Vancouver Shows to Put on Your Fall Arts Calendar

ITSAZOO Productions’ & Aphotic Theatre’s The Cafe; Photo: Chelsey Stuyt

Vancouver’s autumn is promising to be an extraordinary one for fans of live theatre, dance, and music. From an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical blockbuster to an immersive play in an intimate cafe, this season’s diverse arts line-up is sure to bring joy and inspiration to all who attend. Here’s a taste of what’s to come this fall:

Arts Club Theatre Company

The Arts Club Theatre Company is currently wrapping up Peter Pan Goes Wrong (until October 16 at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage) and Redbone Coonhound (until October 30 at the Newmont Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre). In anticipation of the holiday season (yes, it is coming up), they’re mounting the world premiere of Mom’s the Word: Talkin’ Turkey (October 27, 2022-January 1, 2023, Granville Island Stage), brought to you by the very popular Mom’s the Word Collective. This show takes on the holiday feast with humour, honesty, and love, exploring what brings families together and also makes them difficult in the best of times. Meanwhile, The Sound of Music (November 10-December 24) returns to the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage to delight audiences with its well-known and endearing storyline and songs.

The Cultch

East Van Panto: The Little Mermaid, Amanda Sum; Photo: Emily Cooper

The Cultch has innovative and interesting shows on offer this autumn. Yaga (October 27-November 5), written by Kat Sandler and presented by Touchstone Theatre, is a crime thriller that involves a witch, a murdered college student, a professor, a detective, and a sheriff. The show should be mysterious fun around Halloween time. The Cave (November 10-20) involves the creative genius of Tomson Highway, John Millard, and Martha Ross, with animations by Bruce Alcock. This delightful cabaret involves animals who come together after a forest fire, tackling themes of climate change, community, and resilience. Zee Zee Theatre presents In My Day (December 2-11), which deals with the HIV crisis in Vancouver. The work is based on a research project HIV In My Day, which collected stories from HIV survivors and caregivers in the province. And it wouldn’t be the lead-up to the holidays without Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto (November 16, 2022-January 1, 2023), this time giving The Little Mermaid their special spin. The returning team (Sonja Bennett, Veda Hille, Meg Roe) are dreaming up a panto that’s bound to have audiences participating, laughing, and just generally enjoying themselves immensely.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Symphony of Terror!

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) has a jam-packed fall ahead. Highlights include Symphony of Terror! (October 25), which is billed as a “Halloween Horror Drag Spooktacular.” The program contains everyone’s favourite movie songs and thrilling songs, including music from the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Ghostbusters. On October 28-29, Sarah Slean comes to the Orpheum to perform a Joni Mitchell Tribute while selections from the holiday favourite The Nutcracker will be played November 17. Other season highlights include Jon Kimura Parker Plays Bernstein (November 11-12) with a new work for Principal Flutist Christie Reside; Image China: East/West Symphonic Concert (November 22) with Maestro Tong Chen; and French pianist Hélène Grimaud Plays Brahms (November 25-26)

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts also has some really exciting programming this autumn. Makaya McCraven: In These Times (October 15) features the incredibly talented composer, drummer, producer, and “cultural synthesizer” as he explores music from his latest album. October 29 will see a performance of Osvaldo Golijov’s Falling Out of Time, which deals with loss, grief, and the healing process. Other highlights include the UBC Symphony Orchestra with Conductor Jaelem Bhate (October 22), and two concerts for the Games in Action conference (November 4-5).

Vancouver Opera

The Pearl Fishers

The Pearl Fishers (October 22, 27, and 30) by Georges Bizet will be mounted again by the Vancouver Opera after three decades. The story deals with two inseparable friends who face a test of their relationship when they both seek the love of the same woman. The dramatic story deals with betrayal, sacrifice, and, ultimately, the ties that bind people together.

