“Love will keep us together”

“Love. Love will keep us together…”

It is safe to say there is a lot of bad news out there these days. And though we do not want to downplay the seriousness of this time, it is encouraging, despite the widespread international tragedy of COVID-19, just how much people are coming together to show love for each other in unique and poignant ways. From the 7 o’clock cheers for our health workers, to people helping out their neighbors, to local breweries and distilleries heeding the call for more hand sanitizer. And artists are sharing the love too! So many generous artists are taking to online platforms to share their talents with the world! We don’t know about you, but it really is love that is getting us through here at The Cultch.

We asked some staff, patrons, and artists what it was they loved about The Cultch, and we were flooded with such beautiful heartfelt responses—they just warmed our hearts! It means so much to us to hear just how much you value the work we do!

Here are some of the wonderful responses of love we have gotten this week!

Pippa Mackie as Pinocchio in East Van Panto. Photo by Tim Matheson

“I love the Cultch because it brings the community together.
I love the Cultch because the arts are an essential service.
I love the Cultch because they empower me as an artist.
I love the Cultch because they bring people together.
I love the Cultch because they provide an opportunity for local artists.
I love the Cultch because without them…East Van just wouldn’t be East Van.
I love the Cultch because I have seen the impact the Panto has on audience members.
I love the Cultch.”  – Pippa Mackie, local playwright & performer

“I love The Cultch because the shows I’ve seen at The Cultch are some of my most cherished memories. So it’s like the Cultch is this old friend who keeps surprising you.” – Veda Hille, local singer, pianist & songwriter

“I love the Cultch because …
it’s in my neighbourhood
it’s always felt like a second home
Len Gardiner is the world’s coolest Caretaker
it’s where I can see non-commercial art
it’s a not-for-profit
it connects me to the world
it’s the first place I saw a live show in vancouver
it used to be a church
it’s the theatre I’ve performed most in, in my LIFE!
I’ve seen about 200 shows there”
– Marcus Youssef, local playwright & performer

“I love The Cultch because it is a family.” –Louise Chapman, Development Manager

“I love The Cultch because it is a place of connection in a time when connection is difficult.” –Lisa Mennell, Communications Associate

“I love The Cultch because it is a gathering place where everyone is welcomed with open arms.” –Chelsea Isenor, Marketing Manager

“I love The Cultch because when I walk through the doors it feels like a very familiar place. It feels like I’m coming home.” Corey Payette, Urban Ink Artistic Director

Kit Redstone and the rest of the Testosterone cast. Photo by Luke Forsyth

 

“I love The Cultch because I had the great pleasure of bringing my work there all the way from London. It was and still is the most sensational venue I have ever had the privilege to work with. Located in the heart of a wonderful community, every single staff member works tirelessly to make this a really special place. I have never experienced a team so generous, fun, good natured and talented at what they do. A good venue should feel like a family working in absolute harmony, and this was my experience of working with the theatre. The work they program is bold and important – showcasing plays that entertain, delight and most importantly informs, inviting their audience into important questions raised. The theatre is in many ways the centre of a gorgeous community, it’s beating heart is a conduit to the varied voices that it brings to the stage. Without a doubt, my favourite theatre in the world.” – Kit Redstone, Testosterone writer & performer

“I love The Cultch because it’s this incredible gathering place for all kinds of different communities who are all passionate and devoted to the arts – patrons, volunteers, theater makers, dance makers – it’s this amazing home for both local artists and visiting artists which is a really beautiful thing.” Dave Deveau, Playwright / Zee Zee Theatre Associate Producer

