Sean McCann in Concert!

Sean McCann in Concert!

Alongside our season opener of Helen & Edgar, we have an intimate one-night-only acoustic performance by Séan McCann.

Séan McCann, acclaimed singer-songwriter, JUNO Award nominee, and Bell Let’s Talk ambassador takes his personal stories and songs on a “Great Big”Recovery Tour this fall, with 24 dates hitting Ontario and Western Canada. McCann’s show is an autobiography set to music of one of Canada’s most successful musicians who found redemption through his love of songs. Since leaving renowned East Coast band Great Big Sea, McCann has released two solo records – Help Your Self and the You Know I Love You Songbook – that reveal his pain, truth, and optimism about the future.

McCann shot to international fame as a founding member of the renowned Newfoundland group Great Big Sea. After millions of albums sold, countless hit songs, and record-breaking tours around the world, McCann realized music had become something he was hiding behind. Produced by acclaimed artist/producer Joel Plaskett, Help Your Self helped him deal with his issues of addiction and abuse, showing him there is strength in pain. His journey to find his own peace, love, and happiness continues through his new music. His second solo work, the You Know I Love You Songbook is cheerful in tone and lyrics, and sung by an artist intent on sharing his joy directly with his audience. McCann has also found himself using music as therapy, working with people who face physical, mental, and addiction challenges, and has become a sought after speaker trying to help others find light during difficult times. As a completely solo artist – no label, no manager, no booking agent – he controls every aspect of his career as well as his destiny…and that’s the way he likes it.

The Cultch is just a stop in a huge cross Canada tour, and as he doesn’t come out West often we’re very excited to have him here!

McCann`s tour plan for this year

McCann`s tour plan for this year

“Singing together in intimate venues lifts our hearts and that’s the feeling I want to

bring to each of my shows,” says McCann. “Music is powerful medicine and if not

for the intervention of my guitar (old brown) through hard times, I would not be

here today. I’ve learned that we are All worthy of LOVE and together we are

never alone, especially when music is involved.”

Come and get a taste of the East Coast and the power of music has to bring love and change into our hearts on September 29th!

Ticket info here: https://thecultch.com/event/sean-mccann-concert/

Celebrating Our Volunteers!

Celebrating Our Volunteers!

The Cultch depends on our amazing volunteers to keep us going so once a year, we throw a party/BBQ to honour and thank all of our 175+ wonderful volunteers! Whether they’re working in the Front of House as ushers, in the administration office as receptionists, or helping us stuff letters in envelopes during our crazy subscription season, our volunteers are truly the best and we couldn’t do what we do without them!

This year, local indie rock band Parlour Panther provided tunes to dance to, Choices Markets provided delicious food to enjoy, and so many generous organizations and businesses donated gifts to give away to our volunteers as prizes. Here are some photos from the party:

Parlour Panther

Boogieing to Parlour Panther!

Volunteers

Enjoying delicious food provided by Choices Markets!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Borja, our Production Manager, on the grill!

Borja, our Production Manager, on the grill!

Dance party

Dance party!

Photobooth fun!

Photobooth fun!

Interested in volunteering at The Cultch? Check out our volunteer page to learn about ways you can get involved!

Thank you for a fantastic 15/16 Season!

1516_Thankyou_Season

The 15/16 Season was one of The Cultch’s most successful ever! Thanks to your continued patronage, we sold out four shows in our season – a first in Cultch history; hit our Cultch Connects Goal; and hit record subscriber numbers.
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 our new season!

Don’t forget to buy your subscription for our 16/17 Season soon. Shows are already filling up, get the best seating while you can! Click here for the full lineup.

Box Office Summer Hours:
Monday- Friday: 12-4pm
Saturday: 12-4pm
Sunday: Closed

Also, open 1 hour prior to all performances

Partnering with Whistler Brewing

The Cultch is proud to have had Whistler Brewing as a partner since the 2011/2012 season. Our patrons know that they can enjoy a quality beverage at any of our performances and can always look forward to the rotating seasonal beers. Megan McKay Hall, Key Account Manager at Whistler Brewing, shared with us a little history of the company and what it’s like to partner with The Cultch.

Greg Armstrong-Morris (Broken Sex Doll) and a friend enjoy some Whistler Brews at the reception.

