Cultch Connects: making art for everyone!

Cultch Connects: making art for everyone!

A thank you note from a grateful recipient!

As Vancouver’s most diverse arts and culture hub, The Cultch brings world-class performance to our community in East Vancouver. We are a charity, and ticket income from our shows only makes up 30% of our running costs – the rest comes from the generous support of our donors, sponsors and funders. In return, we offer dynamic contemporary programming in theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts, showcasing cutting-edge national and international work.

At our core is the belief that art is for everyone, and economic background or life circumstances should never be a barrier to participation in live performance.  To this end, we set up our Cultch Connects program, so that our donors could share their love of performance with everyone in our community.

Cultch Connects provides free tickets to our holiday hit the East Van Panto and other shows throughout our season to people in need. Now in its 6th year, Cultch Connects has brought thousands of people from low-income families, mental health facilities, recovery centres, community organizations and more to our shows at no cost.

We know from the messages our Cultch Connects patrons send us that this simple act makes a real difference in the lives of people who are facing difficult times, making the holiday season a little brighter for hundreds of families.

“Christmas was going to be a hard time at the transition house, but attending the Panto helped to make the holiday season better for me and my daughter. You made our holiday season special.” — Cultch Connects patron

This year will be our most ambitious Cultch Connects fundraising campaign yet. Our anonymous match-funder has once again agreed to double any gift made to Cultch Connects between now and November 30 2018, making more tickets available than ever before to people in need.

“By giving to Cultch Connects, our donors are making our theatre accessible to everyone” says Executive Director Heather Redfern. “What I love most about the program is that it is inspiring the next generation of artists, musicians, and theatre-goers, ensuring our city remains a vibrant centre for the arts for years to come. That’s pretty amazing!”

— Louise Chapman, The Cultch’s Development Associate

Would you like to support Cultch Connects? Click here to donate now!

$150 = $300 Brings a community/school group to the Panto

$100 = $200 Brings a local youth group to a Cultch show

$50 = $100 Sends a Cultch Connects family to the Panto

Do you know an organization that would benefit from this program? Let us know!


Contact Louise Chapman, Development Associate:

louise@thecultch.com; 604 251 1766, ext. 108

Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

Announcing the 2017 rEvolver Festival Mainstage!

A man stuck in a London train station. A live game show. A cardboard puppet sci-fi western. A live drag attari video game musical. An embarrassing birthday gift. A Spanish Vampire bar. A bespoke handmade book. The meaning of love.

Upintheair Theatre is thrilled to be back at The Cultch for the fifth annual rEvolver Theatre Festival. rEvolver runs from May 24th – June 4th, presenting new work by Vancouver and Canada’s most exciting up and coming performers and theatre creators. Past rEvolver Festivals have included world premieres of hit shows such as Jordan Hall’s ‘Kayak’, Delinquent Theatre’s ‘Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical” (which featured as part of The Cultch’s 2015/16 season) and Mind of a Snail’s gorgeous shadow puppetry in ‘Caws and Effect’.

This year’s programming represents the rich diversity of voices, aesthetics, and styles among Vancouver and Canadian emerging professional theatre makers. Join us in seeing all that this incredible community of artists has to offer.

Got to revolverfestival.ca for all the information you need!

MAINSTAGE SHOWS:

FREE EVENTS:

  • Habitats Isabelle Kirouac & Nayana Fielkov (Vancouver)
  • Plunge in collaboration with Resounding Scream Theatre (Vancouver)
  • SHINY Kelly McInnes (Vancouver)
  • UPDRAFTS Reading Series featuring new works by emerging playwrights

Excited by what you see? There are a number of different ways you can purchase tickets!

  1. With the 6-show flex pass, the passholder can see up to six individual shows, take five friends to one show, or any combination in between!
  2. If you can’t see 6 shows, you can still save by purchasing a 3-show pass instead!
  3. And of course individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.

Veda Hille Launches Love Waves at the York Theatre on May 28!

veda_hille_love_waves (1)Fresh from creating and performing in the homegrown hit musical Onegin, our favourite Vhine Und Szong  and East Van Panto songstress is back to celebrate the release of her new album: Love Waves.

