Fall Culture Picks: From Comics to a Cabaret

Raven Transforming Cabaret Festival

Date: October 2 to 12
Venue: The Cultch
Price: From $26

A drag artist, burlesque performer and circus star walk into a theatre: the result might be funny, but it’s no joke. The Raven Transforming Cabaret Festival is Vancouver’s freshest multidisciplinary Indigenous performance festival, and it has a focus that stretches from stand-up to DJs to intimate club acts.

Festival curators Corey Payette (artistic director of Urban Ink) and Heather Redfern (executive director of the Cultch) are excited to spotlight a new form of performance in our cabaret-lacking city. “Having a large body of work showcased in a relatively compressed period of time creates synergies between artists who are often siloed into one aspect of cabaret,” say the festival organizers. Don’t skip leg day—you’ll need those edge-of-your-seat muscles.

Vancouver Improv Fest

Date: September 24 to 29
Venue: The Cultch
Price: From $18

This fest features local com­edians, out-of-town celebs (including Andrew Phung of CBC’s Kim’s Convenience) and open public workshops—so get ready to play yourself.

Rock the Rink

Date: October 7
Venue: Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre
Price: From $36

Attention, triple axel admirers: iconic Canadian figure skaters Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir and Patrick Chan fuel this star-studded skating spectacular.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Date: September 12 to October 13
Venue: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
Price: From $29

This haunting but hopeful show is an adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling page-turner and tells the story of an unlikely bond between two women living in Kabul in the 1990s.

Credit: Steph Wan

Disco Dumplings

Date: Ongoing on Mondays
Venue: Burdock and Co
Price: From $10

Celebrate surviving the first day of the workweek by getting down with savoury dumplings, an all-natural wine list and a live DJ spinning vinyl.

Postmodern Jukebox

Date: October 12
Venue: Vogue Theatre
Price: From $32.50

If you like “Old Town Road” but think it could use more sousaphone, look no further than this giant vintage musical collective (also known by their acronym, PMJ)—their weekly YouTube covers have gained over four million subscribers.

Credit: Ryan McDonald

The Shipment

Date: September 24 to October 5
Venue: Firehall Arts Centre
Price: From $20

However woke you think you are, prepare to get woker: Young Jean Lee’s modern minstrel show about black identity confronts bias with a bite.