“I love The Cultch because it’s the place where the world comes to me.
I love The Cultch because it’s where I get to see old friends and make new ones.
I love The Cultch because this is the place where my dreams came true.
I love The Cultch because it is a wormhole that transports me across time and space.
I love The Cultch because it celebrates BIPOC and LGBTQ2SIA+.
I love The Cultch because it is where my partner and I have our dates nights.
I love The Cultch because of the people who work there.
I love The Cultch because it expands my mind as an artist.
I love The Cultch because The Cultch audience has become my audience.
I love The Cultch because Heather Redfern never panders. The work she programs is challenging, beautiful and brave.
I love The Cultch because it is a place where womens’ voices are celebrated.
I love The Cultch because its commitment to reconciliation goes beyond land acknowledgments.
I love The Cultch because it is the best thing in Vancouver.
I love The Cultch because it has been the backdrop for a thousand selfies :)”
–  Tetsuro Shigematsu, local playwright & performer


Don’t those messages of love just warm your heart? Thank you for all the love you give us! With your love and support we look forward to when all of this is over, and we can come together again to sit in the dark—friends, family, colleagues, and strangers—and have our hearts and minds transformed by the arts once again.

SUPPORT THE CULTCH

The Cultch Theatre has been recreated in Minecraft, and it is AWESOME!

The Cultch Theatre has been recreated in Minecraft, and it is AWESOME!

This spring break we are presenting a very special show specifically for families with Minecraft* obsessed kids – Theatre Replacement‘s MINE (March 18-22, Historic Theatre).

On stage, a group of gamer/performers aged 11 to 46 enact different mother-son narratives—from the Beowulf saga, to Bambi, to The Terminator—using the video game Minecraft. Inspired by the real-life relationship between Theatre Replacement’s Co-artistic Director, Maiko Yamamoto, and her 11-year-old son, Hokuto, and his obsession with Minecraft. MINE is live-operated from start to finish, and opens us up to expansive new territories in an intergenerational performance that both interrogates and recognizes the role technology plays in our modern parent-child relationships.

The Cultch Digital Storytelling team has been busy as the bees collaborating with Conor Wylie, one of the creators of MINE, to create a fun supplementary experience for all the Minecraft, Theatre Replacement, and Cultch fans!

Come and visit a detailed reproduction of The Cultch theatre placed in the Vancouver-ish Minecraft city used as the set for Theatre Replacement’s MINE.  Discover new stories told through Minecraft, explore the theatre and the city, and surround The Cultch with your own creations. Find the QR codes hidden around the real life Cultch to see the pre-show rituals of Bambi, a character from MINE.  Be the first to find all 3 videos to learn the code to unlock the Chest and claim the Daily Prize!

Use Minecraft Java Edition to access our Minecraft server. Choose multiplayer, and add thecultch.apexmc.co to your server list.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the familiar Cultch spaces that have been built in the world of the game!

The Cultch exterior has had several updates over the years. The historic building started it’s life as a church, and has been a community arts venue for over 45 years!

The Cultch lobby is a favourite hang out spot for theatre, dance, and music fans in the city. It is also home to the Cultch Gallery – a community focused space dedicated to providing progressive art to the residence of Vancouver East Side.

The Cultch Founders’ Lounge is a quiet and cozy spot to hang out before or after the show.

Our smallest venue, the Vancity Culture Lab, is an intimate space for powerful performance. It is also the space where we always present our Cultchivating the Fringe winners (like BIG Sister!).

Wanna see more? Let Bambi take you on a quick tour of The Cultch. He has backstage access!!


MINE, from Theatre Replacement, runs March 18-22, 2020, at the Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

*MINE is not an official Minecraft product, nor is it affiliated with Mojang.

Rising star Kevin Bennett began his journey with The Cultch’s Youth Program

Kevin Bennett was a member of our Youth Program from 2004-2006 and his time at The Cultch helped build the foundation for his career as a Director. He now works at the Globe Theatre in London, England. Our Youth Program continues to nurture young artistic talent and provide vital opportunities for our youth. Find out more about supporting our Youth Program here. 

“I was a member of the Cultch’s Youth Panel for two seasons from 2004-2006 and these were very formative years for me as a teen. I was struggling to find a place of belonging and the Youth Panel was it. I was a passionate theatre kid and had just begun my strong desire to work as a theatre director. I gained many skills and had unforgettable experiences from my time on the Cultch’s Youth Panel. I gained experience in producing an arts festival and was able to understand on a practical level what is required to put on a festival with a variety of events.