Broadway across Canada

The worldwide hit Jesus Christ Superstar (November 15-20) comes to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, thanks to Broadway Across Canada. After five decades, the show continues to remain vibrant with a modern reimagining while still inspiring audiences with beloved songs by duo Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Dance Centre

Global Dance Connections Series – Compagnie d’Autres Cordes; Photo: Quentin Chevrier

The Dance Centre has multiple dance series as well as special presentations happening this fall. Their Global Dance Connections Series features Franck Vigroux’s Forêt (October 20-22) performed by Compagnie d’Autres Cordes, Throe performed by Corporeal Imago (November 17-19), and Arash Khakpour and Emmalena Fredriksson (December 8-10) while the Discover Dance! Series will celebrate the history of ballroom with VanVogueJam, curated by Ralph Escamillan, and feature a performance by the Karen Flamenco Dance Company (November 23). Vancouver audiences can also look forward to a special presentation by Shion Skye Carter (November 4-5) entitled Residuals, which draws inspiration from Japanese calligraphy.

Early Music Vancouver

Early Music Vancouver’s (EMV) 2022/2023 Concert Season launched in September and runs until May 2023. In their 53rd season, they have multiple series. The Cathedral Series features Boccheriniana (October 14); A New Springtime in the World (October 28) that will play French medieval works; and The Art of the Lute with Thomas Dunford (November 25). The Masterworks Series: Bach Before and Beyond will mount From War to Peace: Heinrich Schütz and His Time (November 5) and Festive Cantatas: J.S. Bach Magnificat (December 17-18). And finally, the Passport Series: Early Music from Around the World will present The Odyssey of Kryštof Harant (December 1).

Chor Leoni

If you’re seeking some uplifting, Chor Leoni has some fabulous upcoming concerts. We Sang Our Songs (November 10-11) is in honour of Remembrance Day and features songs that contemplate war and peace. Meanwhile, Christmas with Chor Leoni (December 16-19) will put you in the holiday spirit with Yuletide classics and new favourites.

Coastal Jazz and Blues Society

Coastal Jazz and Blues Society is again hosting Ironworks (November 3-5) with three special nights taking place at the Ironworks. Evening one opens with Josh Zubot and Strings with Sickboss, and nights two and three feature collaborations between both national and local artists.

Pacific Theatre

For those seeking both entertaining and meditative holiday productions, Pacific Theatre presents The Messiah (November 25-December 17) that replays the Nativity narrative through an absurdist lens. With just three performers (an opera singer and two actors), the show will bring new life to a well-known story. Meanwhile, their annual Christmas Presence (December 11-13, 2022) returns with song, poetry, and musings that cast a magical spell of contemplation on audiences.

Ballet BC

OVERTURE/S. Artist: Jacob Williams
Photo: Marcus Eriksson

The first show of Ballet BC‘s season, OVERTURE/S (November 3-5), features three works: Silent Tides by Artistic Director Medhi Walerski, New Creation by Imre and Marne van Opstal; and Bedroom Folk by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. Be prepared to be mesmerized by brand new works as well as an audience favourite that’s returning this season.

Firehall Arts Centre

Sanjay Talwar in A Christmas Carol; Photo: Jam Hamidi

Firehall Arts Centre presents TJ Dawe’s Blueberries Are Assholes (October 19-30), where the consummate storyteller woos audiences on his thoughts and humour regarding everyday life. The world premiere of Manami Hara’s Courage Now (November 19-December 4) captures the experiences of Chiune Sugihara who helped Lithuanian and Polish Jews escape the Nazis. And the holiday classic A Christmas Carol runs December 14-24.

ITSAZOO Productions and Aphotic Theatre

The Cafe; Photo: Chelsey Stuyt

In partnership with PuSh, ITSAZOO Productions and Aphotic Theatre present The Café (October 11-22) at Kafka’s. In this immersive theatre experience, seven scenes unfold in a coffee shop. This intimate performance allows audience members to wander around as witnesses to the intense, diverse conversations that are occurring around them.


Photo: Todd MacDonald

DanceHouse launches their 15th anniversary season with Double Murder (October 21-22), a double bill that contains Clowns and The Fix by the Hofesh Shechter Company. The two pieces, interconnected yet oppositional, find different ways to confront our chaotic, often violent times. Clowns erupts with energy and confusion, while The Fix is a much more soothing offering of tentative hope amidst such destruction. The show promises to be highly provocative and genre-bending.


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