Thank you to our Cultch audiences for a triumphant close to our 16/17 Season!

Thank you for a wonderful 16/17 season!

What an amazing year it has been! The 16/17 Season was one of The Cultch’s most successful thanks to the continued patronage of all of our amazing supporters!

With 21 theatrical shows in our three venues, as well as countless amazing rental and festival shows; 11 Gallery shows; plus three nights of great music including, The Sicilian Project, DakhaBrakha, and the inaugural East Side Live, 16/17 was a great season for us, and we are so glad that you joined us for it!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We had many grand adventures together; here is a look back at a few of the many highlights:

We joined together to watch a version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night completely in Hindi (Piya Behrupiya).

Piya Behrupiya

Photo by Company Theatre

We saw paper fights break out between audience members and bendy contortionist performers (The Pianist)…maybe we threw a few pieces ourselves…

‘The Pianist.’ Photo by Roaming the Planet

We saw the dawn (dusk?) of a new era in US politics ushered in as we sat in the dark Historic Theatre and did a little voting of our own (Fight Night).

Cast of Fight Night

Together we raised money for Cultch Connects, bringing over 1,200 people into the theatre who might not be able to attend otherwise; including families who are struggling to make ends meet, caring for a child with a serious illness, or who are new to Canada.

Cultch Connects brought over 1,200 people to the theatre with your help!

We joined together with our friends and families to make the fourth installment of East Van’s favourite holiday tradition the biggest selling show in The Cultch’s history! (East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood) Go Panto Go!

YAY Panto! Photo by Emily Cooper

We celebrated the powerful work of creative women for an entire month during Femme February!

Femme February included Mouthpiece, NeoIndigenA, am a, and the book launch of Girl Positive

We chuckled, chortled, and cackled together as we paid tribute to the 30+ year legacy of a local restaurant with a big heart, while singing along to catchy hits like ‘Testosterone’ and ‘Let a Girl Eat’ (Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical).

Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical cast members sing ‘Testosterone’. Photo by Tina Krueger Kulic

We spent time with old and new friends as we gathered to watch some of The Cultch’s favourite performers like: Esme Massengill, Mrs. Edna Rural and everyone’s favourite flightless fairy -Schnitzel (The Daisy Theatre).

No one is immune to the cuteness of Schnitzel! Photo by Alejandro Santiago

We felt the spray of ice on our faces as we gathered on the ice of Britannia Ice Rink to see Vertical Influences.

Audience members sit on the ice during Vertical Influences. Photo by Roaming the Planet

We mourned together as we watched heartbreaking and poignant Children of God, and then we sat together in the theatre to discuss how to respond to the dark legacy of residential schools.

Children of God cast members lead a discussion after the opening night performance. Photo by Roaming the Planet

And, after so many shows and fabulous events – we joined together to share meaningful conversation over many a glass of wine!

Sharing a drink with friends in the York Theatre. Photo by Roaming the Planet

We would love to hear some of your favourite memories of the 16/17 season; what are your favourite moments? 

Don’t forget to buy your subscription for our 17/18 Season soon. Shows are already filling up, get the best seating while you can! Click here for the full lineup.

Thank you for choosing to make The Cultch and the arts a part of your life!

Box Office Summer Hours:

Monday- Saturday: 12-4pm

Sunday: Closed

Also, open 2 hour prior to all performances

Hello my name is… Oliver McTavish: Gallery Coordinator and Rentals Assistant

‘Hello My Name Is…’ is a new profile series on The Cultch blog.  Each post will feature a staff member, volunteer, subscriber, or community mover and shaker. Stay tuned for upcoming photos and interviews and drop us a line at ricky@thecultch.com if you have a burning question for one of our staff members or volunteers!

With only two weeks left until The Cultch’s Gallery Launch Part ( happening August 1st) we thought it would be fitting to interview Oliver McTavish-Wisden (The Cultch’s Gallery coordinator) about this year’s gallery season.

Hi! What’s your name and what do you do at The Cultch?

My name is Oliver McTavish-Wisden, and I am the Gallery Coordinator and Rentals Assistant at The Cultch

Tell us about The Cultch gallery.

The Cultch Gallery is a community focused space dedicated to providing progressive art to the residents of the East Side of Vancouver. It consists of two spaces, the cafe hallway and lobby, and exhibits 20 – 30 artists every year. Our goal is to create a strong artistic presence in the area and to engage the community with new contemporary art.

What was the selection process like?

Tough! We send out a call to artists every spring to gather as many exhibition proposals as possible, and we were blown away this year by the number of talented artists interested in exhibiting in our space. This year we received over 70 submissions, which left us feeling quite pleased with the growth of our gallery.

