A seven-week festival of arts kicked off in Southwest B.C. Sunday as part of the one-year countdown to Vancouver’s Olympic Games.
The 2009 Cultural Olympiad got underway with a Lunar New Year celebration at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Lantern-A-Mania outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.
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The festival features more than 400 free and ticketed performances and art exhibits. Its highlight will be a one-year countdown concert on Feb. 12 headlined by Sarah McLachlan at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
“These events are the perfect antidote to long winter days,” said Burke Taylor, Vanoc’s vice president of culture and celebrations. “Those who get out to explore these new experiences will be richly rewarded.”
Events range from music and dance, visual and literary arts, theatre, film and new media.
Other highlights includes:
- Concerts by Broken Social Scene, Tegan and Sara and Hawksley Workman and the Bell Orchestra featuring members of Arcade Fire.
- Dance, including Peter Pan by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Deca Dance by Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company.
- Visual art like an ice sculpture exhibit at the Richmond Olympic Oval and a snow sculpture at Whistler.
- Japan’s Awaji Puppet Theatre.
- The Avatar Circus Project, B.C.’s premier circus troupe.