Explore the strength and passion of women from different points on the globe at Elles, a striking new work by Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award-winning choreographer Serge Bennathan (at the Cultch Saturday, ticketmaster.ca). For more memorable dance, head for Montreal choreographer Sylvain Émard’s Fragments – Volume 1, a piece that was constructed around the needs and personalities of the dancers (at the Firehall Saturday, firehallartscentre.ca).
Kesu’: The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer
See totem poles, a canoe, bentwood boxes, bowls, paintings, prints and more by legendary Kwakwaka’wakw artist Doug Cranmer, who modestly called himself a “whittler” and a “doodler, but fast gained fame for his indigenous modern works. He opened the first native-run commercial gallery in Vancouver, collaborated with Bill Reid, and had a profound effect on the generations of artists that followed (at the Museum of Anthropology until Sept. 3, moa.ubc.ca).
Get those Irish eyes smiling at CelticFest events including live concerts, workshops from bagpipes to fiddles, kids activities, and The Big St. Pat’s Night Out featuring local fusion favourites Delhi 2 Dublin Saturday; then enjoy a big breakfast, St. Patrick’s Day parade and more musical merriment Sunday (celticfestvancouver.com). More offerings with the Emerald Isle at heart? Do a jig as Spirit of the West plays the Commodore (ticketmaster.ca), enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day Skate (Saturday, burnaby.ca), or help raise funds for an important cause at the St. Patrick’s Day Road Run (Saturday, stpatricks5k.com).
The Importance of Being Earnest
Enjoy repartee at its wittiest in the Arts Club production of The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde’s tack-sharp comedy about two men – one urban, one rural – who stir up no end of trouble when they take on alter-egos named Ernest. Featuring stellar Vancouver actors Ryan Bell and Charlie Gallant (at the Stanley until April 15, artsclub.com). For more big laughs, don’t miss famed American stand-up comic Brian Regan at the Centre (Saturday, ticketmaster.ca) or The Debators host Steve Patterson at the Comedy Mix (Saturday, thecomedymix.com).
Playdome at BC Place
Got a little tyke with Spring Break energy to burn? Choose from more than 45 rides and attractions at Playdome at BC Place, where they can float on air in the Zero Gravity ride, get spun around in the Ring of Fire, be flung by the Super Shot, then gently rise above on the Ferris wheel (at BC Place until March 20, bcplacestadium.com). Want to dial it back a notch? Hit Family Day at the Surrey Art Gallery, where kids can create comic strips with a professional cartoonist, construct a mini metropolis, envision a dream city and join an interactive performance by hip-hop crew Metaphor (Sunday, surrey.ca/arts).
Into The Abyss
Catch the latest film by master documentarian Werner Herzog as he focuses on a triple homicide in Texas to explore why some people kill – and why the state puts murderers to death – in Into the Abyss (at Vancity Theatre until March 22, viff.org). Care for something a little less dour? Brighten your weekend as Vancity Theatre thanks culturally minded retailers with a free screening of Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus (Sunday, viff.org).
Treat yourself to a stunning concert by Grammy-winning classical pianist Peter Serkin, who played Carnegie Hall just days ago, as he takes on the monumental Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 with the VSO (at the Orpheum Saturday and Monday, ticketmaster.ca). For more beautiful strings, don’t miss Britain’s award-winning Elias String Quartet as they make their Canadian debut (at the Playhouse Sunday, ticketmaster.ca). If indie pop is more your style, don’t miss the Magnetic Fields as they come off their first-ever SXSW appearance and return to Vancouver shores with Love at the Bottom of the Sea (at the Vogue Sunday, voguetheatre.com).
Welcome the official – and long-awaited – start of spring at the Medicine Wheel ceremony at VanDusen Botanical Garden, where you can join first nations elders in a spiritual ceremony to mark the change of season, then savour a hearty potluck meal. Bring a small stone to bless and a food item to share (Sunday, vandusengarden.org).