Picks of the Olio Festival

Still from Wall Writers

New York has PS1. In Calgary, it’s Sled Island. And in Montreal, there’s Pop Montreal: Meticulously curated festivals that celebrate all forms of artistic expressions in an allotted amount of time, so that culture cravers have something to look forward to all year round. Or simpler terms, really hip parties that draw big crowds of attractive people.  And don’t for a second think that we don’t have an equivalent here in Vancouver.

Now in its fourth year, the Olio festival is proving to be on par with world-class independent events and as it grows, it continues to outdo itself. Namely, because they really cater to the crowds’ interest. A lot of that can be chalked up to the organizers, who are veterans in their respective fields. Co-founder Dan Vachon has been producing large and small-scale independent shows since the late 90s. The other co-founder, Jason Sulyma aka My!Gay!Husband! is undoubtedly the city’s most in demand DJ. And that’s just the start.

The five-day event is broken down into different disciplines: comedy, music, art, film, and skateboarding. To round things out and freshen things up, they’ve added a fashion component this year.

If you want to be a well-rounded and cultural person, I strongly encourage hitting up as many events as you can – you can buy all-access passes or tickets to individual events. But I’ll provide you with picks from each discipline that should not be missed under any circumstance (save for the swine flu). It runs from the 19th to the 23rd.

Art: Manwolfs
Local filmmaker Corey Adams won $1-million and made a cult skateboarding film in Hungary called Matchotaildrop. A crew of characters from the film, known as the Manwolfs, are a mob of part-human part-Neanderthal creatures that roam around and destroy everything they can. They’ve since spun off into music videos, a series of shoes and even a clothing line. Now, they’re playing the role of muse, with several artists presenting their interpretations of these characters in an art show. There’s apparently also going to be the choreographed stunt fights and a Manwolfs boys choir.

September 23,  5 p.m.
Fortune Sound Club

Music: Chin Injeti
After working with Eminem and Nas, and winning a Grammy, you’d think local musician and producer Chin Injeti would seek bigger things, stateside. But, despite being an international talent, he still lives in Surrey and is adamant he’ll never leave. With such devotion to this town, it’s only fair we should him some love back. Plus, Injeti knows how to hit those smooth, soulful notes that inexplicably trigger goose pimples up your arm. This is a very good thing.

September 22, 11:30 p.m.
Fortune Sound Club.

Fashion: Gypsy Night Market
The best part of thirfting: finding something special and cheap that no one else in the world has. The worst part about thirfting: finding the patience to sort through heaps of musty clothes. Luckily, at the Gypsy Night Market, someone’s already taken the time to go through the tedious task of finding the good stuff. So it will only be the good stuff on display, which makes things a lot easier for you. All you have to do is show up, and prepare to walk away with some fabulous finds. I’m sure no one would mind if you took the credit.

September 23, 5 p.m.
Fortune Sound Club

Comedy: Stop Podcasting Yourself live
These guys recently won best podcast at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Their lives shows are known to be comedic capsules of good times, and this time around should be no different. On the bill are local comedic favourites Kevin Lee and Alicia Tobin, as well as folksy superstar Dan Mangan – who won’t be singing, though his chatting skills are almost on par with that lovely voice of his.

September 21, 7 p.m.
Electric Owl

Film: Wall Writers
Graffiti is such an intriguing art form, in that we never really know who’s behind it (unless they’re being dragged away in handcuffs.) The world premier of this film takes us through the early days of this mysterious art form, talking to such legends as TAKI183, CORNBREAD, and many more. A must see for urban art lovers.

September 22, 7:30 p.m.
Rio Theatre

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