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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 Vancouver theatres in January and February.

In 2023 the festival runs from January 19th until February 5th. For the event’s official website click Vancouver PuSh Festival.

To see what’s showing in 2023, click 2023 PuSh Lineup.

 


Below you’ll find information about the following topics:

Admission Rates | Festival Shows | Club PuSh | Tips & Advice | Video Trailer | About the Festival | Other Information


 

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Celebrating its 19th season in 2023, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival usually features twenty performances at a dozen venues between mid-January and early February. There is also select programming online.

The festival attracts up to over 20,000 attendees in normal years. It also includes free events in addition to its regular ticketed shows.

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (PuSh) delivers ground-breaking, contemporary works of dance, theatre, multimedia and music by artists from Vancouver, across Canada and around the world.

Tickets start at just $25. To purchase tickets, visit the pushfestival.ca website or call the PuSh Festival Audience Services info line at 604-449-6000.

 

Vancouver PuSh Festival

 

PuSh Festival Dates

In 2022 the festival began on January 20th and finished on February 6th. In 2023 the PuSh Festival starts on Thursday, January 19th, and runs until Sunday, February 5th.

 

2023 Festival

In 2023 the festival features 20 different works from twelve countries. This includes six world premieres! On top of that, there are a few other performances at the more casual and interactive Club PuSh on Granville Island.

As always, the festival line-up is dedicated to creative risk-taking and dynamic interdisciplinary collaboration. There is an extra emphasis on Canadian artists. There are, however, works by British, American, Italian, French and other artists as well.

 


For tickets and full details about the performances, see the official PuSh Festival website.


 

Vancouver Push Festival

 

Performance Admission Rates

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

 

Single Tickets

Single tickets are sold both online and through various box offices. In 2023 most shows cost about $34 per ticket. Tickets for online shows cost about $25 each.

To purchase tickets for the 2023 season (when they become available), visit the pushfestival.ca website or call 604-449-6000.

 

StayVancouverHotels.com

 

PuSh Passes

In 2023 the PuSh Pass comes with a 25% discount on single tickets and free admission to all Club PuSh events. A 4-show pass costs $120 and the 6-show pass costs $180. There is also a Youth 4-Show Pass for people between the ages of 16 and 24. It costs $20.

 


For tickets and full details about the performances, see the official PuSh Festival website.


 

PuSh Festival Shows

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

In 2023 there are twenty different shows, most of which have multiple showtimes. Listed below are the details of all performances.

(Note: Times, locations and other details are subject to change. See the official PuSh Festival website for the most up-to-date schedule of events.)

 

Capitalism Works For Me

 

Lolling and Rolling (South Korea/Belgium)

Jaha Koo and CAMPO

This multimedia performance is about the South Korean tongue-tie surgery, which is supposed to help people pronounce the “r” sound. It highlights cultural oppression and the overall loss of identity that comes with the surgery.

The western Canadian premiere runs both in-person and online. The in-person shows take place at Performance Works on Granville Island at 7:30 pm on January 19th, 20th and 21st in 2023. The online shows run on the same days, plus on January 22nd as well.

To learn more about this event click Lolling and Rolling.

 

Capitalism Installation at Vancouver Library

 

Never Twenty One (France)

Smaïl Kanouté and Compagnie Vivons!

Never Twenty One is a French dance production with three performers. The dancers pay tribute to victims of gun violence in different parts of the world with an emotional and powerful routine.

The Vancouver premiere takes place at the Scotiabank Dance Centre and is presented with the Dance Centre. Shows start at 8:00 pm on January 19th, 20th and 21st.

For full details click Never Twenty One.

 

Coloured Swan 3: Harriet’s reMix (South Africa/Belgium)

Moya Michael, AnAku & KVS

This performance is a creative combination of music, dance, visual projections and audience interactions. The Canadian premiere runs on January 20th, 21st and 22nd. Shows on the first two days start at 7:30 pm, whereas the last show starts at 2:00 pm. All three performances are held at the Orpheum Annex.

To learn more about this event click Coloured Swan 3: Harriet’s reMix.

 

The Seventh Fire (Unceded Coast Salish Territory)

Delinquent Theatre

The Seventh Fire is an audio performance created by Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen. It uses traditional Anishinaabe stories and sounds by Mishelle Cuttler. The world premiere is held at Lobe Studio from January 25th to 29th, and from February 1st to 5th. Times vary depending on the day.

