The 14th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival Wednesday October 25 to Sunday November 5, 2017

 

Featuring over 100 events at over 50 locations throughout the Downtown Eastside

Tickets and Info: www.heartofthecityfestival.com

 

ANNOUNCING the 14th annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival and twelve days of music, stories, songs, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, theatre, dance, processions, spoken word, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibitions, mixed media, art talks, history talks and history walks.

 

The theme of the 2017 Festival, Honouring Women of the Downtown Eastside, pays tribute to women from all walks of life in the Downtown Eastside past and present.

 

A special feature this year is the premiere of MISSING a new chamber opera that gives voice to the story of Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women. The libretto is by the distinguished First Nations playwright Marie Clements and the composer is Juno-award winner Brian Current. Produced by City Opera Vancouver and Pacific Opera Victoria in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre/DTES Heart of the City Festival, MISSING will open in the Downtown Eastside for a private invitational audience then continue for the public at the York Theatre starting on November 3.

 

Other Festival highlights include: Summoning (No Words), an interactive sound installation in response to global incidents of violence against women; performances of Crow’s Nest and Other Places She’s Gone, that tells the story of two friends who face life at the edge, weaving contemporary choreography and storytelling through an indigenous lens, featuring storyteller Rosemary Georgeson (Coast Salish/Dene) and dance artists Olivia C. Davies (Welsh/Metis-Anishnawbe) and Emily Long; the fabulous voices of Dalannah Gail Bowen, Renae Morriseau, Helen Duguay and Sara Cadeau in Women in the Round; and the always popular evening of jazz at Carnegie Theatre with Jazz Confluence: Carnegie Jazz Band with Brad Muirhead Quartet & Four Special Female Jazz Musicians.

 

The mandate of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival is to promote, present and facilitate the development of artists, art forms, cultural traditions, heritage, activism, people and great stories about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The festival involves a wide range of professional, community, emerging and student artists, and lovers of the arts. Over 1,000 local artists and Downtown Eastside residents participated in last year’s 2016 Festival.

 

Many events are free or by suggested donation. Visit www.heartofthecityfestival.com for full details.

 

Top Festival Picks – 14th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival

 

With more than 100 events scheduled over 12 days at over 50 locations throughout the Downtown Eastside, the 14th Annual DTES Heart of the City Festival (October 25 – November 5) has a cornucopia of cultural events and artistic activities to attend, participate in, and enjoy. Here are the Festival dozen exciting Top Festival Picks.

 

  1. Women in the Round: In recognition of the 2017 Festival theme, Honouring Women of the Downtown Eastside, the Festival is thrilled to kick off the first evening of the festival with this special evening of extraordinary women’s voices. The Downtown Eastside’s own award-winning Dalannah Gail Bowen has been music-making for over fifty years and she has been an integral part of the DTES Heart of the City Festival since day one. The Festival is honoured to present Dalannah and her truly unique and powerful voice in this featured evening of traditional and contemporary songs. Joining Dalannah are three highly accomplished singers Renae Morriseau, Helen Duguay and Sara Cadeau, accompanied by Grammy-nominated pianist Michael Creber.Not to be missed!

Wednesday Oct 25, 7:30pm. Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main. Free

 

  1. Summoning (No Words): An interactive sound installation, Summoning is a response to the unsolved murders of Aboriginal and other women on the Highway of Tears in BC, and other incidents of violence against women across continents. Through community collaboration across race, nation and culture, Summoning includes recorded original sung compositions contributed by Allison Girvan, Bessie Wapp, Tanya Tagaq, Vandana Vishwas, Sandy Scofield, Andrea Menard, and Mutya Macatumpag. The original compositions are activated by the movement of audience members. Conceived and designed by Nicola Harwood, with composer/programmer Simon Lysander Overstall.

Thursday Oct 26, opening 7:30pm; Friday Oct 27, Saturday Oct 28, drop-in 1pm-5pm, (pre-event to Crow’s Nest 7pm-7:30pm). KW Production Studio, 111 W. Hastings. By donation

 

  1. Sawagi Taiko & Tzo’kam: The festival is excited to present this unique collaboration of singing and drumming between the all-women Japanese drum group Sawagi Taiko and the First Nations performance group Tzo’kam. Led by composer, producer and traditional singer Russell Wallace, Tzo’kam is a Lil-wat family group who offer traditional and contemporary songs including drumming and dancing. The combination of these songs with the exploratory nature of Sawagi Taiko’s approach to the taiko art form makes for a fascinating evening of world culture and indigenous rhythms. Presented in partnership with SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement.

Friday Oct 27, 7pm. Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU Woodwards, 149 W. Hastings. Free

 

  1. Crow’s Nest and Other Places She’s Gone: Crow’s Nest tells the story of Blue and Rose, friends who have always been there for each other. Now it’s time for Blue to move to the other side, and her lifetime friend, Rose, is here to tell the story of Blue’s life at the edge of society. Weaving contemporary choreography and storytelling through an Indigenous lens, Crow’s Nestfeatures storyteller Rosemary Georgeson (Coast Salish/Dene) and dance artists Olivia C. Davies (Welsh/Metis-Anishnawbe) and Emily Long.

Friday Oct 27, Saturday Oct 28, 7:30pm (pre-event Summoning 7pm). KW Production Studio, 111 W. Hastings. Suggested donation $10

 

  1. Sounds Global Ensemble: An ensemble that sounds like Vancouver looks, its diverse repertoire is drawn from Jewish, Persian, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Indian and Chinese music. Comprised of some of Vancouver’s most active musicians in the world music scene with a variable instrumentation, the ensemble will perform as a quartet at this year’s Festival: Lan Tungon erhu (Chinese violin), Bic Hoang on danbau (Vietnamese zither), Moshe Denburg on guitar, and Jonathan Bernard on percussion. Sounds Global Ensemble is established with the support of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO).

Sunday Oct 29, 3pm. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 578 Carrall. By donation to the Garden

 

  1. True Voice: The True Voice Theatre Project weaves together newly-created material responding to, exploring and inspired by the Festival theme Honouring Women of the Downtown Eastside. The show is the third creation by the community-engaged theatre group led by Luisa Jojic and Creativa International. The ensemble, made up of individuals who live and work in the Downtown Eastside, is dedicated to using theatre to explore the themes of community, diversity and homelessness in Vancouver.

Monday Oct 30, 7:30pm. Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova. Pay what you can

 

  1. Missing: Missing tells a story everybody knows, about a woman no one remembers. Set in Vancouver and along the Highway of Tears, this music drama gives voice to the story of Canada’s missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, and honours every one of these missing people. The libretto is by the distinguished First Nations playwright Marie Clements and the composer is Juno-award winner Brian Current. Missing is co-produced by City Opera Vancouver and Pacific Opera Victoria. The premiere, co-produced with Vancouver Moving Theatre and the DTES Heart of the City Festival, is on Nov 1 before an invited audience of families, friends and the DTES community of the missing; guided by an advisory group of DTES-involved aboriginal women and elders.

Public performances Nov 3, 7, 9, 11, 8pm; Nov 5, 2pm. York Theatre, 639 Commercial Dr. Tickets: thecultch.com

 

  1. Illicit: Stories from a Harm Reduction Movement: Illicit is a community-engaged arts-based project developed and led by people brought together by the harm reduction movement. Created in response to the recent closing of the harm reduction facility DURC (Drug Users Resource Centre), this site-specific installation and performance uses theatre, monologues, shadow puppetry and marionettes to tell personal stories that nurture dignity and hope. The artistic team is Kelty McKerracher, David Mendes, Renae Morriseau and Devon Martin and an active group of co-researcher performers. Presented in partnership with PHS Community Services Society and the Community Arts Council of Vancouver.

Thursday Nov 2, 6:30pm. KW Production Studio, 111 W. Hastings. By donation to the project

 

  1. Breath-Ahhh: Theatre Terrific presents Breath-Ahhh, a rhythmically explosive performance, comprised of dance, imagistic gestures, self-expressed soundscape and variations of emotion that explore the universal truth…that breath is something we all share. Created by Artistic Director Susanna Uchatius in collaboration with the all-inclusive cast.

Friday Nov 3, 6pm; Saturday Nov 4, 2pm. KW Atrium Studio, 111 W. Hastings. Free

 

  1. Jazz Confluence: The Festival is thrilled to invite music lovers to this jam-packed evening of jazz featuring the Downtown Eastside’s own Carnegie Jazz Band playing alongside some of Vancouver’s most highly accomplished jazz musicians. Under the tutelage of multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Brad Muirhead, the Carnegie Jazz Band is made-up of music lovers and semi-pro musicians. Joining the Carnegie Jazz Band is the professional Brad Muirhead Quartet with Jared Burrows (guitar), Brent Gubbels (bass), Buff Allen (drums) and Brad Muirhead (bass trombone). In spirit with the 2017 Festival theme, Honouring Women of the Downtown Eastside, the evening also features four exceptional female jazz musicians: Downtown Eastside’s own singer and Blues Queen Dalannah Gail Bowen (Blues Hall of Fame), Lorae Farrell (trumpet), Ellen Marple (trombone) and Tegan Ceschi-Smith (violin). A not to be missed evening of originals and jazz standards.

Friday Nov 3, 7pm. Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main. Free

 

  1. Ukrainian Hall Community Concert & Supper: The festival ends on a high note at the east-end’s historic Ukrainian Hall with lively music, invigorating dance and colourful costumes at Ukrainian Hall Community Concert & Supper. This annual favourite, produced with the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, features the Barvinok Choir and the award-winning Dovbush Dancers. To celebrate the Festival theme Honouring Women of the Downtown Eastsidewe have invited special guests: the all-women Japanese drum group Sawagi Taiko; a performance of “Frost Exploding Trees Moon” performed by Michelle Olson of Raven Spirit Dance; the audience favourite “The Perogy Scene” from Vancouver Moving Theatre’s production Bread & Salt; and a multi-media tribute to the women of the Ukrainian Hall created by Tatyana Beck and Libby Griffin. Immediately following the concert is the always-delicious traditional Ukrainian Supper. A full meal and concert deal!

Sunday Nov 5, concert 3pm, supper follows. Ukrainian Hall, 805 E. Pender. $25. For advance tickets contact 604-254-3436

 

  1. Walking Tours

 

  • Women at Work in the Home and the Neighbourhood: Chinatown/Strathcona 1917-1960

The Festival is pleased to present a new walking tour with Marcia Toms to shed light on the vital work of women in the home and the Chinatown and Strathcona neighbourhoods. Marcia draws stories of women from many different cultures and marginalized backgrounds who most often worked outside of the realm of organized labour. Born and raised in Vancouver, Marcia is a retired educator, advocate for public education and has a passion for local social history.

Sunday Oct 29, 11am. Meet at Ovaltine Cafe, 251 E. Hastings. $10, pay what you can for local residents

 

  • Sneak Peek into Chinatown: Join hosts Judy Lam Maxwell and Steven Wong for a glimpse of Chinatown. The tour begins at a heritage restaurant space, climbs flights of stairs to a heritage clan association, explores a Chinese herbal medicine store and ends the walk at Modernize Tailors, the last Chinatown tailor shop celebrating 104 years. Both Judy and Steven have active ties to the people and businesses in Chinatown; Judy leads Historical Chinatown Tours and Steven is third generation ‘man about town’ in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Saturday Nov 4, 11am. Meet at Sai Woo, 158 E. Pender. $10, pay what you can for local residents

 

Most events are free or by donation. Visit heartofthecityfestival.com for full details.

                                                        

The 2017 Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival has been made possible with the generous support of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, BC Gaming, City of Vancouver Cultural Services, Friends of the Downtown Eastside, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, VanCity Savings, East Van Graphics and media sponsors Georgia Straight, City TV and Omni Television.

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