We were lucky enough to chat with Veda about her album and upcoming concert!

Hi Veda! Many Cultch audience members were first introduced to your work and style through the clever musical mash-ups that characterize The East Van Panto. You are also well known in Vancouver for productions such as Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata and Onegin. Would you say that your work in the theatre has influenced this album?

Veda Hille: I have loved becoming part of Vancouver’s theatre scene over the last 10 years. I do think that work has influenced my personal songwriting. I have way more vocal things going on in the songs, and I often take on characters in a way that I never did before. For example, in Eurydice I sing the parts of both Orpheus and Eurydice. I also took more time with this album; in theatre you often work on a show for 3 years or more before it is ready. I decided to try that with Love Waves, and I think the album benefited from a really long slow process.

What can long-time fans of your music expect from this album? Are there any new elements that you were particularly excited to explore?
VH: I wrote these songs with producer John Collins in mind. He’s great on synths and beats and all these pop elements, and so I wrote songs that would work with that kind of treatment. I would say that the production feels like a pretty new kind of sound for me, but I think the songs at their core are still in the realm that I’ve inhabited all my life.

Can you tell us a little bit about the meaning behind the title of this album?
VH: Love Waves are a certain kind of seismic activity, discovered by the scientist Arthur Love. They ripple sideways through the ground, and are really good at knocking down buildings. I couldn’t resist that name, of course.

You have credited a number of artistic influences ranging from Bowie to Eno to The Carpenters to Eisler and Brecht. I have to ask – which artists are you currently listening to?
VH: I always love that question. It is what I ask other people all the time. I move pretty slowly on albums. Right now the ones I turn to most are Bowie’s Blackstar, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, and Sufjan Steven’s Carrie and Lowell.

Anything else you would like to share about this album or the concert at The York on May 28?
VH: I’m so excited about this show. The band is sounding great. I feel like I haven’t done a major concert in Vancouver in years; maybe that’s true. I keep doing all these other things! Which are also fun, but still. I am very keen to have the chance to be deeply and happily myself onstage with so many friends around.

Want a sneak peek of Veda’s fabulous new album?
Check out this review by Andrea Warner for CBC music
Keep up-to-date with the latest news on Veda Hille’s website
Love Waves: Veda Hille Album Release Concert
May 28, 2016 at 8PM
York Theatre
19+ Event

Announcing the 2016 rEvolver Festival Mainstage!

1617_RevolverThe Cultch is thrilled to welcome back Upintheair Theatre for the fourth annual rEvolver Festival.

The rEvolver Festival runs from May 11-22, and is dedicated to providing presenting opportunities to emerging professional theatre makers both locally and nationally. Past rEvolver Festivals have included world premieres of hit shows as Jordan Hall’s Kayak, Delinquent Theatre’s Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical (which featured as part of The Cultch’s 2014/15 season) and Mind of a Snail’s Caws and Effect, the shadow puppet hit of the 2015 festival.

This year’s programming represents the rich diversity of voices, aesthetics, and styles among Vancouver and Canadian emerging professional theatre makers. From immigrant stories as a live boxing match to technologically guided meditation to mesmerizing narrative juggling, 2016 is a high-water mark for stylistic exploration at rEvolver. Join Upintheair Theatre in seeing all that this incredible community of artists has to offer.

MAINSTAGE SHOWS:

* Happiness TM (May Can Theatre, Ottawa)

* Kolejka (star star theatre, Vancouver)

* Mis Papas (rice & beans theatre, Vancouver)

* Never the Last (Delinquent Theatre, Vancouver)

* The New Conformity (Cause and Effects Circus, Vancouver)

* okay.odd. (Hong Kong Exile, Vancouver)

* Silenced (Urban Ink Emerging Artists’ Collective, Vancouver)

SITE-SPECIFIC EVENTS:

* Beowulf, Marc Castellini (Vancouver)

* Booth Connection, The Biting School (Vancouver)

FOUNDER’S LOUNGE CABARET EVENTS:

* Charisma Furs, Katie Sly (Toronto)

* I want to tell you something, Caroline Sniatynski (Vancouver)

* Storytelling, Riel Hahn Presents, Riel Hahn (Vancouver)

* Demostage Upintheair Theatre (Vancouver) – FREE

* Ta Gueule Translation and Workshop Series, BoucheWHACKED! Theatre Collective & Ruby Slippers Theatre (Vancouver) – BY DONATION

* The Updrafts Reading Series – BY DONATION

Excited by what you see? There are a number of different ways you can purchase tickets!

