Amazing BC artists take to the stage for Olympic anniversary event
Vancouver will experience a showcase of amazing BC artists during the “BC Spirit Day” Olympic anniversary event happening on Saturday, February 12, 2011 at Robson Square.
The complete schedule of performers, activities and ceremonies is available here on the BC Spirit Day website. Vancouver 125 collaborated on the artistic programming for this celebration and we are very excited about the artists performing at this event – a truly rich and diverse mix of local talent.
Read on below for details on the talented BC artists and musicians who will take to the stage on February 12.
Tsatsu Stalqayu (Coastal Wolfpack) and Guests
Tsatsu Stalqayu is made up of members from the Squamish, Musqueam, Lil Wat, Tselil Waututh, Sto;lo, Lummi, Tsartlip nations. This group is young but has made many high profile appearances over the past year during the 2010 Winter Games, including the celebrations leading up to 2010 for the Four Host First Nations, Prince Charles’ royal visit to the Vancouver Athletes Village and torch relay celebrations in Vancouver. Here is a statement from the group about their work:
“All members are involved in our longhouse ceremonies in this region of the Halqeymeylem speaking people. Tsatsu Stalqayu share some of our coastal history with song & dance. Such as songs of Slahal (stick game) Paddle songs, Songs of thanks! (Hichqa), Song of courting (asking for daughter’s hand) all with dances. Our culture has been closed to most public so our dances with songs share some of our culture and history with energetic & emotional filled songs!”
Public Dreams Society
In 2010, Public Dreams celebrated 25 years of strengthening community through creativity. Most known for large-scale celebrations ‘Illuminares’ and ‘Parade of Lost Souls’, Public Dreams creates opportunities for people to experience the joy of artistic expression, to see themselves as creative beings, to turn passive consumption into active participation, and to experience belonging as an individual within a community. At Robson Square on February 12th, Public Dreams will present ‘the Victorians’, a troupe of time travelers from another era, who perform on stilts — and skates! Originally created for the Yaletown and Whistler Live Sites, it will be a delight to see these characters back to celebrate Vancouver’s Olympic anniversary. Learn more at publicdreams.org
Uzume Taiko is known around the world for its West Coast Canadian taiko drumming. Using a diverse collection of percussive and melodic instruments as well as taiko drums, Uzume Taiko has developed its dynamic fusion of old and new styles of drumming, bringing a vibrant, contemporary sensibility to an ancient art. The name Uzume Taiko is derived from taiko, the Japanese word for “big drum” and from the goddess of laughter, Ame No Uzume No Mikoto – the Heavenly Alarming Female who, according to legend, first began taiko drumming. Internationally renowned, Uzume Taiko has performed throughout the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Japan. The group has also toured extensively across Canada, and around the Lower Mainland at venues including the Vancouver Playhouse, the Vogue Theatre and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, as well as at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and the International Jazz Festival. Learn more about Uzume Taiko at www.uzume.com
Koan is an exciting new world music group brings together jazz and traditional Chinese instrumental music infused with Middle Eastern and South American influences. Koan is made up of six of Canada’s best performers in their respective musical traditions. Three Chinese instruments, erhu (two-stringed bowed instrument), suona (double-reeded woodwind) and dizi (flute), share centre stage with the trombone. The rhythm section includes guitar, acoustic bass and a variety of percussion from the world over. Koan performs original material written by its members and combines elements of composition and improvisation. From ethereal ballads to complex melodies and arrangements to boisterous ethno-jazz fusion jamming: this is beautiful music performed by highly skilled artists that you will not hear anywhere else.
Inez is a Sto:lo singer songwriter with powerhouse talent and universal appeal. As one of Canada’s top aboriginal musicians, her blending of traditional native sounds with a love for contemporary hip hop and R&B, brings the best of her culture to the mainstream world. Exploding onto the Canadian music scene in 2006 and releasing her hit album Singsoulgirl in 2008, this proud Sto:lo, Ojibway and Metis artist has been featured at myriad high profile events across the country including the 2009 Aboriginal Tourism BC Awards, “Native Rocks” at Winnipeg’s Pyramid Cabaret and a headlining performance at AMP Camp (Canada’s prestigious Aboriginal Music Program). In addition to her music career, Inez is also a registered nurse (BSN, RN) and public speaker, addressing schools, small businesses and community groups on topics related to public health and personal development. Inez grew up playing the fiddle with her Metis grandfather and learning the traditional Sto:lo dancing and singing from which her music has evolved. Learn more about Inez at www.inezmusic.ca
“A delightful mix of a cappella and world music.”
