ARTSMARTS – Janis La Couvée

Year begins with a blitz

In January we welcome the New Year, and sally forth, full of good intentions and resolutions. If one of your goals is to make the arts an ongoing part of your life, you’ll be pleased to see the wide variety of events available.

Opening a month brimming with theatre, music, dance and celebrations is a very special project commissioned by the Belfry Theatre, Home Is A Beautiful Word (Jan. 7-19).  Playwright/journalist Joel Bernbaum spent over a year interviewing hundreds of people and then edited these conversations into a verbatim play, a portrait of homelessness in our community. It will move and challenge you. belfry.bc.ca

Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre presents Ignorance by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop (Jan. 7-19) a puppet documentary about cavemen and the evolution of bliss. Where did happiness come from, and where did it go? It’s been almost seven years since the Old Trouts have been to Victoria. This is puppetry like you have never seen before. TicketRocket.org

If, like me, you’d like to learn how to think on your feet, or make off-the-cuff presentations, workshops by master improviser Dave Morris will be of interest. Classes for beginners and more advanced students start Jan. 12. davemorrisisa.com.

After the hubbub of the holiday season, I crave quiet and introspection. Over the past year, regular visits to A Place to Listen concerts (founded by Daniel Brandes) have helped me achieve this. Vancouver-based flutist Mark McGregor performs besandro el tiempo Jan. 15 at James Bay United Church. Take time to become immersed in the experience of now. aplacetolisten.tumblr.com.

From quiet to incredibly raucous; from present-day Victoria to Berlin in the 1930s, Langham Court Theatre presents Cabaret Jan. 15-Feb. 1. This classic of modern theatre is provocative, sexy and chilling. I saw snippets at an art showcase in September. LanghamTheatre.ca.

Two of my favourite theatre companies, both masters of sketch, comedy and improv – Launch Pad Productions and Paper Street Theatre Company – have joined forces to create The Half Time Show (half scripted and half-spontaneous) and the theme is a mystery. Two companies, two styles of comedy, one hell-of-a-night, case closed. Jan. 17-18 at Intrepid Theatre Club. bringingyouthestars.com.

Theatre SKAM is finally legal, and celebrates its 19th year with games, prizes, live music by Mike Demers & Waves of Daves, and the world-famous SKAMraffle! Theatre SKAM Birthday Bash Jan. 18. skam.ca

Do you have a writing project sitting on the backburner, or an idea for a movie that has been gathering dust? Local screenwriters Brian Paisley and Keith Digby offer decades of experience, including in features and thrillers. They present a Weekend Blitz Screenwriting Workshop Jan. 24-26 at Cinevic. digby_keith@hotmail.com for more information and to apply. westcoastscreenwriting.com.

Dance Days (Jan. 23-Feb. 8), now in its fifth year, becomes a festival with Night Moves (Feb. 6-8).  One of the evenings is dedicated to BOUNCE Around the Building Jan. 25, an evening of short performances throughout Dance Victoria headquarters. The festival features new dance works, studio showings, discussions, demonstrations and free dance classes. DanceVictoria.com.

Winterlab Theatre Festival by Intrepid Theatre returns for a second year Jan. 24-Feb. 1 with an array of work designed to stretch the imagination. Bookended by a launch and farewell party, Winterlab also has a puppet and live action adventure for the whole family. IntrepidTheatre.com.

Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate. She is incredibly grateful to be the audience. In 2013 Janis was recognized with an M Award as Biggest Supporter of Local Theatre.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Alan Tudyk stars as Alien Harry Vanderspeigel in the new series Resident Alien (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)
Resident Alien brings Vancouver Island to the small screen with January premiere

Quirky series shot in Ladysmith will air every Wednesday on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Joy Sharpe holds a picture of her late husband Ray while posing for a photograph with the Sybil Andrews painting ‘hauling’ before donating it to the Campbell River Hospice Society. (Submitted photo)
$6 painting turned into $10,000 charity windfall

A 1952 original Sybil Andrews painting donation fetches Campbell River Hospice Society a nice return

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March and local theatre artists Brianna Hamilton and Daniel Puglas (from left) make up Western Edge’s new team of “artistic associates.” (News Bulletin file photos/Courtney Harder)
Nanaimo theatre company adds younger, diverse voices to artistic team

Western Edge hopes new ‘artistic associates’ will help form new ideas, reach new audiences

Sara Lopez Assu says she’s relatively happy with how the Campbell River Art Gallery team managed to weather the storm that was 2020. File Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River Art Gallery director reflects on ‘maybe our hardest year ever’

‘It would be easy to look back and be disappointed … but that’s not going to get us anywhere’

Most Read