Karaoke favourites from the Cultch staff!

In preparations for Feminist Karaoke, Cultch staff dish about their karaoke favourites!

Julia Croft wants you to sing along!

Power Ballad, from New Zealand’s Julia Croft and Nisha Madhan (Jan 22-26), is part performance piece, part feminist rant, AND part karaoke party! On Friday, Jan 25, the party will continue after the show, when Julia invites Cultch patrons to join her for Feminist Karaoke — a completely free Femme Series event!

The buzz in the Cultch office is palpable—we are a karaoke loving bunch! Here are a few karaoke favourites—and a couple karaoke memories—from some of the staff, to help you get in the mood for Jan 25.

Chelsea Isenor, Marketing Manager

Favourite Karaoke Song: Total Eclipse of the Heart. I don’t really have the vocal chops to sing it well, but it is so fun to belt out. It’s even better if you have a duet partner, but I have been know to sing both parts!

Kelly Barker, Artistic Associate

Karaoke Memory: I sang “I Love Rock and Roll”, by Joan Jett, at my sister-in-law’s wedding, and it was so terrible that the host of the wedding (it was at a small inn in the Okanagan) told me, the next morning, that it was, “the worst thing he’d ever heard”. My mother-in-law apparently has it on video—and I’ve refused to watch it.

Louise Chapman, Development Associate

Karaoke Memory: It’s not a particularly interesting story, but it’s my only personal karaoke experience!

I do not have a good singing voice, so I have only done karaoke once in my life! I was 19 and travelling in Japan with my friend Mariesha. We went along to a karaoke place and got a little room with some people from out hostel. I drank a lot of plum wine (delicious!) and sang Umbrella by Rihanna. A good memory.

Another time, I was staying in a village on a tiny island in the Philippines, where the local fishermen would gather at night to drink rum and sing karaoke. Their singing filled the tropical night air.

Leslie Dos Remedios, Sales Associate

Favourite Karaoke Song: I actually have a running list of karaoke songs on my phone – like when I’m in a store and hear a song I love, I put it in my phone just so I’m not at a loss in those times I’m flipping through a karaoke binder, not at my full capacity and about to make a questionable adult decision.

Some of my faves to sing are:

I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Wannabe by The Spice Girls
Since You’ve Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson

Very eclectic, I know, but such good guilty pleasures!

We wanna know your karaoke favourites—come sing with us!! Feminist Karaoke with Julia Croft is a FREE Femme Series event on January 25, 2019, at 9PM.


Power Ballad runs until Jan 26 at the Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or call The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

The Femme Series is generously supported by the Charlotte and Sonya Wall Arts Fund.

A chat with Gravity & Other Myths acrobat, Lachlan Binns

A chat with Gravity & Other Myths acrobat, Lachlan Binns!

Gravity & Other Myths member, Lachlan Binns. Photo by Darcy Grant

Backbone opens October 30, 2018 at the Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton Street), and we are beyond thrilled to have Gravity &Other Myths back in the city once again! We caught up with Lachlan Binns, one of the key members of the award-winning, world-renowned Australian acrobat company, for a quick chat.

We are so excited to have Gravity & Other Myths back in Vancouver. What are you looking forward to doing while you are here in the city?

Last time we were here we had a lot of great opportunities to explore the city. We rode bikes around the city, explored nearby national parks and saw an ice hockey game. It was a fair while ago, so we’re all really excited to re-familiarise ourselves with the city and explore again! Plus, obviously we’re keen to show our audiences what we have been doing since we were there last; Backbone is much bigger and more spectacular show than A Simple Space.

How do you prepare to get on stage each night—warm ups, stretches—what is the process like?

We will spend around three hours warming up before each show. The first section will be stretching, using foam rollers and thera-bands; doing rehab and general body maintenance. This will last for around 45 minutes, and we will use this time to relax and joke around with each other, and get “socially warm”. Then when we are feeling good, and the sweat has started flowing, we will start to practice some of the skills from the show, anything that needs maintenance or adjustment. We will also spend a lot of time training new skills, and experimenting with new material for this show, or future projects. The last 30 minutes of the time is spent focusing, and preparing the stage for the show.

What is the craziest stunt Gravity & Other Myths has ever attempted?

“Craziest” is a strange term for us—a lot of the things we try are considered crazy! The two most difficult stunts we do are in Backbone; one is called the Four High, it is four people standing on top of each others shoulders in a straight column. It is an incredibly rare and difficult skill in the acrobatic world, and we’re really proud of it!

Four High! Photo by Carnival Cinema

What safety measures do you take to keep everyone safe? Have there been any injuries?

