Month-long celebration features student work, performances, professional shows
Call it a cornucopia of culture, an abundance of art, a digital discourse, a litany of literature and a profusion of performance.
UBC’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is launching its first-ever Spring Festival, an ambitious month-long celebration of the visual, performing, literary and digital arts – all open to the public and much of it free.
Running from March 21 to April 26, there are 14 events covering the spectrum of artistic endeavors by students and faculty members. There are guest performances and student work in original stage plays, urban dance, and ballet. As well, there are exhibitions of creative writing, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, short films and public arts. Events take place at UBC’s Okanagan Campus, the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotary Centre for the Arts, Hillcrest Farmers Market, and Royal Anne Hotel.
“We have all these wonderful students making really exciting work in Kelowna, which few people outside of the university programs get to see. That’s crazy,” says Michael V. Smith, one of the festival’s organizers and assistant professor of creative writing.
“So we decided to package all this great work together and tie it up with a gossamer spring bow. A spring festival also helps because we are mixing student shows with professional ones, which is just win-win for everybody,” says Smith. “The students are part of a terrific event, and the professionals get promoted alongside all this wonderful young energy. It’s a creative love-in.”
Two professional performance events are expected to draw crowds: Variations on Innovation by Kelowna Ballet on Thursday, March 27 at University Theatre (tickets $10 and $15 at UBCO Bookstore); and theatre26’s production of Spent, by Toronto’s Why Not Theatre, at the Rotary Centre for the Arts on Thursday, April 3, and Friday, April 4 (tickets $15 and $20, RCA and UBCO Bookstore). Spent is a two-person comedy commentary on the greed that caused the 2008 financial crisis.
The popular BFA Graduation Exhibition by fourth-year visual arts students takes place at the Creative and Critical Studies building on campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Tuesday, April 15, to Saturday, April 26 (closed Good Friday, Easter weekend and Easter Monday). The not-to-miss opening gala takes place on Saturday, April 19, 7 to 9:30 p.m., at the Creative and Critical Studies building. Admission by donation.
Fourth-year Interdisciplinary performance students get to stretch their theatrical legs and thespian talents in an original play, Quest for the Crown, a raunchy and rambunctious take on the twisted world of child beauty pageants. The show runs at University Theatre on Thursday April 17; Friday April 18; and Saturday, April 19 at 8 p.m. each day; with a 2 p.m. show on Sunday, April 20. Admission by donation.
In addition, there are exhibits of a student anthology of creative writing, a collaborative gallery exhibits by drawing classes, visual arts and digital film presentations, other theatre presentations and the Dig Your Neighbourhood Rutland project launch.
The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies organizes numerous events each year. But sometimes solo events get lost in the crowd of other happenings on campus and in the community.
“This festival helps by bringing everything we do under one roof. It just makes good sense to cross-promote the arts,” says Smith.
A complete schedule of Spring Festival events can be found at: www.ubc.ca/okanagan/fccs/news-events/ongoing/spring-festival