Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto ends our hugely successful 2015 season!

Dawn Petten and Maiko Yamamoto (front) as Hansel and Gretel with Caitlin Goruk, Allan Zinyk, Carly Pokoradi, Josue Laboucane, and Lillian Doucet-Roche; photo Emily

Photo by Emily Cooper

Thank you to everyone who made Theatre Replacement`s Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto a huge success. Charlie Demers` witty script, Veda Hille`s campy songs, and the superb acting, directing, and set design, made it one of the best Pantos yet.

But there is not much that can be said that will top what loyal audience members and media outlets have been saying.

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little pantomime. Now on its third year, East Van Panto has proven itself a seasonal tradition” — Erika Thorkelson, The Vancouver Sun

Super-silly and with more puns than Vancouver has rainy days, Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto shifted the Grimm’s fairytale from Germany to Vancouver East. We booed, we cheered and you can, too”-  Jo Ledingham , Vancouver Courier

Had such an amazing time at @TheCultch watching #eastvanpanto! Amazing talent from a cast who truly love what they do! Thank you to them!!!” – Lavina Goossen @lavinahgoossen

We`re thrilled that the incredible year was also recognized by the critics on their year in review lists.

1)  The Vancouver Sun (5 out of 10 picks were Cultch productions!)

2)  Westender

3)  Georgia Straight critic Colin Thomas`s blog

4)  Vancouver Courier

Thank you to all the folks that made 2015 a memorable year for The Cultch and we hope that you will allow us to make your 2016 as memorable as we navigate the Global cultural landscape to bring these gems to East Vancouver.

Happy Holidays from The Cultch!

A few members of our Cultch team (plus staff pups Gary and Murphy) creating yuletide glow in The Cultch lobby!

A few members of our Cultch team (plus staff pups Gary and Murphy) creating yuletide glow in
The Cultch lobby!

The Cultch would like to wish all of you a very happy holiday season! We are truly grateful for the support from you — our supporters, patrons, and friends.

Thanks to your continued patronage we sold out three simultaneous shows in our season – a first in Cultch history. We literally wouldn’t be here without you!

Thank you for choosing to make The Cultch and the arts a part of your life – we look forward to more grand adventures in the new year!

The best of the season to you,

from The Cultch team

Box Office Holiday Hours:
December 24: 12 pm to 4 pm
December 25: closed
December 26: 12 pm to 4 pm
January 1: closed

For regular box office hours, click here Tickets for events happening at The Cultch can always be purchased 24 hours a day, seven days a week through our secure online ticketing system: tickets.thecultch.com

OPENING NIGHT PHOTOS: The Daisy Theatre and An East Van Panto at The Cultch and York Theatre!

Its been a busy month at The Cultch (Vancouver) as we opened Ronnie Burkett’s The Daisy Theatre as well as Theatre Replacement’s Hansel & Gretel: An East Van Panto!

Ronnie Burkett, a Cultch favourite, kicked things off on Dec 2 at the Historic Theatre with the third installment of The Daisy Theatre – which marked his 200th performance of the show! Theatre Replacement soon followed with the opening of Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto on Dec 4 at the York Theatre, which the Georgia Straight described as a “phenomenon.” Here are some of our favorite snap shots from the both nights:

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Tickets are still available for both shows but some nights are already SOLD OUT. Click here to buy now and secure the best seats.

Thank you Dignity Memorial!

Heather Redfern and Michael Hedden

Heather Redfern and Michael Hedden

We are thrilled that Dignity Memorial joins us for a third year as a production and In Memoriam sponsor with a contribution of $10,000. This year, Dignity Memorial is production sponsor for The Daisy Theatre.

Our Executive Director, Heather Redfern, had the following to say:

“I would like to thank Dignity Memorial for its generous and on-going support. I greatly share and commend its appreciation that arts and culture enrich our lives. It is fitting to support a show by perennial-audience favourite Ronnie Burkett with a work that is smart, touching and comedic.”

