PuSh International Performing Arts Festival 2022 Presents a Vibrant and Dynamic Line-up of Innovative Artists

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (PuSh) presents its 18th annual edition from January 20 to February 6, 2022 at various venues across the Lower Mainland and select programming online. PuSh is Vancouver’s signature, mid-winter cultural event, taking place each January in theatres and venues across the city. PuSh delivers groundbreaking, contemporary works of theatre, dance, music, and multimedia by acclaimed local, national, and international artists.

Featuring 12 works from three countries, including one world premiere and two Canadian premieres — the festival line-up is dedicated to creative risk-taking and dynamic interdisciplinary collaboration. With an emphasis on artists from across Canada this year, PuSh will also present works from the United States and the United Kingdom.

International companies/artists being presented for PuSh 2022 and Club PuSh include: Steve Lambert (USA); Joseph Toonga of Just Us Dance Theatre (UK). Canadian companies/artists include: Crow’s Theatre/Cliff Cardinal; Tarragon Theatre and Black Theatre Workshop; Theatre Replacement; Joe Jack & John; LION LION; Collectif Aalaapi|La Messe Basse; Vivek Shraya and Canadian Stage; The Talking Stick Festival; the frank theatre company; Immigrant Lessons; Music Picnic/Njo Kong Kie 楊光奇; MAYDAY; Ruby Singh, and more.

2022 PuSh Festival Trailer from PuSh Festival on Vimeo.

The Festival is excited to be working alongside long-standing and new partners including The Dance Centre, Full Circle: First Nations Performance, Indian Summer Festival, The Talking Stick Festival, Touchstone Theatre, The Firehall Arts Centre, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, and others.

In August 2021, PuSh was thrilled to announce that Gabrielle Martin was newly appointed to lead programming and community initiatives for both the 2022 and 2023 festivals. She notes: “PuSh has always been an accelerator, animating our imaginations and transforming our perspectives. The 2022 PuSh program is a timely catalyst, facilitating an emergence from our social hibernation with works that incept, evoke, activate, and confront. In a time when we are all making sense of where we are after what has come to pass, this year’s Festival line-up helps us situate ourselves in the complexity of human experience.

Several of the 2022 Festival works make personal the economic structures that define us, through interactive and interdisciplinary forms. In dialogue with this content are a series of shows that offer nuanced and experience-driven perspectives on the social structures we navigate, while others focus on our subjective experiences and the subconscious as a site of inception. Overall, we hope that the 2022 PuSh Festival will stimulate, shift, inspire, and compel.”

Martin joins Margo Kane and Jason Dubois, in the newly formed PuSh Collaborative Leadership Team, which will manage the organization and lead the 2022 festival, while the organization continues its structural review process and evolution.  Margo Kane will also contribute to Programming, Indigenous Arts Community Relations and Decolonization Initiatives saying, “At this crucial time in history, we need to embrace ways to truly engage in right relations, both new and old, and affirm a willingness to find ways to work together that honours the contribution of all and that exemplifies ‘good medicine’ for our many communities.”

PuSh presents a world premiere from acclaimed Canadian company Theatre Replacement. Do you mind if I sit here? is a multimedia extravaganza that dares us to imagine the future in terms of our most important hopes, fears, and beliefs.

The Festival also includes two Canadian premieres from our international companies: Capitalism Works for Me! True/False by Steve Lambert (USA), a pointed, provocative installation project; and Born to Manifest by Joseph Toonga of Just Us Dance Theatre (UK), a kinetic expression of pride and defiance, channeling the lived experiences of young Black British men in this dynamic dance performance.

This year the always anticipated program Club PuSh, the festival’s platform for outside-of-the-box work and interactive experiences, features three nights curated by Vancouver collaborators the frank theatre company, The Talking Stick Festival, and Immigrant Lessons from February 2-4 at 9pm at Performance Works.

If you’re looking to keep the PuSh vibes going into the night, this is the place to be. Club PuSh is a spot for fantastic performances in a relaxed, casual atmosphere: drag artists, DJs, musicians, and street dancers are all throwing down here. We’re thrilled to offer a convivial, comfortable, and COVID-safe place for our audiences to gather, and we hope to see you here!

PuSh Assembly returns to stimulate dialogue through free talks for the public including an industry networking series and youth program events. The 2022 Industry Series is an opportunity to come together, in person, or online, to re-engage with colleagues and the movements they’re driving, and to reconnect with PuSh and participate in the relationships that define it. It is an opportunity to recharge with creative stimulus, to rethink through exchange, and to reimagine by collective ideation.

PuSh 2022 is a poignant reminder of art’s power to bring communities together and effect change.

Full programming and show details can be found here. All tickets are on sale now for the 2022 PuSh Festival at pushfestival.ca

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