Cultural Calendar

Hopefully the spring season is going well for everyone! With so many cultural events and festivals happening these days, there’s never been a better time to explore our vibrant and diverse city. Whether you’re interested in theatre, music, dance or community, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your interests.

During Port Coquitlam’s 101st annual May Days Festival, the city will be animated with free family activities, local culture, live entertainment and more. | Photo courtesy of the City of Port Coquitlam

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13th Annual Party for the Planet

April 27, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

The Party for the Planet returns to the Surrey Civic Plaza on April 27. Sit and learn about various environmental topics in their speaker series. The environmental workshops encourage active participation and inspire you to learn about different sustainable topics. There will also be many performers, food trucks, exhibitors and a plant sale. For more information about the party, please check out the party’s website.

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Zakir Hussain: “Tisra” Indian Music Trio

April 27, 8 p.m.

Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain is proud to present TISRA (three) with two of India’s finest young musicians: Sabir Khan and Debopriya Chatterjee. This unique trio is composed of tabla (hand drums), sarangi (bowed, three-stringed instrument) and bansuri (bamboo flute), a combination not often heard on the classical stage. Sarangi and bansuri each have roots in ancient India and its mythology; both are also folk instruments. TISRA showcases the rich folk and classical traditions of the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab. For tickets and more information, check out the Chan Centre’s website.

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Lamenting for Ukraine

April 28, 7 p.m.

Two years into the war, Ukraine’s fate feels especially dire and uncertain. With more countries plunging into war, hope grows evermore fragile. As we wander through the darkest hour of this horrific night, we take a moment to grieve our losses. Drawing on ancient Ukrainian lamentation traditions and exquisite music by contemporary composers, this performance will lead you on a journey through this darkest night towards the break of dawn. The program features an original lamentation ritual created by the Lamentation Singers and performance artist Roksolana Uhryniuk, and music by Anna Pidgorna (Ukraine/Canada), Arvo Pärt (Estonia), Kaija Saariaho (Finland), Jocelyn Morlock (Canada) and Yevhen Stankovych (Ukraine) performed by violinist Jack Campbell and pianist Anna Sagalova. Tickets are available on a first-come-first-serve on the day of the performance.

BC’s largest Earth Day celebration returns to Surrey. | Photo courtesy of Party for the Planet

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The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito

May 1–5

Take your young children to see The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, a family-friendly play being performed at Carousel Theatre from May 1 to 5. In this story of a young girl feeling like a misfit and searching for her place in the world, Mary Jane is a mosquito who doesn’t have wings, but her voice soars to the stars in this new play by Tomson Highway that weaves music, song and Cree language into its storytelling. After many adventures, Mary Jane learns to make new friends by sharing her language, her kind heart and her songs with the world.

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ahmm 2024

May 1–26

ahmm (Asian Heritage Month at Morrow) invites rupture, nurture, defiance and bows in deep reverence to all things queer. Expect a spirited and gently subversive affair. A multidisciplinary festival with performances of dance, song and poetry; movement workshops; an exhibit of shrines; a gender non-binary lion named Fluffy; and more! Feel free to check out their website to see their month of creative offerings that cultivate non-linear spaces of past, present and future heritage.

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The Last Dance

May 2, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

Presented by Time Will Tell Arts Society, the Naadaleela Ensemble will perform The Last Dance, with music composed by Amir Eslami featuring choreographers/dancers Fereshteh Zakeri (Iran), Ashvini Sundaram (India) and Chengxin Wei (China). Fusing together Persian, Indian, Taiwanese and Chinese traditional music and dance, The Last Dance reflects on the struggle for freedom in Iran, as well as our shared value for humanity, friendship and artistic expression. The ensemble will create a musical conversation between ancient cultures that span the Silk Road and which have been influencing each other for over 2,000 years. The sounds of Persian and Indian classical music meet with those of Taiwan and China, tempered with a tinge of North American jazz aesthetics. Check out the website for tickets and more information.

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May 2–12

Three generations of Filipina women hop between an ocean and time, memory and dreams. Set in Canada and the Philippines, Homecoming is a visceral show with moments of magic that reach into the afterlife, exploring cultural identity, familial duty and delicious Filipino food. The play asks, what is home for those of us who are displaced, stuck or who have never known a home? And more importantly, can we ever make our way back? In this world premiere, Kamila Sediego weaves a complex story that is raw, intimate and full of humour. Check out The Cultch’s website for tickets and more information.

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East of the Sun

May 3–4

Prepare to be enthralled by SE:UM, the Korean ensemble making their much-anticipated Vancouver debut. They are a renowned Korean ensemble that masterfully combines traditional Korean folk melodies with shamanistic rhythms, creating a sound that transcends borders. Sharing the stage is the 2023 Westcoast Music Awards Instrumental Artist of the Year, Jasmine Jazz. This unique ensemble blends traditional Chinese instruments with the vibrant rhythms of contemporary jazz. The result is a mesmerizing east-meets-west experience, with a repertoire that seamlessly weaves together jazz standards, traditional Chinese folk music and innovative original compositions. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to witness the fusion of Korean and Chinese music with Western jazz. This series of concerts promises not only a cultural celebration but an exploration of beautiful harmonies and memorable musical dialogues.

Watch Homecoming by Kamila Sediego at the Historic Theatre May 2–12. | Photo by Emily Cooper Photography

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Pi’s Phucking Phunny Celebration of Comedy

May 4, 7:30 p.m.–12 midnight

Join Pi Theatre for a much needed night of hilarity with some of the funniest stand-up and improv comedians in the city. The stand-up shows, curated and hosted by local comedian and actor Kwasi Thomas, will feature some of the best and brightest emerging and established comics in Vancouver; and the improv comedy portion of the evening, curated and hosted by Vancouver-based actor, improvisor, musician and playwright Jeff Gladstone, will feature the folks at Tightrope Impro Theatre. Check out the Pi Theatre’s website for tickets and more information.

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Port Coquitlam’s 101st annual May Days Festival

May 5–11

Dating back to 1923, May Days is Port Coquitlam’s annual spring festival. The festival officially kicks off with the May Day Opening Ceremony on May 5 at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre, featuring Maypole dancing by local children, dance performances and the presentation of the 2024 May Day Royal Party. Thousands of people from throughout Metro Vancouver will head to downtown Port Coquitlam on May 11 for the annual Rotary May Day Parade – one of the largest in the region – followed by an afternoon of entertainment and activities in Party at the Square – Port Coquitlam Community Centre.

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