Greg Armstrong-Morris and Dustin Freeland (both from Broken Sex Doll) enjoy some Whistler Brews at the reception.

Can you tell us a little bit about Whistler Brewing and its history?

                The Whistler Brewing Company is celebrating its 25-year anniversary this month! The brand was born a long time ago, but the real success of the brand has really happened in the past 8 years when consumers started to support local, craft brewers much more. We welcome everyone to visit us at our tap house and brewing facility in Function Junction, Whistler anytime. We love to show off what we do and introduce people to the faces behind the brewery. We are one of BC’s oldest craft brewers, and are proud of the history and evolution of the brand from 1989 until now – big changes in the look of the brand, how and what we brew and the people behind it all.

Where do you get your inspiration for the seasonal brews?

                We have our Brew Master, Joe Goetz, as well as our head brewer in Whistler, Matt Dean, who come up with the recipes for each brew, but it really is a team effort. Many people within the company weigh in and provide ideas for both recipe ideas and the story that goes along with that recipe. Brand development is a lot of fun, and it’s very cool to be able to put forth suggestions that may end up as a finished product. A lot of the brand inspiration comes from the area in and around our home in Whistler – Whiskey Jack Ale pays homage to the Whiskey Jack bird found in the alpine, Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale gets its name from the Paradise Valley area outside of Squamish, and Black Tusk Ale takes its name from the famous Black Tusk peak in Garabaldi Provincial Park to name a few references.

As a company that is 100% BC owned and operated, is supporting other local businesses something that is important to you?

Absolutely! Supporting other BC businesses is, and always has been, a top priority. The general public is demanding the support of BC business and community more and more each year. It used to be that you couldn’t find a lot of local business to support and everyone was buying imported food, clothing, liquor, and the like. Now, it’s rare not to see businesses supporting each other on a daily basis and we definitely see that reflected in everything we do from sales to support at festivals and industry events.

How has your relationship with The Cultch been beneficial to Whistler Brewing?

                It’s been a great opportunity to showcase our products to the theatre community in east Vancouver and beyond. The people who are enjoying shows at The Cultch are obviously wanting to support local arts and their community, and a partnership with a BC craft brewer pairs well with this!

Can you tell us about Whistler Brewing’s role in supporting The Cultch? How did this partnership take shape?

                The opportunity came up to work with The Cultch for the 2011/2012 season and we jumped at it! As a company, we have always been a big supporter of the arts; whether it be live music festivals, visual arts, or performing arts. This is partially because of those who work within the organization and what we like to do in our extracurricular time, but also because the arts help to form communities and bring those communities together for common enjoyment. The Cultch has been such a pleasure to work with, and the people involved have always been so wonderful and pleasant.

Whistler Brewing is located in Function Junction in Whistler, they offer tours and tastings and have an excellent tap house. Join us at The Cultch or the York Theatre and enjoy a Whistler Brew on tap.

WB_EyebrowColour

Veda Hille Launches Love Waves at the York Theatre on May 28!

veda_hille_love_waves (1)Fresh from creating and performing in the homegrown hit musical Onegin, our favourite Vhine Und Szong  and East Van Panto songstress is back to celebrate the release of her new album: Love Waves.

We were lucky enough to chat with Veda about her album and upcoming concert!

Hi Veda! Many Cultch audience members were first introduced to your work and style through the clever musical mash-ups that characterize The East Van Panto. You are also well known in Vancouver for productions such as Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata and Onegin. Would you say that your work in the theatre has influenced this album?

Veda Hille: I have loved becoming part of Vancouver’s theatre scene over the last 10 years. I do think that work has influenced my personal songwriting. I have way more vocal things going on in the songs, and I often take on characters in a way that I never did before. For example, in Eurydice I sing the parts of both Orpheus and Eurydice. I also took more time with this album; in theatre you often work on a show for 3 years or more before it is ready. I decided to try that with Love Waves, and I think the album benefited from a really long slow process.

What can long-time fans of your music expect from this album? Are there any new elements that you were particularly excited to explore?
VH: I wrote these songs with producer John Collins in mind. He’s great on synths and beats and all these pop elements, and so I wrote songs that would work with that kind of treatment. I would say that the production feels like a pretty new kind of sound for me, but I think the songs at their core are still in the realm that I’ve inhabited all my life.

