performance

We Are More: Transcript of opening ceremony poem by Shane Koyczan

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Thanks to the Vancouver Sun for posting Shane’s poem. Here’s the link.

This was one of the most surprising and inspired choices from last night’s ceremonies.

kd lang steals show in opening ceremonies

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kd lang’s performance of fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” absolutely stole the show, hitting just the right balance between celebration and mourning last night. I’ve never seen the song rendered so soulfully. One of the most memorable moments of an often truly inspired opening ceremonies, and especially moving given the moment of silence given to the Georgian Luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili.

Below is a version recorded earlier in concert since the OL version is not available …

I thought the Georgia Straight really nailed it with this list of remarkable events in the Opening Ceremonies. I especially agree with the choice of slam poet Shane Koyczan:

Vancouver Olympics opening ceremonies: the top five surprise artsy moments
By Janet Smith

Usually Olympics opening extravaganzas are about pomp and ceremony—big stars and obvious symbolism.

So imagine the Straight ‘s arts section’s surprise to see some genuinely eccentric, even subversive choices on the roster at last night’s big bash at B.C. Place Stadium—and no, we’re not talking about Bryan Adams.

Here, then, are the top five moments that made us proud:

1. A visit by Brock Jellison, former Tap Dog, head of Vancouver’s Ruckus Company Productions: great to see this rock ‘n’ roll rebel in tap shoes.

2. A surprise appearance by Shane Koyczan, representin’, unimaginably, for the city’s thriving slam-poetry community—a gang usually relegated to coffee houses.

3. Jean Grand-Maître’s inventive choreography: hard to know if it translated to the folks watching it live at B.C. Place, but the Alberta Ballet maestro crafted some truly transcendent moments.

4. One-time cowpunker k.d. lang singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah : sublime, in the most un-extravaganza-ish way.

5. Mohawked fiddler-bad boy Ashley MacIsaac stomping his combat boots and kicking up his kilt .

Georgia Straight

dancer

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dancer, originally uploaded by inklake.

Taken during a performance of the Arts Umbrella dance company on Granville Island, Vancouver today.

Festivals help Vancouver forge a shared cultural identity

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Keep an eye out for this series of articles in the Vancouver Sun. On the verge of a massive Cultural Olympiad and the celebrated contemporary PuSh festival, this series offers a little perspective on the cultural importance of festivals to Vancouverites. Some of us build our holidays around local festivals …

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
… we continue a series of essays that aim to deepen our understanding of the world in which we live, and offer provocative and informed views on cultural issues.

Veda Hille performing at the PuSh Festival

VANCOUVER — As the city anticipates the opening of the PuSh Festival on Wednesday, with the massive, eight-week Cultural Olympiad hot on its heels, it makes sense to reflect upon how we chronicle the most social expression of artistic culture: the festival.

Vancouver’s lively arts scene and rich festival tradition are hallmarks of the city’s cultural identity.

summer days at the Vancouver Folk Festival

A raft of arts festivals sprouted up within a few years of each other in the 1980s and early 1990s, a very rich time for Vancouver culture: among them, the Vancouver International Fringe Festival in 1985, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in 1989, and the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival in 1990. The Vancouver International Jazz Festival was first mounted in 1986, and the International Folk Music Festival goes back even further, having been founded in 1978. With their long histories, these festivals have become traditions that many Vancouverites have grown up with.

To read the entire article, click here.