Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Giulio Recchioni from the Italian Cultural Centre

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Giulio Recchioni from the Italian Cultural Centre

Giulio Recchioni

Can you tell us how the Italian Cultural Centre first got involved with The Cultch?

Our very first time at The Cultch was in March 2012 with FRESCO, a play the Italian Cultural Centre commissioned from Lucia Frangione and BellaLuna Productions, telling the lesser known story of the internment of Italian citizens in Canada during WW2.

However the first proper partnership with The Cultch was in May 2017 with LA MERDA, featuring a naked Silvia Gallerano sitting on a stool on a dark stage… what a tough show that was!

What has surprised you and your colleagues most about partnering with The Cultch?

I was surprised by the richness and diversification of the shows offered at The Cultch, and also by the number of people that created a community around this historical institution in Vancouver;  some of the audience changes according to what’s playing, but there is also a hard core audience that comes to every show. I think that’s great. They trust The Cultch, they know whatever gets put on stage will be good and will have an impact on them, and they come with an open mind.

Over the years, the Italian Cultural Centre has supported several Cultch shows. Are there any highlights or memorable moments?

I still can’t help but smile when I think of Pss Pss and what they did with the ladder. Pss Pss was a funny show by Compagnia Baccalà that made adults and children laugh with non-verbal humour. In our line of work, cross-generational and cross-cultural are adjectives we use constantly, but this show brilliantly embodied both concepts.

How important do you think it is that the arts organizations continue to cultivate and sustain partnerships with corporate sponsors and local businesses?

It’s of paramount importance. The population is growing in this expensive city, and we are also seeing the consequential multiplication of cultural and artistic organizations. Often putting up cultural activities costs more money than ticket sales can generate, and government grants (municipal, provincial, federal) do not always keep up with the growing demand for funds. I hope more and more thriving businesses will want to share some of their wealth with the local community to keep this city interesting and interested.

What are you curious about right now?

I am curious about the new Creative City Strategy that the City will be rolling out – hopefully soon. There have been a number of explorative meetings to get an idea of what is needed in the arts and culture sector, and I can’t wait to see how all that knowledge will convert into an action plan.

Do you have a favorite show?

This is always such an unfair question… I see a decent number of shows throughout the year, and I have to constantly update my list of favourites. If I had to single out something I saw recently, though – I am a jazz fan, and I was lucky enough to go to Pyatt Hall for the live concert of the great baritone sax player, Gary Smulyan, with strings. He is a powerhouse!


As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today! Contact Natalie Schneck, Development Associate: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

YOUTH TAKEOVER! A Guest post with our Youth Program Manager!

Youth Takeover! A guest post  from our Youth program Manager, Ariel Martz-Oberlander, about IGNITE! Youth Driven Arts Festival!

Youth Program Manager, Ariel Martz-Oberlander. Photo by Trey Le

Every year, for one week in May, The Cultch is taken over and transformed by young people for the IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival, run by our Youth Program. Hundreds of young people are involved in what has grown to be Western Canada’s largest youth-driven arts festival. The festival includes showcases in music, dance, and spoken word, the world premiere of 4 one-act plays, a visual arts exhibit, variety shows featuring music, circus arts, and much more. All of this is created by local artists between the ages of 13-26.

As the Youth Program Manager, it has been my great pleasure to support this festival as a learning opportunity and as the main project of our program. Putting on a festival of this size, with nine nights of programming, is no small task! It is such a joy to work with young people dedicated to learning the skills necessary for a life-long pursuit of the arts in a variety of fields.

Kevin Matthew Wong in The Chemical Valley Project. Photo by Julia Howman

This year, I am thrilled to be bringing in a touring show for the first time as part of the festival. The Chemical Valley Project was created by youth-run Toronto theatre company, Broadleaf Theatre, through conversations with activists from Aamjiwnaang, near Sarnia, Ontario. Through a unique blend of documentary-theatre, projections design, object puppetry, and solo-performance, the show sparks conversations on Canadian environmental policy, treaty rights and Indigenous relations, as well as the current nature of Canadian identity and values. I am excited for these cross-country conversations, and about connecting youth based on important topics about the country they will inherit.

Youth Panel Member, Anna Matthews, hard at work!

Literally every aspect of the IGNITE!Festival is produced by the youth. From media relations and promotion, to stage managing and running the lighting and sound boards, to curating and hanging the gallery show, there are countless ways to become involved, whether on stage or behind the scenes, and it’s not too late for this year! If there is a young person in your life who wants to lend a hand with this eclectic and ambitious festival, please drop me a line at ypm@thecultch.com.

IGNITE! Gallery Opening: May 2nd, 6 pm
Special Presentation of The Chemical Valley Project in the Vancity Culture Lab: May 8, 7:30 pm
IGNITE! Mainstage Week at the Historic Theatre: May 15-19, 7:30 pm
One Act Plays at the Vancity Culture Lab: May 11-12, 7:30 pm
Visual Arts Gallery Exhibit: May 2-19, Opening night May 2, 6-8 pm – FREE!

