We are so excited to welcome Cindy Mochizuki to the East Van Panto team!
Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto features the work of so many amazing artists every holiday season. Part of the magic of the Panto, is having new voices featured each year with new members of the creative team. This year, we are so excited to welcome Vancouver artist Cindy Mochizuki to the team!
“Cindy Mochizuki creates multi-media installation, performance, animation, drawings, and community-engaged projects that explore the ways in which we manifest ‘story’. Her community-engaged projects explore the triangular relationship of performativity, social engagement, and magic.
A large body of her work investigates narratives and memories within the archive of familial architecture, including childhood spaces, home videos, photography, and oral histories. These projects revisit the memory and history of displacement and migration of family members both within Canada and Japan.”
Check out some of her amazing work below!
Cave to Dream:
Other Faces of Nihonga:
Check out Cindy’s amazing work on stage at East Van Panto: Pinocchio!
East Van Panto: Pinocchio runs Nov 20-Jan 5, 2020 at the York Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.
Children of Godis back in the York Theatre (until March 10, 2019) after a national tour, and its highly successful 2017 world premiere at The Cultch.
In this powerful musical, by Corey Payette, the children of an Oji-Cree family are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. This is a story of redemption: for a mother who was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids, who never knew she came. Children of God offers a thrilling blend of ancient traditions and contemporary realities, celebrating resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit.
The history of residential schools in Canada is a dark part of this country’s history. This selection from the Children of God study guideis a good starting place for those wanting to inform themselves about Canada’s past and present.
Residential Schools In Canada (Background)
The residential school system in Canada was designed to steal Aboriginal children from their home communities and forcibly turn them into Euro-Christian citizens of Canadian society. As former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s famous epithet from his 2008 apology to residential school survivors goes, the residential schools were meant “to kill the Indian in the child.”
Set up by the federal government, and primarily run by the church, the residential schools sprawled across the nation throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The last one did not close until 1996.
The system was rooted in the idea that European civilization was superior to the diverse civilizations of the Indigenous peoples, and that it was thus Canada’s moral, and God-given, responsibility to save Aboriginal children from themselves. By isolating the children from their lands, their languages, their relations, and their traditions; and simultaneously immersing them in European customs, primarily rigid gender roles, Anglo-monolingualism, and industrial vocational training, it was thought that Aboriginal communities would die out, and that a unified Canadian nation would emerge.
Residential schools, at their core, were built to commit what is called ‘cultural genocide’. These schools often became places where children would do menial tasks designed to keep the schools open at low cost, rather than as sites of meaningful education. It is also widely reported that these schools were sites of brutal physical, emotional, and sexual abuse against the children, often as punishment for speaking their traditional language, or trying to escape. Many children died while at these schools.
Residential Schools—Lasting Effects
As Children of God will explore, the horrible legacy of the residential school system is still felt today by many Indigenous peoples.
Many of the youth who attended residential schools not only grew up learning to hate their culture, but also grew up not learning how to raise a family, often in an atmosphere of physical and sexual abuse. This has had disastrous impacts for Indigenous communities. For many, survivors of the schools grew into adulthood lacking parenting skills, fostering another generation of children without a nurturing family environment. In many communities today, rates of domestic abuse, alcoholism, and youth suicide are high, many cases of which observers have traced back to the residential school system and the lack of self-esteem it instilled in the students. This ongoing process of undermining community well-being and cohesion, despite the schools being closed, is often referred to as intergenerational trauma.
Healing from Residential Schools
While understanding the vile history of residential schools and the lingering ramifications of this system, it is also important to pause and recognize that this trauma does not define Indigenous peoples and their communities. Many First Nations communities today are healthy and thriving, have a strong connection to their lands and traditions, and are raising younger generations that are eager and ready to continue this process.
On a national scale, it is becoming more common to talk about the residential schools in an honest way for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike—partly in thanks to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (see below)—which sought to offer space and a platform for survivors of the schools to talk about their experiences as a means of mending relations between Canada and Indigenous nations. Reconciliation politics is by no means perfect, as many First Nations are waiting for the federal government to deliver on its promise of better futures, but we now have valuable entry points into necessary conversations around what healing can look like.
Many communities that still experience the lingering impact of residential schools are taking matters into their own hands, and are looking to break cycles of intergenerational trauma through their own community-led initiatives, such as education, residential school survivor-oriented societies, and drug and alcohol intervention programs (see below).
