vancouver will be hosting Musqueam Artist Rita Kompst and Natural Dye Expert Zoe McDonell for an Indigo dye workshop where they will briefly discuss the history of Indigo while dyeing! They will explore the incredible history of Indigo while participants learn how to set up an indigo vat, as well as techniques on dyeing their own animal and plant fibers. Participants will learn how they can zero in on the perfect shade of blue and how indigo can be used for many more colours. To register and for more information, check out the Museum of Vancouver’s website.

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Lunarfest Vancouver

Feb. 5–6

Designed to be a festival that celebrates one of the oldest traditions for many Asian cultures – Lunar New Year – LunarFest aims to collaborate with many Asian communities and outreach to other Canadians. For a complete programming list of LunarFest Celebrations, please check out the Lunarfest website.

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2022 Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival

Feb. 6–10

The Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival is one of Vancouver’s leading cultural and literary events, attracting a large and varied audience of over 5,000 people of all ages. This highly popular community-wide event brings together prominent and emerging Jewish writers and non-Jewish writers on Jewish subject matter. This year’s festival will be held virtually. For a complete list of events, check out their website.