May 18, 2023 edition - Festival season is on its way


M&M Food Market

There’s nothing quite like a summer music festival; the weather’s warm, the drinks are cold, the lineup seemingly endless, and nowhere else in the world to be but right there in the thick of it all.

BC’s music festivals took a hit over the height of the pandemic and in its aftermath, but last year saw a revival of some of the province’s most revered weekends and this upcoming season is set to be no different.

We’ve got a few festival lineup announcements in our You Might’ve Missed section (you can’t miss it, it’s literally right under this intro) and we’d be remiss not to include our ongoing coverage of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival’s phoenix-like resurrection from earlier this spring.

Whatever festival you end up at in the coming months, just be sure to remember sunscreen. And water. And maybe a wide-brimmed hat. You’re going to need it.

You might've missed:

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Devours’ Homecoming Queen celebrates the softness of being human underneath an otherworldly exterior

Homecoming can mean a lot of things. For Jeff Cancade, the experimental artist behind the electro-pop act Devours, it quite literally meant moving back in with their parents and attending a 20 year high school reunion in their Nanaimo hometown.

The experience is the backdrop to the artist’s new album, Homecoming Queen, which contemplates what it means to be an aging gay man in a city like Vancouver, where surviving as a musician—and an entirely DIY one, at that—feels impossible.


Remembering Deb Hope: “What a privilege it was to call you a friend”

Former Global BC anchor and reporter Deborra (Deb) Hope passed away on Monday, aged 67.

Friend and coworker Sophie Lui penned an article for the Straight saying goodbye to one of the giants of broadcast journalism.

M&M Food Market

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Too Much News: Housing, housing everywhere, but not a spot to live in

Housing: we all need it! It’s a big problem when you don’t have it! There isn’t enough of it, and what exists is real expensive! Complaining about it is practically a local pastime to distract us from the grim reality that if we get demovicted, our budgets will force us to move to Pitt freakin’ Meadows.

We’ve got the news on the BC Housing audit, the Empty Homes Tax, and a curvaceous new residential tower.


"Art motel" founder breaks the rules to save the arts

David Duprey has a simple raison d’être: “If you follow the rules here you’re gonna fail, so don’t follow the rules.”

Owner of the Narrow Group, Duprey is the mastermind behind Main Street’s “art motel.” Bedecked with vibrant paintings from the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF), the City Centre Motor Hotel is a bright gem among the offices and industrial buildings of Main Street, north of Broadway.

Once vacant and awaiting demolition, the building has come to life under Duprey’s landlordship: artists occupy every room of the newly dubbed City Centre Artist Lodge, with a calendar of cultural events rendering this place a year-round community hub.

Featured arts listings

  • Rumble’s 2023 Tremors Festival will present works from across Canada showcasing new visions of live performance. Think art party night, with shows happening throughout ProgressLab, May 18-20.*

  • Broadway's Back!: Burstin' with Broadway is a 130-member North Shore community performance group founded in 2005 by Dominique Hogan. Much more than a choir, BWB puts on shows, not concerts. | May 21 | $40 | Centennial Theatre

  • Art Festival/Sale: Purchase artwork and support Indigenous artists, with at least 70% of proceeds going towards MCBC Indigenous Relations. | 11am to 4pm | May 21 | Free | Heritage Hall

  • rEvolver Festival: Featuring 10 mainstage productions by Canadian multidisciplinary artists, this collection of playful, audacious, and genre-defying new works are created by emerging and mid-career artists. | May 24 to June 4 | $15-30 | The Cultch

  • Arts in the Garden: All-ages outdoor community event celebrating nature and the arts in 13 garden spaces across the North Shore! May 27-28.*

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Vivek Shraya is still in love with music: “How liberating it is to be an artist in my 40s”

The long-form music video for “He Loves Me Until He Hates Me,” off Vivek Shraya’s Mint Records debut, Baby, You’re Projecting, is both a love letter and an act of resistance. 

Shot on film, the clip moves through different chapters as it follows the story of the make up and break up of a toxic relationship, key moments soundtracked to other songs from Shraya’s record.

It is also filled to the brim with pop culture references to such ‘90s touchstones as The Bodyguard, Sex and the City, and Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy is Mine.”

Featured music events

  • Sharing the Joy of Music! With the Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir and Saint James Music Academy on May 19. Use code GROUP3 to buy three tickets and get one free.*

  • First Aid Kit: The Swedish folk duo is taking their music to Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl next Tuesday. | 6pm | May 23 | From $47 | Malkin Bowl

  • GDBC: The Grateful Dead Tribute Band from Vancouver is playing at the Rickshaw Theatre next Saturday. | 8pm | May 27 | $20 | Rickshaw Theatre

  • Jeffrey Silverstein with Fruit Bats: Portland-based indie country artist performs in support of Eric D. Johnson's outfit. | 8pm | May 27 | $27 | Commodore ballroom

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Looking for a bottle of Palm Trees and a Tropical Breeze? Sons of Vancouver has come up with a way

Think of it as a way to get your hands on that which, at the moment, is pretty much unattainable.

When North Vancouver-based Sons of Vancouver moved into whisky making at the beginning of the decade, disappointing folks was in all probability not part of the business plan. But that’s what’s exactly happened since the release of its impossible-to-find (unless you know a collector) Palm Trees and a Tropical Breeze last summer.

“We always knew there would never be enough for everyone who wanted it,” Sons of Vancouver cofounder James Lester tells the Straight. “But we suddenly had a way bigger problem on our hands after we won the whisky award. Our last release, I swear to God, sold out in two minutes. And that pissed a lot of people off.”

The Rest of the events

  • The Great Curious Cocktail Party: Your ticket includes booze-free cocktails from Curious Elixirs, bites from Charcuterie Vancouver, and good company amongst fellow alc-free and curious individuals. | May 18 | $29 | Secret location

  • Queer Bash: Queer Bash is an exhibition of LGBTQ2S+ community members works’ exploring the juxtapositions of violence and visibility, prejudice in pride festivals, and the word “bash”: both a celebration and a condemnation. | May 18 to July 1 | Free | CityScape Community Art Space

  • Pantry Drag Show: Support Vancouver's first weekly King and Thing show at Fable Diner every Sunday at 6pm. | May 21 | $27 | Fable Diner

  • Try dragon boat for free on May 28 at Birds Nest Properties Community Paddling Day in Olympic Village. Register online to save your seat!*

  • HUB Cycling’s annual Bike to School Week: From May 29 to Jun. 2, this event is the perfect opportunity to organize a bike bus and join thousands of students and over 120 schools as they bike, walk, and roll to school.*

  • 2023 Canada Bubble Tea Festival is returning to Burnaby Swangard stadium with more excitements, Jul. 7-9. Tickets are available, get yours now!*

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