You mentioned that there is a theme this year in terms of the artists you’ve curated. Can you elaborate on this?

Not quite  a theme as a whole, but rather we’ve partnered artists together in exhibitions that have unifying themes, such as travel, symmetry, urban signage, the natural world, abstraction, etc. It’s really exciting to see our artists matching up so well!

What happens at a gallery opening?

A gallery opening at The Cultch is a good chance to discover new art you haven’t seen before, meet the artists behind the exhibition, and meet new people over a nice drink. The great thing about an art opening is all the dialogue that occurs around the art. If you don’t share your interpretation of the work with others, it’s quite possible you’re only seeing one side of a three dimensional object.

What is the criterion for choosing an artist? Is there some quality in the work that you’re specifically looking for that leads you to gravitate towards certain works?

The exhibitions are selected by a triumvirate of curators, so there’s no select criterion. However, I can say that we have no preferred genre or style, no specific medium. We select artists based on the skill level they possess and the projects they propose. We have a deep appreciation for those who exhibit their own style and possess unique ideas.

What can patrons expect this season in terms of the work of art?

An incredible variety. We have more artists this season than every before, and almost every single one of them is new! You can expect life size wooden figures, natural Rorschach tests, decomposing couches, huge abstract paintings, interactive design, international photography, woodcut prints, giant textiles and more.

Make sure to join us for the Gallery Launch Party on August 1st. For more information, visit: The Cultch Gallery Online. All art displayed in The Cultch gallery is available for sale and may be purchased through The Cultch. If interested, please contact us at gallery@thecultch.com.

The Cultch Gallery: Preview Jan – Mar 2013

By Alana Husband

If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the gallery at The Cultch yet, get on it.  This spring, we’ve got a full schedule of exhibitions by acclaimed artists for your viewing pleasure. From quirky action figures by Niklas Bergman in Action Figure Expo to the arresting portraits set during the Holocaust by Hinda Avery in The Rozen Sisterr’, to the thought provoking pieces of Transactions of the Eye & Sound Memories by Harold Coego, you won’t want to miss out on experiencing the work of these, and the other talented artists we’ve got lined up. So get out your calendar and take note of the following…

Hinda Avery – Scenes From a Resistanze
January 22 – February 17, 2013
Opening: January 23, 6 – 8pm

“What does it mean to confront an atrocity with a revenge fantasy? I argue that by depicting Holocaust subject matter in an absurd, humorous way, my work becomes satire. However, unlike most satire, my paintings do not solely aim to relieve tension. I aim to unnerve.” – Hinda Avery

Hinda Avery is a Vancouver-born artist and teacher. She attended the Ontario College of Art and Design, and Saint Martins School of Art, in London, England. She holds a BFA, a Teaching Certificate in Art Education, and an MFA. She later gained a PhD in Architecture and Planning Education and has taught Art Education and Women’s Studies for several years. Her paintings integrate political and social issues; the feminist movement of the 1970s giving her work a particular focus – that of portraying women in a non-stereotypical way.

Harold Ceogo – Transaction of the Eye & Sound Memories
January 22 – February 17, 2013
Opening: January 23rd, 6 – 8pm

“I consider myself to be an outsider of a modern panorama…images are representations of ‘reality’ through an abstract cinematographic kaleidoscope. They are visible like music to the eye telling us a story – a twisted photocopy of ourselves, or perhaps more like a dream where something is always out of place.” – Harold Coego

Harold Coego was born in Havana, Cuba in 1973 to an enthusiastic artistic family. Before moving to Vancouver in 2002, he worked as an archaeologist assistant, light designer, and scenographic co-designer at the Obstacle Theatre with Victor Varela (an internationally recognized Cuban theatre director). It was while working with Varela that Coego learned about artistic discipline, dedication, light, and composition but most importantly, about human emotions and the many ways to represent it.

Niklas Bergman – Action Figure Expo
February 19 – March 17, 2013
Opening: February 20th, 6 – 8pm

From Niklas Bergman’s long-running comic book Sproing! comes a handful of its population immortalized in this limited action figure collection by Hepkid Toys. He states, “I find that we meet the same characters no matter where we’re from. And these characters, whether they be friendly, a nuisance, or simply familiar, bring us back to the place we grew up in, places we hated and eventually loved.”

Niklas Bergman is a native of Gredeby, Sweden. His comics have been published by Rollins Comics for over 10 years. He is also the founder of Sensible Studios and other works include Smalltown Ramblings, Hobo Sports, and No, Not There!


