Buffy Sainte-Marie, inaugural Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week and more at The Drum is Calling Festival

Buffy Sainte-Marie opens the Drum is Calling Festival (July 22-30). Christie Goodwin photo.

The Drum is Calling Festival is a nine-day celebration of arts and culture, with a First Nations theme.

The City’s Canada 150+ anchor event, the arts and culture festival represents a partnership between the City of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland’s Host Nations. Events are daily from 1 – 10 p.m. and include concerts, workshops, plays, readings, a walking tour and more.

The July 22-30 festival takes place at various locations in downtown Vancouver, including Larwill Park, the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre and Vancouver Public Library.

Events are free, although some indoor venues may require advance registration. See some festival highlights below.

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Buffy Sainte-Marie, inaugural Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week and more at The Drum is Calling Festival

Molly Crabapple, Arundhati Roy and other highlights of this year’s Indian Summer Festival

Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple is a guest at this year’s Indian Summer Festival.

Now in its seventh year, the Indian Summer Festival is a showcase for diversity, and for programming that its website description calls “rigorous and quirky with an appetite for experimentation, deep thinking, and curiosity.”

This year, guests include author Arundhati Roy, political cartoonist/graphic novelist Joe Sacco and more. Here are some highlights from the festival, which takes place (mostly) July 6-15, at various venues.

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Molly Crabapple, Arundhati Roy and other highlights of this year’s Indian Summer Festival

Behind the Scenes of Pride 2017 with the Vancouver Pride Society

By Angus Praught

Pride is less than two months away, and the Vancouver Pride Society is getting set to welcome locals and visitors alike to celebrate!

Leading up to the first weekend of August 2017, Vancouver will be aglow with Pride as hotels fill up, party ticket sales are in overdrive, smart coiffures de rigueur and fabulous outfits galore parade the catwalk on Davie Street. When Pride season hits Vancouver and the glitziest party lineup of the year is about to kick off, you can feel the energy take over the city.

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Behind the Scenes of Pride 2017 with the Vancouver Pride Society

Guitar-makers from around the world gather for the first Vancouver International Guitar Festival

A three-neck guitar by Linda Manze.

From June 23-25, guitar makers, players, collectors and aficionados will gather for the first event of its kind in Western Canada.

The inaugural Vancouver International Guitar Festival is three days of master classes, workshops, exhibitions and special events taking place at The Chinese Cultural Centre (50 E. Pender St.). There’s also live music, including a show from Hayley McLean. Fender recently listed the former Vancouverite as #1 of the Top 10 Guitar Goddesses, calling her “the notable Canadian beauty [who] is positively bursting with talent.”

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Guitar-makers from around the world gather for the first Vancouver International Guitar Festival

Billy Bragg, Shawn Colvin and more – 2017 Vancouver Folk Festival lineup announced

Rhiannon Giddens, singer of Carolina Chocolate Drops, is touring in support of her solo album Freedom Highway.

Today, organizers of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival announced the lineup for this year’s event.

Headliners for the festival, which runs July 13-16 at Jericho Beach Park, include British folk-activist Billy Bragg and American singer/songwriter Joe Henry, Grammy-winning singer Shawn Colvin, and Canadian favourite Kathleen Edwards.

Other guests include Rhiannon Giddens, the lead singer of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, touring in support of her new solo album Freedom Highway. Also, the Barenaked Ladies. And there’s a French-Canadian component, too.

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Billy Bragg, Shawn Colvin and more – 2017 Vancouver Folk Festival lineup announced

Designer gives a classic a fashion-forward new look for the Vancouver Opera Festival

Caitlin Wood stars in Vancouver Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro, featuring costumes by Toronto-based designer Sid Neigum. Emily Cooper Photography.

As part of the Vancouver Opera Festival (April 28-May 13), organizers have recruited a hot young Canadian fashion designer to do the costumes for The Marriage of Figaro.

Originally from central Alberta, Sid Neigum studied fashion in Edmonton and New York before settling in Toronto after winning the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels Award. He has also won the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Start Up Award and the 2015 Swarovski Emerging Talent Award at the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards. His work has appeared in Vogue, Vogue Italia, Women’s Wear Daily, Fashion Magazine, and Elle Magazine. Coco Rocha, Jennifer Aniston, Jada Pinkett Smith, Stacey McKenzie, MTV’s Jessi Cruickshank, and Kim Cattrall are among the celebrities who have worn his clothes.

We chatted with Neigum about growing up in Alberta, working with Vancouver Opera on The Marriage of Figaro, and how the collaboration might affect his future work.

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Designer gives a classic a fashion-forward new look for the Vancouver Opera Festival

Ute Lemper brings Last Tango in Berlin to the Vancouver Opera Festival

Ute Lemper. Steffen Thalemann photo.

One of the special events at this year’s inaugural Vancouver Opera Festival is a performance by Ute Lemper.

The 53-year-old singer, who lives in New York with her family, will perform her show Last Tango in Berlin May 4 at the Orpheum Theatre. With a bar stool, microphone, and trio (piano, bandonen, and bass), the multilingual song stylist delves into cabaret ballads by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, chansons by Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf, tangos by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, and other songs cherry-picked from her other current repertoires.

Reviewing the show in the New York Times, Stephen Holden described a 2013 performance as “a stream of consciousness in several languages, mostly German, French and English, in which Ms. Lemper interweaves songs, song fragments, personal reminiscences and social commentary into an impressionistic historical tapestry. Wearing a gleaming black cocktail dress, her eyes narrowed to slits, her sleek blonde head thrown back, she embodies the Marlene Dietrich archetype of a forbidding continental temptress who has seen it all.”

Here’s a partial transcription of our interview with the divine Ms. L.

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Ute Lemper brings Last Tango in Berlin to the Vancouver Opera Festival