Valentijn Dhaenens, thecreator and performer of 2016’s hit BigMouth, returns to the York Theatre stage with his new work, SmallWaR. Read on to discover the inspiration behind the companion piece to a show The Georgia Straight called “a mind-blowing celebration of the power of the human voice.”
BigMoutH (pictured above) was a smash hit of The Cultch’s 2015/16 Season
Photo by Inge Lauwers
SmallWaR Creator’s Notes by Valentijn Dhaenens
The idea for SmallWaR was born while touring BigMouth. I soon felt the urge to make a companion piece dealing with the reverse side of those historical speeches. In contrast to BigMouth’s sensational speeches, dynamic rhythm and mankind trying to be God, SmallWaR is about the small victims, the paralyzing standstill, and the trauma of being stuck in the mud. I grew up in the area of Flanders Fields in the early 1980’s and remember playing on those impressive Canadian, Australian, and British cemeteries. Once in a while, schoolmates living on farms would still find bomb-shells while playing on the ploughed fields of their family. I’ve always been fascinated by the First World War as a symbol for war in general. It was the first industrialized war – war as we still know it today. Tanks were invented, air bombing played a new crucial role, lung-hitting gas introduced first weapons of mass destruction and the ripped apart victims of it all allowed surgeons to experiment with the first plastic surgery.
SmallWaR became the necessary sequel to BigMouth. More than 80% of the speeches in BigMouth are directly or indirectly linked to events that led to war. Nevertheless, they’re speeches with wonderful words, where heroism is emphasized. Leaders try to convince the masses to go to war, then they praise the ones who died and pretend to be grieving with their families. While performing BigMouth, I felt more and more obliged to show the other side. There are millions of people who suffered the consequences of what was being said in those speeches. I felt the urge to tell these stories.
Photo by Inge Lauwers
The First World War proved to be the perfect backdrop to tell these stories. Not only because of the 14-18 commemorations. The First World War was the mother of all modern wars. It was the first time that killing had been industrialized. Modern warfare took shape back then and has barely changed since. And to me, after months of reading on the subject it seemed the most useless and meaningless of all wars. Its cause was preposterous – as if the world just felt like fighting. What most struck me in lots of soldier’s diaries was the difference between the sheer excitement and optimism about entering the war and then not much later the total horror of being stuck in the muddy trenches, fearing to die.
There has been so much literature, movies, poetry, and documentaries on the topic of war. As a theatre-maker, I felt compelled to explore the strongholds and laws of this medium in contrast to the other arts. Rather than depicting battle or reconstructing history, I found an opportunity to make an emotional reflection on the trauma and the repetitiveness of war, concentrating on the deadlock instead of the action. To whisper in fear as not to scream for blood.
SmallWaR runs at the York Theatre from November 6th-11th as part of The Ceasefire Series, an exploration of war to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI. To learn more about The Ceasefire Series and to get your tickets to SmallWaRclick here.
SmallWaR image credit Daily Dolores
SmallWaR runs Nov 6-11 at the York Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.
Our 17/18 season takes its final bow – thank you for making it so much fun!
With the closing of Bears we have officially finished our 17/18 season — and what a season! Thank you for taking the journey with us, and making our 17/18 season our most successful one to date.
The cast of Bears gets a well deserved standing ovation! Photo by Roaming the Planet.
With 21 theatrical shows across our three different stages, three great Soft Cedar shows (and more to come!), partnerships with some of the most amazing companies in Vancouver and around the world, and a million amazing memories, it has been a busy year, and we can’t help but get a little nostalgic. Take a peek at a few of the great curtain calls from the season — we bet you can’t help but get a little nostalgic too!
The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius from Rumble Theatre. Photo from Roaming the Planet
The After After Party. Photo by Roaming the Planet
Pss Pss takes a bow. Photo by Roaming the Planet
1 Hour Photo (with inspiration, Mas Yamamoto). Photo by Roaming the Planet
Bears curtain call. Photo by Roaming the Planet
Hot Brown Honey stage. Twitter pic by Kyla Epstien
No Foreigners. Photo by Roaming the Planet
I’m Not Here. Photo by Roaming the Planet
And now it is your turn — take a bow — we couldn’t do any of this without you! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Don’t forget to buy your subscription for our 18/19 season soon. Shows are already filling up!
Thank you for choosing to make The Cultch, and the arts, a part of your life!
