Cultural Calendar

I hope everyone is enjoying an amazing spring this month. From captivating performances that transport you to distant lands to thought-provoking exhibitions that challenge perceptions, there’s something for every cultural connoisseur. Why not enjoy the long Victoria Day weekend by checking out some of the events below?

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explorAsian Heritage Month

Now until June 7

In honour of Asian Heritage Month in May, the 2024 explorASIAN festival is being held with various PanAsian Canadian arts and culture, presenting the diversity of traditional events and new works that are unique to the region. This year’s theme is “Sparkling Bonds: From Family to Community.” It will be presented throughout the festival’s signature events to engage the community with art and realize strengthened bonds from family to community. For a complete list of events and exhibits happening, check out the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society’s website.

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Biodiversity Days 2024

May 1–23

Biodiversity Days is a month-long event in May, to honour the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22 with a series of engagement opportunities that aim to celebrate and raise awareness of the fragile species, genes and ecosystems that sustain our communities. In 2024, the theme is “Be Part of the Plan,” where everyone has a role to play to advance The Biodiversity Plan. This year’s fourth annual Biodiversity Days includes a diversity of in-person and online events. Check out the UBC Botanical Garden’s website for their 2024 program information.

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May 8–11

Eunoia is a dance-theatre production and adaptation of Christian Bök’s award-winning book of poetry of the same name. It is a conceptual book written in the form of a lipogram where each of its five chapters is constrained to the use of one vowel. It is much lauded as a work, won the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize and became a bestseller in the U.K. and Canada. Eunoia means ‘beautiful thinking’ and is the shortest word in the English language to contain all five vowels. In the book, the author imposed the severe constraint of working with only one vowel in each chapter. Remarkably, and despite the severe limitations to the usable vocabulary, Bök was able to create oddly narrative poems with characters, scenes and coherent action.

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The Papa Penguin Play

May 15–June 2

Written by Vancouver playwright Dave Deveau, this colourful play is inspired by the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins who were gifted an egg at New York’s Central Park Zoo, and the beloved children’s book about their story, And Tango Makes Three. Penguins Peaches and Izzy are the Zoo’s main attraction: two male penguins who put on daily shows to visitors’ delight. But when other penguin couples lay eggs and go on to have a chick, these two pine for parenting life.With the help from the Zoo Keeper, dreams do come true. The Papa Penguin Play welcomes audiences of all ages to a penguin chick first birthday party, a celebration like you’ve never seen. Recommended for All Ages. For more information, check out the Carousel Theatre for Young People’s website.

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A dance-theatre adaptation of Christian Bök’s Eunoia will be on display at the Firehall Arts Centre from May 8 to 11. | Photo courtesy of Firehall Arts Centre

A Case for the Existence of God

May 16–June 9

Playing at the Pacific Theatre from May 16 to June 9 is director Kaitlin Williams’ A Case for the Existence of God. Two young fathers – a mortgage broker and a plant worker desperate to buy a piece of land – meet to discuss a loan in an unassuming cubicle. As Keith and Ryan grapple with the realities of adulthood, a shared quest for meaning and belonging transcends the systems that fence them in. Check out the theatre’s website for tickets and more information.

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2024 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair

May 17–20

The Cloverdale Rodeo will host some of the world’s best cowboys and cowgirls in an unique Invitational Rodeo Format that ensures the sports premier athletes are showcased throughout five rodeo performances. There will also be an indigenous village, live music performances, 40+ food trucks, 30+ carnival rides, family-friendly events and more than a little bit of action – the 2024 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is bigger and bolder than ever! For a complete list of events and happenings at the fair, check out their website.

The Cloverdale Rodeo returns to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds this year from May 17 to 20. | Photo courtesy of Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair

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Fort Langley’s 102nd Annual May Day Parade

May 20, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

The Fort Langley Lion’s are excited to host the May Day Parade followed by a Family Fun Festival in the Park. This free community event was established in 1922. It brings together local musical talent, community members & vendors to the Fort. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, umbrellas (rain or shine) + good spirits to Fort Langley where you will enjoy all that their beautiful town and May Day parade have to offer. Check out their website for an events timeline and list of activities.

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The HAFU Project

May 25–26

The HAFU Project is an emotional journey of navigating identity through music, dialogue and media. Adapted from the existing digital series of the same name, this live presentation will be the first public performance in the next stages of the project. Combining traditional and adapted song, while drawing on cultural touch points from Japanese, Swedish and Canadian culture, The HAFU Project shares a semi-autobiographical story in the struggle with identity and seeking new meaning in community. As a person growing up between cultures, what does it mean when you don’t engage with your identity for fear that you won’t be taken seriously? This multimedia theatre performance takes the audience along a musical exploration in peeling back the layers of how identity manifests as a product of social circumstance.

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May 25–28

The festival will include youth and adult street dance battles, performances by local artists and national guests and accessible community workshops. Ourofest aims to provide local and national artists with a public platform to share their work, create visibility for B.C.’s street dance culture and unite a diverse audience in celebration at different public spaces. Check out the Street Dance Battles on May 25, discover the incredible lineup of national artists set to grace the stage at Ourofest on May 26 for an unforgettable day of free performance and attend workshops on May 27 and 28. For locations and more information, check out the festival’s website.

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Festival of Israeli Culture

May 26, 12 noon–4:30 p.m.

Join the community at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver to celebrate Israeli Culture with Israeli food, music, art, wine tasting, cocktails and much more. Share in the vibrant traditions of Israel during the festival. For more information, check out the JCCGV website.

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