The 20th annual Word Vancouver festival is now underway, with the main festival day returning to Library Square on Sunday, September 28. Also returning is our Mainstage, a festival favourite! Check out this year’s line-up:
11:00 am Dixie Star Storytelling
Dixie Star Storytelling fires the imagination of children and grown-ups alike with its innovative and interactive shows. The young company evokes a fantastical world through words, music, movement, and playful props, while inviting the audience to take part in creating some magic. Based in Vancouver, Lisa and Tim Sars of Dixie Star Storytelling animate family-friendly events throughout the year.
11:30 am Too Tall Terry
Too Tall Terry is Peter G-G—circus artist, musician, and professional actor of 30 years. Peter has performed across Canada with Zero Gravity Circus, Heath Tarlin Entertainment, and Circus Orange. Peter’s comically acrobatic ground and stilt characters have performed across Canada for: Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza promotion; the 100th Grey Cup, in Toronto; and the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. He currently plays soccer on stilts as Sammy Soccer for all Vancouver Whitecaps games at BC Place. He also teaches stilting, juggling, and physical theatre skills.
11:40 am Fiddlin’ Frenzy — Kai and Lia Gronberg
Fiddlin’ Frenzy has taken the Western competitive fiddle scene and talent shows by storm. In 2014 Kai won his first BC provincial championship and was invited to compete for the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship, and Lia is in the showcase for the event! They’ve released three CDs-on-demand, they’re number one on the ReverbNation local Celtic charts, and they top the National Radio Chart.
12:10 pm Stories on Wheels
Stories on Wheels is an original street theatre storytelling act for the whole family. Tales are brought to life by a high-energy comic performer, using beautifully illustrated picture cards displayed in a magnificent miniature wooden stage attached to the back of a unique bicycle. Inspired by Kamishibai, a traditional Japanese travelling storytelling show that was popular from the 1920s through the 1950s, the show combines the best of oral storytelling and narrative painting. You’ve never been told a story this way before!
12:20 pm Jillian Christmas and Chelsea D. E. Johnson
This lyrically driven, East Vancouver collaboration combines the spoken word & writhing rhythms of poet Jillian Christmas with the boot-thumping vocals and guitar melodies of singer Chelsea D.E. Johnson. Top that with savage accordion lines, heartbreaking harmonies, and a few secret ingredients and you’ve got yourself the remedy for whatever ails you. Returning after their fifth tour, this duo brings its raucous affections home to Vancouver.
12:50 pm Mascall Dance
The Nijinsky Gibber Jazz Club (NGJC) is currently engaged in a process we call Public Research…all over Vancouver, with all kinds of partners. The Jazz Club is improvising on a score with its collaborators. These are meetings from which Mascall Dance will make its new creation. Track us. Watch the work arrive: http://www.mascalldance.ca. Mascall and the NGJC are interested in engaging in an open dialogue with our audiences, reaching beyond our loyal viewers to those less familiar with dance.
1:00 pm Barbara Adler and Ten Thousand Wolves
Barbara Adler and Ten Thousand Wolves deliver exuberant word and song mash-ups, with help from guitarist Gavin Youngash and members of The Company B Singers. For the Johnny Horton Remix, writer and accordionist Barbara Adler has staged lyrical and musical interventions on the songs of Johnny Horton. It’s a love letter to, and critique of, classic Horton characters, including mushing huskies and the Northern Cowboy. And yes, you can dance to it.
1:30 pm Dragon Dance
Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy dragon boat team performs an improvisational multicultural dragon dance. Created and led by “Toddish McWong,” literary and cultural activist, this dragon has made rare and auspicious dances at unlikely locations such as St. Patrick’s Day parades, dragon boat festivals, and Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.
1:45 pm The Ukesters
A ukulele ensemble composed of the student alumni of Ruby’s Ukes Ukulele School in Vancouver, The Ukesters play a diverse repertoire of swing, jazz, folk, and more! Their sense of fun and love of ukulele makes them a popular festival addition. Joining them is Ruby’s Ukes founder, Daphne Roubini, and teacher and uke mentor Guido Heistek.
2:30 pm Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam Team
The 2014 Youth Van Slam Team are the 2014 Canadian Youth Poetry Slam Champions winning the title at this year’s YouthCanSlam Festival in Ottawa. They are a belt-out loud hog’s wallop of ballistic theatrics and guttural grace. They speak of heart break and politics and the balancing act between gender norms and our perceptions of the world and ourselves. They dance on tables with their words and invite you to shake a leg with them. They are Sebastien Wen, Melissa Illing, Mariah Dear, and Andrew Warner.
3:10 pm The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Full-time students and best friends, Calvin “Kalvonix” Tiu and Rick “Big Love” Kumar are also rap artists. Kalvonix has been rapping since 2005 and has a range of experience, from performing at the 2010 Winter Olympics to working with Grammy-winning producer Chin Injeti. Big Love began by writing poetry and transitioned into rapping in 2009. As a writer, he’s been published in various outlets, including locally in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s The Runner.
3:50 pm Vancouver Youth Theatre
VYT has a 30 year history of producing innovative, original productions centred on themes of community and immigration, cultural sensitivity and anti-racism, and inclusion and diversity. VYT’s teen ensemble actors are co-playwrights and performers. Tapping into the groundwork of VYT’s previous one-act plays, including Identity (2013), Identity II (2014)—the sequel, with original music—is a collaborative teen ensemble exploring how to find, lose, keep, and be oneself within youth culture. Special thanks to the Shewan Foundation for their outstanding support.
4:30 pm Van City Soul Quartet
Van City Soul Quartet was formed in 2013 with the notion of combining classic, and rare soul and funk tunes with an outlet for original like-minded music. The band owes allegiance to the James Taylor Quartet, Quantic, SixToys, Booker T & The MGs, and Deep Purple. In 2014, the band recorded four tunes at Nimbus Studios: the original “Silver Shoes” plus three covers, including Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” (now available through iTunes and other fine online music retailers).
Check out the program guide or our website for the full festival schedule.