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!

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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

Rave Reviews for Vertical Influences!

Rave Reviews for Vertical Influences!

The cast of Vertical Influences take a bow! Photo Credit: Roaming the Planet

The Cultch celebrated the opening of a very special show on April 18. Montreal’s Le Patin Libre brought down Britannia Ice Rink with an unprecedented performance – unlike any ice dancing you are likely to have seen! No sparkles, no fuzzy costumes, just pure and beautiful skating!

Check out some of these AMAZING REVIEWS for Vertical Influences:

“Do your body a favour: GO SEE Vertical Influences” – Colin Thomas

“In Vertical Influences, we get five young dancers on skates, wearing ponytails, dreads, and baggy street clothes, VIRTUOSICALLY reinventing the form and PLAYFULLY using it to upend notions of time, space, and physics. With equal amounts of sass and technique, THEY TEAR UP THE SHEET OF ICE” – Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight

Vertical Influences is a STUNNING combination of figure skating and dance” – Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

Vertical Influences is a BEAUTIFUL MASH-UP of sophisticated figure skating with contemporary street dance” – Carly Whetter, Vancouver Magazine

“Five Performers…DAZZLED us with straight ice skating with no tu-tus, or schmaltzy music” – Alex Waterhouse Hayward

VERTICAL INFLUENCES runs at Britannia Ice Rink, April 18-30. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

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

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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!

Not Your Average Dance Show: All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey

Not Your Average Dance Show: All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey

Photo credit: Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup

Photo credit: Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup

If you come to see All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey, be prepared to leave with lots to think about. This is not your average dance show. When it played in Ottawa, the Globe and Mail reported that, “Audience members lingered so long in the theatre, discussing the work that the… ushers, who wanted to lockup, had to ask them to leave.”

Created by Frédérick Gravel, All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey is a tale of distraught men, the ordinary run-of-the-mill North American male – beer, T-shirts, baseball caps, cowboy boots, beer bellies and their hesitations, outbursts of violence, confusion, brusque changes of mood, right left, front and back, lurching in a drunken haze of beer and powerlessness.

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Frédérick Gravel has been active in the Montreal scene for over 10 years and graduated from the dance faculty of Université du Québec à Montréal in 2009. An interdisciplinary artist with experience as a choreographer, dancer, musician and a lighting designer; it is no surprise that Frédérick Gravel’s work embraces a mixture of styles and disciplines. He has become known for pushing the boundaries of dance choreography and turning it on its head. Says the Ottawa Citizen, “Gravel’s work dances the fine line between rock concert, trailer park party and dance performance. He certainly likes to push the boundaries of what dance can be – taking pleasure in obliterating stereotypes.”

Merging rock music and performance art into his dance performance, Frédérick Gravel’s work is emotionally gripping and hard hitting.  All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey is described as being part dance, part performance art, and part rock show. Be prepared to leave this show feeling as though you have just experienced a particularly exhilarating rock concert.

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But don’t be scared away.  Just because All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey deals with some heavy things, doesn’t mean it isn’t accessible. In fact it is known for skirting the line between the serious and the comic. This is dark comedy at its best. In an interview with The Dance Current Philip Szporer says, “Gravel has good patter… with wicked timing. He doesn’t hesitate to reinforce, constantly, the idea that contemporary dance is “waaay” too serious, and why not have a good laugh?”

Check out the trailer.

All Hell is Breaking Loose, Honey runs Nov 8 – 12, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets from $20 are available online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

TWO SOLD OUT OPENINGS! Thank you to our AMAZING Supporters and Partners!

TWO SOLD OUT OPENINGS! Thank you to our AMAZING Supporters and Partners! 

Yesterday (November 1) was one of the most exciting days of The Cultch’s 16/17 season! We were supremely lucky to have two amazing shows open on the same night –The Elephant Wrestler, co-presented with Diwali Fest, and Empire of the Son, Tetsuro Shigematsu’s smash hit presented by VACT.  Both of these shows are big hits: Empire of the Son has already SOLD OUT its run, and The Elephant Wrestler is very close behind.

We are so lucky to live in Vancouver and have access to great performing arts from a diverse and culturally rich background.  The Cultch is happy to co-present with Diwali Fest, and to have the chance to present shows from great local companies like VACT.  We want to take this opportunity to highlight them and the wonderful work they do.

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As many of you will know, Diwali is a South Asian festival known around the world as the festival of lights. Diwali brings people together to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.  Vancouver is lucky to have Diwali Fest, to bring us all the fun and joy of Diwali in an nearly month long festival. Their mission is, “To break cultural barriers and celebrate the spirit of Diwali by embracing diverse art forms to build a sense of community across the Greater Vancouver Lower Mainland.” This year’s festival started Oct 11 with the opening of Piya Behrupiya in the York Theatre, and will run until Nov 30.

Get out and enjoy as many of the Diwali Fest events as possible.