Market manager of Dignity Memorial, Michael Hedden, also commented on Dignity’s commitment to the Arts:

“Supporting The Cultch is really about supporting dialogue within our community. Art in its various forms is an affirmation of the human experience. As funeral service professionals, we help families tell their loved ones story and celebrate lives lived. Together, Dignity Memorial and The Cultch celebrate storytelling

Dignity Memorial sponsored Famous Puppet Death Scenes (The Old Trout Puppet Workshop) in 2014/15, and Grim & Fischer (Wonderheads Theatre) in 2013/14. In addition, it has supported the inclusion of the In Memoriam section of the season program, giving donors the opportunity to remember and recognize loved ones who were great supporters of the arts.

If you would like to recognize a loved one in our program, please contact Georgia Beaty, Development Coordinator, at 604-251-1766 ext. 108

It’s the York Theatre’s two-year anniversary! Share your York story!

YorkBlogThe two-year anniversary of the York Theatre is this Sunday, December 6! To celebrate we’re sending the call out to you – our friends and supporters – to submit your personal York story. Tell us about a gig you saw back when it was a concert venue, or a show you saw when it was known as the Little Theatre, or any other story –past or present – about the York. If you submit a story, you will be invited to an exclusive Cultch Rental’s Department and Heritage Vancouver Society event this February! Plus, submit your story by Dec 11 and you’ll be entered to win two tickets to the opening night of Leftovers at the York Theatre on Jan 26.

To submit your story please email marketing@thecultch.com with the subject line ‘York Memory’ or leave a comment below. Your personal story may be used in future promotional materials. Please be assured, that we would only list your first name and omit any identifying details. Do let us know if you don’t want yours included!

Nirbhaya Reviews!

We would like to thank all of the courageous human beings that attended and enabled us to present Nirbhaya. Based on real life experiences and the violent incident that shocked Delhi and the world, the production featured the real testimonies of survivors and helped us have a conversation around the issue of gender-based violence in our community and all over the world. Click here for some of the photos from the opening night.

Here are some of the reactions we received from critics and patrons like you:

Nirbhaya is stunning. You could feel the impact of the material in the silence that preceded the ovation on the opening night of the show’s run at the York” – Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“True stories of violence deserve to be heard” – Erika Thorkelson, The Vancouver Sun

“Nirbhaya is not a play you like but it’s powerful, urgent and true. It’s also a remarkable piece of theatre. Be fearless. See it”- Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

“Incredible and heart-wrenching” – Max Lloyd-Jones, @maxlloydjones1

“Most powerful theatre I’ve ever seen. Thank you  to the actors for their brave & eye-opening performances #EndTheViolence” – David v.d.B. @drvan

“You Need to see it. I can’t imagine having not. Thank you” – Tracey Power, @TeepTeep

Nirbhaya #EndTheSilence

On December 16, 2012, a young woman boarded a bus in Delhi heading for home. What followed changed countless lives forever. People poured onto the streets in grief and rage demanding justice. Legally prevented from revealing her real name, the press named her NIRBHAYA — “Fearless”. To march beside the women on the streets of Delhi was to take back the night, to salvage being a human being.

Around the world, one in three women will experience some form of violence in their lifetime. Based on the performers’ real life experiences, Nirbhaya is a voyage into a tapestry of personal testimonies. Bear witness to these brave women’s stories and join their call to action to Raise Your Hand and help us to break the silence around the world, one voice at a time.

Nirbhaya will be playing at the York Theatre Nov 3-14. Every audience member will be invited to participate in our #EndTheSilence campaign and will be given a card that allows them to write a message, share their story, or post their reaction to the show. The cards will be displayed as an installation in the York Theatre’s lobby as part of the #EndTheSilence campaign. We hope to start a dialogue and to take away the shame that surrounds sexual violence.

The Raise Your Hand installation at the York Theatre will be on display throughout the duration of the show’s run (Nov 3-14). 

Spread the word online and tag your comments, reactions, and stories with #Nirbhaya or #EndTheSilence.  Thank you for joining us to help #EndTheSilence!