Robin Ripley – Book Bytes

February 19 – March 17, 2013
Opening: February 20, 6 – 8pm

“The focus of my art practice has often included the re-examination of mundane objects, as they function as signifiers for sensory information, knowledge and memory. These objects also highlight the interwoven nature of our perception and the interplay between art and life.” – Robin Ripley

Robin Ripley holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. During her time working in libraries, she began collecting covers from old books as they were re-bound and has been a keen observer of how technology has informed the way we read – from books to eBooks to QR codes. The language of objects and the way people connect with the common materials that surround them have been recurring themes in her work. Her working processes are often laborious, questioning current economic models of speed and “efficiency” while suggesting that transformation is still possible through small gestures if we make time to notice the details of the world.

Alan Robbins – Making It
February 19 – March 17 2013
Opening: February 20, 6 – 8pm

Alan Robbins firmly believes that his work is better appreciated in book form. He wants viewers to have something on hand to study and manipulate. “It’s better than a gallery setting where people strain to see an image or the computer where it can easily be magnified.” Making It will feature works from across Robbins’ career. Several of his books, talking about his beginnings as an artist to his eventual disappearance from the art scene, will also be on hand for perusal.

The Cultch Gallery: Now OPEN!

Welcome back to the Cultch Gallery for our new 2012/2013 season. We’re kicking off our launch with a show and book launch by Cloudscape Comics Society and Suzy Stroet!

Cirrus – Cloudscape ComicsCirrus – Cloudscape Comics
July 31st, 2012 – September 3rd, 2012
Opening August 1st, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

“Vancouver has demonstrated time and time again that its many cartoonists have a voice–one that is unique from cartoonists elsewhere in Canada–and Cloudscape has given them the opportunity to showcase their talents in the best way possible….”

The Cloudscape Comics Society is a coalition of indie comic book artists centered in Metro Vancouver who publish yearly anthologies and foster a community where BC comic creators can network with each other while developing their craft and continuing to push the boundaries of the comic book medium. The Collective’s books range in topic from themes of history and travel to cybernetics and humour. It’s most recent anthology, Giants of Main Street, is going to be launched at the Cultch gallery opening. The show Cirrus is a display of comic pages presented as art when removed from sequential order.

Suzy Stroet – Audience PortraitsAudience Portraits – Suzy Stroet
July 31st, 2012 – September 3rd, 2012
Opening August 1st, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

“This series of paintings portrays audience members as an examination of a collective experience. Looking back at the audience, the viewer is positioned at the front of the theatre and so the spectator becomes the spectacle.”

Suzy Stroet was born and raised in Vancouver and continues to live and work on the west coast. She is an emerging artist whose work focuses on people and how they interact with, and inhabit the spaces they create. Her figurative work focuses on how people present and view themselves within their communities and the larger communities that they are a part of. Her art also addresses the ever-evolving nature of human manufactured environments and the tension between physical, digital, social and emotional spaces. Her body of work Audience Portraits is an examination of the cyclical relationship between performers and their audience.

And here are some other shows to look forward for the whole year:

Leef Evans – Manifestations of an Arbitrary Aesthetic
Bernadine Fox – Home

October 2nd, 2012- October 21st, 2012
Opening October 3rd, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Esther Rausenberg – Landscapes of Memories
Sarah Mulder – Vancouver: A lifetime of Changes

October 23rd, 2012 – November 11th, 2012
Opening October 24th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

East Side Culture Crawl
November 13th, 2012 – December 2nd, 2012
Opening November 14th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Skai Fowler – Slipstream
Hans Breur – Forest2Shore

December 4th, 2012 – January 1st, 2012
Opening December 5th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Kevin Godsoe – Below All This
Kyle Tonkins – 100 Billion sUns&daughters

January 3rd, 2012 – January 20th, 2013
Opening January 4th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Hinda Avery – The Rozen Sisterrrz
Harold Ceogo – Transaction of the Eye & Sound Memories

January 22nd, 2013 – February 17th, 2013
Opening January 23rd, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Niklas Bergman – Action Figure Expo
Robin Ripley – Book Bytes
Alan Robbins

February 19th, 2013 – March 17th, 2013
Opening February 20th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Sande Waters – Goddess Series
Shey Fen-Tsai – Dialogue

March 19th, 2013 – April 7th, 2013
Opening March 20th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

SD Holman – Butch: Not Like the Other Girls
Madeleine Wynne – A Tradigital Experiment in World Building

April 9th, 2013 – April 25th, 2013
Opening April 10th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Highgate Exhibit
April 30th, 2013 – May 4th, 2013

Ignite!
May 6th, 2013 – May 26th, 2013

DTES Small Arts Grants
May 28th, 2013 – June 9th, 2013
Opening May 29th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Our hours are Monday – Friday, 12-6pm and Saturday, 12 -4pm
For more information, email Oliver McTavish-Wisden at gallery@thecultch.com
We look forward to seeing you this season!