October 26, 2016

Multi Event Fetival Showcases DTES

The Heart of the City Festival begins today with an opening ceremonty which includes the unveiling of a mural banner by acclaimed Downtown Eastside artist Richard Tetrault. The 11 x 18 foot banner illustrates the festival's theme of Living on Shared Territory, and celebrates the artists, activists, art forms and people of the DTES community. Now in its 13th year, the Heart of the City Festival brings together more than 100 events at some 40 locations, from storytelling and poetry to theatre and history walks. Most are free or by donation. Highlights include an evening of music and improvisation with the Carnegie Jazz Band, a walking tour of Chinatown, performances of hidden stories told through song and dance, the premiere of Metamorphose by the Carnegie Dance Troupe, and an evening of flamenco music and dance with Barrio Flamenco.  The festival wraps on Nov. 6 with a concert and supper at the historic Ukranian Hall. Get details of this extraordinary community festival here.

October 17, 2016

A Look Behind the Iron Curtain

Surrounded by controversy after being pulled from MoMA’s Doc Fortnight Festival for fear of retaliation, Under the Sun follows a North Korean family as their 8-year old daughter prepares for induction into the state sponsored Korean Children's Union. Initially shot with the cooperation of the North Korean Ministry of Culture from a pre-approved script, director Vitaly Mansky surreptitiously shot additional footage to reveal the DPRK’s methods of propaganda and present a chilling look at the indoctrination of youth in a totalitarian society. Oct. 20-24. Get more info and tickets.

October 14, 2016

Walt Whitman's Secret

The time is the late 19th century and revered American poet Walt Whitman (Tom Pickett) is mostly bedridden at his home in Camden, New Jersey. Devoted disciple Horace Traubel (Conrad Belau) visits daily, fussing over the mischieveous and cantankerous poet. Another frequent visitor is Anne Montgomerie (Adele Noronha) who would find love and marriage with Horace. There is one other visitor who comes and goes. Pete (Kamyar Pazandeh) appears as the poet's one great love from decades past.
From George Fetherlings novel of the same name, playwright Sean O'Leary has adapted Walt Whitman's Secret with a blend of fact and fiction about the poet's final days. The two-and-a-half hour play (with a 15-minute intermission) is rich in dialogue as it probes and uncovers various facets of Whitman's life and philosophy.
As director Jack Paterson puts it: "Sean's play has given us not only an imgagining of Walt Whitman and the characters in his life though his final days, but a play that speaks to the greater ongoing human stuggle to navigate lonliness, sexuality, creativity and the need for love in all its diversity and all its forms."
Walt Whitman's Secret is on stage at Presentation House Theatre until Oct. 30.
Note: The Oct. 19 performance of Walt Whitman's Secret includes a gala fundraiser for Frank Theatre's 20th anniversary. Get details here.

Bike to Work and Win

Bike to Work Week begins across Metro Vancouver on October 24 with over $15,000 worth of prizes, including a trip for two to Amsterdam on KLM. The goal this fall is to have 8,000 riders participate in the event. You can help by registering and logging your rides. If you have registered for past events, simply login and record your trips Oct. 24-30. During the week you'll find free bike maintenance courses at various locations across Metro. Get details on Bike to Work Week here.

October 11, 2016

Rays on Display

Roll up your sleeve and have a unique, hands-on encounter at the Discover Rays touch pool at the Vancouver Aquarium. Watch as these gentle fishes “fly” beneath the water’s surface, delighting and surprising guests with their curiosity. The 50,000L Discover Rays touch pool is home to both cownose and southern stingrays. As well as being up close and personal with the rays, you'll learn about their slimy armours and their amazing sixth sense. You'll find out how over fishing and other human activities are threatening rays. And you'll get a behind-the-scenes at how rays are cared for. Learn more about the rays and other marine life at Vancouver Aquarium.

October 6, 2016

A Quintet of VIFF Picks

Julietta. Spanish director Pedro Almodovar adapts short stories by Alice Munro in his latest drama/mystery about a middle-aged woman who delves into the past with the reappearance of her long-missing daughter. Oct. 7 at the Playhouse & Oct. 8 at the Centre for the Arts.
Seasons. A chronicle of Europe over the past 15,000 years from the point of view of the animals who have have inhabited the landscape. Oct. 12 at Vancity.
Toni Erdman. This comedic jewel features a free-spirited prankster who wants to re-connect with his estranged and reluctant daughter. Oct. 11 at the Rio & Oct. 13 at the Centre for the Arts.
Strangers on the Earth. A portrait of modern day pilgrims and fellow travellers on the beautiful and treacherous Camino de Santiago, a 600 mile journey of solitude and kinship. Oct. 9 at Vancity.
Koneline: our land beautiful. Refreshingly free of politics, the film documents the cultural ambiguities of life in northern BC with stunning visuals and myth-busting storytelling. Oct. 9 at Vancity. Get showtimes and tickets at VIFF.

October 4, 2016

Apples Galore and More

Autumn brings a harvest of apples. Bushels of apples in popular varieties and more. For a quarter century the UBC Apple Festival has celebrated the arrival of apples by inviting the public to come and learn about, sample, and take home baskets of the tasty pomaceous fruit. It's a family event for all ages. If you plan to go, here are some things you need to know. Festival dates are Oct. 15 and 16. The location is the UBC Botantical Garden on SW Marine Drive, between West 16th Ave. and Stadium Rd. There is no parking at the garden. Organizers will run a shuttle service from the UBC West Parkade and Fraser River Parkade. Translink provides service on various routes. For cyclists, a valet will park your bike for free at the entrance. The event is a fundraiser organized by Friends of the Garden. Admission is $5, cash only. Kids under 12 walk in for free.

September 29, 2016

Dance the Night Away

Make like Jay Gatsby and Daisy with a free invitation to the Orpheum. Put on your flappers, cuffed trousers, and two-toned shoes for an enjoy a free evening of dancing and entertainment. It begins with a guided tour of the historical venue, followed by live music with Victoria and The Secrets and the Myrtle Family Band. You'll have a chance to view and learn the Lindy Hop with Rhythm City Productions, strike a pose in the photo booth, interact with a special work of art by Peter Forde, and be amazed by Matt Johnson's magic tricks. Minimum age is 19 years. The event is free to a maximum capacity of 200 people. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets available on a first come, first served basis.