We party because we are grateful!

July 12 was our annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ!

Over the course of the 2017/18 season, over 5000 hours were contributed by Cultch volunteers! Every time you attend a Cultch or rental presentation, our wonderful team of volunteers is there to greet you, answer questions and guide you to your seats. Volunteers also help us as event photographers, office receptionists and assist with a variety of administrative jobs.
We are so very grateful to have this amazing group of over 200 people as a part of The Cultch family, and we had a blast partying with them earlier this month!
If you, or someone you know, would be interested in volunteering at The Cultch this season, please contact Lee Newman, Volunteer Coordinator, at volunteer@thecultch.com

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!

Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly`s special offer to The Cultch subscribers

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Jordan Both has been a regular technician at The Cultch for nearly a decade, and got his start in theatre through our youth program. He’s recently embarked on an exciting new business venture that brings a new twist on fitness to East Vancouver. Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly held its grand opening in October 2015, and has been keeping busy establishing itself as an important community space for martial arts and fitness in the Collingwood neighbourhood.

Valkyrie WMAA1                                                 “A rare pause in boxing class.” (Photo Credit: Courtney Rice)

Valkyrie WMAA is co-owned by Kaja Sadowski and Courtney Rice, and is the first female-owned and operated Western Martial Arts school in Canada. Jordan and his fellow instructors teach swordplay, boxing, and wrestling six days per week, and offer a unique training program that combines historical knowledge with modern sport science to turn even the most dedicated couch potato into a fit and happy fighter. Their classes range from 2-hour evening martial arts sessions, to day-long workshops, and quick and cheap 1-hour drop-in fitness classes. There’s something for everybody, regardless of their interests and schedule.

Valkyrie WMAA2                                              “Student Kat Yoshida spars with a rapier.” (Photo Credit: Courtney Rice)

The school was recently named a Top 5 Finalist in the “Best Emerging Entrepreneur” category of the Small Business BC Awards, which recognizes a new business that “contributes to the social, cultural and economic well-being of their communities [and] has demonstrated community leadership and entrepreneurial initiative”. The Valkyrie WMAA team sees fitness and martial arts training as an important path to personal transformation, self-esteem, self-reliance, and lifelong health. Unfortunately, this path is closed to many women, older or unfit people, and members of the LGBT community due to hostile environments and poor training models that cater predominantly to fit, straight, men. In the macho, competitive world of mixed martial arts training and high-end fitness, Valkyrie WMAA’s colourful, welcoming space, strict anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, and wealth of strong female role models stand out.

Valkyrie WMAA3                                               “Focusing on swordplay drills.” (Photo Credit: Courtney Rice)

Like The Cultch, Valkyrie WMAA is committed to supporting diversity and community engagement within its field. In martial arts, that means maintaining a safe space for students of all backgrounds, offering excellent training for every body type, and educating the general public through free online tutorials and low-cost community lectures and workshops.

Valkyrie WMAA4                                            “The Valkyrie WMAA founders at the school grand opening. Left to Right: Courtney Rice, David Packer,

Jordan Both, Kaja Sadowski.” (Photo credit: Carol Both)

They’ve also got a special offer for supporters of The Cultch who want to get in on the swordfighting fun. From now until March 4th, all of our subscribers will receive a free Valkyrie Base 4-class introductory program ($120 value) with the purchase of any credit package. Credits are redeemable for group classes, private lessons, and workshops, can be transferred or shared between multiple students, and never expire. We wish Jordan and his co-workers success with their new business, and look forward to trying out a class for ourselves!

The Cultch receives $130,000 grant from Vancouver Foundation for “Democratizing our Stages” Project

The Cultch and Diwali Fest staff at Nirbhaya Community Engagement meeting1Left to Right, Rohit Chokani & Vineeta Minhas Co-Producers of Diwali Fest, Heather Redfern – Executive Director, Nicole McLuckie – Director of Patron Development, Kim Harvey – Youth Program Manager, Abdel Naroth – Marketing Intern, Ricky Choi – Marketing Coordinator

 

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve received a significant three-year $130,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation for our “Democratizing our Stages” Project! While The Cultch has a long history of diversity, community inclusion, and pushing the boundaries of art to benefit society, this grant will allow us to go even further, challenging the status quo by prioritizing community development and presentation with groups and communities that have not yet engaged with us.

“We are delighted and grateful for Vancouver Foundation’s support,” says executive director Heather Redfern. “I truly believe this is a game-changer. The confidence the Vancouver Foundation has shown in our ability to make significant change is heartening and meaningful not only to The Cultch but to the community partners we will work with on this project over the next three years.”

