Breaking News: The Cultch Receives Funding Through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

Breaking News: The Cultch Receives Funding Through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

The Cultch would like to thank the Department of Canadian Heritage for their support through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support the purchase of specialized equipment.

“The Vancouver East Cultural Centre is extremely excited to receive this support from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This funding enables us to make some necessary upgrades to our facilities and technology so we can better serve the multiple communities that partake in performance at Cultch venues. Audiences, artists and other users will all benefit from the upgraded ticketing system, and the theatrical equipment will go a long way in ensuring the Cultch can continue to support and present the best of local, national and international performance and community-based programs. We are grateful to the Government of Canada for showing leadership and commitment by investing in our community through the arts, and we encourage all levels of government to follow this enlightened example.”—Heather Redfern, Executive Director, Vancouver East Cultural Centre

Managing Director, Cindy Reid, gives address to media and audience in the Vancity Culture Lab

 

Excerpt from Department of Canadian Heritage News Release:

The Government of Canada provides support for cultural infrastructure through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

January 27, 2017 – Vancouver – Department of Canadian Heritage

The Vancouver East Cultural Centre, a multidisciplinary arts presenter known locally as the Cultch, is receiving $239,263 from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support the purchase of specialized equipment. The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament (Vancouver Centre), announced this investment today on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Funding will be used to purchase and install new audio, video and lighting equipment and related hardware for the Cultch’s venues. It will also support the purchase of new ticketing, venue and event management software. This specialized equipment will allow the Cultch to increase the variety of its performances, while enhancing its technical capacity.

“Supporting cultural infrastructure is paramount for the growth and vitality of our communities and artists. Our government is proud to invest in the Vancouver East Cultural Centre as it continues to support our artists and contribute to the development of Canadian music, dance and theatre.” —The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The Vancouver East Cultural Centre has been a cultural and artistic hub in the Lower Mainland for more than 40 years. I am delighted that this investment will allow the Cultch to continue to entertain audiences with exciting and innovative programming for years to come.” —The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament (Vancouver Centre)

Quick Facts

  • The Cultch opened in 1973 at the Historic Theatre on Venables Street in east Vancouver. It has grown significantly in recent years and also now operates the VanCity Culture Lab, Jim Green House and the recently renovated York Theatre.
  • The Cultch offers programming in theatre, dance, music and the visual arts, featuring artists from across Canada and around the world.
  • The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

Portraits in Motion: “A gentle and thoughtful reflection about the fleeting nature of the moment…”

Portraits in Motion: “A gentle and thoughtful reflection about the fleeting nature of the moment…”

We are thrilled to partner with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival to co-present Portraits in Motion. Back by popular demand, Volker Gerling’s unique flipbook-cinema presentation shares the stories and images of the people he encountered while walking over 3,000 miles around Germany. Portraits in Motion will run January 24-26 at the York Theatre.

Volker Gerling on the Development of Portraits in Motion:

During my time as a student of film at the Academy, I understood that my passion was not for the big screen movie or television, but for a very special small form of film I called photograph flipbook cinema. In my flipbook films I mainly work with documentary portraits of people. The 36 images that my films are made of would run by in about one and a half seconds of ordinary cinema or television, but in a flipbook movie they can be repeated at will, you can see the gaps between them, and you can unconsciously try to fill these gaps. In this form, these pictures gain their own very unusual power and poetry.

Photo credit: Susanne Schüle

 

In summer 2002, I took an old wooden kitchen tray and made it into a simple hawker’s tray. There was room for six flipbooks on it. I hung a sign on it, saying: “Please visit my traveling exhibition. I walked through the city of Berlin and showed people my flipbook movies. Sometimes I changed the programme. I screwed an empty honey jar underneath the hawker’s tray so that visitors could pay a symbolic exit fee.

After I had been showing my flipbook cinemas in this way for almost a year, I came to realise that people have a need for “small” and “simple” stories. I decided to travel. I wanted to know how people outside the city would react to my films. I wanted to make new flipbook movies. I bought myself a new pair of walking boots and set off. I did not want to miss anything along the way, so I chose to go slow, on foot. I took my hawker’s tray with me and showed my flipbook movies to people by the wayside and over their garden fences. In the evenings, I went into pubs and restaurants and I visited village parties. I did not take any money with me. I slept in my tent and lived only from whatever people gave me. Sometimes they gave me money as a symbolic fee when they had seen my small show of flipbook cinemas, or they often gave me something to eat.

