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  • March 23, 2023 edition - How do we fix Vancouver's nightlife?

March 23, 2023 edition - How do we fix Vancouver's nightlife?


It’s fitting that one of our featured stories this week is about how the Hospitality Vancouver Association is trying to reignite Vancouver’s nightlife.

Because, in a way, we’re trying to do the same thing here at the Georgia Straight.

Maybe COVID lockdowns gave people a new appreciation for those stay-at-home kind of nights, or maybe the crushing cost of, you know, simply existing day by day during these times of rising inflation/corporate greed makes the idea of a night on the town sound a little too close to financially ruinous behaviour for most people’s comfort.

Or maybe we’re just getting old—we are technically 56, after all—but there does, in fact, seem to be something missing about Vancouver’s nightlife.

It’s our prerogative to provide you fine readers with details of the latest and greatest and often-times-not-so-famous events going on in the city’s music, arts, and cultural scenes (fill out our reader survey here to let us know how we’re doing with that) and whether you take that info and run with it is up to you… but we sure hope you do, because damn is there ever a lot worth checking out around this city.

And not all of it necessarily has to break the bank. Just avoid buying Drake tickets and you’ll be fiiiiine.

You might've missed:

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On Our Radar: Babe Corner’s debut album, Crybaby, is perfect alternative pop

Nobody puts (Cry)baby in a corner. The dreamy melodies of rock band Babe Corner feel just as good as Patrick Swayze delivering that iconic line in Dirty Dancing, and now the Vancouver quintet has released their highly anticipated debut album, Crybaby—so that you, too, can have the time of your life on repeat.


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How do you fix a problem like Vancouver’s nightlife?

For a city with countless universities, millions of residents and a lower median age than the country as a whole, it’s surprising that Vancouver grinds to a halt after 9pm.

“I don’t think anybody is really being well served by the nighttime economy,” Nate Sabine, an executive on the board of Hospitality Vancouver Association (HVA), told the Straight over the phone. “If we’re going to actually be a world-class city, then we need a world-class nightlife that is safer and more inclusive and innovative and more vibrant than it is right now.”

That’s why HVA, alongside Destination Vancouver and Downtown Van, have launched a consultation on what the local night economy needs.


The Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret's Disco Inferno transports the audience to a ’70s dance floor

If someone really believes that “disco is dead,” they obviously haven’t met Kat Single-Dain.

As the artistic director of the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret, Single-Dain oversees (and, oftentimes, stars in) a wide variety of events hosted by the non-profit society, with everything from swing dance lessons and clown gyms to theatre productions and themed speed dating nights.

Featured arts listings

  • Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream: A man trying desperately to avoid death is flung between limbo and his past, where a rebellious young woman holds the key that may guide him to paradise. | Mar. 23 to April 2 | From $25 | Historic Theatre

  • Take a wild ride to paradise with Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream! At The Cultch from Mar. 23 to Apr. 2. Tickets from $25!*

  • Laugh Track live professional standup comedy returns to downtown Vancouver with a big show, Mar. 25, featuring international headliners. Get your tickets now.*

  • The Pied Piper: A classic tale comes to life in Metro Theatre’s first spring break musical. The Pied Piper tells of a small medieval town with a very big rat problem. | To March 26 | $25 | Metro Theatre

  • Reel 2 Real Film Festival for Youth runs Mar. 28-Apr. 6 at the VIFF Centre, Roundhouse Community Centre, and streaming online. Explore the festival program here.*

  • Pretty Woman: The Musical: Broadway Across Canada is bringing Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, to Vancouver. | Mar. 29 to April 2 | Free | Queen Elizabeth Theatre

*Sponsored Listing


Final week at VIDF 2023. Dancing in a cascade of falling sand, experience the live music and dance story of the journey of Buddhism from India to China. Samsara, by the award-winning Aakash Odedra Company, at the Vancouver Playhouse Mar. 22-25.


Devours announces Biltmore Cabaret release show for forthcoming album, Homecoming Queen

Experimental artist and “queer DIY punk” Devours has announced a release party at the Biltmore Cabaret for their forthcoming album, Homecoming Queen. The show takes place on May 18, with support from Non La and Grimm.

Last week, Devours—the electro-pop-rock project of the talented Jeff Cancade, who is also behind The Golden Age of Wrestling and owns the label Surviving the Game—shared a taste of what’s to come with “Jacuzzi My Stonewall,” a new single off his upcoming effort.

Featured music events

  • MRG Live Presents: Cody Lawless: Cody Lawless is the indie-pop evolution of Mission, BC singer/songwriter Cody James Henn, formerly known as KNOWN. He’ll be at the Fox Cabaret accompanied by Elijah Blond and Uncle Strut. | 7pm | March 31 | $15 | Fox Cabaret

  • Charlie Hickey: The American indie rock musician will be at the WISE Hall later this month with guest Kristiane. | Mar. 28 | $15 | WISE Hall

  • AG Club: The hip-hop collective from the Bay Area is coming to the Cobalt with guest Igwa Aka. | 7pm | Mar. 29 | $20 | Cobalt

  • Say “bonjour” to Festival du Bois, this weekend in Coquitlam’s Mackin Park. Come for great music and dance, shows for kids, great food, and more!*

*Sponsored Listing


The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival is happy to be returning Mar. 29-Apr. 2, 2023, to showcase a dazzling array of local and international burlesque talent.


Transcending follows Vancouver’s Ness Murby on his journey to become the first openly trans paralympian

It’s Ness Murby’s name and face on the new Accessible Media Inc. docuseries, Ness Murby: Transcending. But the Coquitlam-based para-athlete cares less about being the centre of attention and more about how he can help lift others up.

“This may be Ness Murby: Transcending, [but] we really need to start listening to a diversity of voices,” he tells the Straight in a phone interview. “Just because it’s called Ness Murby, this isn’t just my story… May this spark people to ask others to not assume, and to elevate each other’s voices.”

The Rest of the events

  • First Pick Handmade Spring Pop Up Fashion and Design Market: Find yourself some thoughtfully made fashion from 28 BC-based designers at Heritage Hall this weekend to get your 2023 spring wardrobe off on the right foot. | Mar. 25 and 26 | $25 | Heritage Hall

  • Big Queer Party Mix Vol 3: Check out the third volume of Big Queer Party Mix at the ANZA club for a night of comedy and drag, with proceeds going towards SWAN Vancouver. | Mar. 23 | $17 | ANZA Club

  • Experience SYNCRA: This immersive music experience brings attendees into SYNCRA City, a futuristic cyberpunk landscape full of tech, sci-fi, interactivity, music, and more. | To Mar. 26 | $25+ | Experience SYNCRA

  • It’s farmers market season in April! Riley Park, Trout Lake, and Hastings Park—Find your farmers market and plan the weekend with Vancouver Farmers Markets!*

  • Protect your rights and dispute your driving prohibition with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer. Contact Acumen Law Corporation today to start your defence. Visit VancouverCriminalLaw.com.*

*Sponsored Listing

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