Raise Your Hand #EndTheSilence

Raise Your Hand #EndTheSilence

Thank you Pacific Blue Cross!

The Cultch's executive director Heather Redfern accepts a cheque from Tracey Harston, Pacific Blue Cross board member before the opening night performance of The Damage is Done - A True Story.

(L-R) The Cultch’s executive director Heather Redfern accepts a cheque from Tracey Harston, Pacific Blue Cross board member before the opening night performance of The Damage is Done – A True Story.

Donations and sponsorship fuel the work that we do here at The Cultch. The support of individuals and organizations in our community is vital to The Cultch, and makes it possible for us to continue presenting socially-conscious and thought-provoking performances.

We are tremendously grateful to Pacific Blue Cross Community Connection Health Foundation, who have donated $7,500 to two shows this Fall that focus on mental health.

Pacific Blue Cross is BC’s leading benefits provider and its Community Connection Health Foundation is designed to offer financial assistance to organizations that support mental health and chronic disease. The foundation will be supporting two shows; The Damage is Done – A True Story (October 20 – 24) and You Will Remember Me (November 17 – 28).
Richard Taylor, chair of the Pacific Blue Cross Community Connection Health Foundation said, “We are proud to support these productions which help foster an understanding and dialogue around mental health. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being in our province, and encourage people to recognize the importance of and protect their mental wellness is central to this.”

Some of you may have been lucky enough to see The Damage is Done – A True Story  which closed last weekend after a sold out run. Through Rita Bozi’s exploration of family and cultural history as well as insights from Dr. Maté, the play sheds light on experiences of depression, addiction and suicidal thoughts and ultimately, healing.

A poignant family drama, You Will Remember Me explores the impact of caring for an aging father suffering from dementia, by acclaimed Québec playwright Francois Archambault.

We hope you will join us at the theatre for You Will Remember Me, and continue the conversation around mental health.


First Reviews of ‘A Simple Space’ are in! Fans & Critics call it a “Must-See”

A Simple Space opened last night to thunderous applause! The seven acrobats from Australia thrilled a full house at the York Theatre with death defying feats of athleticism, artistry, and mind boggling precision.

Here are the initial reactions we’ve been receiving on social media:

“Just got home from the opening night of A Simple Space, and seriously, wow. I’m racking my brain to figure if I’ve ever seen a physical performance I enjoyed more. It was edgy and funny, and dangerous and so energized. I actually don’t know if I’ve ever had more fun in or out of a theatre.” – Jillian Christmas, Facebook

“In A Simple Space, the Australian acrobatic company Gravity & Other Myths presents an hourlong program that will leave you wrung out—and very happy… Kids will love this show. So will you.” –Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“Had the pleasure of enjoying the scintillating acrobatic party, A Simple Space, at The Cultch last night with Seb Chamney. Coolest show I have scene in a while – innovative, fun and visually stunning accompanied by energizing live percussion.” – Jason Chamney, Facebook

“Just came back from the The Cultch and A Simple Space. What a joyful ode to play! The whole show was like watching seven acrobats playing a game…and the kids loved it!” David Jordan, Facebook

“…Forget Cirque! … I dare you not to shed a few tears of ABSOLUTE JOY as you watch” – Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

“YVR: #ASimpleSpace @TheCultch’s #YorkTheatre is must-see joyful, energetic athleticism. Do yourself a favour & go!” – Kathleen B, @KathleenBee751

“A SPECTACULAR show. . anyone who has an hour should go see this at the York Theatre!! You will laugh & ooooo & clap spontaneously!” – Mary Vickars, Facebook

Want to join in on the conversation? Use hashtag #ASimpleSpace and chime in on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

A Simple Space runs until Oct 24 at the York theatre. Tickets are from $20 and are available at tickets.cultch.com or at The Cultch box office at 1895 Venabales Street.

Project Elysium presents Cornet: Viktor Ullmann’s Legacy from Theresienstadt

ElysiumProject_EmailHeaderOn October 16 Project Elysium will present Cornet: Viktor Ullmann’s Legacy from Theresienstadt – A performance of Ullman’s final work, written in a concentration camp.

We asked Cornet producer, Catherine Laub, a few questions about the presentation.

This will be the first time the artists of Elysium will be performing in Canada – however, Elysium-Between Two Continents has been presenting the work of Viktor Ullmann in the United States and Europe since the 1990s. Could you tell us about this organization and their work?

Founded in 1983, Elysium was the first and (at that time) only organization in New York which dedicated all its efforts to the presentation of music by composers who were banned, silenced, or persecuted by the Nazis. The many concerts and musical-literary collages presenting works of mostly forgotten artists– works Elysium had found in archives in the US and Europe–had a trailblazing effect. Other organizations and individuals soon followed in Elysium’s footsteps. Some of these composers, who were unknown a few years ago, are now regularly featured in concert and onstage around the world. As an organization, Elysium, together with the Lahr von Leïtis Academy and Archive, has three interrelated components: research and collection, performance, and education. Elysium’s mission statement reads, “Fostering artistic and creative dialogue and mutual friendship between the United States of America and Europe.  Fighting against discrimination, racism and antisemitism by means of art.”

Can you tell us a little more about the artists involved ?

Gregorij H. von Leïtis is the artistic director of Elysium, between two continents. He has directed operas and plays in major theatres throughout Europe and in New York and will provide the recitation for “Cornet.” Herr von Leïtis is an advisor for the Viktor Ullmann Foundation and a consultant for the Jewish Music Institute in London. His awards include the Knight’s Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the New York Theatre Club Prize.

Michael Lahr is the executive director of the Lahr von Leïtis Academy and Archive and Elysium’s program director and will provide the opening lecture. Also a published author, Herr Lahr has curated numerous international exhibits and conceived programs such as Music from Theresienstadt and Degenerate Music. He serves on the advisory board of the Neitzsche Forum in Munich and regularly lectures on topics of social and political importance.

“Master pianist” Dan Franklin Smith is Elysium’s music director and frequent recital soloist and collaborator.  Described as “an incredibly sensitive player,” his “breathtakingly beautiful” artistry will bring Ullmann’s piano sonata to life and provide the musical background for the recitation in “Cornet.” As a chamber musician and vocal accompanist, Dan has performed at major venues throughout the United States and toured Bermuda, Taiwan, and Puerto Rico.

What inspired you to produce this presentation?

When I was a few years out of graduate school, I participated in the Elysium Academy in Bernried, Germany with all three of these artists on faculty. In the years since then, I have been increasingly inspired by the second part of Elysium’s mission statement “fighting against discrimination, racism and antisemitism by means of art.” I reconnected with Gregorij von Leïtis and Michael Lahr in Munich nearly two years ago now and spoke with them about coming to Vancouver at some point to present one of their concerts. Initially, I had planned for there to be only once performance at the Roedde House, but once I began sharing their work with others, I was encouraged to make this music available to a wider audience. In terms of the historical context of the music, we are able to honour the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in 2015 and also mark the actual date of the composer’s death in 1944, mere months before the end of the war.  There’s a really moving story here, and one that is particularly timely right now as our global society has issues of runaway political regimes, discrimination, and displacement once again brought to the forefront of our collective consciousness.

Is there anything else you would like audiences to know about this presentation?

While it isn’t possible to rewrite history, this project functions as a kind of musical “rescue mission,” bringing recognition to a brilliant composer whose work was nearly lost to us.  His story and his music allow us to make a more personal connection to a time that is almost too overwhelming to contemplate.  This connection is essential as it helps us not only mourn but learn.


Cornet: Viktor Ullmann’s Legacy from Theresienstadt

Friday, October 16 at 8PM, Historic Theatre at The Cultch – Buy Tickets Here

Saturday, October 17 at 8PM, Pyatt Hall – Buy Tickets Here

* Please note that this event is taking place off-site at 843 Seymour St

Sunday October 18 at 3PM, Roedde House – by Invitation only


For more information please visit  www.project-elysium.org