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.
Co.ERASGA and Pichet Klunchun Dance Company: Unwrapping Culture
This surreal political show caused a stir when it was presented here two years ago. On a stage crammed with night market toys and plastics, Pichet Klunchun, Thailand’s most internationally renowned dancer, and Vancouver’s Alvin Erasga Tolentino combine theatricality with a radically warped version of Thai classical dance to deliver a biting, witty critique of ways consumerism has hijacked authentic culture. “I feel in the last few years Bangkok is like a garbage city with too much on sale," Klunchun told Georgia Straight. "I feel derision walking on the shopping street and seeing the pop stars on television. All the kids are copying that and I think this is not the right way.” Presented by Dancing on the Edge.
(Vancouver: Woodward's Heritage Building, Jul. 12 - 14)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert
Even if you’ve already seen the film, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra playing John Williams’ beautiful score as the movie projects on a giant screen adds an extra note of magic. Expect wizarding snacks (including Butterbeer) at the bar.
(Vancouver: Orpheum Theatre, Jul. 13 - 14)
Jeff Turner Entertainment Group’s bands on tour
Among the BC Alliance's members are several talent agencies, like Vancouver's Jeff Turner Entertainment Group, which represents more than 200 musicians, comedians, actors, dancers, and variety acts. Here's a just a few JTE groups performing around BC this month: blues funk band Brickhouse plays North Vancouver Jul. 15; Afro-pop outfit Coco Jafro plays Kamloops Jul. 15 and Vancouver Jul. 16; Latin jazz guitarist Dave Martone plays Burnaby Jul. 14; and beach pop band The Boom Booms plays Squamish Jul. 20, Crawford Bay Jul. 23 and Vancouver Jul. 25.
(Various dates and locations)
Roedde House Jazz on the Porch series
Picnic amid elegant gardens while taking in the sophisticated jazz of saxophonist Ben Henriques’s trio, featuring bassist Paul Rushka and drummer Jesse Cahill.
(Vancouver: Roedde House Museum, Jul. 13)
Ensemble Theatre Company's Summer Festival
Ensemble Theatre Company is known for producing thought-provoking and challenging fare. This year's festival may be its most provocative yet. American playwright Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated comedy of manners that asks, “How could one device cause such opposite reactions?" A Prayer for Owen Meany (adapted by Simon Bent) retains John Irving’s original satirizing about organized religion in an sweeping tale of friendship set during the tumultuous 1960s. In David Pownall’s Master Class, composers Shostakovich and Prokofiev are informed by Stalin that their music is corrupt and that they must “sacrifice their individuality to the needs of the state." Four veteran actors, all skilled pianists, show the power of music to shape politics and history.
(Vancouver, Jericho Arts Centre, Jul. 14-Aug. 18)
Canada 150+: Gathering of Canoes
That '+' symbol attached to Vancouver’s Canada150+ festivities? It means the event not only marks 150 years since Confederation, but also acknowledge the thousands of years of Indigenous history and the devastation First Nations experienced at the hands of the Canadian government. It’s why some of the events are both reflective and celebratory.
“It's really difficult to celebrate the genocide that was created so that Canada could be born. But when you put that plus symbol there, it really shifts the whole conversation and acknowledgement of Canada’s history,” Rhiannon Bennett, of the Musqueam Nation, tells Metro News. Bennett will be in one of 30 canoes paddling for 10 days, from Sechelt to Vancouver. At each stop, the paddlers will request permission to land on the First Nations territories. The Vancouver ceremony includes a traditional dance, DJ music, and food trucks.
(Vancouver: Vanier Park, Jul. 14)
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
With headliners like Bahamas, Billy Bragg and Barenaked Ladies (and that’s just the ‘B's'), there's loads to be excited about as the Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary. But one afternoon session, featuring musicians whose names may not be familiar, promises to really inspire. Three years ago, a Vancouver DJ and music historian who goes by Sipreano (except to his parents, who call him Kevin Howes) released a compilation of rare folk and rock music by Indigenous Canadian musicians. The “brilliant album” (Rolling Stone) was nominated for a Grammy Award. Six Indigenous artists (including Willie Thrasher, Lloyd Cheechoo, and Duke Redbird) perform (Jul. 14), with Sipreano emceeing.
(Vancouver: Jericho Beach Park, Jul. 13 - 15)