Cutting-edge artists from Club PuSh coming to a venue near you!

For the first time in its history, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is extending its programming to New Westminster with the launch of Club PuSh at the Anvil Centre. New West residents can still catch up-close two renowned artists creating major buzz in Canada and the US as part of this series.

Showing off his three-octave range, US singer Joseph Keckler moves from opera to pop without missing a beat in this riveting performance. Keckler was named as a “major vocal talent whose range shatters the conventional boundaries” by The New York Times in 2016. He performs widely and has appeared at Lincoln Center, Centre Pompidou, Miami Art Basel, UCB, SXSW and many other venues internationally. Keckler performs this weekend – January 26 at Anvil Centre. (For a sample of his range and work, check out this performance – he has many operas to choose from but I like this operatic English language short film).

A photo of performing artist Joseph Keckler seated alone on stage with a microphone.

Award-winning and JUNO-nominated Canadian Aboriginal cellist Cris Derksen and her trio will pull audiences in with their hypnotic blend of loop pedal, drum machine and cello. Originally from the North Tall Cree reserve in northern Alberta, Derksen has collaborated with icons from Kanye West, to Naomi Klein. The trio takes the Anvil Centre stage on February 2.(I struggled to pick one track – they are unbelievable soundscapes to listen to- but try this one featuring Jennifer Kreisberg from her most recent album.) 

Jessica Schneider, representing both Anvil Centre and the Massey Theatre, said about this first-time partnership: “We have adventurous audiences all over Metro Vancouver who are going to love having Club PuSh a little closer to home. This is yet another smart move for PuSh in branching out to New Westminster’s community. Anvil Centre will be a great theatre setting to take in Club PuSh. Adding a second date for visiting artists increases the impact of their visits to BC and an earlier performance time makes the shows accessible to a wider public.”

The PuSh Festival has been bringing cutting-edge arts experiences across the disciplines of dance, theatre, music or multimedia to Vancouver audiences for the past 14 years. This year, the festival welcomes artists from 11 countries – including those from Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Mexico, among others.


Analog After Dark / Pop Up Vinyl Shop Returns

On Saturday, November 18th from 6:30-11:00 pm, record labels, collectors, and vinyl lovers from across Metro Vancouver will gather in New Westminster for an evening of music, beer, community and of course crate digging.

First launched by Steel & Oak Brewing Co. and the Arts Council of New West in the fall of 2016, the third edition of Analog will take place in the River Market food hall at 810 Quayside Drive from 6:30-11:00 pm. Select River Market food hall vendors will be open for the evening with vinyl sales from 6:30 pm onwards.

“Our last event was a huge success and we’ve managed to build a community of vinyl enthusiasts eager to support local labels, shops and collectors.” says Steel & Oak co-owner Jorden Foss. “The vibe in the spring was electric and people loved spending an afternoon browsing for records, while also enjoying some amazing music, good food and beer. They’re definitely going to like what we’re doing with the after dark concept.”

Adding to the evening of vinyl shopping and sipping craft beer, the Arts Council of New West is collaborating with local electronic music night organizers Social Medium to program a lineup of vinyl DJs playing a range of hip-hop and electro through to house and techno with live video mixing and visuals from local artist and DJ Mutes Ito.

In addition to popular returning vendors Scrape Records, Music Madhouse & Northern Electric are a handful of collectors, new recruits Highlife Records, and internationally recognized electronic music labels Hybridity Music, Pacific Rhythm and Mood Hut.

“We’re super excited for the event! It’s fun working together with our friends at Steel & Oak and Social Medium to bring an innovative event like Analog built around the arts that is a bit out of the ordinary from what people might expect of New West.” says Stephen O’Shea of the Arts Council. “We’re always looking for ways to surprise people and do something creative that they might not have seen before.”

New for this event is a limited edition S&O beer called High Fidelity, brewed especially for the event. “We wanted to have some fun with the after dark concept and think people are going to really dig what we’ve put together.”

Analog: Pop Up Vinyl Shop hits River Market at 810 Quayside Drive, November 18th 6:30-11pm. Register here. 

New West Cultural Crawl August 12 and 13

Oh my there is so much happening in New West this summer!

Quickly approaching is the 14th Annual New West Cultural Crawl, taking place across the entire city once again on August 12 and 13, 2017. This free and family-friendly arts festival will see 37 venues across the five distinct New West neighbourhoods open their doors to celebrate the professional and emerging artists in the city. Besides the self-guided tour during the day, the New West Cultural Crawl is also proud to present many special events throughout the weekend that should be on everyone’s Crawl route:


  • Opening Night – Sneakpeak at the Crawl!

Friday August 11, 5pm to 7pm
Anvil Centre Community Art Space, 777 Columbia Street (3rd Floor)

Catch a sneakpeak at the Crawl and enjoy this reception in conjunction with the exhibition opening of “ArchiTEXTURE” by the New Westminster Art Services at the Community Art Space! Come mingle with the participating artists, enjoy a glass of wine from the cash bar and live music, and design your route for the Cultural Crawl!