PHOTO: RAY SHUM | PHOTO DESIGN: TERRY WONG

Photo: Ray Shum/Photo Design: Terry Wong

We also encourage you to check out VACT as they highlight and promote Asian-Canadian stories like Empire of the Son. VACT was created in 2000 in order to produce and promote professional Asian-Canadian shows. They have has gained an amazing reputation in the arts community for presenting powerful and engaging stories from an Asian-Canadian perspective. The Cultch has been lucky enough to be a part of a couple of these productions. We are especially thrilled to have Empire of the Son back in The Vancity Culture Lab before it goes on tour in eastern Canada.

The Elephant Wrestler runs from Nov 1 – Nov 5, 2016 in the Historic Theatre.  Empire of the Son runs from Nov 1-13 in the Vancity Culture Lab. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

 

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March Mayhem: A month in photos

We’re only a quarter of the way through 2015 and it’s already been a VERY busy year. We’ve barely had a moment’s rest in March, there was so much happening! Here’s just some of what went on:

The biggest event we had this month was our annual fundraising gala, in which we celebrated the Celtic Spirit of Ireland!

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Heather Redfern rocking out with auctioneer David C. Jones

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MCs Margaret Gallagher and Fred Lee addressing the attendees

There was some great entertainment throughout the evening

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You couldn’t turn around without seeing someone doing something!

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We had two great openings, first with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s TransMigration:

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Kaha:wi Dance Theatre Artistic Director Santee Smith with Heather Redfern

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Cultch Ladies: Caitrin Innis (Development Coordinator), Zoe Forsyth (Concierge and Volunteer Coordinator), Nicole McLuckie (Director of Patron Development) and Cindy Reid (Managing Director)

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Members of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre giving us a smile

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Kaha:wi Dance Theatre giving us… something else

And then we had Obaaberima from Buddies in Bad Times, which the audience enjoyed talking about post-show

Kaha:wi Dance also hosted a Pow Wow Boot Camp:

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Kaha:wi Artistic Director leads the participants

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It wasn’t all fun though, as we said farewell to our fantastic Senior Design and Web Coordinator, Isa Chernets

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We did get a lot of puppy love though, as we welcomed Murphy to The Cultch family!

And to end March, we have a little tease for what’s coming up in April, as the Famous Puppet Death Scenes set was loaded in yesterday!

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There are so many crates, they’re not only over flowing outside…

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But even into the lobby as well!

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It’s a lot of work, putting a set together

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The view from above

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The set is starting to rise!

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Do you perfer the orchestra view

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Or looking down from the balcony?

It was a pretty packed month, and we can’t wait for what’s next! Remeber you can always check out our Flickr page for more great photos! Be sure you come down and join us so you don’t miss any of the fun!

Motherload Opening Night Photos and Reviews

Motherload made its world premiere last week to great acclaim! This witty, clever, and touching show focuses on the challenges of mothering in the twenty-first century. Audiences and critics are laughing, crying, and sharing the joys and pains of motherhood.

Here are some of the critic and audience reviews:

“Motherload is an intimate gift” – Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“This social media generation are able to do something that the similarly themed Mom’s The Word was not able to do 15 years ago, as we not only hear the stories but we also get to see the pictures and videos that will make you either squeal with laughter or sigh in recognition” – David C Jones, Vancouver Presents

“Personal photos and videos combined with raw emotion, and unfiltered truth will leave you feeling connected … I laughed (a lot), I cried, and I saw a lot of myself as a mother reflected throughout the show” – Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine

“Funny, incredibly moving… raw and honest” – yoyomama

“Hey! YOU! Vancouver! Go get your Mom & take her to see Motherload at The Cultch. It’s funny, smart, brave & you’ll cry like a g’damn infant” – Chelah Horsdal @Chelahorsdal

“The writing, the acting (which couldn’t have been easy!), the audiovisuals, the directing – all fantastic! Funny and moving, sad and uplifting. There’s an honesty and a rawness in the autobiographical stories that reveal so much of the complex and contradictory and painful and joyful facets of parenting!” – Jackie

Don’t miss your chance to see this brilliant and touching new production!

Here are some photos from our opening night reception on. All photos were taken by volunteer photographer, Edward Juo.

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Enjoying the post-show reception

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Emelia Symington Fedy chatting with some guests

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Juno Rinaldi spotting the camera

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Star Moms Jody-Kay Marklew & Juno Rinaldi

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Star Moms Sonja Bennet & Emelia Symington Fedy

Motherload runs until February 21 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets start from $19 and are available on our website or by calling the box office at 604-251-1363.

Opening Night Photos of Blackbird Theatre’s All That Fall!

The Canadian premiere of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall opened last week at the Historic Theatre! The entertaining, existential masterpiece has captivated audiences and critics alike, who are asking for more.

This is what some of the critics are saying:
“A masterpiece…might contain the funniest existential despair you’ll ever experience”
Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“A perfect, polished jewel of a play…I wished it would never end” – Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

“For lovers of language though this is another exquisite theatrical treat from Blackbird Theatre…lean back and be engulfed in the lavishness of its interchange” – David C. Jones, Vancouver Presents

“Beautifully crafted performances” – Jerry Wasserman, Vancouverplays

“The play’s dark humour and Mrs. Rooney’s bleak outlook is what makes this classic both entertaining and profound” – Tessa Perkins, The Peak

Make sure you get your tickets to see this funny and intoxicating production before it’s too late!

