Among the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture's 445 members are artists, performance groups and cultural workers at museums, theatres, concert venues, community organizations, professional associations and more. Here's what some of them are up to this week.
Vancouver Writers Fest
If you’ve never experienced the thoughtful, engaging conversations about everything — from fun and fantasy to the sublime and profound — that happen at Vancouver Writers Fest, this 30th anniversary is certainly the year to immerse yourself in words and the minds behind them. More than 100 writers at 90 plus events feature names like Margaret Atwood, Adam Gopnik, Jennifer Egan, and hockey player Ken Dryden. Event topics span the ethics of bringing extinct creatures back to life, to how to maintain romantic love. "Screen Gems" brings together three authors who work in showbiz— Bones writer Hart Hanson, Esta Spalding who has written for everything from Being Erica to The Bridge, and Tom Perrotta, whose novels have become cult films — sharing tips on how to succeed.
(Vancouver: Oct. 16-22)
Vancouver’s much-travelled RAGMOP Theatre brings back its Fringe Fest tour de force. "If they have buskers on the streets of heaven, they’ll look like Nayana Fielkov and Matthew 'Poki' McCorkle," one writer says. The high-end circus act — he's a gangly, triple-jointed contortionist; she's a non-stop tongue-twister — unleash surreal antics at Granville Island's Studio 1398. Insider's tip: save 20 percent on tickets with coupon code "thankful."
(Vancouver: Oct. 13-15)
Diabolos In Musica: Cantores—14th Century Music from the Pope’s Chapel in Avignon
In medieval times, popes were the wealthiest in the land, the splendour of their lifestyle attracting kings, princes and the greatest artists of the time. At Christ Church Cathedral, Early Music Vancouver presents the preeminent French vocal ensemble, Diabolus in Musica, performing gorgeous chants inspired by God and created for performance at the Avignon Papacy. The program notes that many of the works have not been sung since the 14th Century.
(Vancouver: Oct. 13)
Vadim Guzman with the VSO
Otto Tausk, the Dutch maestro who takes over from Bramwell Tovey as Vancouver Symphony Orchestra music director next summer, conducts the great violinist Vadim Gluzman, performing Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Tausk himself was an award-winning violinist before he discovered conducting. Earlier this year, when he was chosen after a three year search to lead the VSO, he told The Georgia Straight: “If you play the violin you have that one line you play. As a conductor you have the big picture and there are so many colours you can have as an orchestra. Think of it as a painter: suddenly there are so many other colours that are available to you as a conductor.” Another tip: use the code VSOOTTO1 to purchase tickets for the Orpheum Theatre concert for $20 each.
(Vancouver: Oct. 14 & 16)
Million Dollar Quartet
It has to be one of the greatest musical sessions of all time: in 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins performed their most iconic rock songs at Sun Records in Memphis. A smash on Broadway, Million Dollar Quartet returns to the legendary December evening and includes all the hits— Blue Suede Shoes, Great Balls of Fire, Who Do You Love? and many others. Western Theatre Canada, whose musical, Walk The Line, sold out last summer, should leave you all shook up with their version of the rocking musical at Sagebrush Theatre.
(Kamloops: Oct. 12-21)
Sharon Friedman Company
Intense physicality, innate musicality and exquisite design are hallmarks of Madrid-based Sharon Friedman Company. The Dance Centre’s Global Dance Connections series presents the company in two adventurous works, the two-man wild waltz Hasta Donde, and Fridman’s latest work, All Ways, inspired by the multiple paths before us and performed by seven power dancers.
(Vancouver: Oct. 12-14)
Diwali in BC
The five-week celebration of Diwali, the Hindu autumn festival, explores the theme of Shakti —faminine power — through theatre, dance and film, created by women. Highlights include India-US based Navarasa Dance Theatre’s Encounter, which blends storytelling and acrobatics to convey a community's struggle to uphold their indigenous way of life (at the Cultch, Oct. 17-22); the screening of Oscar-nominated Deepa Mehta’s film Anatomy of Violence, which delves into the 2012 internationally notorious crime involving the gang rape of a young woman on a Delhi bus (Nov. 4, Cineplex Odeon); and Happy Place (Oct. 19-29 at Firehall Arts Centre), presented by Touchstone Theatre and Ruby Slippers, written by Dora Award-winner Pamela Mala Sinha. About seven women in a care facility, Happy Place stars Nicola Cavendish, Diane Brown, and others, and sees the return of acclaimed director, Roy Surette.
(Vancouver and Coquitlam: Oct. 14-Nov. 16)
Vancouver Opera's production of Puccini’s epic final work stars American soprano Amber Wagner as the title princess, who subjects all her suitors to three virtually impossible riddles, and kills those who answer incorrectly. When Calaf (played by Argentine tenor Marcelo Puente) gets all the questions right, Turandot still refuses to marry him, so he puts a puzzle of his own to the princess. Expect this version to find the humanity in these characters. Acclaimed Quebec director Renaud Doucet “is more interested in making it a story that’s believable,” Wagner tells The Georgia Straight. “Rather than saying ‘Here’s this frozen ice princess,’ how can we make it human so the audience believes it? Renaud’s done quite a good job building a layered and multifaceted back story for her.” The opulent costumes and sets for the show at Queen Elizabeth Theatre are jointly owned by Minnesota Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Seattle Opera, Utah Opera, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Philadelphia.
(Vancouver: Oct. 13-21)