Facebook event. 

“After the Rain” by Judy Villiet will be amongst the many textile works present for the “ArchiTEXTURE” exhibition!


  • Watch and sip some Latte Art

Saturday August 12, 12pm to 4pm

Sunday August 13, 12pm to 2pm

Blenz Coffee, inside Royal City Centre (next to Whitespot), 610 Sixth Street.

For some, a cup of coffee is nothing more than daily mandatory $2 expense to keep the day going; but for these baristas, it’s became a medium for creative outlet that is truly awe-inspiring. Blenz Coffee located inside Royal City Centre will be the home for expert baristas to show off the so-called Latte Art, with a competition scheduled on Sunday August 13 at noon! Be sure to swing by Blenz this weekend to check them out.


Come see the expert baristas demonstrate their Latte Art skills including rosettas, hearts, and etching.


  • Shakespeare crash course!

Saturday August 12, 2pm-3:30pm

Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Avenue

Bard on the Beach’s Riotous Youth will take over Massey Theatre on Saturday to introduce Shakespeare and his plays in this dynamic, engaging presentation suitable for all ages. In one hour, audiences will learn about Shakespeare’s role in our society today and discover how plays written so long ago can be so relevant today.

Featuring the Riotous Youth from Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach!


  • Amelia Douglas Gallery exhibition opening!

Saturday August 12, 1pm – 3pm
Amelia Douglas Gallery, 700 Royal Avenue (4th Floor)

Check out the opening reception of the exhibition “Greenlinks 2017: In a Nutshell” at the Amelia Douglas Gallery! Refreshments, live music, and a free seed-paper making workshops!

The Boy Who Dares Dream of Tomorrow’ by Tracie Stewart.


  • Pechakucha Vol. 16!

Saturday August 12, 7pm – 9pm
Queen’s Park Band Shell

One of New West’s most beloved events returns to outdoor in on August 12, this time in the beautiful Queen’s Park Band Shell! This popular presentation format will see each speaker get twenty seconds with each of their slides. Cash bar will be available as well!

Check out the beautiful poster designed by Carter Hales!


  • Get cozy for the outdoor movie series!

Saturday August 12, at Sundown (around 8pm)
Port Royal Park

The popular Outdoor Movie series comes back to Port Royal Park on Saturday August 12, where they will be screening “A Dog’s Purpose”. The park is conveniently located right next to the Port Royal Dock where the brand Q2Q Ferry will be in service!

Bring a blanket and popcorns to share!


  • Super Fun Artshow!

Saturday August 12, 9am – 9pm
Sunday August 13, 9am – 9pm
Fat Paint Company, 140 – 131 11th Street

Local mosaic artist Ted Munz is hosting his and many other artists’ works at the FAT Paint Company, along with many other festivities! Make sure to check them out!

Super fun art show!


  • Crash the Mad Hatter’s tea party!


Sunday August 13, 11am – 5pm
Port Royal Community Garden, 83 Crescent Street

A garden wonderland with tempting artwork, toe-tapping tunes and tasty treats! Let the Mad Hatter of Queensborough hfashion your complimentary topper! Tea, goodies and live music from noon to 3pm, with activities till 5pm. Just steps away from Q2Q Ferry’s Port Royal Dock!

Fun for all ages!


Most of the 37 venues we have in the Cultural Crawl this year will feature some demonstration and/or hands-on workshop, some great examples being Brick and Mortar Living(42 Sixth Street/52 Sixth Street) and The Playground Co. (1012 3rd Avenue). Take a look at our website with neighbourhood-specific maps so you may plan out your routes!

Also check out our Instagram contest for during the Crawl – the more venues you visit, the more chances you get to win! Contest info here. Come get your Crawl on!

Metz & Chew Complete New Westminster’s *birds on a branch*

The bird’s the word around New Westminster’s Front Street Parkade this summer, thanks to a recent work by artists Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew.

Collectively known as Metz & Chew, the duo responded to an open call from the City of New Westminster for a public art installation with hopes of completing their first large-scale, urban project. In the past, their work has been much more intimate, making the notion of seeing 660 feet of their own art open to the public an exciting creative challenge for the collective.

“We were fascinated by the idea of passers-by interacting with such enormous images,” says Metz & Chew. “Secondly, we found the surrounding urban landscape compelling – a working riverfront, the lush waterfront park, train tracks, bridges, the somewhat industrial façade of the parkade, the heritage storefronts behind. Layered in with all this are the historical memories of the riverfront and of the Victorian town beside it.”

Their goal with the piece was “to weave a bit of the natural world into a prosaic parking garage façade, to insert a little of delight and whimsy – several stories high – into a working waterfront, [and] to bring a bit of pleasure to the your day.”

Image used with permission by photographer Michael Love.