Can you tell us a little bit about the meaning behind the title of this album?
VH: Love Waves are a certain kind of seismic activity, discovered by the scientist Arthur Love. They ripple sideways through the ground, and are really good at knocking down buildings. I couldn’t resist that name, of course.

You have credited a number of artistic influences ranging from Bowie to Eno to The Carpenters to Eisler and Brecht. I have to ask – which artists are you currently listening to?
VH: I always love that question. It is what I ask other people all the time. I move pretty slowly on albums. Right now the ones I turn to most are Bowie’s Blackstar, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, and Sufjan Steven’s Carrie and Lowell.

Anything else you would like to share about this album or the concert at The York on May 28?
VH: I’m so excited about this show. The band is sounding great. I feel like I haven’t done a major concert in Vancouver in years; maybe that’s true. I keep doing all these other things! Which are also fun, but still. I am very keen to have the chance to be deeply and happily myself onstage with so many friends around.

Want a sneak peek of Veda’s fabulous new album?
Check out this review by Andrea Warner for CBC music
Keep up-to-date with the latest news on Veda Hille’s website
Love Waves: Veda Hille Album Release Concert
May 28, 2016 at 8PM
York Theatre
19+ Event

Wondering what to see at the 2016 rEvolver Festival?

Opening this week, the fourth annual rEvolver Theatre Festival will offer 11 days of performances from multi-disciplined theatre artists currently breaking on the local and national scene. All events will be held at The Cultch from May 11 to 22. If you are wondering what to see, here’s a few hints and tips to stoke your interest…..

Diversity:

Not only is the festival focused on providing a platform for emerging artists, this year’s line-up reflects the exciting diversity in our theatre community:

  • Seven shows have been created or directed by women: Beowulf, Charisma Furs, Happiness™, Kolejka, I Want to Tell You Something, Never the Last, and Silenced.
  • Seven shows have been created by or with artists of colour in a significant leadership role: Beowulf, Booth Connection, Mis Papás, Never the Last, The New Conformity, odd., and Silenced.
  • The festival continues its history of supporting innovative work by artists from the LGBTQ community (having premiered shows such as Tucked and Plucked: Vancouver’s HERstory Live on Stage and Cocktales with Maria) with Charisma Furs, by Toronto artist Katie Sly.

Award winning performances:

Two critically acclaimed shows will be presented in the Cultch’s Culture Lab, both wielding a wildly comedic approach to intelligent social commentary:

  • Happiness™, by Ottawa-based May Can Theatre, was nominated for four 2015 Prix Rideau Awards for Outstanding Direction, Lighting Design, Performance and Production.
  • Cause & Effects Circus’ The New Conformity received the Joanna Murata Award in 2015 (Vancouver Fringe Festival) and took home Victoria’s Pick of the Fringe Award in 2014.

The same but different….

Two distinct one woman shows in the Founders’ Lounge—I Want to Tell You Something and Charisma Furs—are equally intimate and engaging, and both incorporate origami lessons. Other than that, they couldn’t be more different….

A little Eastern European Culture
There are two music-heavy shows with European backdrops—puppetry, physical theatre and punk music combine to tell the story of a Babushka’s Soviet Russia in Kolejka,  and Never the Last, the latest from Delinquent Theatre, creators of Stationary: A Recession Era Musical  tells the true story of the early centry composer Sophie Carmen Friedman using live classical music, movement and text.

FESTIVAL BOX OFFICE INFORMATION:
Full Tickets: $17 ($20 with service charges) | Self Identified Low Income Tickets: $12 ($15 with service charges)
3-show pass: $40/$36 | Available at www.tickets.thecultch.com or 604.251.1363
6-show pass: $84 | Available at www.upintheairtheatre.com/buy-tickets
For full festival schedule: www.revolverfestival.ca

ABOUT REVOLVER THEATRE FESTIVAL:
Under the artistic direction of Daniel Martin and David Mott, the rEvolver Theatre Festival presents high energy and adventurous new works with a focus on supporting local talent since 2013. The festival provides professional presenting opportunities in Vancouver and offers a unique platform to present contemporary cutting-edge script-based theatre, devised works, and site-specific performances by artists ranging from recent graduates to more experienced professionals attempting to grow or transform their practice significantly.

Website: www.upintheairtheatre.com/revolver-festival   |  www.revolverfestival.ca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/UpintheairTheatre
YouTube: www.youtube.com/UpintheairTheatre
Twitter: www.twitter.com/UITATheatre

Announcing the 2016 rEvolver Festival Mainstage!

