More Olympic Happenings… So much Art and Music, who needs the sports…

02/04/2010 12:00 AM

Below you’ll find some of the most exciting, interesting, and affordable ways to eke enjoyment out of what will be the largest party this city has ever seen. From free concerts in Yaletown to free yoga everywhere, from DJ’d dance parties to an interactive theatrical dance marathon, from indoor bike runs to outdoor art installations, let us guide you on your quest for a different kind of Olympic victory — or at least some kick-ass good times.

Leave the Made-in-China “Cowichan-inspired” sweaters, “authentic” First Nations plastic key chains, and insipid red mittens for the tourists. Get the real deal and support actual Canadian designers and artisans at the 10,000-square-foot Canamade 2010 Winter Market. Feb. 12-28 at 151 W. Cordova, 11 am-8 pm. Admission $

Think you’re angry at VANOC? lululemon athletica founder Chip Wilson has some unresolved issues with them as well. After an unsuccessful 2005 bid to become the official Canadian Olympic outfitter, his yogawear empire launched a cheeky “Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011” line of apparel that deftly skirted Olympic copyright infringement. Wilson’s latest stunt will directly benefit anyone feeling stressed out by the upheaval the Games are likely to cause. In conjunction with YYoga centres, lululemon is providing locals with 1,200 complimentary yoga classes throughout the run of the Olympics. Registration begins Feb. 5 at select lululemon locations. Classes run Feb. 12-28. For complete details, visit

Toronto-based media artist, musician, and professor Geoffrey Shea’s “PLAY: The Hertzian Collective” is a musical sound sculpture arranged in three groups of overlapping, circular, video-projected images. Viewers can manipulate the work’s rhythm sequences by dialing a toll-free number on their cellphone and choosing beats on their keypads. Feb. 4-21 at Great Northern Way Campus: Centre for Digital Media (577 Great Northern Way), 10 am-8 pm, (10 am-6 pm Thurs., Fri., Sat.). Free. Presented as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

W2 Culture + Media House sets the scene for BIKES INSIDE!, a night of spinning wheels and swirling electro-pop featuring indoor head-to-head bike races. Feb. 20 at 112 W. Hastings. Tickets $8-10. Info:

Vancouver-based artist Pamela Masik spent four years painting “The Forgotten,” 69 unflinching, three-metre-tall portraits of the Downtown Eastside’s missing women. Over half of these will be on display in the artist’s 14,000-square-foot warehouse studio space near the Olympic Village. Fridays only at Masik Studios (145 W. 2nd), 12-6 pm. Free.

What with all the Olympic drama, most Vancouverites may already feel like they’re stuck inside a bizarre and unnerving alternate reality. For those looking to escape by diving further down the rabbit hole, Vancouver theatre company Boca del Lupo and award-winning Toronto/New York-based interdisciplinary theatre collective bluemouth inc. present an interactive performance event modelled on Depression-era dance marathons. Audience members can choose to act as spectators as the story unfolds, or join in the dancing. Feb. 9-13 at Roundhouse Community Centre (Davie at Pacific), 7 pm. Tickets $25-$30 from (A special fundraising performance for Boca del Lupo takes place Feb. 12 at 9 pm. Tickets $99.) Info: Presented as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Local advocacy group I Heart Van Art was created to energize the local arts community following this past fall’s devastating funding cuts to the B.C. Arts Council. Together with the Yaletown Business Improvement Association, the group has produced the Made In Vancouver Festival, which will showcase homegrown musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, dancers, and performance artists to Olympic crowds and the rest of the world. (In keeping with the lamentable new reality for arts in B.C., the festival has received zero funding — and even less encouragement — from the government.) Feb. 13-27 on Hamilton and Mainland streets, 10 am-12 am. Free. Schedule and

The Vancouver Art Gallery’s new tandem exhibits celebrate the human body through both artistry and anatomy. Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man is a thorough exhibition of the master artist’s 16th-century anatomical renderings. Running in conjunction with this large-scale exhibit is Visceral Bodies, which features two decades’ worth of contemporary art exploring scientific and medical innovations. Leonard da Vinci runs to May 2. Visceral Bodies runs Feb. 6-May 16. At Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby). Info:

Pacific Cinémathèque presents ¡Viva El Cine Mexicano!, a retrospective of classic and contemporary Mexican cinema, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, featuring films by Mexico’s most celebrated directors, including Emilio Fernández, Luis Buñuel, Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Toro. Feb. 10-21 at Pacific Cinémathèque (1131 Howe). Film schedule and

Fourteen arts organizations in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside collaborated to create Bright Light, a six-week series of installations, projections, and street performances to perk up dreary winter days. The exhibition includes installations illuminating alleys, a canopied courtyard hosting movie theatres by night, and mahjong tournaments by day. There’s also a park designated as the local site for a World Tea Party, connected via live web feed, for a truly global experience. Feb. 12-Mar. 21 at various locations and times. Full schedule and info:

Three composers from diverse backgrounds (Balinese gamelan, Highland bagpipe, and Japanese taiko) perform a multidisciplinary showcase, titled Marathonologue, combining music and computer-animated projections. The inspiration? Naoko Takahashi, a women’s marathon competitor, who drank a distilled extract from giant Japanese killer hornets immediately before she won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Feb. 18-20 at Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 W. 41st), 8 pm. $15-$20 from Tickets Tonight. Presented as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Monster Theatre likely won’t score points for historical accuracy, but the company’s award-winning comedy, The Canada Show, promises to pack 50,000 (!) years of Canadian history into just 60 minutes. Featuring Canadian icons such as Leonard Cohen, William Shatner, and Mr. Dressup, as well as original live music and puppets, this is the best way for locals to get reacquainted with our suspect origins, and for tourists to add a few more stereotypes to the Canuck canon. Feb. 22-27 at Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright, Granville Island), 1:30 pm and 7 pm; Saturdays, 2 pm. $7-$10 from Tickets Tonight. Part of the Granville Island Winterruption Festival.

Partnering with CODE Live, the innovative digital-media arm of the Cultural Olympiad, this year’s edition of the New Forms Festival, New Forms 2010, boasts a musical feast, including remix artists L.A. Riots, electronic duo the Golden Filter, a DJ set from Junior Boys, plus performances by local acts Humans and U-Tern. Look beyond the laptops on stage for videography and lighting design by Electrabelle Visuals. Feb. 6 at Great Northern Way Campus (577 Great Northern Way), 9:30 p.m. Tickets $18 from Zulu, Beat Street, and

In what will possibly be the most well-attended and affordable date option around Valentine’s Day, Chicago indie-rock heartbreakers Wilco will take the stage at Yaletown’s David Lam Park for a free show the night before Cupid’s big day. Just watch out for the airport-style security in your search for a last-minute Seawall pity hookup. Post-rockers Califone play an early set before a public screening of the 8:30 p.m. Victory Ceremonies. Feb. 13 at LiveCity Yaletown in David Lam Park (Drake & Pacific). Califone 7:30 p.m; Wilco 9 p.m. Info:

With the Games trucking in hydrogen from Quebec for its fleet of eco-buses and flying snow around in helicopters, it’s nice to see someone using the term “green” without a trace of hypocrisy. The organizers of the inaugural Vancouver Eco Fashion Week are hosting a suitably stylish and sustainable soirée to raise money for the event’s April launch, featuring designs by Adhesif Clothing (below), Ashley Watson, Dotted Loop, and others, plus a live performance from Juno-nominated singer Jill Barber. Feb. 19 at the Promenade of the Vancouver Public Library (350 W. Georgia), 8pm. Tickets $45 from

An audio-visual horn of plenty awaits with CODE Live’s opening-night performance by co-headliners Mike Relm and Addictive TV. Hailing from San Francisco, Mike Relm’s signature video turntablism complements Addictive TV’s audio-video remixes. Feb. 5 at Great Northern Way Campus (577 Great Northern Way), 10 p.m. Tickets $20

Western Front, that wood-frame building at East 8th and Scotia, has been standing taller than usual, thanks to Vancouver visual artist Reece Terris’s installation of a gold-rush-era facade. Called “Another False Front,” the installation juxtaposes Vancouver’s rapidly changing contemporary landscape with the aspirational qualities of turn-of-the-century street architecture. Step inside the gallery space to find “Lessons from Vancouver,” an art exhibit featuring the commissioned work of Dutch artists Bik and Jos Van der Pol. The latter’s work is presented alongside a visual research project, “Urban Subjects,” by Vancouver artists Sabine Bitter, Jeff Derksen, and Helmut Weber. Learning from Vancouver runs to March 6; Another False Front runs to March 27 at Western Front Society (303 E. 8th Ave.), Tues-Sat 12-5 pm. Free.

Having chosen not to accept funding support from the Cultural Olympiad, Vancouver visual artist Paul Wong will guide five site-specific tours over five Saturdays during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. From a ride on an interactive video bus to a trip to the Bloedel Conservatory and Mountain View Cemetery, Wong’s weekly journeys aim to pay quirky homage to the five Olympic rings and, most importantly, the five senses. Feb. 13-Mar. 13 at various locations. Tickets $10 at the events or in advance through Schedule and

Interested in committing your Olympic sentiments to canvas or film? Kelowna’s artist-run Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is holding an open call for submissions produced in response to the Games, with an online exhibition set to launch at on February 12, the day the Games begin. In Vancouver, look out for buttons produced by the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC). In response to exorbitant cuts to B.C.’s arts and culture sector in the past year, PAARC will be distributing wearable buttons during the 2010 Olympics bearing slogans speaking out against the cuts. Artists can submit work via

Are those flames that appear to be jumping out the windows of the skinny building across from Woodward’s? Don’t fear, it’s actually Isabelle Hayeur’s “Fire with Fire” video installation, and that building is occupied by W2 Community Media Arts. The Montreal-based artist’s installation, commissioned by the 2010 Cultural Olympiad, references the fiery past of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Better than that burning log on TV during the holidays. To February 28 at 112 West Hastings. Info:


~ by vanscene on February 6, 2010.

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