The concept of birds on a branch was inspired by the historic metropolitan area, nearby riverfront walk, heritage homes, and lavish gardens that are truly unique to New Westminster. As a “playful counterpoint to the industrial facade of the parkade,” the piece is lighthearted while remaining meaningful to anyone who’s known or visited the riverside community. Even the ideas for the appearances of the birds depicted in the work originate from the birdsong that can be heard in nearby forests and gardens, although their specific shapes and sizes are purely suggestive.

Anyone travelling via Skytrain will be able to spot birds on a branch on their commute from the Skybridge, but locals will likely pass it by as part of their regular routine. To get an especially picturesque view of the piece, stroll through Westminster Pier Park and peek through the greenery to see the stark yellow birds residing on the building side.

Image used with permission of the photographer Michael Love.

The bold yellow colour of the piece, deemed “parkade lemonade”, was chosen as a sunny, optimistic hue that will stay vibrant throughout the seasons. It sticks out beautifully on the chain-link of the Front Street Parkade—described as Metz & Chew as an almost glowing effect from inside the structure. Because of its size, it can be seen as abstract both close up and from a distance.

birds on a branch will be officially revealed to the public at a Fridays on Front event on the Front Street Mews on July 7 at 5:00pm. The event will lead attendees on a public art tour of the City’s recently completed public creations, and a flock of white doves will be released to celebrate the finalization of birds on a branch. Metz & Chew will be in attendance and will speak at the event.

Arts Coordinator for the City of New Westminster, Biliana Velkova, has been organizing the city’s public art project since it began. She is thrilled to have worked with Metz & Chew, and is looking forward to the seeing their work around the city.

“They were really creating something really unique and special for the city, which I think they achieved with birds on a branch. We needed to add some colour and something playful on the structure, which also plays with the overall beautification and building installation in the area,” says Velkova.

She continues, “Our community is very supportive of the arts, and I think public art is a really good way of showing this commitment.”

Image used with permission of the photographer, Michael Love.


A Little Night Music comes to the Anvil Theatre May 11-21

Photo by David Cooper. Actors Warren Kimmel and Katey Wright

Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics come alive May 11- 21 at Anvil Centre Theatre in Patrick Street Production’s A Little Night Music. This sophisticated Broadway musical, which includes the hit song “Send In the Clowns,” has won 6 Tony Awards (including Best Musical), a Golden Globe, and a Grammy. With Hugh Wheeler’s wry, witty script, and Sondheim’s luscious score this romantic romp among mismatched couples explores the joys and frustrations of love and sex at all ages and stages. A true celebration of love and desire in three-quarter time. Directed by Peter Jorgensen, this runs Wednesdays through Saturday evenings at 8pm with a matinee May 14, 20, and 21 at 2pm. Opening Night is Saturday May 13. Preview tickets are available May 11 and 12 for a reduced fee ($21.50 + $4 service charge) or seats May 13-21 range from $21.50-$35.50 (+$4 service charge) through TicketsNW or call 604-521-5050.

But you can win a pair of tickets to opening night just by commenting on this post! 



Based on the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, A Little Night Music is a tangled series of interwoven love affairs at the turn of the century among the elite that takes place at a weekend country estate. The story begins with the esteemed lawyer Fredrik Egerman, (Warren Kimmel – who some of you might remember recently from Fiddler on the Roof and “It’s Tradition!”) who has recently married an 18-year-old virgin, Anne. The couple lives in the same house with Fredrik’s young son Henrik, (Caleb Di Pomponio) who has also fallen madly in love with Anne.  Fredrik’s dedication to his blushing bride is tested when he reunites with former flame and aging actress, Desiree Armfeldt (Katey Wright in a role played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dame Judi Dench among others) It all gets more complicated when Desiree’s jealous, married lover Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm (Nick Fontaine) gets wind of the reunion. All of these trysts and twists come to a head when Desiree convinces her mother to host Fredrik and his family for a weekend on her lavish estate – where the Count, with his wife Charlotte (Lindsay Warnock), crash the party.

Photo by David Cooper. Actors Nick Fontaine, Katey Wright, and Warren Kimmel.

Night Music gives us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the work of two geniuses,” says director, Peter Jorgensen. “The first, Ingmar Bergman, one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, and the second, Stephen Sondheim, who managed to deepen and enrich Bergman’s story with his glorious score and incredible lyrics.”

Since its original 1973 Broadway production, this musical has enjoyed professional productions around the world including in London’s West End, by major opera companies, by the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, and in a 2009 Broadway revival. It was adapted for film in 1977, with Harold Prince directing, and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Len Cariou, Lesley-Anne Down and Diana Rigg.

Patrick Street Productions is a dynamic exciting musical theatre company creating quality productions of contemporary musicals that thrill, excite, provoke and above all, entertain. A Little Night Music is the epitome of a Patrick Street production – sophisticated music, complex characters, and a story written with intelligence and heart. 

Comment on this post for your chance to be entered to win a pair of tickets to opening night! Contest closes at 5pm April 30, 2017. One winner will be selected at random.