Crimson Cabaret aids women’s centre programs

An intercultural experience awaits the audience at this year’s variety benefit for the North Shore Women’s Centre.

The Crimson Cabaret on March 12 features an array of performers taking the stage to raise critical funding for women’s services.

“It’s exciting, stimulating and vibrant,” said Supriya Ryan, NSWC development and outreach co-ordinator, about the event.

“We’re looking forward to another amazing line-up. It’s a very eclectic program that gets a lot of artists together from different genres. The show is holistically a cross section of women’s talents and backgrounds.”

She said the centre has four main goals for the event—to raise much needed money, increase their visibility on the North Shore and in the Lower Mainland, showcase the talent of female artists and bring the community together.

Juno-award winning singer Kinnie Starr brings her unique style of alternative rock to the stage. Maobong Oku is an African dancer who will perform traditional Nigerian dancers. Heidi Muendel, an operatic soprano, will sing with pianist Karen Lee-Morlang. Asha Diaz is a talented teenage songwriter/singer from the North Shore. Chinese ballet dancers from the Lorita Leung Dance Academy and Silk Road, a Chinese-Vietnamese string trio, will appear. A number of other performers are also on the bill.

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Dramatic works showcase diversity

Local audiences can encounter a different side of the city by taking in two original plays created especially for this year’s PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. The annual festival aims to bring innovative work from near and far into the spotlight to stimulate artists and their fans alike. Each play encourages the playgoer to explore new aspects of our urban environment and its citizens.

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Musical show entertains with spirit and enlivens the holidays

Feel the warmth of Christmas past this December at a local stage production.

Pacific Theatre’s presentation of Christmas on the Radio puts on a participatory and intimate play for the audience that many will find appealing.

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Real life stories light up big screen

The best films about human rights from around the world will be showing downtown this week as part of this year’s Amnesty International Film Festival. Audience members can take part by viewing the movies as well as getting involved with campaigns surrounding the issues.

Amnesty International is a global movement of 2.8 million supporters in more than 150 countries who work to end the abuse of human rights and improve people’s lives everywhere. Don Wright is the staff organizer for Amnesty International, Pacific Region (B.C., Alberta, and the Yukon).

“We try to find films that haven’t been seen before,” said Wright by telephone. The programming committee spends a lot of time reviewing and choosing the final lineup. “All of them are worthy to see.”

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Local writer explores North Vancouver’s past

Residents and history buffs will be intrigued by a newly published book about the early days of the North Shore. The book forms the basis for a companion exhibit running now at the North Vancouver Museum as well as an upcoming vintage fashion show.

“I’m curious about what used to be here,” said Sharon Proctor which is reflected in her new book, Time Travel in North Vancouver: A Peek into the Past. “There are a lot of good books on the history, but I got interested in the smaller stories…of a house, a little hotel, a church.”

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Play reveals emotional costs of war

The stories of Iraqi women living through the wars in their homeland draw the audience into an intimate circle in a newly opened stage play in North Vancouver. Based on true events, 9 Parts of Desire reveals the deeply
personal histories of nine different women during the solo show.

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Coming out on a big screen near you

Like the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community itself, the Queer Film Festival offers something for everyone in its programming line up this year.

Running August 12-22 at venues around town, more than 90 films of all sorts will be out and proudly telling the stories of queer life, from here, there and everywhere. Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to talk about those stories, and maybe create some new ones, at post-screening forums, workshops and after parties.

Amber Dawn is the director of programming for the Queer Film Festival as well as a short filmmaker herself. She started working for the festival a couple of years ago because she has a passion for the community and showing art on screen.

“We’re the second largest film festival in the city,” Dawn said, adding it’s also Vancouver’s second longest continuously-running festival. It’s also the largest queer arts event in Western Canada.  “It appeals to diverse, intellectual tastes?comedies, documentaries, dramas,” she said, with light, fun date-night shows to tearjerker films to community discussions on documentaries.

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