There are always injuries when you practice acrobatics; its impossible to avoid completely. A combination of smart body management, and trust in each other to catch and support one another, is the best way to manage injuries.

Gravity & Other Myths has toured all over the world—what is the wildest experience you have ever had touring with this show?

The literal wildest experience would be performing and going on a safari tour in Zimbabwe, Africa. Being in a totally different culture, and experiencing both the natural beauty, and the amazing tradition, is something we will remember for a long time!

Backbone looks like so much fun! Are you having as much fun on stage as it looks?

Definitely. The fun we have on stage is not pretend. Our job is to do what we love with a group of our best friends, and it’s hard not to smile!

Photo of Gravity & Other Myths by Darcy Grant


Backbone runs Oct 30-Nov 4 at the Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton St). Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Gala prize winners wined and dined by Bahareh and Tetsuro Shigematsu!

Gala prize winners wined and dined by Bahareh and Tetsuro Shigematsu!

The Cultch’s amazing and talented friends, Tetsuro and Bahareh Shigematsu, were kind enough to offer an amazing dinner for eight guests as a live auction item for our 2018 Gala, “Persia, Celebrating 2500 Years of West Asian Culture”.

The evening, hosted by Bahareh and Tetsuro, saw the lucky bidders gathered this past weekend to enjoy an amazing Persian dinner!

Prepared by Bahareh and her sister, Banafsheh Givargis, at the home of their friends, Aranka Anema and her partner renowned Tibetan artist, Kalsang Dawa.

With a tour of the artist’s studio and an amazing authentic Persian dinner; wine by our sponsors Hester Creek Estate Winery, and transportation by Star Limousine; a beautiful evening was had by all.

We are so grateful for our kind friends and supporters who made this possible; thank you for supporting The Cultch!

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!

Great storytelling is coming to the York Theatre September 27!

Great storytelling is coming to the York Theatre September 27!

Vancouver’s preeminent True Storytelling series THE FLAME returns to the York Theatre for an unforgettable evening of poignant and hilarious true tales told live on stage. Inspired by storytelling juggernaut The Moth, THE FLAME is now in its 9th season and boasts over 700 stories told at its sold-out monthly shows and concert events. Join Flame host Joel Wirkkunen and a brilliant roster of risky raconteurs as they boldly step in front of the microphone to share their most personal true life stories!

If you are wondering what kind of things you might hear at this event, here is a hilarious example from The Flame’s 2014 season; Charlie Demers shares the story of the birth of his child.

You can also LISTEN to some audio recordings from THE FLAME a few years ago on Soundcloud or check out some of the stories from THE MOTH here.

The event at the York on September 27 features musical guests Sarah Wheeler and Hannah Epperson.

The Flame: York Theatre 2017 Edition plays at the York Theatre September 27, 2017. TICKETS ONLY $20! Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Vancouver Pride – a great time to celebrate diversity in the arts!

Vancouver Pride – a great time to celebrate diversity in the arts!

It’s that time of year again! Time to dig our your favourite rainbow wear; time to embrace sparkles, sequins and feathers; time to celebrate diversity with friends and family  – IT’S PRIDE!

Although there have been Pride events happening all month,  Vancouver Pride Society has lots of great events planned for the next couple weeks leading up to the Pride Parade on August 6th. Check out their event page here.

The Cultch is proud to be an accepting and open place to work and play for people of all identities and orientations. Over the years we have been honoured to present many LGTBQ2+ performances that have been enjoyed  by all.

Here is a look at a few of the shows in our 17/18 season that celebrate diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities:

Hot Brown Honey – January 9 – 20, York Theatre, Briefs Factory (Australia)

Hot Brown Honey turns up the heat, delivering lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment in the smash-hit that packs a punch of Hip Hop politics. The Honeys will make you laugh, cry, clap and shake what your mama gave you.This stellar posse of phenomenal women make noise as they defiantly smash stereotypes and remix the system.

“Subverting sexual politics is a recurring motif, from a literal “pussy power” routine to a spot of raunchy lesbian beat-boxing.”The Sydney Morning Herald

Black Boys – January 16- 20, Historic Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre/ Saga Collectif (Toronto)

A raw, intimate, and timely exploration of queer male Blackness. Three individuals seek a deeper understanding of themselves, of each other, and of how they encounter the world, subverting the ways in which gender, sexuality, and race are performed.

The Explanation – April 17 – 29, Vancity Culture Lab, the frank theatre company (Vancouver)

Two heterosexual men – one of whom likes to dress in women’s clothes – just happen to fall in love with one another. An exploration of the constructs we adopt to make our own realities and ways of imagining a life that’s not only endurable but quite possibly magical.

