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Vancouver PuSh Festival

Vancouver PuSh Festival

The PuSh Festival is a performing arts festival that showcases local, Canadian and international artists at various Vancouver theatres in January.

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Celebrating its 19th season in 2019, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival features more than 100 performances at 20 or so venues between mid-January and early February. It attracts up to over 20,000 attendees each year and includes free events in addition to its regular ticketed shows.

PuSh Festival 2019

In 2019 the PuSh Festival runs from January 17th until February 3rd.


Below you’ll find information about the following topics:

Admission Rates | 2019 Festival Shows | Free PuSh Events | Locally-Produced Shows | Tips & Advice | About the Festival | Other Information


Performance Admission Rates

Both individual single-performance tickets and multi-show passes are available at PuSh Festival productions.

Single Tickets

Single tickets are sold through various box offices and prices range from free to about $80 plus online fees. Especially with free shows and major ones, advanced reservations are recommended.

Prices for most shows range from about $20 to $40.

Some venues offer just one price option. Others, including the most expensive shows, offer different price categories. With some shows everyone pays the same price. Others, however, offer reduced rates for children.

Queen Elizabeth Theatre

PuSh Passes

PuSh Passes come in 4 and 6-ticket packages and provide pass holders a 30% discount when purchasing tickets for additional shows.

The 4-Show Pass costs around $119 (including taxes) and the 6-Show Pass costs around $176 (so about $30 per performance). There is also a Youth 4-Show Pass which costs just $20 or so, which is a fantastic deal and good for folk ages 16 to 24.

In some years PuSh Passes sell out so if you want one make sure to buy yours early.

Important Notes:

  • Some premium performances require a surcharge in addition to the use of a PuSh Pass, and some shows are not eligible for use with a PuSh Pass at all. Also, the number of seats for PuSh Pass holders at specific shows is limited, so book early – and a minimum of 3 days in advance – to avoid disappointment.
  • All tickets and PuSh Passes are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • Tickets to performances purchased with a PuSh Pass can be cancelled with 72 hours notice and an alternative show booked with payment of a $2.25 exchange fee. Tickets purchased without a PuSh Pass cannot be exchanged
  • Most performances offer general admission with first-come, first-served non-assigned seating (so arrive early to get a good seat).
  • Most but not all venues are wheelchair accessible.
  • Except for in cases where there is the option to have tickets e-mailed for printing at home, PuSh Pass holders need to present photo identification when picking up their tickets at the venue box office.

Click How to Attend PuSh for more information about how tickets work, or click PuSh Calendar for the lineup of shows and to buy tickets.

2019 PuSh Festival Shows

The PuSh Performing Arts Festival features over 100 different performances. Some events are free, most have a cost, many are Canadian productions, many are international, and some are from local Vancouver theatre companies.

For a full list of shows click PuSh Festival Calendar.

For a list of free events and performances by Lower Mainland and Canadian-based groups in 2019, see below.

Free PuSh Events

The following PuSh events are free for the public:

  • Thursday, January 17 to March 9, 2019Corazon Del Espantapajaros (Heart of the Scarecrow): takes place at the Audain Gallery in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 149 West Hastings Street. Tickets are free and no pre-registration is required.
  • Thursday, January 17, 2019Kimmortal & Immigrant Lessons: at The Beaumont Studios (19+) at 316 West 5th Avenue in Vancouver. The doors open at 9:30 and have performances throughout the evening. Pre-registration is not required.
  • Friday, January 18, 2019Critical Ideas:  Sound + Space:  at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 149 West Hastings Street (Level 2). Perfomance runs from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. Pre-registration is not required.
  • Saturday, January 19, 2019Youth Assembly:  at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 149 West Hastings Street (Level 2). Runs from 11 am to 5 pm. Pre-registration is required.
  • Wednesday, January 23 to February 2, 2019Race Cards with Selina Thompson:  at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre at 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver. Tickets are free and no pre-registration is required. Performances run from 12 pm to 8 pm.
  • Friday, January 25, 2019Critical Ideas:  Arts + Access:  at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 149 West Hastings Street (Level 2). Runs from 2:30 to 4 pm. Pre-registration is not required.
  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019Curatorial Practice:  Publications Launch:  at the Vancouver Public Library, Central Library at 350 West Georgia Street. Runs from 5 to 7 pm. Pre-registration is not required.
  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019Artist Talk:  Dance, Architecture and Public Space:  at the Anvil Centre at 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster. Runs from 7 to 8:30 pm. Pre-registration is encouraged.
  • Friday, February 1, 2019Critical Ideas:  Ethics + Consent:  at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 149 West Hastings Street (Level 3). Runs from 10:30 am to 12 pm. Pre-registration is not required.
  • Saturday, February 2, 2019Artist Talk:  Breathing Room Roundtable:  at the Or Gallery at 555 Hamilton Street, Vancouver. Runs from 2 to 4:30 pm. Pre-registration is not required.
  • Sunday, February 3, 2019Artist Talk:  In Conversation:  Graham Reynolds and Joelysa Pankanea:  at the Vancity Theatre at 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver. Runs from 3 to 4 pm. Pre-registration is required.

