Cultural Calendar

While we revel in the vibrant tapestry of events and festivals that grace Vancouver this month, Remembrance Day stands as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who came before us. It’s a day to pay respects, lay wreaths at memorials and attend commemorative services. In our dynamic city, we find a balance between revelry and reflection, where every event is a testament to the enduring spirit and unity that makes it a truly remarkable place to live and celebrate.

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Nov. 2–4, 8 p.m.

The Lumière Festival will dot Vancouver with light-themed installations and performances from Nov. 2–6 | Photo courtesy of Lumière YVR.

Opening the 2023/24 season, HERE features the return of one of the most popular works in Ballet BC’s repertoire by a legendary creator, an anticipated world premiere from a choreographer new to the company, and an epic large ensemble piece. Experience Enemy in the Figure from William Forsythe, a new creation from Stephen Shropshire, and Shahar Binyamini’s BOLERO X. Check out the Ballet BC’s website for tickets and more information.

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Etuaptmumk / Two-Eyed Seeing

Nov. 2–5

Etuaptmumk/Two-Eyed Seeing: Ways of Being and Seeing is a cultural gathering regarding the impact of human-made environmental destruction on Mother Earth that invites Knowledge Keepers to share stories as activists and academics to bear witness. Let the community hold us all together as we walk towards what climate justice and action mean to us, and remember the tales we will tell future generations. For tickets and more information, please visit the Firehall Arts Centre website.

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Lumière Festival

Nov. 2–6

A series of interactive art installations will light up Vancouver from Nov. 2 to 6 in more than 10 locations from the West End to Gastown! Lumière is an annual event inspired by light and artistic expression, driven by community and connection. The West End, English Bay, Jim Deva Plaza and the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza will come alive this November with a series of light art installations, performances and community building initiatives. Check out the festival’s website for more information.

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How Black Mothers Say I Love You

Nov. 2–12

From the author of the blockbuster hit ‘Da Kink In My Hair comes a powerful and moving story of immigration, family and sacrifice playing at The Cultch this November. Hard-working Daphne left her two young daughters in Jamaica for six years to create a better life for them in America. Now thirty years later, proud and private, Daphne relies on church and her nearby dutiful daughter to face a health crisis. But when feisty queer activist Claudette arrives unexpectedly from far away to help out, her arrival stirs up the buried past, family ghosts, and the burning desire for unconditional love before it’s too late. The play is a raw, compelling look into family dynamics and strife. But it is also a story alive with humour, love and tenderness as it explores the complicated perceptions of immigrant mothers.

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South African Film Festival Canada

Nov. 2–12

The South African Film Festival Canada (SAFF Canada) presents feature films and documentaries that entertain and inform as they explore the culture, history and politics of South Africa. Returning for its 13th year, this year’s festival will be streaming online across Canada from Nov. 2-12, 2023, with in-person screenings in Vancouver and Toronto. In Vancouver, there will be an in-person opening gala screening of the Canadian premiere of the film Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story, about South Africa’s inspirational rugby captain. For showtimes and more information about the festival, check out their website.

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Bear Creek Park Lights

Nov. 3–17

Bear Creek Park has provided lasting memories to its attendees since the first light display in 2012. For over a decade, the beloved Bear Creek Park Lights event had brought joy and wonder to the community. The new 2023 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 free tickets and more information.

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F-O-R-M Festival

Nov. 4–18

The eighth annual F-O-R-M festival – a celebration of movement and the ever-evolving nature of film – is being hosted at SFU Woodwards from Nov. 4 – 18. At F-O-R-M, the process of continuous learning and adaptation is not just a concept; it’s an integral part of our identity. Growth often comes hand in hand with the sweet discomfort of change. This year, the festival invites attendees to question the very essence of movement – what it means, who has historically embodied it and how we can continue to challenge and redefine the very concept of movement within the body and beyond. For more information, check out the festival’s website.

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Superlative Artistry of Japan

Nov. 7, 2023–Jan. 20, 2024

The exhibit, being hosted by the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, includes a cohesive collection of work from a variety of art genres that emphasize highly skilled techniques, unique expression, and concepts intended to delight the viewer. Elaborate Meiji era (1868-1912) works are introduced alongside kogei (traditional arts & crafts) that influenced the Japonism trend in 19th century Europe. Also included in the display are numerous contemporary works of ‘superlative artistry’ as well as capsule toy figures and food that represent a strong commitment to artistic craftsmanship.

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Nov. 10–11

Chor Leoni opens their 32nd season with their annual Remembrance Day observance, joined by pianist Tina Chang, cellist Jonathan Lo and organist Angelique Po on St. Andrew’s-Wesley’s Casavant pipe organ. Through folk, pop and modern choral works, you’re invited to listen, reflect on the cost of war and heal through the search and hope for peace. At the heart of the program lies a lyrical and soaring masterwork by Canadian composer, Don Macdonald, now in his final year as the choir’s Composer in Residence. Please visit the Chor Leoni website for tickets, showtimes and more information.

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Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

Nov. 14–18

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is the record-setting Broadway sensation which features the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the original animated television special. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Holiday loving Whos. Magnificent sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville, as this sparkling production breathes new life into this timeless story of the true meaning of Christmas. The musical will be performed
Nov. 14–18 at The Centre.