The Chemical Valley Project ticket pricing: 

Youth (26 and Under) / Senior (65+):  $15.00

Adult: $20.00

IGNITE! One Act Plays, and Mainstage week ticket pricing:

Youth (26 and Under) / Senior (65+): $2 (in advance); $4(at the door)

Adult: $10 (in advance); $12 (at the door)

IGNITE! Mainstage Week Festival Passes :
Select a pass to see every show in the festival.
Youth: $8.00 
Senior: $8.00 
Adult: $40.00

Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Some of the Youth Panel Members!

Hello my name is Kathy Battye: Box Office Manager at The Cultch

On this week’s ‘Hello My Name Is…’ we’ve interviewed a sparkling addition to our staff: Kathy Battye, our new Box Office Manager. We’ve whipped up these seven jazzy questions to acquaint The Cultch supporters with new staff members. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

Q: Hi, what’s your name and what do you do at The Cultch?

Hello blog readers! My name is Kathy Battye and I am excited to say that I’m the Box Office Manager at The Cultch!

Q: Why did you decide to work at The Cultch?

Well I was definitely looking for change when I decided to apply to The Cultch. I had been to various Cultch shows in the past and have always been really impressed by not only the calibre of the performances, but also the range and variety of shows that are offered here. I just had a gut feeling that The Cultch would be a great place to work and would definitely provide me with the challenges that would help me grow personally and professionally.

Q: Favourite place to eat on the Drive?

Hmmm…that is definitely a tough one…a person can really eat their way around the Globe in this neighbourhood…but I’d have to say Five Elements. My first visit there was with Gosia, the previous Box Office Manager and Lisa, our Design and Web Coordinator, during my training week and it was love at first bite. I highly recommend the vegetarian hot and sour soup and garlic pork sub…oooh or a sizzling plate…ooh or a noodle bowl…oh man…now I’m hungry.

Q: What show from the 14/15 season are you looking forward to seeing the most?

I’m a musical fan myself, so I was thrilled to hear that Stationary: A recession era musical was part of The Cultch’s presentation season for 14/15. Unfortunately I missed seeing the show when it played a couple years ago, but I worked with its creator, Christine Quintana, at the Arts Club Box Office and I remember her doing her research and sharing with us all the great articles and post recession statistics she’d find. Also, our very own Box Office agent Brian Cochrane was involved in creating the rap for the show and is in the cast. If the show is even a fraction of how clever and talented they both are I’m positive it will be one to watch next season.

Q: Were there any performances that you’ve enjoyed as an audience member at The Cultch?

Absolutely! Last Christmas I went to Jack and the Beanstalk: An East Van Panto and what a holiday treat! I won tickets at the Arts Club staff Christmas Party and took some friends with me. I loved the audience participation. Any chance that I can yell “Oh no it isn’t!” at the top of my lungs always makes for a good time. I love that it was fun for the kiddies, but the humour was just cheeky enough to keep the adults laughing. I had the great pleasure this summer to sit in on a table read of next year’s Panto, and I can say without a doubt it’s going to be great fun for all!

Q: What’s your favourite thing about the theatre scene in Vancouver?

My absolute favourite thing about the theatre scene in Vancouver is that it is a community in every sense of the word. There is a mutual love, respect, and support among all the theatre companies in this city and all that good stuff contributes to the amazing shows that grace the stages in this city.

Q: It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and you’re stuck indoors, what do you do?

A typical rainy Sunday for me involves throwing something in a slow-cooker, doing laundry and firing up the Netflix! I’m currently addicted to the show (can’t believe I’m actually admitting this…) NASHVILLE. It has become my guilty pleasure. I’m not a fan of country music, but nothing can tear me away from the rhinestones, cowboy boots and soap opera – like drama!

Hello my name is Angie Lopez: Front of House Supervisor at The Cultch

‘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!

Angie Lopez, FOH Supervisor

On this week’s ‘Hello My Name Is…’ we’ve interviewed a sparkling addition to our Front of House staff: Angie Lopez. Angie’s a dedicated actress who also works as Front of House Supervisor at the Firehall . We’ve whipped up these eight snazzy questions to acquaint The Cultch supporters with the new members. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

Q: Hi, what’s your name and what do you do at The Cultch?

Hi, my name is Angie and I’m one of the new Front of House Supervisors here at The Cultch.

Q: Why did you decide to work at The Cultch?

Well before applying I had the pleasure of watching some really excellent shows here, the type that make you excited about doing theatre. I was also a part of a show in the IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival a few years back. I got to see how great the space is and all the wonderful renovations that had taken place while I was away in Victoria. Not to mention the staff and volunteers have always been so nice to me. So when the posting came up it was sort of a no-brainer.

Q: Favourite place to eat on the Drive?