The project began in earnest this past November when we partnered with Diwali Fest, Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), and Amnesty International to present and engage in community dialogue around Nirbhaya, the internationally acclaimed play inspired by the 2012 rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi and featuring the real life testimonials of sexual violence survivors. This was the first year in what will now be an ongoing partnership with Diwali Fest. Other Democratizing our Stages partners include Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT), Dancers of Damelahamid, Neworld Theatre, Neworld Theatre, and Urban Ink, with plans to bring others on board over the course of the project and into the future.

“There is increasing diversity in professional arts practices in Canada, however there are still very few venues that present this work in a mainstage context throughout a season of programming,” says Redfern. “We are interested in talking to people who are not coming to The Cultch. We’ll be partnering with like-minded organizations from the community to diversify the audience that attends these productions, finding innovative ways to provide access to communities. Social exclusion is systemic and can only be reversed by conscious and proactive efforts. The democratization of our stages will happen when cross-cultural communication takes place between artists and communities over and over again, until we reach the point that it feels ordinary, as though it’s always been that way.”

Read more:
The Georgia Straight
Vancouver Presents

OUR ANNUAL VOLUNTEER BBQ: Celebrating an amazing year!

The end of the season is a special time here at The Cultch. It’s a time where we can reflect on all the amazing events that happened in our venues, and it’s also the time where we can express thanks to the people that helped make it happen – our volunteers.

On July 9, we honoured the 130+ volunteers who gave their time this past year by throwing a Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue. More than 4253 volunteer hours were contributed in total for the 14/15 season.With mother nature providing some amazing set dressing, we set up the BBQ out front of The Cultch and kicked back in the courtyard. After the ‘Name Tag Follies’, some mingling, and some fun with our makeshift photo booth, everybody enjoyed some delicious food graciously provided by Choices Market.

Check out these wonderful photos from the event below and if you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at The Cultch please contact zoe@thecultch.com.

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(L to R) Elaine, Sharron, Betty Lou, Selma, & Cora strike a pose in our photo booth

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Heather & Mihai enjoying some delectable food provided by Choices

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Heather Redfern (Executive Director) giving the troops her thanks!

AwardNena

Nena contributed over 280 hours!

AwardAnnalies

Annalies contributed over 100 hours!

Award_Mona

Mona contributed over 100 hours!

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David contributed over 100 hours!

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Emma contributed over 100 hours

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(Left to Right) Jane, Kathy, Kris, Gail, and Beverly

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Just kicking back and relaxing on the courtyard

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Lyle and Heather

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Margaret has recently been volunteering upstairs in our admin office as volunteer receptionist

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June and Lisa!

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Jenn, Ed, and Moira

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Annalies & Frank (Cultch Board Members) raise a glass!

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Graham and Nena!

The Cultch’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ!

On June 16, we honoured the 110+ volunteers who gave their time this past year by throwing a Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue. More than 5537 volunteer hours were contributed in total for the 13/14 season.  This year mother nature was on our side and sent us some much needed sunshine so everybody could sit back and relax on our patio.  After the ‘Name Tag Follies’, some mingling, and some fun with our make shift photo booth, everybody enjoyed some delicious food.

A big thank you to Choices Market who, once again, generously donated the food and fixings!

We’d also like to thank The Georgia Straight, Mogiana Coffee, Science World, Vancouver Aquarium, the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, Famoso Pizzeria, and The Vancouver Art Gallery for their wonderful prize donations. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers who graciously give their time and energy to make The Cultch such a vibrant community venue. Now enjoy the photos below!

IsaandZoe

Isa & Zoe’s rap band!

Debbie-and-Karen

Debbie & Karen enjoying some delicious burgers on the patio

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Borja, the BBQ Queen!

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Borja, Jenn G, Cindy, photo-bombed by Bob!

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Betty-Lou, Marc and Debbie the cowgirl

Annalies

Annalies looking glamorous!

Brian

Double-hatted Brian

LoisAndCindy

Lois and Cindy looking fabulous with their boas!

Kathryn

Another BBQ queen, Kathryn!

Len-Cindy-and-Harm

Len, Cindy and Harm having fun with the props!

Marcus-and-Astarte

Marcus and Astarte chilling on the patio

MariaAndRicky

Maria and Ricky the Frenchie!

Wendy

Whose hiding behind that cute and classy dog? Wendy of course!

Etienne-and-Isa

Isa posing with her cute little boy, Etienne!

Jonathan, Nena, Kelly and Mona, our wonderful receptionists volunteers!

Jonathan, Nena, Kelly and Mona, our wonderful receptionists volunteers!

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A big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers!

Cultch spotlight: Meet our interns!

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Over the past few months, The Cultch’s offices slowly became home to three wonderful interns who have been having fun and working hard! Since the sun has started to poke its head out, we thought it was time to shine some light on our interns.

Chantal - Outreach Intern

Chantal – Outreach Intern

Why did you decide to intern at The Cultch? How did you apply to become an intern?
I was interested in expanding my performance skills into arts administration and I thought The Cultch would be a perfect fit for me as I was a fan of the programming. I submitted my resume and cover letter through my internship program at SFU who had already made a connection with The Cultch. I was asked to come in for an interview and was thrilled when I was asked to come on board as their Outreach Intern.

What is your favourite place to go for lunch on The Drive?
Five Elements Cafe. The owners are awesome and the Vietnamese food is always fresh and delicious.

What was you favourite show from this season?
I think I am going to have to say The Daisy Theatre by Ronnie Burkett. He brings so much creative energy into the room. I am definitely going to see it again next season.

What is your best memory and what are you going to take away with you when you leave The Cultch?
It’s a toss up between the attack of Star Wars potato heads and the letter stuffing day. I’m going to take away with me more ideas and inspirations than I know what to do with and an even greater dedication to making theatre happen in Vancouver. Oh, and the perfect way to fold a letter.

Paige – Archivist & Research Intern

Why did you decide to intern at The Cultch? How did you apply to become an intern?
I am an arts co-op student at UBC, and a masters candidate at the School or Library, Archival and Information Studies there. A posting for an internship opportunity came up on the co-op board, and I was eager to apply at an organization with such a wealth of history. I applied and met Cindy & Nicole in December, and started working in the archives in January.

What is your favourite place to go for lunch on The Drive?
Definitely Five Elements.

What was your favourite show from this season?
Mies Julie was definitely a heavy-hitter. Really excellent!

What is your best memory?
My best memories have been sharing treasures from the archives at the staff meetings and eating pie on my birthday.

Maria - Marketing Intern

Maria – Marketing Intern

Why did you decide to intern at The Cultch? How did you apply to become an intern?
As part of my French Business School, I had the opportunity to do an internship. I really wanted to do it abroad and had fallen in love with Vancouver years ago. I heard about The Cultch from one of my friends who told me what a nice environment it was to work at. I sent my resume and cover letter and got a phone interview. I feel very lucky that I got the job and also thankful for their patience dealing with all the paperwork that my visa required.

What is your favourite place to go for lunch on The Drive?
Havana, for their Parmesan and truffle fries.

What was your favourite show from this season?
I would say Me So You So Me because it wasn’t like anything I’ve seen before.

What is your best memory and what are you going to take away with you when you leave The Cultch?
It’s hard to pick a memory since my internship isn’t over yet. So far, I would say serving the food at the opening night of Mies Julie because it made my job feel more real. I finally got to meet some of the patrons and it showed me that what I do in the office means something. I can’t really say what I’m going to take away with me yet, but I already know that I learned a lot!

 

Join the Volunteer Receptionist Team at The Cultch!

Want to see some of the hottest shows in Vancouver for free? Want to show your love for one of your favorite East Van arts organisations? Well what are you waiting for?!? The Cultch is looking to expand our Volunteer Receptionist Team and we want you to apply.

Our Volunteer Receptionists are often the first person people will encounter as the “face of The Cultch”! You will play a key role overseeing all aspects of administration during office hours and gain valuable administration experience. Answering phones, data entry, filing, and marketing duties are just some of the things you’ll handle. Candidates must have a good working knowledge of both spoken and written english.

Our volunteers at The Cultch see some of the best theatre, music, dance performances that Vancouver has to offer plus you get free tea/coffee, ticket discounts, and chances to win assorted door prizes.

We enlisted Mona, one of our volunteers since October 2013 to tell you why she likes to volunteer at The Cultch.

What is your favorite memory about volunteering with The Cultch?

Working on the Internship Manual for Volunteers, investigating the office processes, getting to know the admin staff and their roles, and orientating new volunteers.

What is your favorite show you have ever seen at The Cultch?

The Daisy Theatre. No, actually it was a couple of years ago-Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Why should you volunteer at The Cultch?

It’s fun. The admin staff is very appreciative so you feel like part of a “team”. You get to see what goes on in the background before a production. You get to practice your office skills. You get complimentary tickets to the Historic Theatre events and you get to work in an office with a magnificent view!

Interested? Contact Cindy Reid, Managing Director, at 604.251.1766 x 112, or email your resume to cindy@thecultch.com