My journeys are reminiscent of the days when cinema itself was itinerant, when projectionists would move from town to town and there were no movie theatres. My own form of wandering cinema also creates a link between the ways in which my films are seen and my own way of travelling. The rhythms and the sense of time are comparable – just as visitors to my flipbook movies can view them at their own speed, my walking is based on my own rhythm and speed.

In my flipbooks, I am interested in the gaps between the images and everything that gets lost when you leaf through them quickly, and when I am walking I am interested in the gaps between the cities that you would normally speedily cover by car, train or plane. I am interested in what happens by the wayside; whatever you can never see when you travel quickly. I am interested in the people I meet when I am on my way. What are their lives like? What is important for them? What stories do they tell me, the stranger? How do the people in all the different towns, gardens and villages I pass through react to my art?

Today I can look back at 3,000 miles of walking, mainly in Germany, and nearly a year on the road in total spread across more than 10 years. Again and again I experience the excitement and the surprises of setting off without knowing what will happen next. I remain true to the principle of my very first walk – I take no money. I finance my journeys by showing my flipbook cinemas that I carry on my hawker’s tray. Old faces and old stories lead me to new faces and new stories. My exhibition is renewed.

In 2005, I began to show my flipbook movies in a stage show, Portraits in Motion. On stage, I use a video camera to project my movies onto a big screen. For a brief moment, the people in my flipbooks come to life. They are so real that sometimes you feel you have known the people in them for years. I tell their stories and tell of my own big, small, serious and bizarre encounters. My show is a gentle and thoughtful reflection about the fleeting nature of the moment and what it means when people meet each other. 

Every year I walk, so every year my show develops at the leisurely pace of a walker.

Volker Gerling

Portraits in Motion runs Jan 24-26, 2017 at the York Theatre. Tickets from $20. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Reviews are in for The Fighting Season…and they are Great!

Reviews are in for The Fighting Season…and they are Great!

Photo by Javier R. Sotres

Last Wednesday we opened The Fighting Season, our first show of 2017, and the winner of the 2015 Cultchivating the Fringe Award. What a way to start!  We are SO happy with the response it has been getting.

The Fighting Season is a deeply poignant play that delves into the heart of the Afghan war through the perspective of three Canadian medical personnel. The play examines the experiences of an OR surgeon, a medic, and a nurse as they deal with their experiences in Afghanistan. The Fighting Season addresses three of the many ways people deal with PTSD, and is partially based on the experiences of local playwright Sean Harris Oliver’s father who was an OR surgeon  in Afghanistan.

The reviews are unanimous, The Fighting Season is not to miss!

“Theatrical make-believe has rarely felt more VISCERAL.” – Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“The performances under the direction of Evan Frayne are uniformly TERRIFIC.”- Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

“The play feels excruciatingly real and scrupulously HONEST…it’s a powerful piece of theatre made even more potent by three SUPERB performances.” – Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

“Visceral and MOVING, The Fighting Season shines as a FASCINATING study of war medics.” – Lauren Chancellor, TheReviewweekly

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The Fighting Season is selling fast! Don’t miss it, get your tickets.

The Fighting Season runs until Jan 21, 2016 in the Vancity Culture Lab. Tickets are $35. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Femme February at The Cultch

Femme February at The Cultch

This February, The Cultch presents a showcase of powerful work by trailblazing female artists. Celebrate the strength and power of the female experience with an amazing line-up of live performances created and performed by women:

Mouthpiece  | Jan 31 – Feb 5  | Tickets from $20!

MouthpieceMouthpiece follows one woman, for one day, as she tries to find her voice. The push and the pull, the past and the present, the progress and the regression: this is the inner conflict that exists within a modern woman’s head. Interweaving a cappella harmony, text, and movement – Mouthpiece is a harrowing, humourous, and heart-wrenching journey into the female psyche.

THE DRAW: After a critically acclaimed, sold-out Toronto run, six Dora nominations and two wins, Mouthpiece comes to The Cultch as part of a national tour.

BUY TICKETS 

Girl Positive Book Launch & Panel |  Feb 9  | Free event! 

Join us for the Vancouver launch of the groundbreaking book, Girl Positive, and a panel discussion on Women in the Arts.

Co-authors Fraser and Hagel will facilitate a panel discussion that will uncover the innovative ways in which women artists are disrupting and innovating culture. Featuring prominent women in the arts including author, actor, and playwright Carmen Aguirre, this discussion will provoke and inspire through an exploration of hidden power and wild possibility!

