Free and Cheap at the 2017 PuSh Festival


Chase away the winter blues with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, January 16 to February 5, 2017. Vancouver’s annual signature mid-winter cultural event presents the hottest theatre, dance, multimedia and music from around the world, with 150 events over the three weeks of the Festival to warm you up. Best of all, there’s plenty of free and cheap activities for all to enjoy!

We’ve picked out our favorite free or cheap (under $10) events to check out during the 2017 PuSh Festival.

Human Library, Photo: Tina Krueger Kulic
Human Library, Photo: Tina Krueger Kulic

1. Human Library ­

One of our most beloved events, Human Library is back for its fourth year at the PuSh Festival. The concept is simple: you can check out a “human book” with a variety of “titles” available. Think of it as the word made flesh: readers become listeners, engaging with real-life stories shared by fellow human beings.

Some of the titles this year include:

  • Porn Actor
  • Inventor at 9
  • Polyamorous at 69
  • First Breath After Coma
  • Doubly Disabled
  • Drag Queen Business Tycoon
  • The Taxidermist’s Son

January 21, 22, 28, 29 and February 4, 5 from 12:00–4:00PM
Human Books are available on a first-come, first-served basis during event hours.


Town Choir, Photo: Emily Cooper
Town Choir, Photo: Emily Cooper

2. Town Choir

In this show four writers in locations across the country type out their observations of the surrounding environment. Like updates on Twitter or Facebook, these are instantly transmitted here to the Vancouver Youth Choir, who in turn transforms them into song and declares them to the public.

It’s a great feeling and great fun: the observations range from the hilarious to the profound.

January 22 12:00–1:00PM at Woodward’s Atrium
January 29 12:00–1:00PM at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
February 5 12:00–1:00PM at Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch Atrium


Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution

3. Film Series

To complement the themes and ideas of the PuSh Festival live performances, we offer you a series of documentary films—curated by our partners at DOXA Documentary Film Festival—to round out your PuSh experience.


Dance Dance Revolution: Shorts Program
January 18, 5:30PM at Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
This collection of short films celebrates the cathartic power of the most fundamental of human art forms, from a girl learning a traditional Norwegian folk dance to students remembering the founder of Cuba’s modern dance school. The language of movement can transcend time, unite people across cultures, and sometimes even spark a revolution in the streets. Paired with PuSh shows: Sweat Baby Sweat, Wallflower, FOLK-S.

Natural Disorder
January 25, 5:30PM at Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
When comedian Jacob Nossell sets out to write a play on disability, he spares no one, least of all himself, from the most difficult questions. Jacob has cerebral palsy, and has struggled his entire life with how people perceive him. As Jacob brings his play to completion, he must contend not only with his need for acceptance, but his desire for wild applause and rapturous acclaim. Paired with PuSh show: Backstage in Biscuit Land.

Wide Open Sky
February 1, 5:30PM at Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
This deeply affectionate, and often funny, film follows a group of choir finalists including Aboriginal kids Taylah and Khynan. More than an ode to musical education, this film demonstrates music’s ability to foster empathy and break down cultural differences. Paired with PuSh show: dirtsong.

FOLK-S, Photo: Andrea Macchia
FOLK-S, Photo: Andrea Macchia

4. $5 Youth Rush Tickets
If you’re between the ages of 16 to 24, we’ve got a deal for you! You can rush select shows at the PuSh Festival for only $5! Full details here.


Photo: Sarah Race
Photo: Sarah Race

5. PuSh Assembly: Idea Series
The PuSh Assembly is where we gather to share ideas around the performing arts. Our Ideas Series is an open invitation to the public who seek a deeper engagement through discussions, panels and artist talks.

See the whole program here under “Idea Series”


Garden of Earthly Delights
Garden of Earthly Delights

6. Garden of Earthly Delights
Inspired by the Hieronymus Bosch painting of the same name, this is an interactive exhibition where viewers are guided by shadow projections and sound cues to bring a procession of dreamscapes to life. With specially designed light wands, spectators illuminate the intricate papercut landscapes, moving from a lush tropical jungle to an urban maze of concrete, cables and characters.

$10. January 19–21 from 7:00PM–9:30PM.
Performances take place every 20 minutes during event hours. Very limited capacity.

The 2017 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival runs January 16 to February 5.
Check out the full 150 events over three fun-filled weeks at