Mary Poppins Brings Magic to Vancouver

December 16th, 2014
Scott Walter and Sara-Jeanne Hosie  as Bert and Mary Poppins. Photo by David Cooper.

Scott Walter and Sara-Jeanne Hosie
as Bert and Mary Poppins.
Photo by David Cooper.

Review by: Heather Evens

If you know anything about the story of Mary Poppins, you’ll know it’s infused with magic. So on my way to the theatre for opening night of The Arts Club’s production of Mary Poppins, I was wondering how they were going to stage certain scenes. For example, how are they going to manage the umbrella and carpet bag? How are they going to make the ‘cleaning up’ scene work? And, how are they going to do the park, chimneys and rooftops? Well, it took only about fifteen minutes into the show for me to get my answers. And they were good answers.

The show was truly magical. Everything you’d expect from the tale of Mary Poppins was here. From the wonderful visual effect, to the incredible prop work, to the Technicolor-esque set – Mary Poppins’ magical world came to life in front of our eyes. And if the enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of the show was any indication, the audience on opening night sure enjoyed themselves.

Never seen the movie or read the stories as a child? Here’s the gist of the storyline: There’s a family who’s having troubles; the children are so misbehaved they can’t keep a nanny; Mary Poppins is a nanny who arrives just in the nick of time to help straighten out the family’s troubles; Mary’s best friend in town is a chimney sweep named Bert; Mary and Bert take the children around town, teaching them about life; magical things happen around Mary Poppins; there’s dancing and singing. Okay, so the dancing and singing aren’t really part of the storyline; they’re what make this a musical production. And they’re an important part of what makes this show so magical.

In my humble opinion, I’d say The Arts Club nailed this production! In Mary’s own words, she’s “practically perfect in every way.” I have no argument to the contrary. Even if you think you know this story, I think this production will let you see family-friendly Mary Poppins in a new, magical, way.

Mary Poppins runs through January 4 at the Stanley Theatre on Granville Street. Tickets and information are available at

Resounding Scream “Listen to Me” Review

December 11th, 2014

Lisrten to Me

Resounding Scream Theatre’s “Listen To Me” is a bold experiment about the art of connection. Taking place at the Agro Cafe on Granville Island, it begins as a regular speed-date with the actors. You can speak about anything that comes to your mind, but as you rotate around the space-you sit one on one with nine out of ten actors altogether-your third partner gets up and walks out. Suddenly, your phone rings. You hear a relationship develop then turn sour as the actor on the other end of the line has a one sided conversation, spouting old chestnuts such as, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

I enjoyed filling in the blanks, but other audience member listened silently. This show is what you make it. Once the dating resumes, you are treated to real life stories from the rest of the actors, about the time they were in a big fight, a time they felt truly loved, etc. At any point, a real connection and conversation may start and I had more than one tender human moment with another person, no longer merely a performer there for my entertainment

We live in a time when it’s easier to check out, or maybe only connect from a distance, like over the phone. “Listen to Me” is a refreshing oasis, a singular evening when we are challenged to take each other in, accept each other as we are, for a change.

“Listen to Me” has closed. It ran from Dec 2-6, 2014 at the Agro Cafe 1363 Railspur Alley (Granville Island).


PACT Theatre Listing Update-Send in your logos!

December 9th, 2014


PACT’s Theatre Listing is a comprehensive, searchable database of Canadian theatres and venues.

We are currently updating all entries in Theatre Listing to include organization logos. Thank you to all the companies who have submitted their logos.

If you have not sent your logo, please send to by  January 15, 2015.

Logos must meet the following requirements:

  1. jpg or png formats accepted
  2. colour or black and white

Also, if you would like to update or remove your organization’s info from theatre listing, please contact Sedina Fiati, Communications Assistant at

Thank you!

PTC Awarded Inaugural Bly Grant

December 9th, 2014

PTC Logo








December 4, 2014

PTC wins its first international award


How do you make theatre more inclusive?


The answer, from PTC’s AED Heidi Taylor and Jan Derbyshire, is PTC’s ACK Lab: a hacker approach to inclusion – recipient of one of four inaugural Bly Fellowships and Grants awarded by Literary Managers and

Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) for exceptional projects that are exploring and expanding the boundaries of dramaturgy.


PTC’s ACK Lab is the only Canadian project to win this international award, newly created by LMDA with the aim of advancing the field of dramaturgy through the support of artists committed to exploring the unknown. The $10,000 grant will be applied to ACK Lab with the aim of making a shareable template for dramaturging the design and execution of a creative project within an inclusive framework. ACK Lab is a play on hacker labs that are applied to non-computing problems, and ACcess.


