Thursday, November 22, 2012

MusicFest, Ballet BC, and PuSh

As reported in today's Vancouver Sun, the fickle cultural landscape in BC has claimed another victim. MusicFest, Vancouver's annual August celebration of classical, jazz, and world music, has suspended operations after announcing an accumulated deficit of $160,000 over the past two years. There will be no 2013 festival, although the Board hasn't ruled out reconstituting in the future should a solution to its financial problems be found.

That's likely little comfort to outgoing program director Matthew Baird, who took over from founding director George Laverock only last year. Despite his best efforts to streamline this past summer's line-up without sacrificing quality or talent (something I believe he accomplished admirably based on the two shows we attended), ticket sales were apparently very soft.

I hope Richard and I weren't the jinx. After a hiatus of several years, we made an effort to seek out two challenging but immensely rewarding classical concerts this year. And we were looking forward to attending again next August. Let's hope the festival's hiatus is not as long as ours was.

Meanwhile, an article in today's Globe by Marsha Lederman on the resurgent Ballet BC, newly confident under the leadership of Emily Molnar, who has pushed the company in a boldly contemporary direction, and who has attracted leading choreographic talents from around the world to create new work on her dancers. The first show in the company's 2013/14 season, In/verse, opens tonight. Richard and I will be there tomorrow evening, and in even better seats this year thanks to the wizardry of Audience Services Manager Ashley Holm.

Of course, I'm equally excited about the fact that Ballet BC is also collaborating this year with the PuSh Festival on a remount of Encore, its wildly popular mixed program from two seasons ago. Indeed, there is lots of dance (from France and Belgium and Seattle and Japan) on offer as part of this year's PuSh Festival. Program guides have been out for a couple of weeks now, and discounted four and six-show PuSh passes are available until December 6th. To get yours, or to buy individual tickets, visit


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