Tall ship acrobatics could come to False Creek as part of Vancouver's Canada 150+ celebrations

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      Vancouver city council is poised to provide a $59,000 grant to move forward on its Canada 150+ celebrations.

      In a report on the Tuesday (January 24) meeting agenda, staff have recommended that local politicians approve advancing this money to the Florida-based Caravan Stage Society.

      It would come from the cultural tourism reserve fund and help the society present 17 Nomadic Tempest shows in False Creek in August and September.

      According to the society's website, the show features "four aerial artists gyrating, contorting, dancing, and flying through the sky above the decks of the Amara Zee, the Caravan's 100ft long theatre ship. Above and around these intrepid but fragile beauties, we shall see a commanding monster...Lord Swallow Ward, a belching, grasping, bellowing, galloping alien Beast that came to the planet as an invited guest and now rules the air, soil and water from its throne on top of the world...40ft above the desks of the Amara Zee...smoking and swallowing all above and below!"

      The city staff reports states that the grant would be conditional on the Caravan Stage Society "obtaining legally binding commitments securing all other production expenses from other sources".

      Under the Vancouver Charter, grants of this nature require the approval of two-thirds of all members of council.

      Canada 150+ is a yearlong cultural project supported by the city and federal governments to commemorate Canada's 150th anniversary, as well as the First Nations heritage of the region.

      It's part of the City of Reconciliation work program, which is designed to enhance relations with local First Nations and urban aboriginal residents.

      The federal government has already announced a grant of $2.3 million over two fiscal years.

      One of the signature events will be the Drum is Calling Festival from July 22 to 30. It will be a multimedia celebration of traditional and contemporary indigenous arts, crafts, music, fashion, food, and sports. Cree folksinger and songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and Ojibwa country-music singer Crystal Shawanda will be among the performers.

      In addition, there will be the Gathering of Canoes from July 19 to 22, in which three host First Nations will lead a tribal canoe journey to Jericho Beach.

      There will also be a Walk for Reconciliation on September 24.