Vancouver is a city known for championing its performing arts organizations. Below are 10 ways visitors can see the city’s live music and theatre gems take center stage.
1. Vanier Park hosts perennial Vancouver favourite Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival from June to September. Free pre-show talks, fireworks and an Operas & Arias program add to the summer’s Shakespearean delights.
2. The Arts Club Theatre Company has brought popular theatre productions to the city for 45 seasons. Each year, 10 to 14 musicals, comedies, new works and classics make their way to the company’s stages.
3. With programs like Tea and Trumpets, Kids Koncerts, Pops and several masterworks series, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has programs for everyone from the lifelong classic music aficionado to the novice concertgoer.
4. For 25 years and running, more than 500 alternative performances are staged at the Vancouver International Fringe Festival each September. Any artist is welcome to apply, making for truly eclectic shows and one of the locals’ most beloved theatre events.
5. One of North America’s largest film events, the Vancouver International Film Festival is as diverse and innovative as its home city. Documentary and essay films are always a highlight of the more than 300 films shown each October.
7. Visionary music, theatre, dance and hybrid performance forms make the PuSH International Performing Arts Festival one the city’s signature events. Held late January–early February, the performances showcase Canada’s best new genre-bending works.
8. The Vancouver Opera, Canada’s second-largest opera company, offers a balance of traditional opera favourites and new and rarely produced productions, all of which are exquisitely staged and performed. 2009/2010 marks the opera’s golden anniversary, a season in which they will tackle several ambitious works.
9. One of Vancouver’s stellar cultural fests, The Full Circle: First Nations Performance Talking Stick Festival features the music, dance, theatre, and performance and visual arts of local, national and international Aboriginal artists.
10. For an astounding 32 years, July’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival has been bringing grassroots artists and a mellow vibe to Jericho Beach, where the ocean-and-mountain backdrop is beyond compare.