(This story is sponsored by The Cultch.)
When the inaugural TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival runs at The Cultch from October 2 to 12, Vancouver won’t know what hit it. Unlike anything the city has ever seen before, the revolutionary new fest features more than 50 Indigenous and non-indigenous performers taking over the stages—and lounges and lobbies—at all three Cultch venues for an all-out arts extravaganza.
Throat-singing, drag, circus, burlesque, comedy, storytelling, hoop dancing, spoken word, live music, and more: sparks will fly, literally and figuratively.
But there’s more to this ground-breaking festival than outrageous, heart-stopping performances. TRANSFORM is also a force of change.
Historically, cabaret festivals have acted as a raucous, exhilarating way of expressing uprising during periods of change, as a platform for political discourse. In the here and now, the festival aims to bring radical transformation to performance in the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
“I think that reconciliation is a really difficult subject matter, because we are not as far along as we should be,” says Corey Payette, Urban Ink artistic director, who is co-curating the festival with Heather Redfern, executive director of the Cultch. “What I know for sure is that artists are always the ones to lead the way.”
The lineup is spectacularly diverse. Look for everything from Cirque Transforming (a night of circus performance) and Virago Nation: Stripping for Sovereignty (Vancouver’s all Indigenous Burlesque troupe) to The Darlings (Vancouver’s multidisciplinary non-binary drag show) and Where the Two-Spirit Lives (Marshall Vielle’s one-person show).
Plus, festival participants can join artists and VIPs every evening at a festival club night, a creative space for artists to collaborate and test out new material while enjoying the beats of DJ Kookum and DJ Skylar Love.
It all kicks off with two wild opening night celebrations (October 2 and 3) hosted by Musqueam artist Quelemia Sparrow (the festival’s keeper of Indigenous protocol) and Australian cabaret star Lisa Fa’alafi (co-creator of smash-hit Hot Brown Honey) and featuring rousing presentations from many of the festival stars.
TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival takes place at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre (1895 Venables Street), York Theatre (639 Commercial Drive), and Vancity Culture Lab (1895 Venables Street). Tickets, from $26, are available through The Cultch’s Box Office: 604-251-1363 or on the website.
To learn more about TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival, visit transformcabaret.com/.
Enter below for your chance to win four tickets to TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival’s Opening Night Bash on October 2, 7:30 pm, at York Theatre (valued at $208).
Four tickets to TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival’s Opening Night Bash on October 2, 7:30 p.m. at York Theatre (valued at $208)
This contest has ended.
Contest Deadline: Friday, September 27, 3:00 am
Winner(s) will be contacted either by phone or email.