  1. With the 6-show flex pass, the passholder can see up to six individual shows, take five friends to one show, or any combination in between!
  2. If you can’t see 6 shows, you can still save by purchasing a 3-show pass instead!
  3.  And of course individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.

The Invisible Hand: A Note From Director Richard Wolfe

Pi Theatre’s The Invisible Hand opens this week at The Cultch and we can’t wait to present this critically acclaimed production. Directed by Richard Wolfe, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar’s high-stakes thriller follows a kidnapped American trader in Pakistan playing the market for his life. In this riveting, relevant play, taut scenarios unfold as the trader works to earn his release while unwittingly handing the tools for financial chaos and political vindication to his captors. The production made The Georgia Straights ‘17 Things to Do in Vancouver’ this week as well as Vancity Buzz’s ‘6 Hottest Shows in Vancouver’.

Here are the Directors Notes from Richard Wolfe as preface for the show:

Pi is proud to be producing the Canadian premiere of Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand, presented on the Historic Theatre stage by the visionary team here at The Cultch. I knew as soon I read this script a year-and-a-half ago that it was a Pi show. Bold, smart and visceral – it’s the kind of full and rich theatre experience our audiences have come to expect from our company.

Back in 2014, US-led airstrikes on ISIS were just beginning. I wondered then how the situation would look by the time we opened Akhtar’s play in Vancouver. The naïve, hopeful part of me thought perhaps the situation would have improved. Sadly, it hasn’t.

Akhtar is a wonderful writer. His language is strong and his characters are vivid. But what I like most about The Invisible Hand is how his characters tend to be neither all good nor all bad. In my mind, ambiguous characters make the best theatre.

Akhtar has said he has a deep interest in exploring the themes of Muslim identity in the contemporary world, as well as the workings of the global financial system. Both of these themes are explored in the play you’re about to see.

How do people from different backgrounds become involved in insurgency movements? And what role does the invisible hand of the market play in today’s globalized world? Does it contribute to the general good, as Adam Smith wanted us to believe in his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (where the title of this play can be found)? Does a world full of self-interest really benefit others in the long run?

The longing for money is fairly universal. But what do we do with it when we have it? And when we have it, what will it do to us?

The Invisible Hand runs from Apr 5 – 23, 2016 in the Historic Theatre. Tickets from $20 and are available online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Success! Community Day at the York Theatre

18470255793_6fbc677be3_zOn June 21, we proudly opened the doors of the York Theatre for The Cultch’s first ever community day! Hundreds of guests of all ages came to celebrate with us! The day was filled with good food, live music courtesy of Britannia Marimba Ensemble, a craft station for families, a smudging ceremony by Bruce Robinson to commemorate National Aboriginal Day, and a live stream of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final 16 match! Here are some photos from the event taken by Roaming the Planet.

Many thanks to our performers, staff, volunteers, and YOU for making this event a big success. We couldn’t have done it without you! Please  visit the York Theatre’s page for more info and email rentals@thecultch.com for inquiries about renting the venue.

If you would like a photo of yourself or a loved one removed from this webpage, please feel free to contact ricky@thecultch.com.

IGNITE! Youth Driven Arts Festival: An inside look with Jeanine Longley!

Cultch Youth Panel Member Jeanine Longley

Cultch Youth Panel Member Jeanine Longley

This week, the York Theatre plays host to the IGNITE! Youth Drive Arts Festival! Led, coordinated, and organized by The Cultch’s very own Youth Panel, this event is definitely not one to miss!

But first, a little background.

The Cultch’s Youth Panel is a group of approximately 20 young people aged 13-24 from all over Vancouver with a passion for the performing arts. From Sep-May, the ambitious, curious, and fun-loving group meet once a week to plan and learn about all aspects of festival organization. Everything from technical operations to marketing and media relations. The professional festival is the culmination of nine months of passion, dedication, and hard work.

We were able to catch a moment with Jeanine Longley, a Youth Panel Member, to get an inside look at this year’s festivities.

Hi Jeanine! Could you tell us a little bit about IGNITE! and the role the youth play in creating this event?

The IGNITE! Youth Festival is multifaceted. Younger and newer members on the youth panel are learning how to put on a festival, everything from advertising to operating a sound board. We are showing the community what youth are capable of, both in featuring completely youth performers, and in having the entire festival run by youth. As a collective, we are IGNITE! and we hope to ignite, inspire, and celebrate youth creativity.

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This is the first year that the IGNITE! Youth Festival is taking place at the York Theatre, down the street from The Cultch. How did this decision take place?

The IGNITE! Youth Festival has always been at the Historic Theatre. We chose to move to the York Theatre this year to explore a beautiful new space. The York has incredible options for a festival like ours, both in decorating options (that stunning lobby!) and in the theatre itself. We are definitely excited to try out our new home.

York

I understand that the youth panel also creates an IGNITE! Youth Festival Zine. Could you tell us a little about it and where patrons can get a copy?

The IGNITE! Zine will be available for purchase at the Merchandise table each night of the festival. It features art and poetry and prose submitted by youth. It is hand-made and incredibly awesome!

There are quite a diverse range of themes throughout the week, how does the youth panel decide on the programming for each night? 

This year we are featuring our favourite themes from our extensive history as a festival. We have found that our audience has a variety of interests, and as we like to feature a variety of performers, a variety of themes seems to fit the bill! As a whole, our festival really has the youth aspect to tie everything together, so although our individual nights are quite varied, we hope that our audience will be keen to try out all the different flavours available!

ThemeNight1

What are your must-see acts in this year’s IGNITE! Youth Festival?

Oh, I can’t pick favourites! Well, maybe I can. I know the performers in the band Leave, who are performing on Saturday, and psst – a bird told you (not I!) that a fantastic MC might be mastering that flawless ceremony! (OK – it’s me!).

ThemeNight2

If there’s ONE thing you want our readers to know about this year’s festival, what would it be?

It’s going to freaking ROCK! Each night has an enthusiastic team of youth behind it, really shining the spotlight on amazing performers and creating a super fun environment for the audience to participate in. I hope to see you there!

ThemeNight3

The IGNITE! Youth Festival runs from May 12 – 16. The festival includes showcases in music, dance, and spoken word, the world premiere of two one-act plays, a visual arts exhibit, variety shows featuring improv, circus arts, and much more! Tickets starts at only $2 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 604.251.1363.

Reviews for Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical!

Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical opened last week and critics and audience members are loving this indie-rock musical!

Check out the reviews below! And make sure to get yourself, or the millennials in your life, tickets before the show closes this Saturday!

REVIEWS:

You should run, not walk, to one of the most entertaining nights in Vancouver” – VanCity Buzz

You don’t have to be under 30 to get the message of this charming, compact musical romp. Anyone who’s done time as an office drone will tell you that there are certain fantasies that take over your brain, offering a respite from the seemingly unending day-to-day drudgery” – Vancouver Sun

There are laughs and smiles and the odd tear galore to come from this original score and script… This show is fresh and witty and charming and worth every minute” – Broken Leg Reviews

Hilarious and relatable…Go see this” – Room Magazine

ONLINE BUZZ:

“Y’all must see Stationary by @christinequinty & @MishelleCuttler it’s amazeballs. Full of spunk & angst & great tunes” – Josh Epstein @Josephstein1

“If you’re in #Vancouver see @delinquentheatr’s #Stationary at @TheCultch. It’s sweet AND it’s a protest against pigeon-holed adulting. Must” – Tara Pratt @tarakjpratt

Stationary by @delinquentheatr at @TheCultch is not to be missed! Humour, pathos and fantastic musical numbers – what more do you need?” – Kathleen B @kathleenbee751

“You should really go see #Stationary at @TheCultch. It’s as funny and moving as any entertainment from any medium you’ll find playing now” – Mack Gordon @mackgord

CADRE Opening Night Photos + Reviews!

