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Vancouver might be a recreational mecca (and I sure take advantage), but there are some decent opportunities to be artsy and get cultured too.

A few weeks ago, Emily and I went too See Cirque Du Soleil’s Corteo show with Dylan and Anna. It was amazing. I was really blown away by the performance. Often there was so much going on I didn’t know where to watch. Most of the show was what you would expect from Cirque – world class gymnasts doing crazy stunts, amazing live music, and funny theatrics. What I didn’t expect was the floating midget attached to huge helium balloons. It was bizarre. The audience was encouraged to push her around like a beach ball tossed into the audience. I was torn between thinking: “this is the coolest thing ever” and “wow, that’s so wrong”.

Another show touring through Vancouver is Spamalot – the Monty Python musical. Emily and I went to see it last night. It was good, but not as funny as I had expected. I found some of the original bits were hilarious, but the scenes taken from the movies fell flat.

Some other shows we’re considering seeing this summer are:
Annie Get Your Gun – at The Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park. They’re also showing Jesus Christ Superstar.
King Lear at Bard on the Beach. We saw Timon of Athens last year and I was really impressed.

There’s also lots of music festivals going on right now. I had no desire to brave the crowds at the Pemberton Festival, but last weekend we did spend one day at the Vancouver Folk Festival. It was a great day. The weather was perfect – mostly sunny with some cloudy breaks, the music was good (even though I didn’t really know any of the bands going in), and we had a great time hanging out with Laura. The highlights were:
Martin Sexton on the main stage. A new discovery for me, he blew me away with his singing and ability to imitate instruments. It was just him and a guitar on stage, but at one point he did saxophone solo.
Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet entertaining the crowd with sweet vocals and a harmony of banjo, fiddle, and cello. She sang some songs in Mandarin- unfortunately I didn’t see a single Chinese person in attendance.
Delhi 2 Dublin getting everyone up on their feet and dancing to a crazy fusion of Indian and Celtic music. I was really happy to be in a crowd hippy-dancing along with everyone else. It was super fun.
Jason Collett‘s mellow music and stories between songs. The best part of live performances is hearing the musicians tell stories about the song’s origins. My favourite was his story about a high school dance where an ember from a joint caused his polyester vest to burst into flames.
– the random folk music, especially in the workshops where multiple artists share a stage and either take turns performing or jam together. The Women’s Voices Rising and North Country Blues workshops were both great.

Our Spot  Birkenstock Shuffle  Too Big for a Name  Blankets  Dubblestandart  Delhi 2 Dublin  Out Your Hands in the Air  Market  Martin Sexton  Crowd  Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet  Lanterns  Lantern Parade  Space Ship  Frozen Dessert  Folk Fest Dancers  Bang the Drum

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