The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is one of Vancouver’s signature cultural events. For 14 years now, the PuSh Festival has brought international artists in the performing arts— theatre, dance, music, multimedia— to Vancouver stages. It happens each January for three weeks, taking over the city’s stages (and sometimes pretty unconventional spaces too) with live art to pull 23,000+ Vancouverites out their winter blues.
This year, at the 2018 PuSh Festival, which runs January 16 to February 4, over 150 events are on offer, including 28 shows by the word’s most acclaimed artists, representing 11 countries.
To get you started, here’s a primer: three things you should know about the 2018 PuSh Festival!
1. We bring the world to you
This year, like every year, we program the most exciting artists working in the world today in the performing arts, long-time and emerging lights in their fields, be it theatre, dance, music or multimedia performance. Over the past 14 years, we’ve brought artists from as far afield as Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Algeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, all parts of Europe, and South Africa. And of course, we shine the spotlight on Vancouver and Canadian artists producing world-class art right here at home.
At the 2018 Festival we have a special focus on two countries in particular: Australia and Ireland. These are two countries with whom we have long-standing partnerships, and this year, we celebrate the ongoing collaborations by presenting four Australian works and three from Ireland. The shows are diverse and not easily categorized. What runs common through them all are the imagination, passion and rigour you might expect from artists born from two cultures steeped in a rich history of theatre making.
Spotlight on Ireland
Reassembled, Slightly Askew, by Shannon Yee (Northern Ireland)
Jan 17–Feb 4 | Culture Lab, The Cultch
I’m Not Here, by THEATREclub (Ireland)
Jan 24–28 | Historic Theatre, The Cultch
Dublin Oldschool, by Emmet Kirwan (Ireland)
Jan 30–Feb 3 | Historic Theatre, The Cultch
Spotlight on Australia
Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster, by Nicola Gunn (Australia)
Jan 17–19 | Scotiabank Dance Centre
It’s Dark Outside, by The Last Great Hunt (Australia)
Jan 24–28 | Waterfront Theatre
MEETING, by Antony Hamilton & Alisdair Macindoe (Australia)
Jan 24–27 | Performance Works
Endings, by Tamara Saulwick (Australia)
Jan 26–28 | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
2. We like to get our drink on—for a good cause
Introducing Strange Side, the PuSh Festival’s specially crafted beer, is lovingly brewed in partnership by Parkside Brewing and Strange Fellows. This Belgium blond is the brainchild of the two breweries’ respective brewmasters, Vernon Lambourne and Iain Hill.
Available at private liquor stores and at restaurants around town, Strange Side is a delicious, limited-edition concoction you won’t feel guilty about consuming: proceeds from the sales of Strange Side are donated back to the PuSh Festival, to help us continue bringing the best performance art to Vancouver.
3. We want everyone to join the family
The PuSh Festival offers many different programs and streams of activity to engage with new and diverse audiences. At the core of our values is providing transformative performing arts experiences and bringing the live performing arts to as many audiences as possible.
The PuSh Youth Program offers $5 rush youth tickets to young people, ages 16 to 24. Take a risk on performing arts with us—we promise you’ll be rewarded for it.
If you already know that the arts are your jam, then join us on Saturday, January 20 for the second annual PuSh Youth Assembly, where young people interested in the world of performing arts can stretch their wings as emerging artists and administrators at this all-day, free conference and networking event.
Accessible PuSh is a program that strives to make the PuSh Festival an inclusive experience for all. Among many things, we offer free tickets through our Community Ticketing program, provide ASL interpretation for Deaf or hard of hearing audiences, and offer “relaxed performances” designed for audiences who might benefit from a more relaxed theatre environment including—but not limited to—people on the autism spectrum.