Ahhh pick one? I guess the place I tend to go to the most is Volcano Sushi. I used to work near there in the call centre for the Vancouver Opera, so in a bind I’d order on the phone on my way down. Their dinner special is so inexpensive for so much good food!

Q: What show from the 13/14 season are you looking forward to the most?

Man all of it looks really good but I think the one I’m definitely going to try to catch is The God that Comes. I caught it about a year ago in Victoria and Hawksley Workman was phenomenal. Being a performer myself, my heart always goes out to people doing one-man shows. It takes a lot but he was out of this world. He’s so incredibly talented musically and so engaging as a story teller. I always know a show is good when I can’t tell you where in the theatre I was sitting or who was sitting next to me afterwards, it’s just pure tunnel vision.

Q: Were there any performances that you’ve enjoyed as an audience member at The Cultch?

There have been a bunch but my most recent one would have to be Tucked and Plucked, which was part of the last rEvolver Festival. I knew that the show was about the history of drag in Vancouver but no one told me how hilarious it was going to be. It was a pretty late show – 10 pm maybe – and I think it might have been their last show of the festival. The performance was attended by many other performers and their friends. The show was very interactive so by the end it really felt like we were all just having a laugh at a friend’s house. It was just what I needed after a long day.

Q: It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon, and you’re stuck indoors, what do you do?

Haha. Probably catch up on the chores I’ve been putting off all week and then fall asleep five minutes into a movie.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the theatre scene in Vancouver?

That there is always something going on. You can probably find a show to watch on any given night.

Q: As an actress, what stands out most to you when you are watching a play?

It depends. Each show is different so I’m not sure I can say I consistently focus on one thing. Ultimately, anything that I know isn’t easy. That could be intricate costuming, complicated musical arrangements, or rapid fire cues. As for the performance of an actor, if their performance is good, I’ll try to understand why and think of how I can learn from them.

We’re so excited to have Angie join us here at The Cultch and sure that her love of theatre will add to ‘The Cultch Experience’ and help make it an (even more) enjoyable time for our audience members. Don’t forget to keep Angie’s recommendations in mind for the upcoming season!

The God That Comes runs at The Cultch November 13 – 24, 2013. Tickets start at $18 and can be purchased at tickets.thecultch.com, by phone at 604.251.1363, or in person at The Cultch Box Office, 1895 Venables St

Hello my name is Chris MacDonald: Sales Manager of The Cultch

‘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!

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Hello my name is… Nena Pierre: (Volunteer) Volunteer Coordinator and Usher

‘Hello My Name Is…’ is a new profile series on The Cultch blog.  Each month we’ll 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!

Last year, 114 volunteers contributed over 4492 hours to The Cultch in both our theatres and admin office! Many of these amazing people have been with the theatre for years, including Nena Pierre who’s been volunteering at The Cultch for the past four years.

Nena Pierre (Volunteer Usher and Admin Assistant)

Q: Well hello there. Who are you and what do you do at The Cultch?

Hi, I’m Nena and I volunteer here as an usher and at the reception desk!

Q: What inspires you?

Anyone doing their thing with sincerity and passion.

Q: Why do you volunteer at The Cultch?

It’s part of my neighborhood, and community.  I love the closeness and immediacy of live theatre – what the performers and audience bring to any show.  Volunteering here gives me a chance to witness this all the time.  I’ve seen so many great shows here and I have loved feeling even just a small part of it all.

Nena inside the Historic Theatre

Q: Favourite show you’ve ever seen at The Cultch?

A:  So hard to pick just one… I love puppetry and feel really excited when Old Trout Puppet Workshop or Ronnie Burkett are bringing a show to The Cultch. This year I saw Loon at the Fringe, then Grim and Fischer at The Cultch by WONDERHEADS Theatre and now I’m a big fan of them too.

Q: Favourite place to eat on the Drive?

A:  Once again sooo hard to say just one place – coffee is my sustenance!  I get all my beans from Continental and like to stop in at Turks now and again.  Turks stovetop is heavenly….

Q: What’s a typical day like volunteering at the front desk?

A:  Do I dare say quiet and calm and sometimes fun…?  Jenn G ( Head FOH Manager) and Ricky ( Marketing Coordinator) will make sure I keep busy!

Nena has been volunteering at The Cultch for the past 4 years

Q: What’s a typical night like ushering at The Cultch?

A:  Depending on how many shows are going on that night it can be anywhere from fun to slightly mad!  The other volunteers are great to get to know and work with.  Then there’s always a bit of excitement getting everyone settled into the show.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the theatre scene in Vancouver?

A:  There are so many great theatre festivals all year long and the Vancouver theatre scene is anything but dull.  There is always something to suit anyone’s tastes or sense of curiosity and adventure!

Looking to gain valuable work experience in a Historic Theatre? We’re always looking for a friendly and organized arts-loving person to manage our front desk! Click here for position details and how to apply.