For full details click The Seventh Fire.

 


For tickets and full details about the performances, see the official PuSh Festival website.


 

A Percussionist’s Songbook (UK)

Joby Burgess

Joby Burgess performs tracks from his new album called songs without words. Presented with Music on Main, there are multiple setups per show and a wide range of sounds to enjoy. The Canadian premiere takes place on January 25th and 26th at the Orpheum Annex. Shows on both days start at 7:30 pm.

To learn more about this event click A Percussionist’s Songbook.

 

Vancouver PuSh Festival

 

Lontano + Instante (France/Argentina/Italy)

Compagnie 7bis, Juan Ignacio Tula and Marica Marinoni

Lontano + Instante is a circus-style performance presented with Inner Fish. The shows feature dazzling acrobatics and the Cyr wheel, which is a large circus ring used for perpetual motion. The shows are held both at the Scotiabank Dance Centre and online. The in-person performances start at 8:00 pm on January 26th, 27th and 28th. The show is available online from January 26th to 29th.

For full details click Lontano + Instante.

 

Les cri des méduses (Canada)

Alan Lake Factorie

A powerful and seductive dance performance inspired by The Raft of Medusa painting. The piece is choreographed by Alan Lake and features music, nine different performers and interesting backgrounds. The shows are held at the Vancouver Playhouse at 7:30 pm on January 27th and 28th. Folks can also watch it online from January 27th to 30th.

To learn more about this event click Le cri des méduses.

 


For tickets and full details about the performances, see the official PuSh Festival website.


 

Soliloquio (Argentina)

Tiziano Cruz

Soliloquio (I woke up and hit my head against the wall) is a performative lecture presented with the frank theatre company. It’s a monologue that uses personal letters as a starting point to touch on oppression in Argentina and around the world. The Canadian premiere takes place at the Roundhouse Performance Centre. Dates and times are January 27th and 28th at 7:30 pm, and January 29th at 2:00 pm.

For full details click Soliloquio.

 

MANUAL (Canada)

Adam Kinner and Christopher Willes

This is an interactive performance presented with the Vancouver Public Library. It’s a free but ticketed event with guides that lead participants on sensory journeys in a public space. The experience is available at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Sessions take place every 20 minutes between 11:40 am and 6:00 pm from January 28th to February 1st.

To learn more about this event click MANUAL.

 

Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island

 

afternow (Zimbabwe/USA)

nore chipaumire

Presented with the Black Arts Centre, afternow is a multimedia installation featuring three video portraits, an opera and a stereo system. It bridges African spirituality and modern art forms. The installation is at the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall on January 28th and 29th, and again from January 31st to February 5th.

For full details click afternow.

 

Red Phone (Canada)

Boca del Lupo

This is an immersive theatre installation in which participants act out dialogues with partners in phone booths with the help of teleprompters. The installation is held at The Fishbowl and is free to try. The performances run for 3 to 15 minutes each between 3:00 and 7:00 pm from January 29th to 31st. More performances happen between 3:00 and 9:00 pm from February 2nd to 4th.

To learn more about this event click Red Phone.

 

Because I love the diversity (India/Belgium)

Rakesh Sukesh

Presented with The CULTCH, Because I love the diversity (this micro-attitude, we all have it) is a solo dance show. Rakesh Sukesh combines dance, music and text for a politically-fueled performance. The world premiere takes place at 7:30 pm on January 29th, 30th and 31st at Performance Works on Granville Island.

For full details click Because I love diversity.

 

An Undeveloped Sound (Unceded Coast Salish Territory)

This is a theatre production presented with Electric Company Theatre and SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs. It’s a world premiere featuring four spokespeople trying to express what cannot be expressed. The central theme of the show is communication.

The shows take place at the Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU in Vancouver. There are previews on January 30th and 31st at 7:30 pm. More shows take place between February 1st and 4th at 7:30 pm as well.

To learn more about this event click An Undeveloped Sound.

 

Are we not drawn onward to a new erA (Belgium)

Ontroerend Goed

Presented with the UBC Theatre and Film Department, this play is a palindrome. You can see and hear the same things twice but in reverse the second time. The theatre production is a provocative perspective on the climate crisis. Shows start at 7:30 pm on February 1st to 4th at the Frederic Wood Theatre at UBC.

For full details click Are we not drawn onward to a new erA.

 


For tickets and full details about the performances, see the official PuSh Festival website.