I was exposed to artists and people I would not otherwise be exposed to like visual artists, film makers, poets and drag performers because of the varied programming during the week. This helped me grow and learn as a theatre director and as a person. My passion and focus was theatre, so I managed to direct a one-act play in the theatre portion of the festival both years I was involved.

I was mentored by experienced professional directors who gave me insight and advice that I still use today (some of the books recommended to me then are still ones I go back to regularly for ideas and inspiration!). I was able to work with new writers, actors, technicians and designers in an absolutely gorgeous theatre space. It began my love of theatre directing and remains an important stepping stone in my career as a director.

Following the Youth Panel I went on to study at Studio 58 and then began my directing career in Vancouver and abroad. Some highlights of the past decade since I have been working professionally include: directing many self-produced Shakespeare productions in Vancouver including Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, and Measure for Measure; hosting community based programming, leading workshops and directing productions with organizations such as the Carnegie Community Centre and Templeton Secondary School; spending two years as an assistant director at Canada’s Stratford Festival; touring the world as the associate director on a production of The Merchant of Venice for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London UK; directing The Madness of George III and Henry V for the Shaw Festival Theatre; and directing King Charles III at the Stanley Theatre for the Arts Club Theatre Company.

Recently I gained a UK ‘exceptional talent’ residency permit and have been based in London for just over a year. Since my arrival in London I have been working on the education faculty at Shakespeare’s Globe, directing a staged reading of a new musical at the Waterloo East ‘New British Musical’s Festival’, and most recently spent two months in Beijing directing Romeo and Juliet as a co-production between one of London’s top drama schools (The Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and China’s top drama school (The Central Academy of Drama). This was the final production for the inaugural graduating class of a brand new international degree where theatre students have the opportunity to train in both eastern and western theatre techniques. The ambitious aim of this program is to create a new type of actor who has an international sensibility so we can create connection, community and understanding while telling stories all over the world.

Through all these experiences, I look back with immense gratitude for the Cultch’s Youth program all those years ago. Not only was it the beginning of my journey as a director but it opened my eyes to different people, with different experiences and stories and helped me grow into the person I am today.”

The Cultch’s Youth Program provides opportunities for young people in our communitty aged 13-26. Find out more about supporting our youth here.

Inside the Elbow Room Café

Photo by Dustin Godfrey
Image credit: journogodfrey.wordpress.com

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café is based on a small breakfast joint on Davie Street that was owned by Patrick Savoie and Bryan Searle until last year – Vancouver’s most iconic café in the city.

“It’s such a theatrical place. It’s hugely colourful. There’s so much to look at. There’s so much to hear.” —DAVE DEVEAU, Playwright & Co-Lyricist

The motto of the restaurant was “Food and service is our name, abuse is our game!” including some special house rules for every customer:

Image credit: straight.com

Savoie says the diner’s feisty roots can be traced back to a busy Sunday morning when a group of customers rudely yelled for some more coffee while he was servicing another table. He gave into his frustrations.

“I turned around and I said, f–k you! I was just over there and asked you if you wanted coffee … and now you expect me to drop everything?

Those customers left — but everyone else applauded.

They said Patrick, you did what every single waiter and waitress in America or around the world would like to have done.”

A Sassy Spoonful: Inside the Elbow Room

If you did not finish your meal, you had to donate to A Loving Spoonful, a local HIV organization.

In 35 years The Elbow Room Café raised over $123,000 for the support of free healthy meals to people living with HIV and AIDS.

Patrick Savoie (left) and Dave Deveau (right)
Image credits: cbc.ca

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café runs Dec 10-29, 2019 at the Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Enjoy all the lovely songs in this year’s East Van Panto: Pinocchio!

The new Panto Playlist is here!

