Cultural Calendar

Did you know that not only is Halloween celebrated around this time, but the Mexican festival Day of the Dead (Día de los muertos) happens on Nov. 2. Like Halloween, it features traditions focusing on the deceased, with costumes, food, ghosts and skeletons. But while Halloween focuses on what scares us, Day of the Dead focuses on honouring and remembering those who have passed.

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Blueberries Are Assholes

Oct. 19–30

An hour of jokes and observations on the weirdness of the world – blueberries included – at the Firehall Theatre. | Photo courtesy of Firehall Arts Centre

The Firehall Arts Centre will be presenting TJ Dawe’s Blueberries Are Assholes until Oct. 30. Fringe legend and beloved Vancouverite TJ Dawe gives his storytelling muscles a rest to tickle your funny bone with an hour of jokes and observations – riffing on food, the English language, the human body and the tremendous overall weirdness of the world. For tickets and more information, please check out Firehall’s website.

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Eerie Illusions

Oct. 20–30

Burnaby Village Museum will once again transform into a magical world bathed in breathtaking colour with the return of Eerie Illusions. This popular event will captivate visitors with new displays, costumed staff, live performances and surprises hidden in the shadows. This self-guided family friendly Halloween experience is suitable for all ages. Visitors are encouraged to come in costume and explore Burnaby Village Museum’s 10 acre venue. Utilizing state-of-the-art lighting, projections, soundscapes and special effects, Eerie Illusions will thrill and amaze. Food trucks will also be available with offerings from: Green Coast Coffee, Reel Mac and Cheese and Cravings Kettle Corn.

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19th Annual Heart of the City Festival

Oct. 26–Nov. 6

The 19th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival will feature 12 days of live and online events – both indoors and out – including music, stories, poetry, theatre, ceremony, films, dance, readings, forums, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibits, art talks, history talks and history walks. Guided by this year’s festival theme – Community Is Our Mentor – the 2022 festival will focus on listening and learning from the lived wisdom and cultural practices of Downtown Eastside community organizations, artists and ancestors; and engaging the transformative power of story, song, music, film, theatre, dance, visual arts and ceremony to illuminate pathways of resistance and resilience.

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Bailando! What is the Latin American dance scene in Vancouver?

Oct. 27, 7–8:30 p.m.

DanceHouse has partnered with the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre to ask, “What is the Latin American dance scene in Vancouver?”. Join them for this free event featuring demonstrations from four local Latin American artists and a panel discussion as they explore this intriguing question together. This event is part of Latin Expressions, VLACC’s celebration of Latin American Heritage month.

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QAIRO – Flamenco Mediterranean Fiesta-Vancouver

Nov. 3, 8 p.m.

From Bordeaux, France, Qairo is a fiery and dynamic ensemble that combines the emotionally charged vocals and pulsing rhythms of flamenco dance with the infectious melodies and ear-popping tonalities of the Mediterranean diaspora. The seven person ensemble’s tight-knit and eclectic members hail from France, Spain, Canada and Turkey to create a unique blend of world music. For tickets and more information, please visit the CaravanBC website.

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Modulus Festival

Nov. 3–8

Music on Main is back in full festival mode with epic and legendary pieces. Here’s your chance to expand your musical horizons and listen, together to amazing musicians and inspiring music. The 2022 Modulus Festival includes the return of Nancy Tam and Robyn Jacob‘s Double Happiness: Detour This Way, a collection of personal stories of migration from the Chinese diaspora with an art-pop aesthetic. Late night concerts curated by Coastal Jazz feature three nights of improv with Modulus musicians. François Houle’s Canadian premiere of The Secret Lives of Colour, makes moving music based on the historical connections between the moods and spirits of colour.

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28th Coup de Coeur Francophone Program de Vancouver

Nov. 4, 8 p.m.

Originating in Montreal, this event is an annual testimony to their connection to Francophone culture. Today, a number of presenters in Canada use the Coup de coeur label to refer to a series of concerts that are organized independently but are united around a common desire to celebrate the arts through francophone music and song. Since its beginning, many artists have come to perform at this annual event: Pierre Guitard, Klô Pelgag, Michel Rivard, QW4RTZ, Daniel Lavoie, Myriam Parent, Martha Wainwright, Radio-Radio, Fred Pellerin, Les Sœurs Boulay, Les Hays Babies, Anaïs and many more. Check out the website for more information.

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South African Film Festival

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 this year’s program information, check out the festival’s website.

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The Rainbow Elders & Allies Collection

Nov. 5–6, 12–13

This year’s theme revolves around stories of 2SLGBTQI+ elders whose histories have led to the advancements of Vancouver’s queer history, and future. The Rainbow Elders & Allies Collection is Zee Zee’s 12th edition of this community engagement project, providing the opportunity for event-goers to speak one-on-one with a Rainbow Elder to break down their ideas of difference, twenty minutes at a time. Check out the theatre’s website for more information.

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Alexander Ekman’s Play

Nov. 7–27

In Play, 36 dancers are encouraged to improvise with their stage environment, including 40,000 green balls. | Photo by Ann Ray

DanceHouse, in partnership with Digidance, kicks off its third season with the Canadian premiere of acclaimed Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman’s Play, streaming Nov. 7–27, 2022. Originally created for the Paris Opera Ballet in 2017, Play transforms the historic Palais Garnier into a vast playground for 36 dancers who are encouraged to improvise with the sets and its elements. In one particularly iconic scene that is characteristic of Ekman’s spectacular visual compositions, 40,000 green balls are unleashed upon the stage. Please visit the DanceHouse website for
more information.