Cultural Calendar

It’s finally June! The long sunny days are here with the sun setting past 9 p.m. all month, and the summer solstice right around the corner. Enjoy a plethora of outdoor events happening around the city, from film and food festivals to artistic and musical performances. Why not check out some of the events below happening around town?

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Des Pardes: The Reach

Now until June 15

Des Pardes explores and celebrates the vibrant and diverse South Asian communities of the Fraser Valley. The phrase “des pardes” – which can translate to “home and abroad” or “Motherland/Other Land” – embodies the sense of longing for, and belonging to, an ancestral place that is experienced differently across generations. Personal accounts, archival documents, photographs, heirlooms and works of art contributed by members of local South Asian Canadian communities are organized around the themes of migration, faith, family, business and livelihoods, oppression and opposition and contemporary culture. The exhibit highlights the importance of tradition and multigenerational family bonds, the tenacity of individuals and communities in the face of adversity and discrimination, and the significant impact that these communities have had in shaping Abbotsford and the surrounding region.

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rEvolver Festival

May 22–June 2

rEvolver brings audiences the full range of contemporary theatrical practice, from script-based theatre to devised and site-specific works, staged readings of work-in-progress and in-depth discussions with artists. Presenting adventurous, high energy and sophisticated new work by emerging companies and artists, the festival is dedicated to offering professional presenting opportunities to emerging professional theatre artists and companies. For a complete list of shows and performances, please check out the Up In the Air Theatre website.

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Vancouver International Children’s Festival

May 27–June 2

Mark your calendar! The Vancouver International Children’s Festival returns this spring for another year. The festival will feature dazzling performances from artists far and wide. From local treasures to rare and exotic finds, these captivating performers will put a smile on your child’s face and hopefully even make you hoot with laughter. Please check out their website for a complete list of performers and activities.

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2024 Polyphonic Multilingual Creation Residency

May 30, 7–9 p.m.

The Rice & Beans Theatre is thrilled to be sharing two new works from their 2024 Polyphonic Multilingual Creation Residency artists: Anne’s Cradle by Carolyn Nakagawa and I, Frida by Yulissa Campos. Following 10 days of workshopping and project development, Carolyn and Yulissa will share excerpts of their pieces on Thursday, May 30 at 7 p.m., followed by a discussion between the artists and the attendees.

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Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan

From May 30

Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan covers 10 years of artist Yao Jui-Chung’s use of photography to expose Taiwan’s “mosquito halls” and it opens at the Museum of Vancouver on May 30. Starting in the 1970s, Taiwan invested in convention centres, sports facilities, schools and other public structures, only to abandon them – leaving them to breed mosquitoes, waste money and add to urban decay. Yao Jui-Chung, Taiwan’s leading contemporary artist and photographer and his team, the Lost Society Document (LSD), photographed and researched these haunting modern-day ruins, showing that photography is a form of social activism.

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West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest

May 31–June 1

The District of West Vancouver invites everyone to attend the West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest! This two-day festival brings people together through food, music and culture. Join them as they celebrate the multicultural diversity of West Vancouver! Check out the website for a schedule of events and more information.

The West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest looks to invite anyone and everyone to celebrate music and food across a breadth of cultures. | Photo courtesy of West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest

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Vancouver Short Film Festival

May 31–June 9

The Vancouver Short Film Festival returns for the 14th Edition from May 31 to June 9, 2024, showcasing the best short films from across Canada. Featuring 46 films, six programs, three days of filmmaker events both in-person & virtual screenings, mark your calendars now – you won’t want to miss it! For more information, check out the festival’s website.

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Ki’mola: Walking Together highlights the wonder to be found in listening and sharing together. | Photo courtesy of Musica Intima Vocal Ensemble.

June 1, 7:30 p.m.

Ḵi’mola means ‘walking together’ in the Kwakwala language. This concert is for audiences and musicians interested in engaging in what reconciliation can be through music and art and for those who are interested in listening and contemplating as their contribution to reconciliation. The entire event is curated and defined by Marion Newman, the exceptional mezzo-soprano of Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations with English, Irish and Scottish heritage. Music will be drawn from Marion and musica intima’s repertoire, creating a narrative to guide you through the evening. The program will be created through Marion and the ensemble’s time together – expect the unexpected and a unique, liminal experience.

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Afro World Expo

June 1–2

Western Canada’s Biggest Expo of African & Caribbean Products and Culture is happening on June 1 and 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Check out the expo’s website for more exhibit information, list of speakers and more information.

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Italian Day on the Drive 2024

June 9, Noon–8 p.m.

Mark your calendars and get ready to visit Commercial Drive on Sunday June 9 for Italian Day, celebrating Italian culture, heritage and community. A lively 14 block community embrace and festa, it has become Vancouver’s largest and most anticipated cultural street festival, drawing hundreds of thousands of attendees of all ages and cultures. Fittingly, this reflection is what has inspired this year’s 2024 theme – STORIA – meaning History or Story in Italian. The significance of this year’s theme is that history creates memories, generating emotional connections with the ability to transcend generations via storytelling, keeping traditions and important values alive, while bridging the past with
the present.

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June 9, 1 p.m.

On Sunday, June 9, there will be an amateur sumo tournament hosted by Sumo Sundays and the Powell Street Festival Society. This inaugural event takes place ahead of the annual tournament at Powell Street Festival, offering an afternoon of family-friendly sumo in the comforts of a seated venue. Spectators will have the opportunity to watch three brackets featuring competitors of all body sizes and experiences from Vancouver and Seattle in an open-gender format. Come witness the growing and vibrant sumo scene in the Pacific Northwest!

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