ABOUT THE BOOK
Showcasing diverse voices of girls and young women from North America, Tatiana Fraser and Caia Hagel shift the focus from media’s sensationalist stories to highlight real-life accounts of how girls are making positive change and shaping a new world. Girl Positive offers stories of struggle and victory, and brings to light where today’s girls are finding new paths to empowerment.

RSVP HERE

NeoIndigenA | Feb 15 – 19  | Tickets from $20!

A full-length solo performance from award-winning artistic director, choreographer, and performer Santee Smith (TransMigration), exploring our relationship to ancestors, the living universe, and renewal. The spellbinding score features elemental voices of Inuit singers Tanya Tagaq and Nelson Tagoona with musical composition by Cris Derksen, Jesse Zubot, Michael Red, and Adrian Harjo.

THE DRAW: “[Smith’s] highly charged, traditional/ contemporary/ballet fusion eats up the stage” — The Globe and Mail

BUY TICKETS

am a  |  Feb 21 – Mar 4  |  All tickets just $25!

am a explores identity through the lens of neuroplasticity, a science that examines the brain’s capacity for change. But how do we change our brains? And if we can change, how far can we go? Using personal text, scientific writings, dance, song, and frivolity to explore personal confrontation, am a is a celebration of being human. Of daring to succeed. Of daring to fail.

BUY TICKETS

Great Reviews for East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood!

Great Reviews for East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood!

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Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood opened Friday, November 25. What fun! There is nothing like the Panto to get us in the mood for the holidays, and it seems we aren’t the only ones that feel that way. The reviews have been rolling in, and the verdict across the board is that East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood is the best kind of holiday fun!

“The East Van Panto is now officially the BEST HOLIDAY TRADITION in Vancouver…I could happily see this show again and probably will” —Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

“Thank you, Theatre Replacement and The Cultch, for the lovely Christmas present….I LOVED IT. I really, really did. Best present ever” —Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

“A genuine local HOLIDAY CLASSIC back for its fourth nutty season…this incarnation of the East Van Panto retains all its JOYOUS HUMOUR and characteristic pizzazz” —Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun

“As FRESH, IRREVERENT, and FUN as its predecessors…If the East Van Panto isn’t part of your holiday tradition yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” —Kathleen Oliver, Georgia Straight

panto_2016_041

 

East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood runs from Nov 23 – Dec 31, 2016 in the York Theatre. Best prices Family Packs available! 4 premium tickets for just $120! *A Family Pack includes 2 adult + 2 child tickets (Sec A). Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Want to see Veda Hille perform? Make sure to book your tickets between Nov 23 and Dec 4! Music man extraordinaire Benjamin Elliott (Are We Cool Now?, Broken Sex Doll) will perform Veda’s signature spins on contemporary and classic tunes beginning Dec 5!

CREEPS is “…ferociously funny”

CREEPS is “…ferociously funny”

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Winner of the Chalmers Award and the New York Drama Desk Award, David Freeman’s savage wit and uncompromising dialogue will hold you spellbound!

What 1971 play is recognized among theatre insiders to have changed Canadian theatre forever?  If you guessed David Freeman’s CREEPS, you’re right!

Realwheels Theatre, the company that brought you the Jessie Award-winning production of “Whose Life is it Anyway?” (The Cultch 2014 season), and winner of the City of Vancouver’s 2015 Award of Excellence, returns to the Cultch Historic Stage with this outstanding new production of CREEPS.

Running Dec 1- 10, 2016, CREEPS tells the story of four disabled men hiding out in the toilet of a ‘sheltered workshop for cerebral palsy victims’.  There to dodge their condescending supervisor, the men escape the mundane activities (folding boxes, sanding blocks), designed to ‘occupy their idle hours, and vent their disdain for their institutionalized environment and the charities that support it.  

While sheltered workshops were a progressive idea at the time, with the intention to rotate people through as they increased skill levels, many participants – like the characters in CREEPS – ended up spending most of their adult lives in the programs.

Freeman was one of the first writers to put his own voice – a Canadian voice – on the stage in the early 70’s.  Freeman lived with cerebral palsy and wrote CREEPS on a typewriter that he operated with a mouth-held stylus.

Reviews of the play were unanimously electrifying:

ferociously funny,

“...Freeman treats his people as people, showing how in their world there is humour in abundance, and things can be hugely comic.”

