Good, Clean Fun: August Culture Picks


Ketch Di Vybz

Dance and education both have decidedly different vibes in our COVID-consciouscity: large gatherings are cancelled, in-person functions are distanced and communication is complicated. For Mikhail Morris, co-director of Ketch Di Vybz Production Company, moving to an online platform was essential—for the business, but more importantly, for the community. “We are creating a safe space so people can be more educated, more aware, and more respectful to the cultures of the African Diaspora,” says Morris. Pre-pandemic, directors Morris and Judy Madarasz organized Afro-Dancehall Fusion and Twerk dance classes as well as education programs that centred Jamaican Dancehall history and culture. Now, folks can check out their website for Canada’s first Jamaican Dancehall online educational platform. Morris, who was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, stresses the importance of local spaces where people of African descent can be leaders, educators and representatives for their own culture. On-stage or on-screen, Ketch Di Vybz is making big moves.


You’ll never be bored at a Skim performance. This queer, genderfluid interdisciplinary artist practices video, installation and performance, often using projections to intensify their fiercely creative acts. See them at the virtual Vines Festival (a fest dedicated to land, water and relational justice) that runs from August 5 to 15.

Stella Soul

Stella Soul (Kentya Kurban, James Barker and Cameron Lawrence) had
to cancel their Western tour this year, but they still go live at least once a month to share their jazzy, alt-pop tunes. “No matter what, we will keep working and creating,” says vocalist Kurban. The trio’s latest album, Cherry St., was released in February 2020, and they’ll be releasing a couple of new singles in the fall—follow them to stay in the loop.

Sadé Awele

This Nigerian-Canadian singer grew up in a musical family with a household soundtrack of jazz, gospel and soul. “Where I come from in Nigeria, it is said that the beat runs in our blood—it is a part of who we are,” says Awele, who is releasing her first solo EP project, Sadé Awele, this fall. The eponymous collection is a blend of afro-soul and R&B, with original lyrics inspired by her culture and experience.


Brentwood Great Takeout

Date Every second Saturday through September 26
Venue 2150 Alpha Avenue, Burnaby

Many food truck fests have been cancelled, but the Brentwood Great Takeout is rolling forward for the first time. Don’t expect picnic tables or live music, but definitely expect a 2020-sized spread of comfort food—think mini doughnuts, donairs and mac and cheese.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Date August 13 to 23
Venue Online
Price From $2

The Queer Film Festival returns virtually this year to celebrate LGBTQ2+ lives and stories
from Vancouver and beyond. Closing night features Breaking Fast, a queer Muslim rom-com that “aims to be the first of its kind to feature a practicing Muslim character who is gay and not dealing with those two things in conflict, but rather in harmony.”