Here are some photos from our opening night on December 30. All photos were taken by one of our fantastic volunteer photographers, Wendy D.

The audience eagerly awaits the start of the performance!

The audience eagerly awaits the start of the performance!

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A patron speaking with Graham and Paddy Macleod (Blackbird Theatre General Manager)

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Some of our guests enjoying the reception

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Jenn McGinn in a discussion about the show

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Two patrons being entertained by Paddy Macleod (Blackbird Theatre General Manager)

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A couple of guests enjoying the reception

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Sandra Wright, Jenn Graham (Head FOH Manager at the Cultch), John Wright (Blackbird Theatre Artistic Director) and Graham Macleod

 

All That Fall runs until January 24 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets start from $19 and are available on our website or by calling the box office at 604-251-1363.

Opening Night Photos from Broken Sex Doll!

Broken Sex Doll opened last week at the York Theatre! This must-see, sci-fi musical sex comedy will be running until Saturday, November 22 and has been a hit with critics and fans alike (CLICK HERE FOR REVIEWS). Don’t miss your chance to catch this hilarious production before it heads out on tour again.

Here are some photos from our opening night (taken by one of our volunteer photographers, Wendy D) on November 12. A big congratulations to The Virtual Stage’s whole team!

The crowd gathers anxiously for the opening night show!

The crowd gathers anxiously for the opening night show!

The cast take a musical bow, concluding the performance.

The cast take a musical bow, concluding the performance

Some excited patrons at the reception

Some excited patrons at the reception

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A group of guests wait for the opening night reception to begin

Vanessa Goodman (Contingency Plan Dance Collective) and Jeff Harrison (Lighting Designer for Broken Sex Doll)

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Some young patrons at the reception

Borja Brown (Production Manager at The Cultch) and Andy Thompson (Writer and Director of Broken Sex Doll)

Borja Brown (Production Manager at The Cultch) and Andy Thompson (Writer and Director of Broken Sex Doll)

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Greg Armstrong-Morris with some friends

Cindy Reid (Managing Director at The Cultch) and Andy Thompson (Writer and Director of Broken Sex Doll)

Cindy Reid (Managing Director at The Cultch) and Andy Thompson (Writer and Director of Broken Sex Doll)

Heather Redfern, Cindy Reid and Andy Thompson

Marina Szijarto, Heather Redfern, Cindy Reid, and Andy Thompson

Borja Brown (Production Manager at The Cultch) and Kris Boyd (Technical Director at The Cultch)

Borja Brown (Production Manager at The Cultch) and Kris Boyd (Technical Director at The Cultch)

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One of our lovely volunteers, Jenn McKeown with Lindsey Shepek and Neezar (The King in Broken Sex Doll)

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Heather Redfern and Harm Woldring

 

Broken Sex Doll runs until November 22 at the York Theatre. Tickets from $19 and are available on our website or by calling the box office at 604.251.1363.

Partnering with Merchant’s Oyster Bar!

At The Cultch our aim is to offer our public the best theatrical experience possible.

Our catering partner, Merchant’s Oyster Bar, helps us transform show openings into unique evenings. The chef delights our taste buds with delicious canapés and fresh oysters. Francis Regio, the owner of Merchant’s Oyster Bar, shared with us his thoughts on his restaurant, his inspirations and why this partnership is important to him.

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Francis Regio and a guest at Merchant’s Oyster Bar

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 Could you tell us about Merchant’s Oyster Bar?

Merchants is a local neighbourhood restaurant that is dedicated to sourcing and serving local, organic, and sustainable ingredients and products. Our menu changes almost daily focusing on what is available seasonally. Our tasting menu can allow one to sample  what we our most proud of but our small plates menu and oyster bar gives flexibility to those looking to dabble in their hearts’ desires.

As The Cultch’s catering partner, is supporting the arts important to you?

Supporting the arts is definitely important to us, as is supporting our neighborhood. The surrounding businesses, as a whole, stand together creating a unique team that supports each other.

How did this process take shape?

We have always believed in what The Cultch sets out to do. Upon taking the location on the ‘Drive’, we found it mutually beneficial to partner with them to again better the neighbourhood. We see food as playful and artistic as well, so marrying with The Cultch was a no brainer!

What inspires the chef when he prepares canapés  for opening nights? 

Our chef looks to present canapés that can represent what we do in the restaurant. A small taste of what we can do…literally!

You give priority to using local products in your restaurant. Is being involved in the local community one of your goals?

As mentioned above, the local community is near and dear to our hearts. Products and ingredients combine with our partnerships and relationships beautifully. We could never have gotten to where we are now without the love and support of the community.

Merchant’s Oyster Bar is located at 1590 Commercial Drive. As part of our Cultch Preferred Restaurant Program, if you show your same day ticket stub you receive 15% off your total food bill. Or join us for an opening night reception and enjoy an evening to remember.