Check out all the songs that have been given an East Van spin in this year’s East Van Panto: Pinocchio. Musical Director, and composer, Veda Hille is famous for taking some of the most (and least) popular songs of recent decades and flipping them on their heads with new arrangements and lyrics to add a little pizzazz to Theatre Replacement’s winter tradition. Take a listen to the original songs that have inspired the music of this year’s Panto soundtrack, then come hear the Panto versions at the York Theatre! Scroll through this awesome list of golden age videos and live performances, or check out this Spotify playlist, if you’re on the go!

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester

Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partirò) by Andrea Bocelli

Karaoke by Big Freedia

Alexander Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Figaro’s Aria by Gioachino Rossini

Feeling Good by Michael Bublé

7 Rings by Ariana Grande

Juice by Lizzo

Mamma Mia by ABBA

A Whole New World by Alan Menken and Tim Rice

Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft

Old Town Road by Lil Nas X

Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel

Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

YMCA by the Village People


East Van Panto: Pinocchio is onstage now at the York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive – must close Jan 5, 2020! Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Pinocchio explores Commercial Drive: an East Van Panto walking tour!

A Commercial Drive walking tour inspired by East Van Panto: Pinocchio

Remember last year when Dorothy and friends traveled to Olympic Village to meet the Wizard of OV? Or the year before when Snow White escaped to the PNE and danced with the SuperDogs? Who could forget Little Red Riding Hood’s adventures along the Adanac bike path in search of Grandma’s house at the Woodwards Building?  Remember Hansel and Gretel lost in the wilderness of Stanley Park; Cinderella cleaning her house on Fraser Street; or even the first East Van Panto, Jack And The Beanstalk, which re-opened the York Theatre on Commercial Drive?

Over the years, Theatre Replacement’s hyperlocal East Van Panto has featured some of Vancouver’s best places and beloved hot-spots – and this year is no exception! This season, Pinocchio and friends explore Commercial Drive, encounter a cappuccino war between the Drive’s many coffee shops, venture to Hastings Racecourse, and end up at so many more East Van spots. Check out some of the local favourites Pinocchio comes across in East Van Panto: Pinocchio below.  

Kin Kao Thai

Kin Kao (‘eat rice’), deliver a compact but diverse selection of authentic Thai dishes.

903 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W8
604-558-1125 | INFO@KINKAO.CA | kinkao.ca

Image credit: squarespace-cdn.com

Bump n’ Grind on the Drive

Bump n’ Grind on the Drive is known for its quality coffee and baked goods. The drinks are unique and tasty.

916 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W7
604-569-3362 | bumpngrindcafe.com

Image credit: tryhiddengems.com

Absinthe Bistro French

Absinthe Bistro is an owned and operated family business based on the idea of bringing fresh and flavourful French food to Vancouver.

952 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W7
bistroabsinthe.com

Image credit: blog.his-j.com

Britannia School

Britannia Community Secondary School is a public community secondary school located in the Grandview–Woodland neighbourhood on the east-side of Vancouver.

1001 Cotton Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3T4
604-713-8266 | britannia.vsb.bc.ca

Image credit: cbc.ca

Sunrise Pizza

Find all the pizza, Italian, Greek, steakhouse, and barbecue options you’re looking for at Sunrise Pizza & Steak House.

949 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W8
604-251-2411 | sunrisepizza.ca

Image credit: tripadvisor.com

Joe’s Café

Serving the perfect espresso, the most exquisite cappuccino, the tallest latte. One of Vancouver’s great secrets.

1150 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3X2
604-255-1046 | joescafebar.com

Image credit: alamy.com

Grandview Park

The Grandview Park is a big summertime lure for locals and Drive visitors.

1657 Charles Street, Vancouver, BC V5L 2T4

Beckwoman’s Hippie Emporium

Beckwoman’s Hippie Emporium is a real hippie paradise.