Check out some of the amazing things Vancouver reviewers have had to say about it:
“Is it empowering, exuberant, rousing, fun? Hell, yes. It’s also the show that the world needs right now – has needed for some time, but man, the time is ripe for it” — Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail
“Part hip hop concert, part pep rally, Hot Brown Honey is a loud, proud evening of consciousness raising; a series of lessons on race and gender that says you can have your revolution and dance to it, too” — Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun
“With its mix of burlesque, circus, dance, beatboxing, and hip-hop, on the surface Hot Brown Honey is like a really great variety show. Layered with the politics of gender, race and colonialism though, it becomes so much more” — Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents
Weave Image By Dylan Evans
“Hot Brown Honey is more than a show, it is an embodiment of sexual liberation, a celebration of matriarchal ideas and a call to action for a better tomorrow through education and awareness of inherent societal privilege and racial divides. It’s not like anything you have ever seen” — Penny Warwick, Two Cents & Two Pence
“Hot Brown Honey is visually mind-blowing with a whole load of talent on stage…There’s singing, dancing, rapping and costumes changes that leave your head swiveling”— Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca
We are getting so excited! Hot Brown Honey has begun their #WorldPollinationTour, and Vancouver is on the flight path! From Jan 9-27, these fierce females will be taking over the York Theatre with their fun, fabulous, and patriarch-smashing hit!
As we speak Hot Brown Honey is heating up Manchester. The reviews are buzzing in and they are GREAT! Take a look:
— Make Noise! —
Hair Image By Dylan Evans
★★★★★ “Unlike anything you will have seen before… Smoking hot. If fighting the power is this much fun, we should all get on board and rock the boat a little bit.” – Frankly My Dear
★★★★★ “Busty Beatz [and] Lisa Fa’alafi have created a truly ground-breaking production unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – but will definitely want to see again… An empowering must-see performance full of laughter, joy and truth that is entirely faultless.” – Upstaged Manchester
★★★★★“The Honeys force us on this side of the world to think about the impact of our colonial past that is still having an impact today, centuries after the first colonialists spread their poison across the Pacific region.” – North West End
★★★★★ “A triumph of a show… Fast-paced, sexy, hilarious, and the all-female cast are a seriously talented and fierce bunch… But it’s more than just good entertainment value, behind the glitz of the huge golden beehive and the sassy dance routines there’s an important message which seeks to confront and challenge our perceptions of racial stereotypes and sexism.” – Northern Soul
★★★★ “A brave, and thought-provoking show… If you fancy something a little different this festive season: a show with plenty of attitude and sass then Hot Brown Honey is the show for you.” – The Reviews Hub
“Fearless, resolute and downright entertaining… The women of Hot Brown Honey simultaneously raise the roof and your consciousness.” – Circles & Stalls
“The[se] luscious ladies leave the audience on their feet shaking their booties to some sweet tunes… It creates such a party atmosphere… A celebration… The exact type of excitement and energy that could begin a revolution.” – Culturebean
“Hot Brown Honey is not trying to encourage or give space for reflection and debate, but rather to utterly subvert the patriarchal world view and to urge action. Subtlety is not the path to revolution.” – Unrestricted Views
Check out our 2017 rental availability by clicking the image above
The Cultch is a supportive rental facility for dozens of local performing arts and community groups. Last year alone, we welcomed 79 different companies who hosted 99 different events. All together they put on 267 performances plus 119 days of rehearsal! Companies who have called The Cultch home include Blackbird Theatre, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Unpintheair Theatre, Standing Wave, the Talking Stick Festival, and Touchstone Theatre. We have also been host to dozens of meetings and conferences, book launches, lectures, and play readings, and even a wedding! Check out our rental availability above or email email@example.com or call 604.251.1766 x. 107 for more information.
Portraits in Motion: “A gentle and thoughtful reflection about the fleeting nature of the moment…”
We are thrilled to partner with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival to co-present Portraits in Motion. Back by popular demand, Volker Gerling’s unique flipbook-cinema presentation shares the stories and images of the people he encountered while walking over 3,000 miles around Germany. Portraits in Motion will run January 24-26 at the York Theatre.