1617_RevolverThe Cultch is thrilled to welcome back Upintheair Theatre for the fourth annual rEvolver Festival.

The rEvolver Festival runs from May 11-22, and is dedicated to providing presenting opportunities to emerging professional theatre makers both locally and nationally. Past rEvolver Festivals have included world premieres of hit shows as Jordan Hall’s Kayak, Delinquent Theatre’s Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical (which featured as part of The Cultch’s 2014/15 season) and Mind of a Snail’s Caws and Effect, the shadow puppet hit of the 2015 festival.

This year’s programming represents the rich diversity of voices, aesthetics, and styles among Vancouver and Canadian emerging professional theatre makers. From immigrant stories as a live boxing match to technologically guided meditation to mesmerizing narrative juggling, 2016 is a high-water mark for stylistic exploration at rEvolver. Join Upintheair Theatre in seeing all that this incredible community of artists has to offer.

MAINSTAGE SHOWS:

* Happiness TM (May Can Theatre, Ottawa)

* Kolejka (star star theatre, Vancouver)

* Mis Papas (rice & beans theatre, Vancouver)

* Never the Last (Delinquent Theatre, Vancouver)

* The New Conformity (Cause and Effects Circus, Vancouver)

* okay.odd. (Hong Kong Exile, Vancouver)

* Silenced (Urban Ink Emerging Artists’ Collective, Vancouver)

SITE-SPECIFIC EVENTS:

* Beowulf, Marc Castellini (Vancouver)

* Booth Connection, The Biting School (Vancouver)

FOUNDER’S LOUNGE CABARET EVENTS:

* Charisma Furs, Katie Sly (Toronto)

* I want to tell you something, Caroline Sniatynski (Vancouver)

* Storytelling, Riel Hahn Presents, Riel Hahn (Vancouver)

* Demostage Upintheair Theatre (Vancouver) – FREE

* Ta Gueule Translation and Workshop Series, BoucheWHACKED! Theatre Collective & Ruby Slippers Theatre (Vancouver) – BY DONATION

* The Updrafts Reading Series – BY DONATION

Excited by what you see? There are a number of different ways you can purchase tickets!

  1. With the 6-show flex pass, the passholder can see up to six individual shows, take five friends to one show, or any combination in between!
  2. If you can’t see 6 shows, you can still save by purchasing a 3-show pass instead!
  3.  And of course individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.

The Invisible Hand: A Note From Director Richard Wolfe

Pi Theatre’s The Invisible Hand opens this week at The Cultch and we can’t wait to present this critically acclaimed production. Directed by Richard Wolfe, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar’s high-stakes thriller follows a kidnapped American trader in Pakistan playing the market for his life. In this riveting, relevant play, taut scenarios unfold as the trader works to earn his release while unwittingly handing the tools for financial chaos and political vindication to his captors. The production made The Georgia Straights ‘17 Things to Do in Vancouver’ this week as well as Vancity Buzz’s ‘6 Hottest Shows in Vancouver’.

Here are the Directors Notes from Richard Wolfe as preface for the show:

Pi is proud to be producing the Canadian premiere of Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand, presented on the Historic Theatre stage by the visionary team here at The Cultch. I knew as soon I read this script a year-and-a-half ago that it was a Pi show. Bold, smart and visceral – it’s the kind of full and rich theatre experience our audiences have come to expect from our company.

Back in 2014, US-led airstrikes on ISIS were just beginning. I wondered then how the situation would look by the time we opened Akhtar’s play in Vancouver. The naïve, hopeful part of me thought perhaps the situation would have improved. Sadly, it hasn’t.

Akhtar is a wonderful writer. His language is strong and his characters are vivid. But what I like most about The Invisible Hand is how his characters tend to be neither all good nor all bad. In my mind, ambiguous characters make the best theatre.

Akhtar has said he has a deep interest in exploring the themes of Muslim identity in the contemporary world, as well as the workings of the global financial system. Both of these themes are explored in the play you’re about to see.

How do people from different backgrounds become involved in insurgency movements? And what role does the invisible hand of the market play in today’s globalized world? Does it contribute to the general good, as Adam Smith wanted us to believe in his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (where the title of this play can be found)? Does a world full of self-interest really benefit others in the long run?

