Unceded Traditions. Unceded Territories.
Some of BC’s foremost Indigenous artists, including Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Ellen Neel, the first woman known to have professionally carved totem poles, are featured in this multimedia exhibition. Presented by UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver Civic Theatres and others, the show also includes intriguing works by emerging artists, including White Rock-based Tyson Brown (Bill Reid’s grandson) and Cree ceramic artist Judy Chartrand. Performing at the launch are jazzy-pop brother/sister duo Sister Says and Haida singer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, backed by members of rock band Chilliwack (Bill Henderson and Claire Lawrence).
(Vancouver: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, launches Jul. 26 and runs through Dec.)
Fringe Program Guide Launch Party
Organizers are so stoked about the Vancouver Fringe Festival program guide, they're giving away free pizza and beer (two each) at the launch party (thank you, Big Rock Urban Brewery and Eatery.) This year's Fringe features 700 performances by 90 artists — selected randomly, as usual — over 11 days from September 7 – 17.
(Vancouver: Jul. 27)
Bard-B-Q & Fireworks
Fans of dinner al fresco, fireworks, and Shakespeare couldn't have it better at Bard on the Beach during the Celebration of Light fireworks competition. Teams from Japan (Jul. 29), the U.S. (Aug. 2) and Canada (Aug. 5) pelt the sky following a salmon BBQ dinner and performances of Much Ado About Nothing ("wildly fun" — The Globe and Mail) or The Two Gentlemen of Verona ("wonderfully satisfying" — The Georgia Straight). Check out a video of the experience, starring artistic director Christopher Gaze, below.
(Vancouver: Jul. 29, Aug. 2 & Aug. 5)
Romeo & Juliet
Can't get enough Shakespeare? Then to thine own self be true: Go see the free, outdoor performance of Romeo and Juliet, by Carousel Theatre for Young People. This annual presentation has seen some serious young talent, with many actors going on to appear on Canada’s top stages.
(Vancouver: Granville Island, Jul. 28 - Aug. 12)
Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week
First Nations art and design is appropriated all the time by mainstream fashion brands; at long last, here's an event that presents an authentic look at Indigenous fashion. Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week founder Joleen Mitton hopes to spread awareness of Indigenous fashion designers and to give Indigenous youth a greater appreciation of their culture. Part of the wide-ranging Drum Is Calling Festival, the event features 30 designers from across Canada as well as musicians and dancers. Insiders' tip: the afterparty for the July 27 Street Style showcase features Delhi2Dublin at the Chinese Cultural Centre.
(Vancouver: Jul. 26 - 29)
Live & Local
Motown act The Dynamics play July 28, and Nigel Mack & The Blues Attack take Aug. 4 on the waterfront stage in Deep Cove. Then, this free concert series moves on to two other North Van locals, Edgemont Village and Lynn Valley. Other acts sure to get crowds dancing: Rich Hope and his Blue Rich Rangers, Latin dance band Mazacote, and Gary Comeau and the Voodoo Allstars.
(North Vancouver: until Aug. 25)
Exhibition Openings at Vernon Public Art Gallery
Viewers become part of the show as they play unique musical instruments, created by Alisdair MacRae and Patrick Lacasse, in Perfect Music: High Voltage, one of four new shows opening at Vernon Public Art Gallery. Painter Destine Norris merges art and science in Stellar; First Nations painter Sheldon Louis shares tales of a river in Ancestors of the Columbia; and the Breastfeeding Art Expo, a co-project by local artists and health workers, is "a celebration of community, art and breastfeeding."
(Vernon: Jul. 27)
Family Fuse Weekend
Kids 12 and under can create and learn about art for free (accompanied by a paying adult) during a weekend of inspiring activities and performances relating to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s summer exhibitions: Claude Monet’s Secret Garden; Stephen Shore: The Giverny Portfolio; Pictures From Here; Elad Lassry; Persistence; and Emily Carr: Into the Forest.
(Vancouver: Jul. 29 - 30)
Vancouver Bach Festival
Early Music Vancouver presents the second annual Vancouver Bach Festival — 14 concerts that feature guest artists from around the globe. Highlights include Matt Haimovitz’s “beguiling” new perspective on Bach’s Cello Suites (featuring overtures written by Philip Glass among others), and the festival finale of Bach’s divine St. John Passion, with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Cantata Singers, eight international soloists and the “Bach evangelist,” English tenor Thomas Hobbs, at the Chan Centre. Bonus: if you're under 35, tickets are half price, and paying adults bring youth 17 or younger free.
(Vancouver: Aug. 1 - 11)