The 16th annual European Festival takes place on May 25 and 26 at Swangard Stadium (3883 Imperial Street). This year, the family-friendly event opens from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday (May 25) and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday (May 26).
Highlights of the 2013 festival include a European talent show on Sunday at 3 p.m., live music and dance performances on the festival stage and arts plaza stage, an ABBA tribute show on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 p.m., a Beatles tribute on Saturday at 8:30 p.m., and an after-party dance with DJ Cris.
Switzerland has been chosen as this year’s featured country, but a total of 30 countries’ cultural displays, including dishes, will be available.
The Cultch presents the world premiere of Mump & Smoot, a new show created by John Turner and Michael Kennard. Mump & Smoot is on at the Cultch (1895 Venables Street) from May 22 to June 2.
Mump & Smoot follows the Canadian clown duo created by Kennard and Turner through the parallel universe of Ummo. Together, through their own brand of gibberish, Ummonian, Mump and Smoot create humorous sketches—not suitable for children.
Tickets to Mump & Smoot start at $17 and are available online and by calling the Cultch’s box office at 604-251-1363.
Skylark Music and Christ Church Cathedral presents three concerts featuring Brahms’ chamber music. All concerts will feature Jane Coop on piano and Darrett Adkins on cello. Cris Inguanti will join on clarinet on May 21 at 8 p.m., and Laurie Smukler will be featured on violin on May 23 at 8 p.m. and May 26 at 3 p.m. All three concerts will take place at Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard Street)
The Vancouver TheatreSports League presents Pants on Fire: The Liar’s Show, on now until June 15 on Thursdays to Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., at the Improv Centre on Granville Island (1502 Duranleau Street).
Pants on Fire: The Liar’s Show is a 90-minute improvised comedy show, where the audience never really knows where the truth ends and the lies begin. Special guests each week delve into stories, and where the lies begin is anyone’s guess.
Tickets are $16 to $26 and can be purchased online in advance.
More proof that the arts are a thriving business, even in today's economy: the Canadian, family-owned DeSerres art and crafts supply company continues to expand.
Today, the chain opened yet another store, in Surrey, at 7635 King George Boulevard. Apparently, people can't get enough prestretched canvases, acrylic paints, jewellery beads, and modelling clay. Far beyond a mere business story, it's a sign that Canadians, behind closed doors and often in their own homes, are still furiously hand-creating things, even in this "digital age"—maybe even because of it.
The DOXA Documentary Film Festival presents Talking Landscape: Early Media Works 1974-1984 at The Cinematheque (1131 Howe Street) on Sunday (May 12) at 2:45 p.m.
Talking Landscape is a feature-length documentary by U.S. filmmaker Andrea Callard. The film tells the story of a group of artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Keith Haring, Kiki Smith, Christy Rupp, and Jack Smith, who put on the legendary art exhibition The Times Square Show in New York in the 1970s. Talking Landscape relives parts of the show through slideshows and short films.
This screening is the Canadian premiere of Talking Landscape and the director will be present.
As part of the lead-up activities for the upcoming Powell Street Festival, the Vancouver Japanese Language School and the Powell Street Festival Society present DIGI-ART, an afternoon of creativity for local youth, on May 26.
At a video workshop with Makiko Yoshii (12:30 pm-2 pm), students will learn to make a stop-motion video using a Mac laptop and a video camera. They will even take home a DVD of the finished product.
Yoshinori Tanaka’s photography class (12:30 pm-2 pm) will teach students to take beautiful portrait photographs with a digital camera.
At Kazuho Yamamoto’s manga workshop (2:30 pm-4 pm), students will develop a storyboard and create a flipbook.
The Vancouver International Children’s Festival presents PEP Talks, a new speaker series aimed at giving parents solutions for raising millennial children. Vancouver-based Deborah MacNamara is the third speaker in the series, and on May 15, she will be giving a talk titled, “The Lost Art of Play” at the Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton Street).
The Lost Art of Play looks at the importance of play and discusses how playtime helps develop a child’s brain. “Children who lack environments that foster play actually have brains that are 20 to 30 percent less developed in capacity,” MacNamara states in a news release.
Upintheair Theatre presents the rEvolver Theatre Festival from May 14 to 26 at the Cultch (1895 Venables Street). The rEvolver Theatre Festival, formerly the Neanderthal Arts Festival, is a cutting-edge performing arts festival that showcases work by emerging artists and companies.
This year’s mainstage series will feature five local companies. Alley Theatre will present Kayak, a witty play about the global environmental crisis written by Jordan Hall and directed by Rachel Peake. Kayak won the 2010 Samuel French Canadian Playwrights Contest.
Lewis Carroll’s beloved children’s tale heads to the big top in Circus West’s A Circus in Wonderland. The theatrical-circus event will be staged at the PNE Garden Auditorium (2901 East Hastings Street) from May 9 to 12, with performances at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily.
Follow Alice as she heads through the looking glass and meets the White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts, Mad Hatter, and more. A Circus in Wonderland includes aerials, juggling, unicycling, tightrope walking, acrobatics, and human balancing.
Jay Nunns directs 38 young performers between the ages of 12 and 19. Circus West is a Vancouver-based circus arts centre for all ages.