ARTSMARTS – Janis La Couvée

New year brings new kids on the block

The beginning of a New Year often represents a time of making resolutions, plans or changes – for instance: “In 2016, I’m going to include more arts in my life.” Sometimes, however, people are feeling the pinch financially after the holidays. There’s a way to reconcile these two with a number of “easy on the pocketbook” opportunities in January.

Victoria’s only free young adult (16-19) chorus, Sing Your Joy, invites new member sign-ups for winter session (Jan.-April) on Jan. 4 and 11. If the cost of joining a choir was preventing you from singing, here’s your chance to enjoy music with a fun group of people. Singyourjoy.ca

Popular local comedians Wes Borg and Cyllene Richmond co-direct Lifetime Networks’ Greatest Most Awesome Show Ever with students from their comedy class Jan. 7 at the Victoria Event Centre. Guests include Carolyn Mark, Kathryn Popham and Eddi Liscious. lifetimenetworks.org

Award-winning actor Deborah Williams (Mom’s the Word) co-founded popular storytelling event The Flame in 2009, and recently introduced it to Victoria audiences. Real people share personal, true stories in front of a live audience, Jan. 18 at the Belfry Theatre. Belfry.bc.ca

Bring it On Cabaret is a monthly cabaret and open mic at Oak Bay United Church with a top-notch feature headliner. Jan. 15. Facebook.com/BringItOnCabaret

Theatre SKAM ends its 20th year with The Ami Project Jan. 12-16 as it return to its very first performance venue, now named Bean Around the World, with the first play founding member Ami Gladstone wrote, Plane Jane, and his latest, Text Ed. In association with Atomic Vaudeville. Skam.ca. Later in the month, celebrate at SKAM’s Birthday Bash Jan. 23.

One of Victoria’s theatrical “new kids on the block”, Catador Theatre, presents Robbie Huebner’s Describe My Lonely, a fresh, snappy comedy about how we communicate these days, Jan. 19-22, at the Intrepid Theatre Club.  Actors alternate roles to provide different gender perspectives along the same storyline. catadortheatre@gmail.com

The Warren Undergraduate Review presents a monthly reading series, The Rabbit Hole, a venue for students and emerging performers to share their work with a live audience. All types of artistic expression are welcome; in addition to featured performers, there is also an open mic. Jan. 20 at the Copper Owl. Free. Facebook.com/RabbitHoleVic

Give yourself the gift of quiet, reflection and beautiful notes with A Place to Listen Jan. 20 at James Bay United Church. aplacetolisten.ca for details about the concert.

Victoria has an active and welcoming spoken word community thanks to the Victoria Poetry Project: Vic Slam and Tongues of Fire.  Poets will battle it out Jan. 21 at Northern Quarter restaurant in a qualifying round for the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS).

The first alumni concert of 2016 at the UVic School of Music features the Victoria Guitar Trio, one of Canada’s premier classical guitar trios, performing a program of exciting 20th and 21st Century works by West Coast Canadian composers. Jan. 25 in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. finearts.uvic.ca/events/mschool/ for other events; many are free or by-donation.

Spend the Day at CCPA Jan. 29. If you know a young person who is interested in a career in musical theatre, here’s a chance for them to experience a day at the Canadian College of Performing Arts where they will watch and participate in CCPA’s musical theatre training classes, and see snippets of an upcoming production. ccpacanada.com to reserve a spot.

Enigmatic Events introduces inter-active murder mystery dinner theatre to Victoria with Vanessa Baylen’s Murder by Midnight at the Ambrosia Event Centre. Participants work with each other to uncover the truth and reveal the lies. Jan. 30 is preview night and the show runs Fri/Sat until Feb 13.  enigmaticevents.com

Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate.

 

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