Grounded in a collaboration with the Inclusive Design Research Centre at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University in Toronto, the project is founded on an assertion that we are not doing all we can to open the theatre to all citizens, and that the absence of members from our community from the creative working pool impoverishes our processes, our projects and our audiences. Artists do not ask for what they need because they cannot conceive of the theatre changing its practices to make their process easier. Creating an adaptable system is inherently dramaturgical, rooted in questioning assumptions and looking for new collaborative solutions.


Heidi Taylor is a Vancouver-based dramaturg, director and performer. She has been the Artistic and Executive Director of PTC since 2012, after serving as Dramaturg for 7 years.


Jan Derbyshire is a performer, playwright, theatre maker, director, teacher, and comedian. Her work involves solo performance, community and artist collaboration, traditional playwriting, experimental storytelling, video, words on paper, event creation, and stand-up comedy. Jan received her Master of Design (MDes) in Inclusive Design from OCAD in 2014.


Read the LMDA announcement about the 2014 Bly Grant winners:



- 30-



For  further  information,  contact:, 604.685.6228 ext. 2






PTC is a dramaturgically-focused theatre company that finds, nurtures, and advances the Canadian  playwright. We develop new plays from creation to performance. PTC assists its writers in designing their own dramaturgical processes, while offering expertise in a wide range of approaches, from traditional drama to site-specific creation, audio walking-plays to image-based physical  work.


PTC: 202 –739 Gore Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6A 2Z9 | 604.685.6228 |

Arts Club Job Posting: Technical Director Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage and Tours

December 9th, 2014

Arts Club Logo



The Arts Club Theatre Company is Western Canada’s largest professional theatre company. In its 51st season, this not-for-profit charitable organization produces and presents year-round in three venues: the 200-seat Revue Stage; 450-seat Granville Island Stage; 630-seat Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage; and tours throughout the province.


The Arts Club Theatre Company is currently accepting applications for the position of Technical Director. This person shall be responsible for all aspects of production at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage and for our annual touring season.  This position oversees a staff that operates under the I.A.T.S.E. Collective agreement.


Responsibilities shall include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Liaison with Stage Managers, Designers, Technical Director Production Shop, Tour Venue Technical Directors and Director of Production
  • Develop technical concepts, equipment needs, staff requirements and schedules for the builds of the individual shows
  • Hire and supervise production staff in all related areas; provide direction, training, support and evaluation
  • Evaluate practicality of concepts, solve technical and artistic problems, prepare estimates and monitor spending within the assigned budgets
  • Source and procure tools, equipment and materials focusing on financial and operational efficiency
  • Ensure proper use and maintenance of facilities, tools and equipment
  • Supervision on load ins and load outs for Stanley Theatre and tour venues
  • Ensures a safe working environment for the crew and artists on stage and backstage.
  • Make recommendations regarding capital purchases
  • Assist the Buildings Manager when required
  • Assist with supervision of the scenery  & costume shop facility and other stages when required
  • Assist with the supervision of facilities rentals


The successful applicant will have proven knowledge of production techniques and staging principles and the use of relevant computer programs (usual MS Office applications), including CAD.  A minimum of three years’ experience as a Technical Director or related experience is required.   We are seeking a dynamic individual with superior management skills in a unionized environment.  The successful candidate will have experience in motivating and managing staff.  He/she will have excellent communication skills and the ability to maintain a positive attitude in stressful situations.   Preference will be given to persons holding additional certificates for one, or all of the following; Firearms Acquisition, LE Certificate, 1st Aid, pyrotechnics.   A valid B.C. driver’s license is essential.


Start date: January 26, 2015.  Salary: not specified


TO APPLY: Human Resources, Arts Club Theatre Company

MAIL: 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver BC V6H 3R9

FAX: (604) 688-3273


Deadline for applications: December 19, 2014.


We thank all who express interest in this position, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

BC Artscape Launches with Funding Partnership from City of Vancouver, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and Vancity Community Foundation

December 9th, 2014

December 4, 2014


Vancouver, BC -  Last night, the launch of BC Artscape, a new Vancouver-based not-for-profit organization that will make space for creativity and transform communities, was celebrated by a crowd of 150 government, arts community, urban development and philanthropic supporters at MakerLabs. The organization’s preliminary start-up capital was announced: $700,000 in confirmed funding from the City of Vancouver, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and Vancity Community Foundation and $200,000 in additional pledges from unnamed sources. These generous funding partners have ensured the foundation for BC Artscape to take root in British Columbia.

