ARTSMARTS – Janis La Couvée

Take a risk and try something new

After a wonderful summer of outdoor festivals and experiences, September brings a return to regular programming.

For many, September is the true new year, and it can be for you too when it comes to the arts. Why not make a resolution to expand your cultural horizons and take more risks this fall?

UVic grads (BFA ’08) Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson (The Peter ‘n Chris Show) have taken their two-person brand of sketch comedy across the country to ever-increasing acclaim and multiple nominations at this year’s 2013 Canadian Comedy Awards. Their only Victoria dates in 2013 are Sept. 2 and 3 as they perform with award-winning Vancouver-based improv sketch troupe Hip! Bang! at the Victoria Event Centre, and Sept. 4 and 5 for Peter ‘n Chris Explore Their Bodies at the Metro Studio. Tickets through and

Two members of the Victoria Slam Team, Shayne Avec Igrec and Johnny MacRae, better known as Two Dope Boys in a Cadillac, present The Anthropocalypse: A Psychedelic Talk Opera at Intrepid Theatre’s YOU Show on Sept. 7. I’ve seen this piece in development over the past year – if you enjoy spoken word and performance poetry, be sure to get tickets well in advance – this pair has quite the cult following locally. for more info.

World-renowned composer Gavin Byars has been specially commissioned by local new-music ensemble Aventa to write Marilyn Forever, an opera based on the life of Marilyn Monroe with libretto by local author and poet Marilyn Bowering. The world première Sept. 13 and 14 features the Faroese vocalist Eivør Pálsdóttir as “Marilyn” and baritone Thomas Sandberg as “the men” in her life. Tickets at the McPherson box office or online

Quietly over the past year, local experimental composer Daniel Brandes has been curating a new monthly concert series A Place to Listen. It’s a time to slow down and appreciate music at a different pace. Cathy Fern Lewis, a voice artist who has been an ambassador of new music in Canada since 1974, performs Sept. 29. In our increasingly hectic world, A Place to Listen is my gift to myself – time seems to evaporate, and I leave with a lasting impression of calm.

Island Repertory Theatre is back with another stellar cast to perform Neil Simon’s Tony-award winning The Odd Couple at the Metro Studio Sept. 18 to Oct. 6. I still remember the fireworks they ignited with Glengarry Glen Ross in 2011. Be sure to check them out. Tickets through TicketRocket.

You’ll never look at Shakespeare the same way again after seeing the Belfry Theatre’s season opener Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet by acclaimed Canadian playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald. A brilliant comedic mash-up and re-imagining of Othello, and Romeo and Juliet, this piece launched MacDonald’s career. Sept. 17-Oct. 20.

Celebrate Culture Days ( in Victoria Sept. 27-29 with free events throughout the city. Saturday, Sept. 28 join the Belfry Theatre from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for storytelling, puppets, performances, building tours and more. Also on Saturday, the Canadian College of Performing Arts launches its Sweet 16 season in style at Uptown with CCPA’s Performing Arts Party – a unique singing, dancing and acting experience, with plenty of activities for the entire family. Saturday, Sept. 28 from 2 p.m. Visit

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.