Month #5: Culture

Services is out. Culture is in.

Thanks to commenter Natalie, I’ve changed things up for the month of May. This month I’m adding ‘culture’ to the mix.

What do I mean by ‘culture’? Anything cultural that doesn’t fit into one of my other media categories (TV, movies, books, magazines and music). To start, I’ll only be seeing Canadian live performances–theatre, ballet, opera, author readings and so forth–for the rest of the year.

This will be a bit of a sacrifice, because I attend a lot of theatre. So, it’s prairies and raven tricksters for me for the rest of the year. I joke, but when I was in theatre school, it seemed to me that every Canadian play I worked on was either set in a depressed, wind-blasted, incest-riven prairie farm house or on a depressed, wind-blasted First Nations reserve where some traditionally-clad bird dancer hovered over the action. Add in Canadian theatre’s love of historical dramas, and we rarely see a play set in a contemporary Canadian city. There’s always Brad Fraser, I suppose. I just checked, and none of the 2011 plays at either of Vancouver’s biggest theatres, the Arts Club or the Playhouse, qualify as Canadian. I’ll have to seek out some smaller venues.

And then there are cultural institutions. I have a membership to the Vancouver Art Gallery. For the rest of the year, I can only look at Canadian works of art. I’ll be really sorry to miss this Eadweard Muybridge exhibit, for example. Cursed Welshman. A few weeks ago I was in Quebec City, and took care to only look at Canadian paintings at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. I spent my time looking at Jean-Paul Riopelle’s work, and the Modernist review in Salle 7. I’ll do the same when visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery for the rest of the year.

What foreign culture would you miss if you went all-Canadian for a year?

Photo shows Kevin MacDonald in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s
production of Paradise Garden, a Canadian show I saw last year. Photo by Ross Den Otter.

  1. bobby (Reply) Posted on May 31, 2011


    Best of luck this month. Another difficult one for sure, though hopefully you
    will learn plenty from it..


  2. Barbara (Reply) Posted on June 4, 2011

    Does Fringe theatre count?

  3. Rahel Bailie (Reply) Posted on June 6, 2011

    What would I miss? The multitude of Asian things that have come into my life alongside my Chinese-ancestry partner.

    OTOH, I have often sought out Canadian music, theatre, and other cultural events and will continue doing so.

  4. bobby (Reply) Posted on June 29, 2011


    Did you survive the month without international culture?


  5. Tiffany (Reply) Posted on July 15, 2011

    Hey, I know you’re done this month but if you guys get Rod Beattie’s one man show “Wingfield Farm” touring BC it’s completely Canadian. He’s from Ontario, the writer is from Ontario, subject matter is small town Ontario/ farming community, and the DVDs of his act were all recoded at CBC studios in Toronto. He’s absolutely hilarious on stage and has won many awards.

  6. Ross den Otter (Reply) Posted on August 31, 2011

    I’m so glad my photo is under “Culture” and this play fit your theme.