“The City of Vancouver’s role as a founding partner in the launch of BC Artscape once again shows City Hall’s deep commitment to supporting artists and our world-class arts and culture community,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “BC Artscape is an exciting new addition to our vibrant and fast-growing creative sector. Vancouver is home to the most artists per capita of any major city in Canada, and this new initiative will help meet our city’s high demand for affordable new spaces for local artists and entrepreneurs.”
“The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation is proud to partner with the City of Vancouver and Vancity Community Foundation in enabling Artscape to initiate its program in British Columbia,” said Stephen Huddard, President and CEO, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. “The launch of BC Artscape holds national significance as the organization seeks to share lessons in ’creative placemaking‘ with an emerging Canadian network of social entrepreneurs in this field. We look forward to seeing the community transformation that will arise.”


“We are very pleased to collaborate in this effort that will enhance the ability for non-profit organizations to more directly engage in and benefit from real estate developments in our region,” said Derek Gent, Executive Director, Vancity Community Foundation. “Creative placemaking is a powerful concept that we believe our community can use more of.”  

”Vancouver is a fantastic place to launch our first major expansion into another market,” said Tim Jones, President and CEO of Artscape, the Toronto-based affiliate of BC Artscape. “We are humbled by the level of enthusiasm and support we have received and excited about the many project opportunities that are emerging.”
BC Artscape will operate as an independent, local affiliate of Artscape, the 27-year old, award-winning, Toronto-based non-profit known for pioneering a unique approach to urban development called “creative placemaking.” BC Artscape will leverage Artscape’s talent and track record in an effort to significantly accelerate cultural facility development in Vancouver and beyond. BC Artscape will be governed by a local Board of Directors. Board recruitment is currently underway along with a search for its president.

Despite the high price of real estate, BC Artscape is already exploring six capital project opportunities in Vancouver and has started to discuss the potential of creative placemaking with communities in the Greater Vancouver area. The organization will focus its development activities on projects of scale (30,000 square feet or more) while also supporting smaller, independently-led initiatives through a mentoring and coaching program. Priority will be given to projects that provide affordable space for creativity and will play a strong role in community transformation.

The mentorship and coaching application process will be launched in January 2015 at and will allow selected participants to work closely with Artscape’s senior specialist staff in a program that will develop their capacity across project vision development, business planning, market testing and feasibility analysis, operational development and management.


Here is the link from the event –  BC Artscape Launch Party

News from Studio 58: Oklahoma Ticket Deal and Cuckoo Recap

December 9th, 2014

Oklahoma! Okay!

Oklahoma Langara

Have we got a deal for you!

The Studio 58 production of Oklahoma! hits the stage in February, 2015. Through Tickets Tonight, we are offering a Family 4-Pack for Friday & Saturday evening performances at a significant discount -

YOU SAVE $9 per ticket over the regular ticket price!

That’s a 30% discount!


Only valid until midnight, DECEMBER 31st, 2014!

Just click and put in the password Curly to qualify for this great deal!


Cuckoo Recap

Thanks to everyone who saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. We had a fantastic response from critics and audience alike, and are so proud of everyone who worked on it, both on and off stage. What a high note to end the year on!

Cuckoo Recap

Gallery 7 Theatre and Pacific Theatre Partner to Present Christmas Presence

December 9th, 2014


Gallery 7 Theatre is once again partnering with Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre to bring Christmas Presence, a collection of songs and stories for the holiday season, to Abbotsford.  An ad-hoc gathering of musicians and actors who trade songs and choose readings, Christmas Presence is both everything you might expect from a holiday show, as well as the exact opposite.


Setting aside the lavish sets and costumes that dominate the season for what Pacific Theatre Artistic Director Ron Reed likes to call “the un-slickest Christmas show in town”, the vibe at Christmas Presence is that of a family gathering that has burst into song – if you happen to have a family of diverse and talented musicians who harbour an equal love for David Sedaris, Stuart McLean, and Madeleine L’Engle.


Ken Hildebrandt, executive artistic director of Gallery 7 Theatre, will be participating in this year’s performance and reflects on the unique partnership of the two theatres in bringing this seasonal favourite to the stage.


“We’re really thrilled to partner with our friends at Pacific Theatre on Christmas Presence,” says Ken Hildebrandt, executive artistic director for Gallery 7. “The show is an eclectic mix of songs, stories and poetry that celebrate Christmas and gets us to ponder the deeper significance of the season. People have really found it to be a touching and uplifting experience, a nice change from all the hustle, bustle and stress that comes with this special time of year.”


