Top Ten 2009 DTES Heart of the City Festival Highlights
With more than 80 events at over 25 locations throughout the Downtown Eastside scheduled over twelve days in this year’s Festival (October 28 – November 8), choosing what to see and hear becomes a delightful challenge. Here are ten special presentations that we have chosen as our Terrific Top Ten Festival Highlights for 2009!
1. The Downtown Eastside Music Theatre Showcase: Thirty Songs from Seven Productions features highlights of original songs produced in the Downtown Eastside, including the DTES Community Play, DTES Romeo and Juliet, Condemned: The Opera, Bruce: The Musical, and We’re All in this Together. With Music Director Neil Weisensel.
Russian Hall, 600 Campbell. Wed, Oct. 28 & Fri, Oct. 30 @ 8pm.
Sliding scale admission $0-10 at the door
2. Khac Chi Bamboo Music: Two of Vietnam’s premiere musicians, Chi Khac Ho and Bic Hoang, offer a rare insight into the wealth and sophistication of Vietnamese culture during this afternoon concert at SUCCESS Choi Hall. And at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, special musical guests Moshe Denburg and Mark Armanini bring original compositions to join Khac Chi for an afternoon of musical fusion and new rhythms.
Khac Chi Bamboo Music: SUCCESS Choi Hall, 28 W. Pender. Fri, Oct. 30 @ 2pm. Free
Khac Chi Bamboo Music and Guests: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 578 Carrall.
Sun, Nov. 1 @ 3pm. By donation to the Garden
3. Comedy Night at The Carnegie: The Heart of the City Festival is tickled silly to present an evening of comedy featuring the pan-Asian Canadian comedy collective Assaulted Fish; theatrics and slapstick with The Coyote Brothers; a new comedy duo Ilona Harris and Dawn McLeod, who are more exciting to watch than a car crash; and community stand-up with Paul Decarie, Grant Chancey and Rosanne Gervais. What’s so funny about the DTES? Let’s find out!
Carnegie Community Centre Theatre, 401 Main. Sun, Nov. 1 @ 7:30pm. Free
4. Sandy Scofield Band: A special treat at this year’s festival is the appearance of the award-winning Metis artist/singer/composer Sandy Scofield and her “kick-ass band.” Dynamic and original, Sandy performs contemporary material interspersed and influenced by her traditional Aboriginal culture, accompanied by Steve Nikleva on guitar and Brian Minato on bass. Sandy is described as “a complex artist who can effortlessly move from centuries old Aboriginal vocal styles to satiny pop to robust rhythm & blues and rock.”
Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main.
Mon, Nov. 2 @ 8pm. Free
5. Dialogue on the Role of the Arts in the DTES: The DTES Community Arts Network and the Heart of the City Festival invite you to participate in a conversation on the role of the arts in the neighbourhood. What does development mean for existing artists? Are artists the unwitting “shock troops of gentrification,” or are the arts an integral component of the community? InterUrban Gallery, 1 E. Hastings.
Thurs, Nov. 5 @ 5pm. Free
6. The InterUrban Music Showcase: We’re excited about showcasing a number of the wonderful performers living in the community, including an awesome community drumming group, whimsical blues guitar, hard-driving vocals, the contemporary and traditional sounds of the “koto” and the most exquisite piano playing of jazz standards in town. InterUrban Gallery, 1 E. Hastings.
Thurs, Nov. 5 @ 8pm. Free
7. We Call It Home, Opening Reception: It is an honour to include in the Festival this year, the Gallery Gachet group exhibition of In Our Backyard featuring community artists in and around Oppenheimer Park; Hope in Shadows: portraits of our community, a selection of winning photographs from the annual PIVOT Hope in Shadows contest; and after homelessness…The Photographs, ten entries selected from the photography contest held by Headlines Theatre. The exhibition offers a unique perspective into the heart and home of the DTES community. At 5pm a parade winds from Oppenheimer Park to Gallery Gachet led by the Homeless Band, artists, community members and neighbourhood families to kick off the exhibition.
Gallery Gachet, 88 E. Cordova. Fri, Nov. 6 @ 6pm. Parade @ 5pm. Free
8. History and Social Walks: An always popular component of the festival: we are pleased to present four walks this year:
Sites of Empowerment with Wendy Pedersen and Jean Swanson of the Carnegie Community Action Project.
Meet at steps of Carnegie, Main & Hastings. Sat, Oct. 31 @ 11am;
Chinatown: Then and Now with Larry Wong.
Meet at Millennium Gate, 26 W. Pender. Sun, Nov. 1 @ 10am;
Japanese-Canadians and the Labour Movement: A Walking Tour of Japantown
with Lorene Oikawa and Geoff Meggs.
Meet at Japanese Language School, 487 Alexander. Sat, Nov. 7 @ 10:30am
FIRE! A History Walking Tour with John Atkin
Meet at SE corner of Dunlevy and Alexander Streets. Sun, Nov. 8 @ 10am
Visitors – $10, Locals – Pay as you can
9. Illuminating the Four Corners: an outdoor multi-level event at Main and Hastings featuring visual projections on buildings and through windows; DTES musicians and poets performing from windows, rooftops and soap boxes; a welcome song with Sam George; music of the DTES Samba Band; a theatrical reenactment of a 1935 milestone at the Carnegie Museum; songs from the Carnegie Village Choir Project led by Beverly Dobrinsky; ending with a street celebration on the four corners.
Corners of Main and Hastings. Sat, Nov. 7 from 8pm to 9:30pm. Free
10. Ukrainian Hall’s Community Concert & Supper: The festival ends on a high note
with three special events at the Ukrainian Hall. Start off your afternoon with the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians Community Concert, featuring the Barvinok Choir, the AUUC Folk Orchestra, the Dovbush Dancers and the AUUC School of Dancing. Lively music, invigorating dance, and colourful costumes beckon us. Special guests include an onstage appearance by the DTES Samba Band led by Joseph ‘Pepe’ Danza, a solo performance with the highly accomplished singer/composer Sandy Scofield, a martial arts performance from qigong masters of the Wushu Institute, and songs and stories based on labour history with The Diggers (Earle Peach, Regina Brennan and Dan Keeton). Immediately after the concert is a delicious traditional Ukrainian Supper followed by the ever-popular Urban Barn Dance with the musical fun of Russell Shumsky and Three Potato. Grab your friends, neighbours, the whole family, and head on down to this toe-tappin’ heartwarming event.
Ukrainian Hall, 805 E. Pender. Sun, Nov. 8: Concert 3 pm & supper following. $15
For advance sales contact 604-254-3436, Dance 7pm, Pay as you can