Local PuSh Festival Productions

The following are a sample of 2019 PuSh shows produced by local or Canadian theatre groups:

  • January 21 & 2, 28 & 29, 2019Loop, Lull:  at the Scotiabank Dance Centre at 677 Davie Street. The show starts at 7:00. Tickets are $37 plus fees.
  • January 23 – 27, 2019Prince Hamlet:  at the Frederic Wood Theatre at 6354 Crescent Road, UBC. Tickets are $39 plus fees.
  • January 25 & 26, 2019Suddenly Slaughter:  at the Russian Hall at 600 Campbell Avenue, Vancouver. Tickets are $25 plus fees.
  • January 26 & 27, 2019Bicycle Thieves: at the Performance Works at 1218 Cartwright Street, Granville Island. Tickets start at $39 plus fees.
  • January 29 to February 2, 2019This is the Point: at the Historic Theatre, The Cultch at 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver. Tickets start at $24 plus fees.
  • January 30 to February 2, 2019Kiinalik:  These Sharp Tools: at the Performance Works at 1218 Cartwright Street, Granville Island. Tickets start at $39 plus fees.
  • February 2 to 7, 2019Fragile Forms: at the Anvil Centre at 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster. Tickets start at $29 plus fees.
Performance Works at Granville Island
Performance Works at Granville Island

Other Performances

In addition to the above listed free and locally-produced shows and events, the PuSh Festival featured dozens of other performing arts productions over the course of its 20 days in 2018.

For the full listing, check out the PuSh Calendar where you can search events by both type and date.

Tips & Advice

Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your experience at the PuSh Festival.

  • Book your PuSh pass early, before they sell out.
  • Arrive at your show well before start time. In all but a few cases, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The Dine Out Vancouver Festival conveniently runs during similar dates as the PuSh Festival. Combine your night out for a show with a fabulous and affordably-priced 3-course dinner. Click Downtown Dine Out Venues for a list of some of the best festival restaurants in Vancouver’s downtown core, or Dine Out Vancouver for a list of some of the top participating restaurants in the Lower Mainland.

Dine Out Vancouver Festival Restaurants

About the PuSh Festival

The PuSh Festival has grown to become a signature performing arts festival in Vancouver since its humble beginnings in 2003.

Today the mission of the organization is to “engage and enrich audiences with adventurous contemporary works in a spirit of innovation and dialogue.” The festival showcases local, Canadian and international contemporary artists and performances, and works in partnership with other organizations to develop new and
ground-breaking artistic work.

According to the festival’s website, the organization values “transformative experiences, risk-taking, respectful collaboration and dialogue, … inspiration, innovation, and diversity in arts and peoples.” Consequently, you can expect shows that are amazing, unique, cross-cultural and both traditional and different.

Other Information

For more information about the PuSh Performing Arts Festival, check out the PuSh Festival website.

For a list of other major Lower Mainland festivals throughout the year, click Vancouver Festivals & Events Calendar.

For ideas on other things to do this time of year, check out any of the following: