ARTSMARTS: Janis La Couvée celebrates a love of the arts

There's no lack of events to get you through the winter, as 2014 kicks off with a full lineup of unique programming

At one time, the cultural landscape at the beginning of the year tended to be sparse. This is definitely no longer the case as this month’s calendar can attest. Celebrate your love of the arts in February with theatre, comedy, music and performance art.

As a native Vancouver Islander, I can veritably smell the tang of the beach at low tide in Jack Hodgins novels and writings. Join the author and award-winning men’s choir, Chor Leoni, for a unique collaboration Cadillac Cathedral, an evening of storytelling and choral music, Feb. 1 at the McPherson Theatre. chorleoni.org.

Casino Royale 005 is the final iteration of an M award winning event (Favourite Artsy Fundraiser) in support of the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA). Dress up as your favourite Bond-themed character and prepare for a glamourous evening at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Feb. 1. ccpacanada.com.

Michael Healey set out to prove that Canadian politics, and our prime minister, are not boring when he wrote Proud. This biting satire imagines a different outcome to the last federal election – the Tories took Quebec and won a huge majority. Feb. 4-March 9 at the Belfry Theatre. belfry.bc.ca.

Shakespeare in Love, returning for a second year in a row at Craigdarroch Castle (Feb. 7-14), reveals the many kinds of love that Shakespeare illuminates in his works. This fundraiser for the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival features actors from the company, and includes dessert. It’s a perfect Valentine’s evening out. thecastle.ca.

Victoria audiences are spoiled for classic theatre in February. Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s second show in their Producer’s Series is Tennessee William’s classic The Glass Menagerie (Feb. 11-March 2), and the Phoenix Theatre mounts Picnic, William Inge’s 1953 Pulitzer Prize winner, a tale of lost aspirations and the heart’s yearnings (Feb. 13-22).

Theatre Inconnu begins 2014 with What Happened Was, a quirky, insightful and humourous first-date encounter story. The film version won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Feb. 19-March 8. theatreinconnu.com.

Composer and experimental voice artist Odeya Nini is the featured artist at this month’s A Place to Listen Feb. 19. Using only her voice and body, she experiments, explores and rediscovers the possibilities of the human voice. aplacetolisten.tumblr.com.

For this year’s Theatrical Treasures (Feb. 20-22) the Year II students of CCPA present Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses (famous for its setting using a large pool of water onstage) and a stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (directed by Michael Shamata, Belfry Theatre’s artistic director). ccpacanada.com.

Hard-working local actor, comedian, writer and teacher Kirsten Van Ritzen is producing Victoria’s first Funny Women Festival, Feb. 21-23, two nights chock full of fierce funny females with a different lineup each night.  funnywomenfestival.com.

To finish off the month, celebrate with Officially Bilingual/Officiellement Bilingue at Open Space, a series that presents Quebec artists exploring the multiple languages at play in contemporary performance art in Canada. Sylvette Babin and Rachel Echenberg will each present new works. Feb. 28/March 1. openspace.ca.

 

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.

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