We hope you will join us for these, and more fantastic shows, coming up this season. Purchase a subscription to save up to 25%. Single tickets go on sale August 8!


This week  in the news: President Trump tries to rolls out a new ban on transgender people in the military.

…This week  at The Cultch: Our venues roll out newer and more inclusive bathroom signage!

 We think everyone wins when everyone is included!

CONTEST: Win a night at the theatre with a $200 prize pack from The Cultch!

CONTEST: Win a night at the theatre with a $200 prize pack from The Cultch!

Single tickets for our 17/18 season go on sale on August 8th! We just cannot wait for you to see all of the wonderful shows that we have in store for you this coming season!

A little summer celebration is in order – LETS HAVE A CONTEST!

PRIZE

FOUR seats to any performance in our 17/18 season ($192 value) and four drink tickets ($36 Value)

CONTEST

One winner will receive FOUR seats to any performance in our 17/18 season ($192 value) and four drink tickets ($36 Value).

TO ENTER, for your chance to win a $200 prize pack from The Cultch, do at least one of the following – one entry per action!

  1. WATCH our season trailer (below) and leave a COMMENT on this blog-post telling us what show you’re most excited to see this season (1 entry)
  2. SHARE our season video https://youtu.be/OREBFrVwraE on Facebook (1 entry) with the hashtag #CULTCHCONTEST
  3. TWEET the following (1 entry)

Contest entries will be accepted from the time and date of publishing until 11:59 pm on August 8, 2017 (when Cultch single tickets go on sale). One winner will be chosen at random and contacted through the platform they used to enter.

Join us for a FREE pancake breakfast July 30!

Join us for a FREE pancake breakfast July 30!

We want to have breakfast with you!

It’s summer time (Yipee!) – a time for getting outside, meeting with friends and exploring the city with those you love.

Here at The Cultch we are all hard at work getting ready for the upcoming season (our first shows, Goblin Market  and 1 Hour Photo start October 3rd).  We are all enjoying the sunny summer we have been having, but summers are quieter at The Cultch and we miss you all!

Come hang out with us this Sunday, July 30th and share a few laughs and some delicious grub! We will be flipping pancakes from 10:30 am-1:30 pm. The Pancake Flip-out is a Cultch Community eventeveryone is invited!

Mmmmm, piping hot pancakes slathered in ooey, gooey syrup!

This is an opportunity to meet some of the people in the community, those physically close and those close at heart. Good food, good friends, good community!

Let us know if you can make it – RSVP here!

Congratulations to all 2017 Jessie Richardson Theatre Award winners!

Congratulations to all 2017 Jessie Richardson Theatre Award winners!

On Monday night, June 26, the 35th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards took place at the Commodore Ballroom. To all the nominees and winners, we want to offer our sincerest congratulations. It is so wonderful to be a part of such a vibrant and diverse community of theatre professionals!

It has been noted by several, including The Georgia Straight, that this year The Jessies celebration highlighted growing inclusivity and a truer representation of the diversity of our community. Truly something to celebrate!

Read the complete list of winners here

If we were to create a list to mention all The Cultch friends and family who were honored by the awards, the list would be too long and complex, however we want to offer a special congratulations to some Cultchers who were awarded Jessies:

Jamie King (award in hand!), Brian Cochrane and Heather Redfern at the 35th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards! Candid shot captured by Bahareh Shigematsu!

  • Jamie King took home the Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director.
  • Rohit Chokhani won the award for Significant Artistic Achievement – Large Theatre  for Outstanding Work in Expanding the Diversification of Vancouver Theatre through Excellence in Festival Programming for his work with Diwali Fest.
  • Leslie Dos Remedios was part of the Presentation House production of Baking Time, which took home the award for Significant Artistic Achievement – Theatre for Young Audiences  for it’s Outstanding Audience Engagement.

In addition, several shows from our 2016/2017 season had nominees in various categories: The Fighting Season, am a, and Elbow Room Cafe: The Musical. We are thrilled to be able to congratulate Kyle Jespersen for winning Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role – Small Theatre for his role in The Fighting Season.

Kyle Jespersen in The Fighting Season. Photo by Javier R. Sotres

Oh…and pssst, Quelemia Sparrow won the Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright for her new play O’wet/Lost Lagoon, which is part of our upcoming 2017/2018 season! You don’t want to miss it when it plays in the Historic Theatre (May 8 -12).

Congratulations everyone!

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