Friday, June 14, 2024

Vancouver takes centre stage at revived Magnetic North

Live performing arts festival returns after a two-year hiatus

Following a two-year hiatus and the retirement of $234,000 in operating debt, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival announced a line-up which will be heavy on local talent.

“The festival has had an incredible amount of fundraising support from our national arts community and long-time MagNorth supporters, with our Vancouver community especially keen to be featured in this year’s festival,” says Magnetic North board chair and Cultch executive director Heather Redfern in a media release.

The nine-day festival in June will feature over a dozen performances, heavy on local talent including Tara Cheyenne Performance, rice & beans theatre, Alley Theatre, Touchstone Theatre, Theatre Conspiracy, and others.

“One of our colleagues coined the phrase ‘potluck programming’,” says Redfern. “Where the indie theatres would bring their projects to the table if Magnetic North would be an umbrella for those shows and host the work in the homes we found for those projects.”

Those homes are spread across the Lower Mainland thanks to partnerships with the Shadbolt Centre, Presentation House Theatre, Progress Lab 1422, Touchstone Theatre, The Post at 750, and The Cultch.

While the word “theatre” has ultimately remained in the festival title, there remains a new emphasis on the broader live performing arts which now includes dance.

“The other change to the programming model is that we didn’t want to only feature full-scale productions that had been previously done,” says producer Amy Strickland. “It felt important to also utilize the time in our host venues to support and showcase the development of new work in progress.”

In acknowledging the new work being created across the country, Strickland goes onto say the festival programming not only features finished works, but is a celebration of theatre-making in of its self. “So festival audiences will be let-in on the creation process – either through open-studios or sample showcase readings – whatever phase the artists are at that day.”

Another aspect to the new Magnetic North will be conversations about the future of the festival, facilitated by Rumble Theatre’s Artistic Director, Jivesh Parasram.

Festival passes, including access to all workshops, symposiums, and select shows, will be available at either $160 or $60, with participants picking the fee they want to pay.

A list of performances for the 2019 Magnetic North Theatre Festival follows. The festival’s full programming and schedule will be released on April 30. Visit for more information.

  • The Body Project  (Tara Cheyenne Performance, Vancouver)
  • Chicken Girlby Derek Chan (rice & beans theatre, Vancouver)
  • Culture Capitalfrom Milton Lim and Patrick Blenkharn (Vancouver)
  • Eloise by Jeanette Kotowich (Vancouver)
  • HIVE 2019(Produced by the Hive Performance Collective in association with Presentation House Theatre, North Vancouver)
  • Inheritance: A pick-the-path-experienceby Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn (Alley Theatre, Vancouver)
  • In Tune: New Musicals in Development(Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver)
  • Me Love Bingofrom Kyle Loven (Vancouver)
  • Mermaid SpringCo-Created by Kyla Gardiner, Barbara Adler, and James Merger (10,000 Wolves, Vancouver)
  • New Work from Nadia Ross (STO Union, Farrellton
  • Peter Tripp Projectfrom Jayden Pfeifer & Johanna Bundon (Regina)
  • rEvolver Festival(UpintheairTheatre, Vancouver)
  • Straight Jacket Winterby Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis (2PAR4, Montreal)
  • Stray– Co-created by Tanya Marquardt, Tim Carlson, and Mallory Catlett (Theatre Conspiracy, Vancouver)
  • Svaha (Nova Dance, Toronto)
  • Tucked & PluckedCreated by Dave Deveau & Cameron Mackenzie (ZeeZee Theatre, Vancouver)
  • Undivided Colours– a collection of dance works by Peter Chin, William Lau, Hari Krishnan, and Alvin Erasga Tolentino (ERASGA, Vancouver)
  • Unscripted: KurokoHosted by Tetsuro Shigematsu (Playwrights Theatre Centre, Vancouver)
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