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Richard Jordan, Fezile Mpela, Criss Henderson, Omphile Molusi, Lillian Tshabalala, Rick Boynton, Barbra Gaines

Last Tuesday, The Cultch hosted the Canadian premiere of Cadre, presented with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd in association with the Market Theatre of Johannesburg.

This story of a South African freedom fighter during apartheid is extremely powerful and is blowing audiences and critics away.

Fezile Mpela, Lillian Tshabalala, and Omphile Molusi

Fezile Mpela, Lillian Tshabalala, and Omphile Molusi

Check out some of the reviews here:

If you want theatre that grabs you by the throat, brain and/or balls – if you want theatre that shows you a life and world that is likely beyond your imagining – if you like to feel things and be moved by live performance, then you should see this play!” — David C. Jones, OUT TV

Scars of apartheid offer intense audience experience” —Erika Thorklenson, The Vancouver Sun

Hits home because it’s so relevant in Canada…skilled and important. It’s a postcard we should be grateful to receive” —Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

A devastatingly powerful piece. Cadre reminds us of the real price of freedom” —Mark Robins, Vancouver Present

Be sure to see this powerful and emotional performance before it closes! Here are some photos of our opening night reception. All photos were taken by our volunteer photographer, WendyD.

Omphile Molusi and Heather Redfern

Omphile Molusi and Heather Redfern

Guest enjoy drinking in the Founders' Lounge

Guests enjoy drinking in the Founders’ Lounge

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Criss Henderson, Barbara Gaines, Richard Jordan, Rick Boynton, Borja Brown, Heather Redfern, Nicole McLuckie, Cindy Reid

Cadre runs until March 8 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets start from $19 and are available on our website or by calling the box office at 604-251-1363.

The Four Horsemen: A History Lesson

We are thrilled to have The Four Horsemen Project opening this week here at The Cultch! This production was a huge success during the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival  in 2008 and has since been on tour in Dublin, Berlin and  across Canada. Since the production is based on the poetry of Toronto’s original Four Horsemen, we thought it might be interesting to give you a bit of history and insight into the poets and their work to get you excited about the show.

“There’s no precedent for a show like this… brilliantly coutured performers…inventive animation… Be prepared to add your laughter and applause to the sounds in this thrilling, one-of-a-kind show” – Now Magazine

The original Four Horsemen, Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Paul Dutton, Steve McCaffery, and bpNichol were a spoken word performance group during the 1970s avant-garde poetry era. All four of the Horsemen published individual work as well as worked in a collaborative group. For many years there was limited access to the sound recordings that were available, as much of it disappeared with bpNichol when he passed away in 1988. This is what Kate Alton and Ross Manson (Volcano Productions) discovered when they attempted to do some research in preparation for The Four Horsemen Project. Now, many recordings are accessible online through the help and support of Ellie Nichol and the remaining Horsemen.

bpNichol was originally from Vancouver, BC and was most well-known as a writer from Jim Henson’s children’s TV show, Fraggle Rock. In his lifetime he wrote and published a variety of work and collaborated with many different artists, not limited to the Four Horsemen. Nichol considered sound poetry to be his way to express emotion. The notion is that a poem is far more than words on a page, but a manifestation of one’s entire being. This is one of the primary goals set by The Four Horsemen Project, and in realizing this the audience becomes aware of the nature of language, rather than content.

Photo by Itai Erdal

Photo by Itai Erdal

Poetry encompasses sound, breath and the human body and these artists breathe life into this nearly-forgotten work. The Four Horsemen Project runs from October 28 – November 2. Tickets are available online or through the box office at 604.251.1363.