 

Selfie Concert (Bulgaria)

Ivo Dimchev

This is a different type of concert presented with plastic orchid factory. The show blurs the boundary between the artist and the audience. Ivo Dimchev performs at Left of Main, so with no stage at all. The singer and songwriter interacts with the audience and snaps selfies. Performances take place on February 2nd and 3rd at 7:30 pm.

To learn more about this event click Selfie Concert.

 

Okinum (Canada)

Productions Onishka with AnAku

Presented with the Anvil Centre and Touchstone Theatre, the performance is a monologue by Émilie Monnet. The show features live music by Jackie Gallant and follows Monnet as she tries to connect with her Anishinaabe ancestry.

Folks can enjoy this performance both in-person and online. The shows run at 7:30 pm on February 2nd and 3rd at the Anvil Centre Theatre. It’s also available online between February 2nd and 5th.

For full details click Okinum.

 

This & the last caribou (Canada)

New Dance Horizons

This is a theatre-style show with two world premieres. It’s a series of three pieces that explore the relationship of humanity with nature and history. The performance features a single figure and symbolic props that make for a meditative experience. Shows are held at the Orpheum Annex at 7:30 pm on February 2nd and 3rd, as well as on February 4th at 2:30 pm.

To learn more about this event click This & the last caribou.

 

The Café (Unceded Coast Salish Territory)

ITSAZOO Productions

Presented with The Cultch, this digital theatre show is an online experience available to watch from February 2nd to 5th. Audiences at home can enjoy the seven vignettes by nine diverse playwrights.

For full details click The Café.

 

Soldiers of Tomorrow (Canada)

This is the world premiere of Soldiers of Tomorrow. It’s a theatre performance presented with The Elbow Theatre’s Itai Erdal. The show features a musician from Syria trying to relate his actions in the army to the state of his former country. Performances are held at the Roundhouse Performance Centre on February 3rd, 4th and 5th. Shows on the 3rd and 4th start at 7:30 pm, whereas the February 5th show starts at 2:00 pm.

To learn more about this event click Soldiers of Tomorrow.

 

O’DD (Finland)

Race Horse Company

O’DD is a circus performance that follows a man from a representation of birth through the other phases of life. There are props to accompany the show, along with beautiful music and outstanding acrobatics.

The shows take place at the Vancouver Playhouse at 7:30 pm on February 4th and at 2:00 pm on February 5th. It’s also available online between February 2nd and 5th.

For full details click O’DD.

 


For tickets and full details about the performances, see the official PuSh Festival website.


 

Firehall Arts Centre

 

Club PuSh

On top of the above shows, festival-enjoyers can spend time at Club PuSh. Held at Performance Works on Granville Island from February 2nd to 4th, this venue is home to a casual party with those who want to keep enjoying PuSh in the evenings. There are musicians, DJs, dancers and more providing a fun atmosphere.

The entertainment each night is curated by a different production company. From the 2nd to the 4th, enjoy performances put on by the frank theatre company, Talking Stick and the Black Arts Centre.

Admission to Club PuSh is free for PuSh pass holders. Anyone with at least one ticket to a PuSh show can get in for about $5. You can still enter if you don’t go to any other PuSh shows, but it costs $10 at the door.

See below for more details about each evening.

 

Talking Stick (Canada)

This Club PuSh event happens on Thursday, February 2nd, at Granville Island’s Performance Works. It features lots of genres including Indigenous music mixed with modern dance tunes. The event runs from 9:00 pm until 2:00 am.

 

The Black Arts Centre (Canada)

This Club PuSh event runs from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am on Friday, February 3rd. It’s held at Performance Works on Granville Island. Expect a variety of cultures from the Black Diaspora mixed with modern forms of art and storytelling.

 

The Frank Theatre Company (Canada)

This Club PuSh event takes place on Saturday, February 4th, at Performance Works. It’s a provocative celebration of queer art with musical acts, drag queen performances and more. The event runs from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am.

To learn more about the above three events click Club PuSh in 2023.

 

Performance Works at Granville Island
Performance Works at Granville Island

 

Tips & Advice

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

  • 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 most years. 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.

 


For tickets and full details about the various shows, see the official PuSh Festival website.


 

2022 PuSh Festival Trailer Video

To give you a rough idea of what to expect at the festival in 2022, check out the following trailer video.

 

 

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 it 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

To learn more 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: