Rental availability at The Cultch!

Check out our 2017 rental availability by clicking the image above

The Cultch is a supportive rental facility for dozens of local performing arts and community groups. Last year alone, we welcomed 79 different companies who hosted 99 different events. All together they put on 267 performances plus 119 days of rehearsal! Companies who have called The Cultch home include Blackbird Theatre, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Unpintheair Theatre, Standing Wave, the Talking Stick Festival, and Touchstone Theatre. We have also been host to dozens of meetings and conferences, book launches, lectures, and play readings, and even a wedding! Check out our rental availability above or email rentals@thecultch.com or call 604.251.1766 x. 107 for more information.

Thank you for making Mouthpiece a huge success!

Thank you for making Mouthpiece a huge success!

The reception that Mouthpiece has received is incredible! We were so thrilled to be able to bring Quote Unquote Collective to Vancouver to present their amazing show. Mouthpiece is a powerful piece of theatre that portrays one woman (played by two women- Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava) as she struggles to find her voice in the wake of her mother’s death. If you were lucky enough to manage to get tickets to this SOLD-OUT HIT, then we want to thank you for spreading the word and making this show the amazing success that it is.

 

We would also like to acknowledge the amazing support of our community partner for Mouthpiece, West Coast Leaf. For each show presented at The Cultch we try to find a matching community partner – A company with a similar mandate, and with similar values. West Coast Leaf has been an amazing community partner and we are so grateful for all their work helping us get the word out for Mouthpiece. If you haven’t heard about West Coast Leaf and their amazing work in the community, we recommend that you check them out. “[Their] goal is to achieve equality by changing historic patterns of systemic discrimination against women through BC-based equality rights litigation, law reform, and education.”

Our Community Partners for Mouthpiece – West Coast Leaf. Jessica Lithwick, Clea Parfitt, and Robyn Trask pose with The Cultch’s Executive Director, Heather Redfern. Photo Credit – roaming-the-planet

Mouthpiece is a part of Femme February at The Cultch. For the whole month of February we are presenting shows and events created by women. Now more than ever we think it is important to promote the things we believe in, and so all month long, events at The Cultch will highlight the strength and power of the female voice and experience. We couldn’t do these kind of things without the generous support of our sponsors, donors, community partners and our patrons. So thank you everyone -we truly couldn’t do it without you!

We especially want to thank Charlotte and Sonya Wall. It is their generous support that has made Femme February possible, and we are so grateful.

Heather Redfern poses with Femme February sponsors, The Walls, at the opening night reception for Mouthpiece. Photo Credit – Ric Lam

If you weren’t able to get tickets to Mouthpiece (and even if you were!), consider checking out some of the other events coming up for Femme February. NeoIndigenA (Feb 15-19), Women in the Arts Panel Discussion & Girl Positive Book Launch (Feb 9 – FREE EVENT), and am a (Feb 21- March 4)

Femme February runs all February long at the Historic Theatre and the Vancity Culture Lab. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

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

East Van creative culture thrives in a new way

Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly teaches swordplay and other modern armed and unarmed martial arts in East Vancouver. While their focus is more practical than theatrical, Valkyrie WMAA shares a love of innovation, inclusion, and community engagement with The Cultch, and the two organizations also have a shared history.

Jordan Both, who has been a regular technician at the Cultch for over a decade, was one of the driving forces behind the creation of Valkyrie. Back in 2012, Jordan was looking for a way to expand his martial arts training. He reached out to David Packer, a swordplay expert and martial artist with over 35 years of experience, who he had met the year before. David had been teaching for decades, and had run a few schools, but at the time didn’t have any ongoing practice. Jordan talked him into a weekly private session that they held outdoors —  in their backyards, in parks, and under bridges.

Their partners, Kaja Sadowski and Courtney Rice, quickly jumped into the sessions as well. Then a few more friends joined in, and soon they had a regular group of people waving swords around in parks. When fall hit, David and Courtney decided to formalize things and find a rental space to move the practice indoors, and Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly was born.

Kaja joined Valkyrie’s teaching staff in December 2013 and created a beginner program to shepherd new students into the regular curriculum. By the end of 2014, Valkyrie was running four classes a week out of two rented locations and a park, and was running out of places to put new people. It was time to get serious. Courtney and Kaja started building the business infrastructure to make a permanent location viable, and the teaching team recruited three new coaches from the school’s senior students, including Jordan.

The permanent Valkyrie WMAA space opened in October 2015. The school is bright, colourful, and friendly — an intentional rejection of the typical macho environment of most martial arts spaces, from their serious, black-dominated colour schemes, to their heavy emphasis on competition or climbing ranks as the goal of martial practice. Much like the Cultch, Valkyrie instead aims to be a creative space that cultivates an adventurous approach to the arts by an engaged clientele.

“For me it’s about exploration and experimentation. Exploring what my body can do, how it can move through the world, and how it can affect my opponent. From there, we take what we discover and experiment with/on each other to see what works. What works for me, might not work for my opponent and that’s also interesting. We’re collaborating to build/discover better humans through the affectionate medium of stabbing, slashing, squeezing, throwing, punching, kicking, and generally bludgeoning each other. What’s not to love?”

Philip Persad

Jordan loves his students’ reactions to Valkyrie’s approach. People who had never considered themselves capable of any violence delight in a well thrown punch, or discover a love of wrestling. People with experience in more traditional, rigid martial arts suddenly find their own style.

“Valkyrie’s approach brings in aspects of a wide array of martial arts, not only drawing on the best techniques and approaches from a variety of disciplines, but encouraging students to be creative. It’s okay to be new or novel in your approach, and wanting to find out if something works is a good enough reason to try it (safely).”

-Sarah Campbell

Jordan’s search for personal improvement has opened the door for many other people to discover their own potential in ways they didn’t think was possible. What began in a cold Vancouver backyard now has a warm home to thrive in, and a community of dedicated students. If you are interested in seeing what Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly might do for your own creativity and physical expression, check out their programs at valkyriemartialarts.com, and save 15% with the discount code I<3thecultch.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned from both my own experience, and from that of the people I’ve seen at Valkyrie, is that anything’s possible. That sense of possibility is one of the coolest parts of training there.”

            –Zach Doyle

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”

creeps-hear-no

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

panto_2016_106

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!