The longing for money is fairly universal. But what do we do with it when we have it? And when we have it, what will it do to us?

The Invisible Hand runs from Apr 5 – 23, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets from $20 and are available online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Q&A with Camyar Chaichian, creator and co-director of Doost (Friend)

March 22 marks the world premiere of Doost (Friend) by Neworld Theatre – and it’s happening right here at The Cultch!

Doost (Friend) is a story about compassion, community, and heritage. It is an exploration (through dance, music and poetry) of borders that surround us; borders between secular and spiritual as well as between professionals and community members. This production features an ensemble of professional theatre artists and members of the Vancouver Sufi order who will perform together and bring Doost (Friend) to life.

Neworld Theatre Founder and Doost (Friend) Creator and co-director Camyar Chaichian Photo: Dina Ferreira Stoddard

Neworld Theatre Founder
and Doost (Friend) Creator and co-director Camyar Chaichian
Photo: Dina Ferreira Stoddard

We wanted to learn more about this exciting project, so we turned to the show’s creator and co-director Camyar Chaichian for some further insight.

What excites you most about this production and sharing it with Cultch audiences?
CC: There’s something for everyone. You don’t have to be spiritual to like it. Theatre is often based on intellectual friction. Nothing wrong with that. But how about losing yourself in a trip built on good vibrations mixed with some mystery and enchantment? Who can say no to that?

What were the origins of this project?
CC: My inherent Persian love of Sufi poetry and music, and my theatre practice, came together when I asked the Elder of my path if I could express my devotion through a play based on the story of a generous light who came through the world in the form of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh. Neworld Theatre’s 20th anniversary was a few years around the corner. It all came together.

Doost (Friend) includes professional theatre artists, community members, members of the Vancouver Sufi Centre, and the Canadian Memorial United Church. In what ways do you feel that the theatre, as opposed to other mediums, is an ideal space to promote inter-faith dialogue?
CC: Years ago I was performing Neworld’s political satire, Ali and Ali, at the Magnetic North Festival in Edmonton. The audience was full of – what I presumed – conservative seniors who would – I feared – hate the show. They ended up being one of our best audiences of the entire tour. I asked one of them what she liked about the show. Her answer: “Theatre is a place where I can be exposed to ideas that are frightening or risky and feel safe doing so.” That can apply to spiritual dialogue as well. Not to mention that the many layers of artists that contribute to a theatre play are essential to mining the complexities of such a topic.

Can you tell us about the artists involved?
CC: One of my favourite things to do! We have some of our most wonderful actors, Richard Newman, Sam Bob, Luc Roderique, Nadeem Phillips, and Sofie Newman. A flamenco goddess by the name of Delara Tiv has come all the way from Spain to be a part of the show and they are joined on stage by some big heart being delivered by the community members. And my son Elijah makes his debut.

Can you tell us a bit about the involvement and support of the Nimatullahi Sufi order with this production?
CC: We have Keyvan and Vajieh Tiv, as well as Maya Lee, members of our order, joining the cast and bringing their passion and understanding into the lexicon of the actors. The most important contribution of the order is the direction and essence of following the path of love that we are all trying to share aspects of with the audience. For those of us on the path, this is as much a spiritual practice as an artistic one. The two live hand in hand. Think Gregorian chanting or Nusrat Fattah Ali Khan.

In addition to the 12 performers featured in Doost (Friend) there will be 5 musicians playing live onstage. How is music integrated in this presentation? What types of instruments are being used and what kinds of music can audiences expect to hear?
CC: I have one name to start with: SOLEY! We are blessed. Soley has done it all and is a huge name in Persian music. He has transformed himself into one of the leading Sufi musicians of the world and he’s come from Toronto to jam with us! Can you tell I’m excited? But that’s not all, he’s joining amazing locals Ali Razmi on setar (Persian strings), Hamin Honari on daf (percussion), and Amir Eslami on ney (reed flute). They will be creating some fusion with Zion Fyah (vocals and guitar) and Brandon Walker (cornett). Not to mention backing up Delara’s Flamenco and some world sounds from the cast. It will all be rooted in traditional Persian Sufi music so the audience can expect some eclectic sounds.

Only 6 performances!

Doost (Friend)

March 22-26 2016

Historic Theatre

Purchase tickets here