Volker Gerling on the Development of Portraits in Motion:
During my time as a student of film at the Academy, I understood that my passion was not for the big screen movie or television, but for a very special small form of film I called photograph flipbook cinema. In my flipbook films I mainly work with documentary portraits of people. The 36 images that my films are made of would run by in about one and a half seconds of ordinary cinema or television, but in a flipbook movie they can be repeated at will, you can see the gaps between them, and you can unconsciously try to fill these gaps. In this form, these pictures gain their own very unusual power and poetry.
Photo credit: Susanne Schüle
In summer 2002, I took an old wooden kitchen tray and made it into a simple hawker’s tray. There was room for six flipbooks on it. I hung a sign on it, saying: “Please visit my traveling exhibition. I walked through the city of Berlin and showed people my flipbook movies. Sometimes I changed the programme. I screwed an empty honey jar underneath the hawker’s tray so that visitors could pay a symbolic exit fee.
After I had been showing my flipbook cinemas in this way for almost a year, I came to realise that people have a need for “small” and “simple” stories. I decided to travel. I wanted to know how people outside the city would react to my films. I wanted to make new flipbook movies. I bought myself a new pair of walking boots and set off. I did not want to miss anything along the way, so I chose to go slow, on foot. I took my hawker’s tray with me and showed my flipbook movies to people by the wayside and over their garden fences. In the evenings, I went into pubs and restaurants and I visited village parties. I did not take any money with me. I slept in my tent and lived only from whatever people gave me. Sometimes they gave me money as a symbolic fee when they had seen my small show of flipbook cinemas, or they often gave me something to eat.
My journeys are reminiscent of the days when cinema itself was itinerant, when projectionists would move from town to town and there were no movie theatres. My own form of wandering cinema also creates a link between the ways in which my films are seen and my own way of travelling. The rhythms and the sense of time are comparable – just as visitors to my flipbook movies can view them at their own speed, my walking is based on my own rhythm and speed.
In my flipbooks, I am interested in the gaps between the images and everything that gets lost when you leaf through them quickly, and when I am walking I am interested in the gaps between the cities that you would normally speedily cover by car, train or plane. I am interested in what happens by the wayside; whatever you can never see when you travel quickly. I am interested in the people I meet when I am on my way. What are their lives like? What is important for them? What stories do they tell me, the stranger? How do the people in all the different towns, gardens and villages I pass through react to my art?
Today I can look back at 3,000 miles of walking, mainly in Germany, and nearly a year on the road in total spread across more than 10 years. Again and again I experience the excitement and the surprises of setting off without knowing what will happen next. I remain true to the principle of my very first walk – I take no money. I finance my journeys by showing my flipbook cinemas that I carry on my hawker’s tray. Old faces and old stories lead me to new faces and new stories. My exhibition is renewed.
In 2005, I began to show my flipbook movies in a stage show, Portraits in Motion. On stage, I use a video camera to project my movies onto a big screen. For a brief moment, the people in my flipbooks come to life. They are so real that sometimes you feel you have known the people in them for years. I tell their stories and tell of my own big, small, serious and bizarre encounters. My show is a gentle and thoughtful reflection about the fleeting nature of the moment and what it means when people meet each other.
Every year I walk, so every year my show develops at the leisurely pace of a walker.
Portraits in Motionruns Jan 24-26, 2017 at the York Theatre. Tickets from $20. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363
Ronnie Burkett, a Cultch favourite, kicked things off on Dec 2 at the Historic Theatre with the third installment of The Daisy Theatre – which marked his 200th performance of the show! Theatre Replacement soon followed with the opening of Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto on Dec 4 at the York Theatre, which the Georgia Straight described as a “phenomenon.” Here are some of our favorite snap shots from the both nights:
Tickets are still available for both shows but some nights are already SOLD OUT. Clickhereto buy now and secure the best seats.
The two-year anniversary of the York Theatre is this Sunday, December 6! To celebrate we’re sending the call out to you – our friends and supporters – to submit your personal York story. Tell us about a gig you saw back when it was a concert venue, or a show you saw when it was known as the Little Theatre, or any other story –past or present – about the York. If you submit a story, you will be invited to an exclusive Cultch Rental’s Department and Heritage Vancouver Society event this February! Plus, submit your story by Dec 11 and you’ll be entered to win two tickets to the opening night of Leftoversat the York Theatre on Jan 26.
To submit your story please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘York Memory’ or leave a comment below. Your personal story may be used in future promotional materials. Please be assured, that we would only list your first name and omit any identifying details. Do let us know if you don’t want yours included!