1314 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3X6
778-709-8516

Image credit: airbnb.ca

Continental

Continental Coffee on Commercial Drive is one of the cities best coffee shops, and a welcome break from the Starbucks and Blenz that dot most corners.

1806 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A5
foodology.ca/continental-coffee

Café Deux Soleils

Cafe Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive is your home for healthy comfort food, morning, noon, and night.

2096 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4B2
604-254-1195 | cafedeuxsoleils.com

Image credit: alamy.com

Jam Jar Lebanese

Jamjar tells a story of communal living and sharing food as a means to connect. The idea originates from the heart of Lebanese culture based on hospitality and generosity.

2290 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4B5
604-252-3957 | jam-jar.ca

Image credit: jam-jar.ca

Hastings Racecourse

Hastings Racecourse is a horse racing facility at Hastings Park, four miles from downtown Vancouver.

188 N Renfrew Street, Vancouver, BC V5K 3N8
hastingsracecourse.com

Image credit: yellowpages.ca

Burrard Inlet

Burrard Inlet is the fjord that separates the coastal mountain range to north from the city of Vancouver and the rest of the lower mainland to the south. The Lions Gate Bridge crosses Burrard inlet at Stanley Park. 

Image credit: yellowpages.ca

Fox Cabaret

The Fox Cabaret is an independent venue in Vancouver with a focus on live music, dancing, entertainment and good times.

2321 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C9
foxcabaret.com

Image credit: mountpleasantbia.com

East Van Panto: Pinocchio runs Nov 20-Jan 5, 2020 at the York Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604-251-1363.

Introducing East Van Panto’s new scenic illustrator: Cindy Mochizuki!

We are so excited to welcome Cindy Mochizuki to the East Van Panto team!

Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto features the work of so many amazing artists every holiday season. Part of the magic of the Panto, is having new voices featured each year with new members of the creative team. This year, we are so excited to welcome Vancouver artist Cindy Mochizuki to the team!

Cindy Mochizuki creates multi-media installation, performance, animation, drawings, and community-engaged projects that explore the ways in which we manifest ‘story’. Her community-engaged projects explore the triangular relationship of performativity, social engagement, and magic. 

 A large body of her work investigates narratives and memories within the archive of familial architecture, including childhood spaces, home videos, photography, and oral histories.  These projects revisit the memory and history of displacement and migration of family members both within Canada and Japan.”

Check out some of her amazing work below!

Cave to Dream:

Explores the passage of time, life and death, and the power of dreams.
Image credit: www.cindymochizuki.com

Other Faces of Nihonga:

An embroidery and listening experience that brings to light remembrances of Japanese Canadian mothers and their domestic skills and artistry during the internment camps as conjured by their daughters (now in their 80’s).
Image credit: www.cindymochizuki.com

Loch:

During her residency, Mochizuki opened a fortune shop out of her studio and offered fortunes in exchange for personal monster stories.
Image credit: www.cindymochizuki.com

Check out Cindy’s amazing work on stage at East Van Panto: Pinocchio!


East Van Panto: Pinocchio runs Nov 20-Jan 5, 2020 at the York Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

A look at the inspiration for Tetsuro Shigematsu’s world premiere of Kuroko!

The four concepts behind Kuroko!

We are so thrilled to be presenting Kuroko, a world premiere from renowned playwright and performer, Tetsuro Shigematsu, Novemeber 6-17 in the Historic Theatre.

Wanna know more about the show? There are four concepts that inspired Tetsuro as he was writing—Hikikomori, Rental Families, Kuroko, and Suicide Forest. Read below to hear what Tetsuro has to say about these four concepts!

Hikikomori. Imagine going to your bedroom and never leaving. This is the phenomenon known as hikikomori. Japanese young people on the road to maturation, experience a setback: bullying, or failing their entrance exams. They retreat to their bedrooms and never leave, spending all their waking hours online, enabled by parents who don’t know what to do apart from leaving trays of food outside their doors.

