Every week, the BC Alliance gives you a glimpse at five must-see member events. Here’s a look at what’s coming up in the near future:
Talking Stick Festival
There are so many branches to Full Circle’s 18th annual Indigenous performance festival, we barely know where to start. Music, film, dance, theatre and more come together in nearly 30 stirring shows. Corey Payette’s Children of God, a haunting musical about an Oji-Cree family’s residential school experience, was dubbed “must-see theatre for Canadians” by The Globe and Mail; it starts February 22. On February 23, hit one of our favourite venues, the Roundhouse, for a celebration of Indigenous dance during the afternoon, and stick around for the music of Emily Wurramara, Caitlin Goulet, and DJ O Show at Roundhouse Soul later that evening. We could go on forever, so it might be best for you to just check out the festival program online — rest assured, there’s something for everyone.
(Vancouver: Feb. 19-Mar. 2)
Singable Saturdays - Mostly Mozart Edition
It’s alright if you don’t know the words — the Vancouver Bach Choir will provide you with the scores, in addition to tea, coffee and snacks, at this free musical event. You don’t need to register in advance, so come as you are for this Saturday morning treat. If you can spare some coins, bring a donation for Music Heals, which supports music therapy programs across Canada.
(Vancouver: Feb. 23)
Coastal Dance Festival
The Dancers of Damelahamid and BC Alliance members the Anvil Centre present the Coastal Dance Festival, a celebration of Indigenous stories, song, and dance. Formerly the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival, this year, the renamed festival looks outward to Indigenous performance from beyond the Northwest Coast, including the festival debut of Montreal-based singers Émilie Monnet and Nahka Bertrand, whose work draws on the symbolism of dreams and mythologies to tell stories that address today’s world, and the Wagana Aboriginal Dancers of Australia’s Blue Mountains and Central New South Wales west country, led by Jo Clancy. This year’s festival also has a special focus on Indigenous feminism.
(New Westminster: Feb. 20-24)
No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts hosts a dazzling multimedia tribute to the late African-American literary icon Gwendolyn Brooks, the influential activist poet whose work earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1950. In this ambitious creation, innovative art-collective Manual Cinema collaborates with Chicago-based poets Eve L. Ewing and Nate Marshall to craft an inspiring biographical narrative, featuring a live six-piece band and original score by Jamila Woods and Ayanna Woods. If you didn’t get the chance to see this show when it played to rave reviews here in Vancouver two years ago, this is your chance to be enlightened.
(Vancouver: Feb. 24)
The Sound of Music
Lastly, the Chemainus Theatre Festival is alive with The Sound of Music, a musical so well-known and beloved we probably don’t need to describe it to you here. In case you missed the memo, though: in the throes of World War II, Captain von Trapp, his kids, and their governess, Maria, flee the pursuing Nazis through the Austrian mountains. They laugh, they love, they sing. With many performances throughout the week, there’s no reason not to bring your partners, kids, female deer, etc., to this uplifting show.
(Chemainus: Feb. 15-Apr. 6)