This year’s show is headlined by well-known singer-songwriter Carolyn Arends, who celebrated the release of her new Christmas album, “The Story of Stories” at House of James in Abbotsford.  Arends has been a part of Christmas Presence for years, crediting the show’s casual nature with its success.

Christmas Presence 1


“People don’t really know what it’s going to be,” she says with a laugh, “a group of singers and songwriters come in, some readings are chosen, and this strange sort of magic really rather reliably happens.”


Playing alongside Carolyn Arends will be prolific singer-songwriter Michael Hart, the Mission-based Cathy Hardy, and former Abbotsford resident, jazz musician Nelson Boschman.

Christmas Presence 2Christmas Presence 3


Christmas Presence plays for one night only on December 20th @ 8:00 PM at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford. Tickets can be purchased at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701. They can also be purchased online at For further details, please visit

Talking Stick Festival, Coming to the Fire-Please Join Us!

December 9th, 2014

Full Circle Logo

Photo by: David Cooper

Photo by: David Cooper

Please Join Us! 

Coming to the Fire!

All presenters of Indigenous or Culturally Diverse work – you’re invited!


In the spirit of the Talking Stick Festival theme, Coming to the Fire, our aim is bring people together and encourage the exchange of ideas, explore touring opportunities and future collaborations! Please join us for five days dedicated to your concerns, your work and the enhancement of Indigenous Arts across the nation.


Let’s kindle a fire and collectively, fuel it!


When: Thursday, February 19th, 2015 – Monday February 23rd 2015 (you’re welcome to stay for the rest of the festival!)


Special Guests:

Pangea World Theatre, Minneapolis, USA

Dipankar Mukherjee

Dipankar Mukherjee
Artistic Director

Meena Natarajan

Meena Natarajan
Executive/Literary Director

Pangea World Theater illuminates the human condition, celebrates cultural differences, and promotes human rights by creating and presenting international, multi-disciplinary theater. Since 1995, Pangea has worked to create and present new possibilities and new aesthetic realities for an increasingly diverse audience. The artistic direction evolves out of relevant shifts in the social, cultural, and political pulse of the communities in which we live and work.


Merindah Donnelly, New South Wales, Australia

Photo Credit: Mick Richards

Photo Credit: Mick Richards

 Merindah Donnelly

NSW Aboriginal dance and weaving


Merindah has been recognised for her work as a 2013 finalist in the NSW Australian of the Year awards, and was an Australian Financial Review top 100 Australian Women of Influence. In 2014 Merindah was listed in the 20 most influential emerging female artists and arts workers who will ‘shape Australian arts in 2020.’


More details to come regarding programming and registration!


For more about the Talking Stick Festival CLICK HERE


*In some cases travel costs will be covered, however It’s recommended that all presenters needing assistance apply for a travel grant.


For more details please contact Gillian, Full Circle: First Nations Performance.  Phone: 604.683.0497 or Email:

BC Arts Council Project Assistance – Youth Engagement Program

December 9th, 2014


The 2014/2015 Program Guidelines and Application Forms to assist in completing requests for Project Assistance – Youth Engagement Program are now available to download from the BC Arts Council website at


Please note that January 15, 2015 is the only deadline for applications for Project Assistance – Youth Engagement Program for 2014/15.


The BC Arts Council’s Youth Engagement Program provides support to eligible organizations taking innovative and inspiring approaches to actively engaging British Columbia’s young people with professional arts and cultural organizations and their programming, through exposure to professional artists and arts experiences; as participants in the artistic or creative process; and/or, as the primary audiences for artistic work and programming.


The Youth Engagement Program was launched as a pilot program in 2013/14. Program guidelines and eligibility have been updated following the pilot year.


We take this opportunity to remind you that the written statement that accompanies your submission is an essential element of the application. The statement provides applicants the opportunity to address the committee directly.  The statement must be based on a high degree of critical self-reflection and should be forthright, brief and approach the development of your project realistically. It should assess the challenges and opportunities confronting your project with respect to artistic achievement, community engagement and feasibility.


The BC Arts Council remains committed to assisting a wide range of artistic disciplines and creative practices. In addition, all Council funding decisions adhere to the established peer review process.


For more information, please visit the BC Arts Council website at


Contact Information:


Sheryl Jones – Studio Arts (Visual Arts, Media Arts, Museums and Literary)

250 356-1722 |


Lori Dunn – Performing Arts (Theatre, Music, Dance)

250 387-1538 |