2020 Virtual Kickoff Event Recording

Join us for the launch of the 11th annual Culture Days celebration (September 25 - October 25), offering an array of free and Pay-What-You-May, online and in-person arts and cultural experiences to discover. 

BC Culture Days 2020 will officially kick off with a virtual event on Thursday, September 24, 2020, at 4pm PST, hosted by the City of North Vancouver, and featuring an exciting lineup of BC artists, including:

Andrew Warner (host and spoken word poet) - Andrew Warner is a genderqueer writer, performer, and stand-up poet who loves to let you know how weird you really are. Andrew’s experience in the poetry slam community spans more than eight years and includes a provincial title as individual champion at Hullabaloo (2014), a national team win at YouthCanSlam (2014), and a national team silver at Voices of Today after completing their first international tour with the Tiny Tricycle Poets in 2017. Andrew received the 2018 Emerging Artist Award from the Fund for the Arts on the North Shore, opened for Shane Koyczan at the Vogue Theatre in 2019, and now performs virtually across the world through 2020.

Alex Cuba (Juno and Latin Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter) - Raised in Artemisa, an hour outside of Havana, Alex Cuba’s artistry is as far-flung as the place he has settled and lived for over fifteen years: Smithers, BC, 14 hours north of Vancouver. His music at once incorporates his roots and is a unique amalgam of styles, having collaborated with artists ranging from Jason Mraz, Ron Sexsmith and Nelly Furtado to Omara Portuondo and Pablo Milanés; and bringing together melodies, soul hooks and folkrock chords. A forward-thinking, indie-minded artist, Alex has amassed a steadily growing following among critics and fans. With over 20 awards and nominations to his name, including 4 Latin Grammys and two Junos Awards and three Grammy nominations.

North Shore Celtic Ensemble - The North Shore Celtic Ensemble is a dynamic community of young musicians from North Vancouver. The Ensemble brings raw energy and a whole new style to the Vancouver music scene. What started as Celtic is now a spirited no-boundaries exploration of music that inspires them. The result is a full-spectrum music experience that defies labels and spans conventional genres. Their own original compositions draw on Celtic, classical, jazz and folk influences and are blended with creative arrangements of more traditional Celtic tunes. Seven CDs celebrate their music and its west coast roots.

Harlequin Gold (Vancouver sister duo) - Harlequin Gold is a Vancouver-based indie pop band consisting of sisters Avery and Elle O’Brien, producer/guitarist Justice McLellan and drummer Jamison Ko. Their infectious sounds have toured throughout Canada, US, and Australia. Together these four have an ever-growing collection of heartfelt songs and a reputation for crushing live shows. They are currently working on a full length album and are releasing their new single, “Right” on September 11th.

Turunesh (Neo Afro soul singer-songwriter) - Crowned ‘Conjurer of worlds,’ Turunesh’s musical moments are monumental on stage and on record. At 14 years old Turunesh married her love for writing poetry and singing. Shyly releasing original songs on Soundcloud and selectively sharing her links with a small circle of friends, Turunesh had no idea that she would become a pioneer of Tanzania’s alternative arts scene. A truly multifaceted artist, the Tanzanian singer, songwriter, and creative director is becoming a leading voice amongst her peers in the realm of East African music. Known for her fluid and freeform approach to neo soul, Turunesh encapsulates the goddess essence of her songs Malkia (Queen) & Afrodite. Her unique sensual sound and lyrical suave has solidified her as a feminist, Pan-African artist on the rise.

North Vancouver’s AMED Dance Academy - Founded in 2005, the Academy of Middle Eastern Dance is lead by the award-winning artistic director Pooneh Alizadeh. She has a Masters Degree in Art and is a professional performer, master instructor, choreographer, director and producer. She comes from a strong dance background in Middle Eastern, Folklore and Ballet to create a colorful Middle Eastern fusion repertoire. Combining authentic feeling with modern flair, delighting audiences from all over with her passion, powerful technique musicality, and sense of fun. She believes there is no dance without real emotions. Her magnetic presence has made her favorite with audiences everywhere.

Surrey’s VanCity Dance Team - Established in 2012, VanCity Bhangra has a unique style of Bhangra. Keeping the traditional form and folk elements and mixing them with a unique style of high energy actions is what they bring to the table. They love competing for many reasons. Being able to meet new people, showcasing their hard work, and leaving a legacy is what they strive for. They hope audiences enjoy watching them in their element.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Children of Takaya - Founded in 1951 by Chief Dan George, the Children of Tayaka (Children of the Wolf) dance group is the oldest and longest-running traditional Indigenous performing arts group in BC. Children of Takaya is a Coast Salish group with performances that include singing, dancing and storytelling. They are very active locally, nationally and internationally, including festivals in Europe and throughout North America. A few highlights include World Exposition 1986 and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

Acknowledgements from:

  • Dennis Thomas-Whonoak and Gabriel George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation

  • Orene Askew of Squamish First Nation

  • Former Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare

  • City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan, and

  • National Culture Days Board Member Brenda Leadlay

Video clips from:

Tune in on YouTube and on Facebook @BCCultureDays