Seven must-see highlights of the spring arts season in Vancouver


With temperatures warming and the winter months melting away, Vancouver’s arts community stirs from its hibernation just in time for spring.

From Japanese dance ensembles and hip hop politics to opera festivals and movie marathons, there’s no excuse for staying indoors wrapped in a slanket any longer. Here are seven must-see arts events bringing some warmth to Vancouver stages and audiences.

Vancouver International Dance Festival

Japan-based butoh ensemble Dairakudakan performs at the Vancouver International Dance Festival

It’s hard to get your groove back when you’ve never really lost it. That’s how it is for this year’s Vancouver International Dance Festival, which unleashes a diverse and dynamic roster of internationally celebrated artists and local favourites for three weeks of performances, workshops and a host of dance activities, including Japan-based butoh ensemble Dairakudakan.

Until March 30 at various venues

Hot Brown Honey

Hip hop and empowerment get sticky when Hot Brown Honey returns to the York Theatre.

Hot Brown Honey, courtesy of Australia’s Briefs Factory, returns for another hot and sticky serving of hip-hop, politics and female empowerment.

March 15 to 30 at the York Theatre,

Vancouver Chamber Choir

After 48 years as Vancouver Chamber Choir’s artistic director and conductor, Jon Washburn goes out with a bang… and three hometown concerts.

After 48 years as Vancouver Chamber Choir’s artistic director and conductor, Jon Washburn is calling it a day. But not before waving his baton at three final Vancouver concerts. Music Sea to Sea: the Farewell Tour kicks of March 15 at Shaughnessy Heights United Church, followed by Music for a Very Good Friday April 19 at the Orpheum, and Youth and Music 2019: Music’s Future, May 10 at Shaughnessy Heights United Church.

The Cinematheque‘s 24 Hour Movie Marathon

Do your eyeballs have the stamina and endurance to take in 24 consecutive hours of essential cinema? “A carefully crafted, super-secret lineup of films will be served” consisting of “a medley of forgotten gems, arthouse hits and WTF curios from the four corners of our spinning globe.” There’ll be prizes, complimentary craft beer, treats and more. Blankets, pillows and good hygiene recommended. This is a 19-plus event. Tickets are $60.

March 30, 10 a.m. to March 31, 10 a.m.

Weezer and the Pixies

It’s the ’90s all over again. Sure, alt-rock heroes Weezer and the Pixies have both seen better days despite releasing new music when most of their fans remain deeply rooted in the bands’ back catalogues. But at least they’re trying. And probably still pretty rockin’ in concert.

April 7 at Rogers Arena


This charming man, Morrissey plays the Orpheum April 14. Photo Monika Solarska

There is a light that never goes out: former frontman of the Smiths and loveable malcontent Morrissey has broken his 15-year boycott of Canada “in protest against the barbaric slaughter of baby seals.” Moz returns to our vegan-friendly shores in support of an upcoming covers album, California Son.

April 14 at the Orpheum Theatre

Vancouver Opera Festival

Fairy tales and fables is the theme of this year’s the Vancouver Opera Festival, which includes performances of Charles Gounod’s Faust and Gioachino Rossini’s masterpiece La Cenerentola (Cinderella) among other sumptuous offerings.

April 27 to May 5

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