Cultural Calendar

I hope everyone is enjoying the spring season so far! Spring in Vancouver is a vibrant time, perfect for exploring the city’s cultural scene. With a variety of engaging performances and insightful exhibits, there’s something to suit every taste. Whether it’s theatre, music, film or dance, the events taking place throughout April provide a fantastic chance to embrace the season’s essence and explore something different. Don’t forget that Earth Day happens this month (on April 22), so why not think about bussing or walking around the city to these events?

* * *


April 4–14

Playing at the Historic Theatre this month, The Cultch will present Parifam by the Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre and Medusa Theatre. Detached from family and friends, Parifam Mana draws and paints in her private studio in Montréal – a place where memory and inspiration are in a continuous battle. Parifam‘s world is turned upside down when her childhood friend Ramak re-enters her life. Parifam and Ramak grapple with the hidden truths that linger in their past – soon to be revealed in an exhibition on Persian culture at a museum they built together. Check out The Cultch’s website for tickets and more information.

* * *

Harmonia: The Leonids & Chor Leoni

April 11, 7:30 p.m.

In a purely a cappella program, experience the spine-tingling sounds of high harmony as The Leonids return to Vancouver and take the stage alongside Chor Leoni and the singers of our Emerging Choral Artist Program. Time travel across the past millennium in this joyous a cappella feast featuring chant, polyphony, folk songs, pop songs, and world premieres. For tickets and more information, please check out the Chor Leoni website.

* * *

“Mode” and Meaning in Southern Vietnamese Traditional Music

April 13, 2–3 p.m.

Students of Vietnamese traditional music spend years grappling with the concepts of điệu and điệu thức, which scholars translate as “mode” and “systèmes modaux.” These translations are, however, inaccurate. Điệu refers to how pitches, hierarchical pitch relationships, ornamentation and subtle tuning adjustments uniquely align in a specific piece of music. These characteristics offer a “model” of creative practice, which is a term used in Vietnamese literature to describe điệu. Join Alexander Cannon, professor at the University of Birmingham who will give a talk offering ways to describe the concept as incredibly dynamic for Vietnamese and Vietnamese diasporic music practice at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on April 13.

* * *

This Is How We Got Here

April 13–28

Both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, This is How We Got Here follows a close-knit family still dealing with the lingering trauma of an unexpected loss. A mother, father, aunt and uncle must learn how to move forward after their shared grief as they re-learn how to interact with one another through humour, forgiveness and love. Playing at the Firehall Arts Centre this month; check out their website for more information.

* * *

Over the Ridge

April 13 at 4pm and 8pm

In 2020, The Fugitives premiered Ridge, a musical storytelling show that examined the First World War Canadian soldier experience during the Battle of Vimy. It was named a Top 10 Globe & Mail Arts Event of the year, and spawned the JUNO nominated album Trench Songs. In Over the Ridge, The Fugitives collaborate with choreographer Jacob Williams to expand this narrative through dance. Developed in partnership with the Massey Theatre Society, with help from Ballet BC and Arts Umbrella, Over the Ridge adds original contemporary dance to the storytelling and music, resulting in a kinetic ride through history that delves our strong connection to the past, and passionately argues against the exploitation of young lives. Playing at the Massey Theatre on April 13; check out their website for tickets and more information.

* * *

You used to call me Marie…

April 18–28

A love story, a historical epic and a celebration of Metis song and dance, You used to call me Marie… paints the stories of the Callihoo women in Alberta. Music plays and ponies dance as the story of Marie Callihoo unfurls through generations and time. We follow Iskwewo, Napew and Mistatim (“horse” in Michif) in eight intertwined stories of love and resilience as the Métis nation emerges across the plains. As we experience the love stories of Alberta’s Metis women – through stories of the fur trade, governance and organizing in the 1930s and into the present day – we witness generations of Callihoo women unfold. Don’t miss this beautiful new play featuring era-spanning dance and live music, from French fiddle to contemporary country!

* * *

National Canadian Film Day

April 19

Launched in 2014, CanFilmDay has brought together hundreds of thousands of Canadians, to celebrate our stories and the incredible achievements of our filmmakers. Whether you host a screening or attend one, watch from the comfort of your home or join the party on social media, CanFilmDay is your day to feel connected to our cultures and shared values. The programming spotlight will showcase a broad and diverse cross-section of Canadian films, with ten enticing categories, each featuring ten delectable films. Hundreds of screening partners across the country will once again host free in-person events in communities big and small, with lots of broadcast and streaming options as well. For more information and a list of films, check out the film day website.

* * *


April 19–20

SOUNDspace is a dynamic study of the relationship between sound and movement. | Photo by Stephanie Berger

Originally choreographed for New York City’s St. Mark’s Church, a historical space that does not allow the use of tap’s metal-tipped shoes on its gleaming wood floors, SOUNDspace is a dynamic study of the relationship between sound and movement. Percussive rhythms shine bright in this innovative full-length work through the mesmerizing use of bare and socked feet, wooden platforms and the slaps, snaps and slides of hands on the body. SOUNDspace reinvents itself in each new space acoustically. Through a fluid transition of rotating formations from solos up to full-company ensembles featuring all eight dancers, the work explores the myriad sounds and textures of the feet and pays homage to the rich lineage and history of the tap genre.

* * *

Surrey Khalsa Day Vaisakhi Parade

April 20

Every April, millions of Sikhs world-wide celebrate Vaisakhi Day, a day that marks the New Year. Considered one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar, parades celebrating the event are held in Sikh communities around the world. The largest Vaisakhi Parade in the world occurs in Surrey, where approximately 500,000 people attend the annual Surrey Khalsa Day Vaisakhi Parade. For event day information, check out the parade’s website.

* * *

Land, Sea, Sky

April 20, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Although Earth Day this year is on April 22, celebrate on the Saturday before Earth Day at Vanier Park – and the traditional village site of Sen̓áḵw – with three of your favourite spaces! The Museum of Vancouver, the Vancouver Maritime Museum and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre will join forces as representations of land, sea and sky to honour the Earth on April 20 with kid-friendly activities! Activities and programs will be featured at each site throughout the day. Admission to the MOV and the VMM are by donation. Regular admission is in effect at the Space Centre for scheduled shows, however special activities will be free.

Leave a Reply