A seven-week festival of arts kicked off in southwest B.C. yesterday as part of the one-year countdown to Vancouver’s Olympic Games.
The 2009 Cultural Olympiad got underway yesterday with a Lunar New Year celebration at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Lantern-A-Mania outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.
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.
Events range from music and dance, visual and literary arts, theatre, film and new media.
Other highlights include:
- Concerts by Broken Social Scene, Tegan and Sara, and Hawksley Workman with 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 exhibit at Whistler.
- Japan’s Awaji Puppet Theatre.
- The Avatar Circus Project, B.C.’s premier circus troupe.