I am a fervent champion of young people. In the arts it’s especially important to recognize that many have been honing their craft for a number of years by the time they enter high school, college or university. February, traditionally the month of love, sees performances by Company C – the Canadian College of Performing Arts Year Three students, University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre and Kaleidoscope Theatre’s young company, as well as the fifth iteration of the Victoria Spoken Word Festival – celebrating emerging spoken word artists. Here’s an opportunity to catch the newest Canadian rising stars.
The month begins with the Company C production of Luigi Pirandello’s seminal absurdist work, Six Characters in Search of an Author, directed by James Faigan Tait (Helen’s Necklace), Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at the CCPA Performance Hall in Oak Bay. ccpa.eventbrite.com
Ramp up your Bond for Casino Royale 006 Never Say Never Again Feb. 5 at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. This glittery evening of entertainment and glamour, in support of CCPA, was voted Favourite Artsy Fundraiser by Monday Magazine readers. ccpa.eventbrite.com
The YOU Show, sponsored by Intrepid Theatre, is a series for emerging artists which assists them to bring new work to life. The first YOU Show of 2015 is by lawyer-turned-playwright Laura Simons. Yule Bleed Feb. 6/7 is a snappy comedy about a family who makes a trip to the shopping mall to donate blood on Christmas Eve. The play asks some zany questions about our everyday foibles and the shortcomings of the modern medical machine, says Simons. TicketRocket.org
Kaleidoscope Theatre’s young company presents Alice, based on the stories of Lewis Carroll, adapted by artistic director Roderick Glanville, Feb. 14-15 at the Atrium. Kaleidoscope.bc.ca
Victoria’s longest-running alternative theatre company, Theatre Inconnu, opens its 2015 season with Alien Creatures A Visitation from Gwendolyn MacEwan by Linda Griffiths Feb. 17-March 7. The ghost of MacEwan, one of Canada’s greatest poets, visits a contemporary audience to tell tales of her life, work, inspiration, and her death, in this magical text of storytelling. Ticketrocket.org
Oak Bay is a busy arts hub this month. In addition to the theatrical offerings of the CCPA, Oak Bay Music, founded by Erik Abbink, presents I ♠ Composers Feb. 14/15, a two-day festival of new music featuring work composed and performed by the Victoria Composers Collective, mezzo-soprano Kristin Hoff (Montreal), and pianist Daniel Brandes. Oakbaymusic.ca
Local choreographer Constance Cooke presents the world premiere of Liminal – a hauntingly ephemeral inter-disciplinary contemporary work for three performers animated by sound, paper installations and video that pushes the boundaries of dance and digital media. Feb. 19-21 at the Metro Studio. TicketRocket.org
The Victoria Spoken Word Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary Feb. 24-March 1 by bringing back favourite poets from the past four years for an all-star line-up of spoken word in the heart of downtown Victoria. This year’s Poet of Honour is Brendan McLeod, a Vancouver-based writer and musician (The Fugitives) who is a former Canadian SLAM poetry champion. Nightly shows include Poetry in Motion (Feb. 26) with Broken Rhythms and Sunday Night Improv (March 1) with local improvisers. Ticketrocket.org
Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate.