Cultural Calendar

February is a great time to get out and see and do new things. As the month of love, it’s a perfect time to plan a romantic getaway or a fun-filled adventure with loved ones. Additionally, many cultural events and festivals are happening this month, providing a unique and exciting way to experience different cultures. With the days getting longer and the weather starting to improve, it’s the perfect time to shake off the winter blues and embrace new experiences. Why not check out some of the events below?

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Illustration by Marcel Xin. | Illulstration by Marcel Xin, courtesy of Outsiders and Others

Tattoo You

Feb. 1–25

A tattoo is defined as an indelible mark fixed upon the body by inserting pigment under the skin, and the earliest evidence of tattoo art dates from 5000 B.C. Across time and cultures, tattoos have many different forms and meanings. Since then, tattooing has become very fashionable and there is a huge community of people who work as tattoo artists. And just like most artists, they work creatively in a variety of mediums. This exhibition will show the other creative sides of three practicing tattoo artists: beyon wren moor, Lev Sibilla and Marcel Xin.

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STRIDE Burnaby Arts Festival

Feb. 3–12

Proudly hosted by North Burnaby Neighbourhood House, Stride continues to build community through the arts from Feb. 3–12. With the 2023 theme of CONNECTIONS, Stride offers online and onstage performances, community art displays, artist talks, discussion panels, workshops, demos and more! Don’t miss the Stride Art at the Shadbolt extended exhibition running from Feb. 3–Mar. 3. It’s all free, for all ages and all by Burnaby artists and presenters! For a list of events, featured artists and more information, check out the festival website.

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SongBird North

Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.

Muse attempts to answer the question: what is it to be a woman, circus style. | Photo courtesy of Circus 3

On Feb. 9, SongBird North kicks off 2023 with a powerhouse line-up: Shari Ulrich hosts Stephen Fearing, Tariq Hussain and Kate Weekes on the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre stage. Bringing together rising stars with established, often iconic artists, and showcasing a range of styles and backgrounds, SongBird North offers an evening of great songs, funny stories and fascinating insights into the creative process. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get up close and personal with the music and the artists who create and perform it.

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The Baroque Affect

Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.

The Baroque Affect connects the timeless works of the Baroque era to the choral conductors of today and tomorrow at this season’s Conductors’ Symposium showcase. Dr. Kari Turunen, an early music specialist, will facilitate advanced training in choral and Baroque performance practice to selected conductors in an intensive week of rehearsals and masterclasses. This year, the Symposium also features Christina Hutten as organist and guest instructor. Come cheer on the skills, talents and musical personalities of the next generation of choral conductors at this event. Please visit the Vancouver Chamber Choir website for more information.

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Feb. 10–11

What does it mean to be a woman? FLIP Fabrique’s show, Muse, playing at the Vancouver Playhouse, attempts to answer this question circus style! There’s hardly just one answer and exploring the question calls for some… acrobatics. The show’s collection of eclectic performers will have to choose between a football uniform or ballet outfit, but few actually identify with either of these archetypes. Playing with gender roles, Muse offers up a refreshing view of contemporary circus. Get ready to see powerful women, graceful men and every permutation in between. Whether wearing high heels or shoulder pads, the acrobats’ bodies are sure to amaze.

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Jewish Book Festival 2023

Feb. 11–16

From our most trusted and compassionate authority on stress, trauma and mental well-being, comes a groundbreaking investigation into the causes of illness, a bracing critique of how our society breeds disease and a pathway to health and healing. Renowned physician, acclaimed author and speaker Dr. Gabor Maté eloquently dissects how Western countries that pride themselves on their healthcare systems are actually seeing an upsurge in chronic illness and general ill health. Prescription drug usage, high blood pressure, mental illness and so many other troubling issues are on the rise. Maté brings his perspective to the great untangling of common myths about what makes us sick, connects the dots between the maladies of individuals and the declining soundness of society – and offers a compassionate guide for health and healing.

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From Displacement to Housing Justice: A Conversation on Housing Precarity in the African Diaspora in Metro Vancouver

Feb. 15, 6–8:30 p.m.

This event will be looking at the hidden history of Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver’s only Black community that was destroyed in 1972 when the city built the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. The event will then turn to the future and discuss a housing project that the Swahili Vision International is doing in collaboration with Luma Housing and the City of New West to build housing for Indigenous and Black people in New Westminster.

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VMF Winter Arts

Feb. 16–26

VMF Winter Arts is a free, all-ages festival transforming downtown Vancouver into an open-air gallery and celebration of art, lights and entertainment. Over 11 days, their award-winning festival will bring together local and international public art with live experiences – including music, tours, talk, dance parties, food and drink – to connect, reflect and celebrate our city and its diverse communities.

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Vancouver Fan Expo 2023

Feb. 18–20

Everyone is a fan of something, and Fan Expo Vancouver, happening on Family Day weekend, is a place to celebrate all things pop culture. Get an autograph or a photo with your favourite Guest then get the inside scoop about your favourite movies and TV shows at the celebrity panels! Watch professional comic artists battle it out in popular Sketch Duels, learn from “How To” workshops and take photos with your favourite costumed characters! It’s also a great place to buy a unique gift (or treat yourself!) with a huge show floor for shopping madness.

Fan Expo is the place to celebrate all things pop culture | Photo courtesy of Fan Expo

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Mononk Jules

Feb. 22–25

In 1940 all men in good health were drafted. For Jules Sioui, an Indigenous man, this was a declaration of war; ‘‘Indians’’ did not have the right to vote and were not even considered Canadians. So began an impassioned battle with the Canadian government.  His goal: indigenous sovereignty, without compromise, and by any means necessary. In this documentary theatre piece, author, dramaturge and puppeteer Jocelyn Sioui takes us into the archives in search of the erased history of his great uncle. Unknown stories, miniature models and paper shapes come to life before our eyes as he raises complex questions about memory and legacy that will stay with us long after we’ve left the theatre.