– The Vancouver Sun
The Shirleys will delight you with their humour, passion and enthusiasm; singing everything from Cuban Carnival music and tragic Russian love songs to sweet Mandarin flirtations and wrenching Appalachian protests, their harmonies are complex, the arrangements original and the songs are in at least seven different languages. They are an all-female A Cappella septet that packs a real punch. And it’s a punch that fights back against injustice, intolerance, hopelessness and despair. The Shirleys have been carefully selecting songs from around the world that reflect humanity’s common hopes and aspirations for a better, more joyful world. The Shirleys have performed for the World Peace Forum and World Urban Forum; have co-produced a fundraiser for The Stephen Lewis Foundation (where they raised an astonishing $20,000!); have sung at the Harrison Festival for the Arts, The Mission Twilight Festival, Vox Fest, and have prepared a show about music as a force for social change as part of the Vancouver School Boards Art Starts program. Learn more on The Shirleys website.
En Karma with South Asian Arts
Vancouver B.C.’s premier bhangra band En Karma embodies a uniqueness that is rare amid the global bhangra scene. The boys of En Karma – Ravi (dhol), Pip (drums), JP (dholak), Rick (bass) Nick (keys) and Inder (vocals) are all exceptional musicians in their own right. Together, they have created a sound that strikes the perfect balance between traditional bhangra and contemporary fusion. Vancouver’s bhangra scene has been in the spotlight for several years now and En Karma is set to be positioned on the bhangra map alongside the renowned artists of the U.K. and India. Learn more at www.enkarma.ca
South Asian Arts delivers high quality performances of South Asian classical and folk dance. Here is what they have to say about their work: “The arts of South Asia are rich in culture. The music and dance go hand in hand to recreate the rituals of our ancestors. Keeping our culture and tradition alive through disciplined art is the mission of South Asian Arts.” Since their performance in 2005 with Footedge Dance Company at All Over the Map, South Asian Arts has fast become a big name in the Bhangra and Bollywood world, performing at festivals, events all around British Columbia, including the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Fresh and energetic, South Asian Arts is a true crowd pleaser. Learn more at www.southasianarts.ca
Jets Overhead have toured in Canada, the US, Germany, Ireland, and the UK, including shows with Sam Roberts, Our Lady Peace, Tegan and Sara, The Dandy Warhols, Broken Social Scene, Powderfinger, 54*40, The Dears, The Stills, and The Frames. They have performed at SXSW, CMW, NXNE and Bonnaroo.
Since forming in 2003, Jets Overhead have mesmerized crowds at home and abroad with their atmospheric approach to harmony and melody. The band’s critical acclaim eventually led to a JUNO Awards nomination in 2007 for New Group Of The Year. The band also got attention in 2006 by developing a voluntary download and purchase model off jetsoverhead.com, over a year before Radiohead eventually popularized the model with their release of In Rainbows. The band has continued its evolution through the digital landscape byreleasing elements of their new album NO NATIONS online under a Creative Commons license. Learn more and listen at jetsoverhead.com.
Dustin Bentall hails from Vancouver, BC and it seems an unlikely place to nurture such a rustic troubadour. Spinning songs by Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, The Beatles, Wilco and Steve Earle Dustin found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and according to Dustin he “let the boy grow up to build his own strengths…he just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips.”
“There’s no question I’ve learned more from him than anyone else in the business. He never pushed the guitar on me but was always there to answer any questions I had, and left the actual learning up to me. I spent a few years wishing he had cracked the whip a little more but I have come to realize that the style I have developed has been a product of my own chosen influences. The old man proved over and over that he can rock with the best of them. I’ve always been really proud of that and hoped that it’s written in my DNA.”
Read more about Dustin Bentall at www.dustinbentall.com
Said The Whale
Said The Whale formed in 2007 as a collaboration between songwriters Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft. The pair’s debut EP, Taking Abalonia, featured sunny west coast indie pop, with breezy harmonies, shimmering guitars, and lyrical tributes to their home city of Vancouver. The group settled upon a five-piece lineup that included bassist Peter Carruthers, drummer Spencer Schoening, and keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown. The quintet embarked upon a rigorous touring schedule, crossing Canada numerous times and landing high profile gigs at V-Fest 2008 in Calgary and the nationally televised Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill. The group is now poised to take the next step with the release of its latest single, “Camilo (The Magician).” With its gritty powerchords and sunny powerpop chorus, the single was dubbed the “song of the summer” by Grant Lawrence of CBC Radio 3. Learn more at www.saidthewhale.com
The Freshest DJ Collective
The Freshest are comprised of DJs Seko, Marvel, Kutcorners and Rico Uno and they are well-known across Canada as a versatile party-rocking DJ collective. You can find The Freshest DJing the hottest club nights Vancouver has to offer, from weekend shows at mega-clubs to trendsetting weeknight parties. Their podcast has been featured on Vancouver’s #1 radio station The Beat 94.5, and their remixes are played by international DJ’s at parties like The Rub in Brooklyn to Hollywood’s LAX. Whenever you step into a Freshest party expect the best hip hop, dance, reggae/dancehall, disco, Motown and more: the eclectic winning formula that has solidified The Freshest as Vancouver’s most exciting and in-demand club DJs. Learn more and listen at www.thefreshest.ca .