…Freeman handles his material triumphantly.”

May all playwrights be as talented as Freeman.”

For the first time in the play’s history, CREEPS is being performed by an integrated cast.  Of the seven professional actors, three are actors who live with disability.  Realwheels’ production of  CREEPS will give audiences a rare glimpse into the lived experience of disability, filtered through a 1970’s lens.   Don’t miss it!

Creeps runs from Nov 30– Dec 10, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Two-for-One special ticket price for International Day of Disability on Sat. Dec 3 at 8 pm. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

*Please call box office to book if seating accommodation is needed (Wheelchair, PCA, ASL, audio description)

Panto Season is Upon us Again! -East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood

Panto Season is Upon us Again! – East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood

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It’s that time of year again! It’s time for another great Panto presented by Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto! Now in its  fourth year, the Panto is one of our favourite traditions here at The Cultch. If you have never been to the Panto, this is your chance to start your own holiday tradition!

But what is Panto, you say?

We are so glad you asked! 

East Van Panto says it best:

Panto (another name for Pantomime) is a tradition of holiday musical comedy theatre. Popularized in England in the early 19thCentury, Pantomime takes familiar fairy tales and injects music, contemporary references, and audience participation to create raucous, noisy entertainment that’s fun for everyone in the family. Our Panto takes inspiration from this classic form, but adds a uniquely East Van twist; a new, local tradition you and your family are invited to make your own!

The story in the spotlight this year is Little Red Riding Hood. Join Little Red for a wacky and wild ride down the Adanac bike trail. All your favourite characters are here -Little Red, Granny, The Big Bad Wolf…even a few you won’t expect. Recommended as one of the 10 Vancouver comedy events to check out in November, The East Van Panto promises big laughs for the whole family. For a taste of the fun, check out Mark Chavez’ video interview with Vancouver Sun’s Frances Georgian.

aneastvanpanto_portrait

East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood is written by Mark Chavez, directed by Anita Rochon, with music by Veda Hille. Read a great piece on Mark Chavez by Westender writer Kelsey Klassen here, or listen to an interview with Mark and Anita on Roundhouse Radio‘s Janice & Cory show. And for our Francophone fans, Anita Rochon on ICI Radio-Canada, Phare Ouest with Marie Villeneuve.

East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood runs from Nov 23 – Dec 31, 2016 in the York Theatre. Best prices Family Packs available! 4 premium tickets for just $120! *A Family Pack includes 2 adult + 2 child tickets (Sec A). Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Want to see Veda Hille perform? Make sure to book your tickets between Nov 23 and Dec 4! Music man extraordinaire Benjamin Elliott (Are We Cool Now?, Broken Sex Doll) will perform Veda’s signature spins on contemporary and classic tunes beginning Dec 5!

Not Your Average Dance Show: All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey

Not Your Average Dance Show: All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey

Photo credit: Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup

Photo credit: Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup

If you come to see All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey, be prepared to leave with lots to think about. This is not your average dance show. When it played in Ottawa, the Globe and Mail reported that, “Audience members lingered so long in the theatre, discussing the work that the… ushers, who wanted to lockup, had to ask them to leave.”

Created by Frédérick Gravel, All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey is a tale of distraught men, the ordinary run-of-the-mill North American male – beer, T-shirts, baseball caps, cowboy boots, beer bellies and their hesitations, outbursts of violence, confusion, brusque changes of mood, right left, front and back, lurching in a drunken haze of beer and powerlessness.

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Frédérick Gravel has been active in the Montreal scene for over 10 years and graduated from the dance faculty of Université du Québec à Montréal in 2009. An interdisciplinary artist with experience as a choreographer, dancer, musician and a lighting designer; it is no surprise that Frédérick Gravel’s work embraces a mixture of styles and disciplines. He has become known for pushing the boundaries of dance choreography and turning it on its head. Says the Ottawa Citizen, “Gravel’s work dances the fine line between rock concert, trailer park party and dance performance. He certainly likes to push the boundaries of what dance can be – taking pleasure in obliterating stereotypes.”

Merging rock music and performance art into his dance performance, Frédérick Gravel’s work is emotionally gripping and hard hitting.  All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey is described as being part dance, part performance art, and part rock show. Be prepared to leave this show feeling as though you have just experienced a particularly exhilarating rock concert.

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But don’t be scared away.  Just because All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey deals with some heavy things, doesn’t mean it isn’t accessible. In fact it is known for skirting the line between the serious and the comic. This is dark comedy at its best. In an interview with The Dance Current Philip Szporer says, “Gravel has good patter… with wicked timing. He doesn’t hesitate to reinforce, constantly, the idea that contemporary dance is “waaay” too serious, and why not have a good laugh?”

Check out the trailer.

All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey runs Nov 8 – 12, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets from $20 are available online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

TWO SOLD OUT OPENINGS! Thank you to our AMAZING Supporters and Partners!

TWO SOLD OUT OPENINGS! Thank you to our AMAZING Supporters and Partners! 

Yesterday (November 1) was one of the most exciting days of The Cultch’s 16/17 season! We were supremely lucky to have two amazing shows open on the same night –The Elephant Wrestler, co-presented with Diwali Fest, and Empire of the Son, Tetsuro Shigematsu’s smash hit presented by VACT.  Both of these shows are big hits: Empire of the Son has already SOLD OUT its run, and The Elephant Wrestler is very close behind.

We are so lucky to live in Vancouver and have access to great performing arts from a diverse and culturally rich background.  The Cultch is happy to co-present with Diwali Fest, and to have the chance to present shows from great local companies like VACT.  We want to take this opportunity to highlight them and the wonderful work they do.

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As many of you will know, Diwali is a South Asian festival known around the world as the festival of lights. Diwali brings people together to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.  Vancouver is lucky to have Diwali Fest, to bring us all the fun and joy of Diwali in an nearly month long festival. Their mission is, “To break cultural barriers and celebrate the spirit of Diwali by embracing diverse art forms to build a sense of community across the Greater Vancouver Lower Mainland.” This year’s festival started Oct 11 with the opening of Piya Behrupiya in the York Theatre, and will run until Nov 30.

Get out and enjoy as many of the Diwali Fest events as possible.

PHOTO: RAY SHUM | PHOTO DESIGN: TERRY WONG

Photo: Ray Shum/Photo Design: Terry Wong

We also encourage you to check out VACT as they highlight and promote Asian-Canadian stories like Empire of the Son. VACT was created in 2000 in order to produce and promote professional Asian-Canadian shows. They have has gained an amazing reputation in the arts community for presenting powerful and engaging stories from an Asian-Canadian perspective. The Cultch has been lucky enough to be a part of a couple of these productions. We are especially thrilled to have Empire of the Son back in The Vancity Culture Lab before it goes on tour in eastern Canada.

The Elephant Wrestler runs from Nov 1 – Nov 5, 2016 in the Historic Theatre.  Empire of the Son runs from Nov 1-13 in the Vancity Culture Lab. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

 

diwalilogo

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Opening Tonight: The Pianist Promises Lots of Laughs!

Opening Tonight: The Pianist Promises Lots of Laughs!

Thomas Monckton has been making the world laugh with The Pianist since he first premiered it in 2013. This years’ whirlwind tour included stops in Australia, Hong Kong, Finland, the Czech Republic, England, Scotland, and the USA. After rave reviews all around the world, Vancouverites will finally have a chance to see this clowning masterpiece; opening tonight, October 25, at the York Theatre.

REVIEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD:

“A BRILLIANT hour of choreographed hilarity” – Cameron Woodhead, the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

The Pianist was WONDERFUL…a fusion between Mr Bean and the Cirque du Soleil. The audience laughed from the beginning to the very end”- Salisbury Journal, England

“This show is absolutely HILARIOUS and must NOT be missed…if I could I’d give the show an 8 out of 5” – Lizzi Wood-Vashishtha, HKeld, Hong Kong

“Thomas Monckton is a REMARKABLE, very expressive performer even without a red nose.” – Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland

The Pianist is a show that will invariably pack out audiences and leave them laughing in stitches, and for that it is wholly deserved” – Alex Wood, Theatre Bubble, Scotland

“To see how FUNNY it is, you have to see it…Monckton earns shameless belly-laughter from kids and adults alike” – Marty Fugate, Your Observer, Florida

“The wordless show has a little Charlie Chaplin here, a little Mr Bean there and a delightful sprinkling of CIRCUS MAGIC” – Karen Bailey and Terry Izatt, The Clothesline, Australia

Check out this great video interview with Thomas Monckton, published by the Vancouver Sun

The Pianist runs from Oct 25 – Nov 6, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Family Packs available! 4 premium tickets for just $120! *A Family Pack includes 2 adult + 2 child tickets (Sec A). Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363