Rental Families. Would you ever hire an actor to play a relative or friend in your life? How quickly would the lines blur? As bizarre as this may sound, the rent-a-family industry is a mature industry in Japan, a place where manifestations of the artificial aren’t seen as negatively as they are here.

Kuroko. Literally translated, kuroko means black child, or child of darkness, a rather poetic name for the stagehands in traditional Japanese theatre. Clad entirely in black, audiences in Japan claim not to see them, as they occupy a culturally specific blindspot, in the same way that Western audiences pay no attention to the strings of marionette puppets. The shadowy kuroko enable players to achieve feats of virtuosity, and the otherwise impossible. Is there a kuroko in your life?”

Suicide Forest. The original title for this play was Suicide Forest, We changed the title when we discovered that another play of the same name premiered in New York in March of 2019. This is an actual place in Japan, infamous for being the most popular destination for those wishing to end their life. Geologically unique, it is also an attraction for nature lovers, officially named Jukai or ‘Sea of Trees’.


Kuroko runs at the Historic Theatre Nov 6-17, 2019. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Spotlight on the Music of TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival!

A taste of some of the music of the festival!

TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival (Oct 2-12) is bringing together artists of all different kinds – comedians, circus performers, drag artists, and more – but we are particularly excited to introduce you to some of the musicians that will be honoring us by taking over our stages during the festival!

LEELA GILDAY

Dene musician Leela Gilday, has toured extensively in Canada and around the world. Her fifth album North Star Calling, which Exclaim! raved was “a guiding light, a beacon for those to find refuge,” was released in early September 2019.

Her first single from North Star Calling, “Falling Stars”, is “a love letter to Denedeh (the land of the Dene in the Northwest Territories).” *

Leela Gilday, featuring Sandy Scofield and M’Girl plays at the York Theatre Oct 10, 7:30PM. AND, catch Leela Gilday: Intimate & Unplugged at the Historic Theatre, Oct 11, 7PM!

SILLA AND RISE

Juno nominated Silla and Rise blend Inuit throat-singing and futuristic dancefloor beats. Their breathtaking sound garnered them Juno nominations for Indigenous Music Album of the Year, and Indigenous Music Award for Best Inuit, Indigenous Language, or Francophone Album, in 2017 for their self title debut album: Silla and Rise.

This group is gaining major momentum in Canada and internationally. If Tanya Tagaq says, “Pay attention” you just know they are a group you don’t want to take your eyes off!

Silla and Rise’s brand new album, Galactic Gala, was just released on October 5, and it is INCREDIBLE! Listen to, and purchase, the album here!

Silla and Rise will be performing with local legend JB the First Lady, at the Historic Theatre, October 10 at 9:15!

JB THE FIRST LADY

Jerilynn Webster, aka JB the First Lady, is a member of the Nuxalk & Onondaga Nations. She is a Vancouver-based hip hop and spoken word artist, beat-boxer, cultural dancer, and youth educator. With four studio albums under her belt, JB sees her songs as a way of capturing oral history, and isn’t afraid to write lyrics that speak to challenging subjects like residential schools and missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Silla and Rise, featuring JB the First Lady plays the Historic Theatre on October 10, 9:15 PM!

COREY PAYETTE

We are so lucky that the co-curator of TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival, the incredible Corey Payette, will be taking the stage on the closing night of the festival with a transformative evening of music from his award-winning and critically-acclaimed musicals–featuring songs and stories from Children of GodLes Filles du Roi, plus a sneak peek of the new musical, Sedna.

Corey Payette is proud of his Oji-Cree heritage from Northern Ontario, and has worked across Canada as a playwright, actor, composer, and director. He is the Artistic Director of Urban Ink (Vancouver, BC).

Corey Payette Musical Songbook plays at the Historic Theatre on October 12 at 7 PM! FEATURING: Corey Payette, Michelle Bardach (singer), Chelsea Rose (singer), Sean Bayntyn (piano), Molly MacKinnon (violin), John Kastelic (viola), Doug Gorkoff (cello).


TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival, presented with Urban Ink, runs on all three Cultch stages until October 12! Find the full schedule of events at transformcabaret.com

Staff Picks – TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival Edition!

The Cultch staff are excited for TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival!

It is that time of year again! Time for you to hear from a few of our staff about some of the shows they are excited for in our 19/20 Season. This year we are featuring shows from our inaugural TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival!

Louise Chapman, Development Manager

Louise Chapman cannot wait for Steph Tisdell!

FESTIVAL PICK: Steph Tisdell: Identity Steft (Oct 5 and 6, 4 pm, Historic Theatre)

I am a huge stand-up comedy fan, and I’m really excited about Steph Tisdell’s show Identity Steft. She recently took the Edinburgh Fringe by storm, and has been named the rising star of Australian comedy.

It really makes my heart sing to see artists from diverse backgrounds using laughter to stand up to white supremacy and the patriarchy. That takes incredible courage and awe-inspiring skill.  I can’t wait!

Paul Phalen, Business Development & Hospitality Manager.

FESTIVAL PICKS: The Women of Comedy (Oct 4 and 5, 7:30PM, York Theatre), Family Drag Brunch and Dress up (Oct 6, 11AM, Vancity Culture Lab).

There is so much to see in the festival, but these two shows, I will not miss!

I can’t wait to see The Women of Comedy! These amazing funny women are the best in the country, and it also features the smart and funny Steph Tisdall of Australia.

Martha Chavez, the “Grand Dame” of Canadian comedy, who is featured on CBC`s Debaters and Because News, is hilarious and makes me howl with laughter. Nour Hadidi‘s dry sense of humour makes me wish I was her best friend, so I could laugh with her everyday!

Local comedy writer and performer Erica Sigurdson, has become a favourite on CBC`s the Debaters and will have us all laughing all the way to the bathroom!

Peach Cobblah & Isolde N. Barron are hosting Family Drag Brunch and Dress Up!

Our Sunday morning Family Drag Brunch and Dress up, is a chance for parents and kids to have dress-up fun together, and learn that there is nothing too silly or fun when it comes to drag.

Parents and kids will have lessons in fashion, make up and presentation, and be a part of a family drag runway show judged by kids. Enjoy a great breakfast and have fun with the whole family!

This show is so exciting to me because every child is an individual, and allowing them to express themselves in their own way opens the doors to so many amazing adventures in learning, for both the child and the parent.

Lisa Mennell, Communications Associate.

Lisa Mennell is excited to hear great music!

FESTIVAL PICKS: Leela Gilday Featuring Sandy Scofield and M’Girl (Oct 10, 7:30PM, York Theatre), Silla and Rise Featuring JB the First Lady (Oct Oct 10, 9:15PM).

It goes without saying that I am very excited about the entire festival, but two shows that I am particularly stoked for are Silla and Rise Featuring JB the First Lady, and Leela Gilday Featuring Sandy Scofield and M’Girl.

We don’t often present music as part of our season, and though theatre is usually my art of choice, I am really excited to hear some incredible music on our stages.

Leela Gilday is a Dene artists from NWT, and she has recently release a new album, North Star Calling, which she says is about “facing your fears, standing in the pain, and living with courage, boldness and joy.” I have been listening to it, and it is incredible! PLUS – she is performing Sandy Scofield and M’Girl – whose performance at Main St. Car Free Day was one of the highlights of my summer!

I have always been so in love with throat singing, and Silla and Rise combine throat singing with dance floor beats. From what I have seen, they are incredible live performers, and their music is so amazing, that I just know their show with JB the First Lady is going to be sooo fun!

PLUS – Silla and Rise are releasing their new album, Galactic Gala, on Oct 5, five days before they hit our Historic stage. Talk about timing!


TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival will be nine days of performance of all types in all three Cultch stages (Historic Theatre, York Theatre, Vancity Culture Lab). For full festival details check out www.transformcabaret.com