June 15, 2023 edition - Baring butts, and much more



See ya, spring. It’s been a ride.

This week marks the last official full week of spring, which might come as something of a surprise to Vancouverites who have spent the better part of the month basking in the 20+ degree temperatures and enjoying the blessedly smokeless skies of the Pacific Northwest.

Which was a good choice, as we all know that’s not going to last long, what with the inevitable coming of drought, forest fires, smokey haze, and air quality warnings that we’ve so intimately come to know over the past few years. It’s almost as though the climate… is changing? Who woulda thought.

Those scorching temperatures are particularly troubling for kitchen workers, who have to spend their time beside a literal oven in often-AC-less kitchens. We’ve got more on that in today’s newsletter.

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Our guide to the 2023 Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Running from June 23 to July 2, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival offers 140 shows—including over 50 free performances—at an array of venues across the city.

Keep your eyes on this space for all of the Straight’s coverage on this year's edition, including an interview with Mary Ancheta, our top festival picks, a Witch Prophet feature, and more.


The Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival hits False Creek next weekend!

Sitting right between sport and culture is one of Vancouver’s signature events; the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival is about to hit False Creek again, and you’re invited to explore what it all means.

While Vancouver’s take on this ancient Chinese cultural sport features space-age material boats racing on the water every 11 minutes, it also features a Chinatown pavilion to reconnect with the festival’s roots.

Plus what’s a festival without music? The TD Main Stage features a 100% local lineup, featuring everything from headliners Dear Rouge and SABAI, to the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble, and dragon and lion dances throughout the day. Soak in the sun, and discover a little more of the spirit behind this place we call home.


Can't stand the heat: Kitchen workers suffer when temperatures soar

On a hot Saturday in July 2021, Damon was working in front of three deep fryers, one grill, two flat tops, and 10 burners in the kitchen of a busy restaurant in Langley.

Outside, a heat dome stretched across the Lower Mainland, but Damon still had to go to work.

“The rush started at 11 in the morning, and it ended at close,” Damon, who asked us not to include his last name, told the Straight in an interview.


Dirty Laundry bares more than just butts

Australian cabaret collective Briefs Factory is bringing their saucy new show Dirty Laundry to North America for the first time, and their steamy tour is stopping in at the York Theatre.

Dirty Laundry, running June 9 to 25, promises to be about more than just butts. It’s an eclectic mix of burlesque, circus, drag, dance and comedy—oh, and a little bit of fire thrown in for good measure.


Red Truck Brewery is kicking off their iconic Truck Stop Concert Series on June 17 with headliner MAGIC! and an amazing supporting lineup.

Rock out with 1,200 of your best friends and get your tickets at TruckStopConcertSeries.com!


Far out as ever, OSEES find new territory on a road well-traveled

Due in August, Intercepted Message is the 27th album from the John Dwyer-led project, operating under various versions of its name—The Ohsees, Oh Sees, OCS, whatever—and the fourth under its latest iteration, OSEES.

The title track and lead single is a frantic new wave gem, its burbling synths indicating a new pathway for a band whose career is built on new directions.


The 2023 Talking Stick Festival is the premiere Indigenous arts festival in Canada. On now until July 2, they are celebrating National Indigenous History month. Featuring performances by Indigenous artists in music, dance, theatre, and more! In partnership with local arts organizations.

Let's reunite and explore Indigenous culture through the arts!


CooksCamp encourages culinary resilience

Hosted by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC (CTS), CooksCamp is designed to support the future and well-being of chefs.

Taking place this year from September 6-8, the three-day affair features a mix of hands-on learning activities, rare cooking and feasting, and—for many attending culinary workers—a break from their chaotic day-to-day lives.

🗓 Events & things to do


  • Showcase Showdown: Watch some of Vancouver's best up and coming comedians compete for bragging rights and a grand prize. | Select Tuesdays, June 13 to August 29 | $25 | Comedy After Dark

  • Talking Stick Festival 2023: North America’s premiere festival, Talking Stick Festival 2023, celebrates Indigenous National History Month from June 1-July 2. A variety of performances will wow audiences in film, theatre, dance and music. | To July 2 | Ticket prices vary | Locations around Vancouver

  • Arrieta Art Studio offers paint nights, linocut, needle felting, and more. All ages and abilities welcome! Apply gs25 at checkout to receive 25% off all regular workshops. Register for workshops now.*

This week/weekend

  • Cover Me Live: Cover Me Live is a music and party experience featuring live hits that don’t miss. From ’70s rock to today’s pop performed by Vancouver's best cover bands, it’s a party you need to check out. | June 16 | $10 | Biltmore Cabaret

  • On Friday, Jun. 16, drag performers will transform Britannia Mine Museum’s historic Mill into the Province’s biggest drag runway. Click here and book today!*

  • June Forest Bathing: Discover the regenerative power of body and mind in nature with Kristine Koster, certified Forest Therapy Guide. | June 17 | $36 | VanDusen Botanical Garden

  • Make a splash at Vancouver Aquarium after-hours on June 17 or 24 for Fish + Sips—their new 19+ summer social. Enjoy drinks, eats, and live entertainment under the sea! Tickets are almost gone… reel in yours today!*

Next week

  • Sumac: Sumac is playing at the Fox Theatre alongside special guests Scalding & V.Vecker. | June 21 | $27.50 | Fox Cabaret

  • Million Dollar Quartet: Inspired by true events, this rocking jukebox musical takes you to Memphis and into Sun Records Studio on Dec. 4, 1956. Witness the famed jam session that brought together rock and roll legends Presley, Cash, Lewis, and Perkins—for the first and only time. | June 22 to Aug. 6 | $39+ | Granville Island Stage

  • Smartphone Photo Art & Photo Editing Workshop: This two-hour workshop is for iPhone & Android photographers who want to learn how to shoot exceptional photos, and edit them to produce stunning photo art. | June 22 | $50 | The Gallery George

  • Kick off summer with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival from Jun. 23 until Jul. 2. Enjoy more than 140 shows, including 50 free performances. Visit CoastalJazz.ca.*

Later this month

  • Vancouver International Jazz Festival: The 38th Vancouver International Jazz Festival kicks off summer in the city with over 140 free and ticketed performances of diverse programming over 10 days. | June 22 to July 2 | Price varies | Granville Island

  • The VIMFF Summer Fest: Celebrate Canadian Multiculturalism Day with a free, family-friendly outdoor event that includes award-winning mountain films, live performances, artisan market, food trucks, a beer garden, fun activities, and more. | June 24 | Free | The Shipyards

  • Comedian, actress, author, and mental health advocate Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite) is headed to the Rio Theatre on Jun. 27 for two shows! Tickets are going fast, grab yours at RioTheatreTickets.ca.*

  • Enjoy the launch of the Rumble Sound System Project on Jun. 27! Debuting live-works by artists Anju Singh, DJ Kookum, Sally Zori, Luz Fleming, and Richard Brown. Grab your tickets today!*

Next month

  • Canada Together: Five city blocks at Canada Place will feature food trucks, a Kids' Zone, World Zone and a main stage with a diverse lineup of entertainment, including headliners Tegan and Sara. | July 1 | Free | Canada Place

  • The Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is back with a stellar lineup over four days, Jul. 20-23. The Cool Blues Show, presented by the Straight, is headlined by Ruthie Foster, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Five Alarm Funk, and more.

  • Theatre Under the Stars returns to Stanley Park from Jul. 6 until Aug. 26 with Broadway blockbusters The Prom and Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical.*

Find more things to do around the city in our events listings.

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