27

Jul
2020

REMINDER: Early Bird Passes only on Sale Until July 31!

In October, in the theatre, we will launch our first of the Salon/Saloon Series with the presentation of Allan Morgan’s one man show, I Walked the Line – a piece that reflects in his generous and humorous manner, his experience walking the line with members of the BC Nurses Union. Following that, as part of the Heart of the City Festival, we will share more stories in our Opening Doors series with a special look at the history and connections of Indigenous communities to this neighbourhood.

While we continue to work on programming for the balance of the year, we are focusing on November, December and January using the Salon/Saloon model of limiting audiences to fifty. At this point not all of the proposed programming is contracted but we hope by mid-August to announce all of the works that will carry us through this time period. We anticipate there will be a minimum of four different productions you will be able to utilize your Early Bird passes for before the end of January. We ask you continue to have faith until such time as all the details are worked out. With only fifty tickets available per performance, Early Bird passes are going quickly with the deadline for final purchase on July 31.

Click here to buy yours while they’re still available!


23

Jul
2020

Pride Performance Empowers Weekend!

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup and indoor

 

We are incredibly excited to announce our pride long weekend event, Pride Performance Empowers! (or PPE for short). Taking place in the Firehall’s beautiful courtyard, PPE is a three day long event of theatre, drag, and music!

Tickets are very limited because of COVID-19 safety guidelines, so please join us in celebrating a wonderful pride 2020!

 

July 31st – Baking and Dishing with Allan Morgan @ 7:30pm

Well known actor, writer and all round great guy Allan Morgan will offer a witty and wild demonstration of his culinary skills, BAKING AND DISHING WITH PRIDE. In this work drawn from his previous work For the Young Gay, the Un-Gay and the Jaded Queen in All of Us, this one person show follows Allan’s path from 1968 forward and chronicles his life as he begins to understand and accept his sexuality and looks at the points of connection between his life and the Gay Pride movement as we grow together.

Tickets starting @ $20!

 

August 1st – Kings and Queens of DRAG @ 7:30pm

Drag Kings and Queens will hold court on the courtyard stage. Hosted by Carlotta Gurl, the night will feature Pride weekend favorites JOAN E, OWEN, GINA TONIC, and BRUNCH.

Tickets starting @ $25!

 

August 2nd – Prideful Music with Sara Vickruck @4:00pm

Come hangout in the courtyard with quadruple threat award winning queer performer Sara Vickruck. Chronicled through her original tunes, some cover songs, and by the length of her hair, Sara will walk you through their coming out story. Part hour of music, and part hour of storytelling, it will be a relaxing way to spend your Sunday afternoon.

Sara Vickruck self produced their own Album Prologue in 2015, and wrote the music for the award winning musical Poly Queer Love Ballad. You may remember her from Fun Home (Arts Club), Circle Game (Firehall Arts Centre), or Coriolanus (Bard on the Beach). Currently she is part of the musical group The Quarantettes building a repertoire of music poetry to music in association with Bard on the Beach.

Tickets starting @ $20!

 

Tickets are on sale now on the Firehall website! Just click the link below to book your seats today!

CLICK HERE

*The Firehall Arts Centre has instituted safe physical distancing rules and has put in place Health and Safety Measures to ensure audiences, artists, and staff remain safe during all performances. A maximum of 40 people will be granted entry to each performance. Safe physical distancing rules are strongly encouraged in addition to wearing a face mask/covering. Face masks will be available for sale at the door. 


07

Jul
2020

Dancing on the Edge 2020

We are excited to be hosting the Dancing on the Edge festival again this summer!

A combination of live and streamed performances, we’re looking forward to having patrons back to the theatre in both capacities.

Please follow this link for a full schedule.

Live performance can be purchased here.

Virtual performances can be purchased here.


04

Jun
2020

The Firehall is Releasing a Podcast!

In a new initiative to keep engaging our wonderful patrons, we are releasing, “Dramatic Pause: Conversations about the Arts.” Donna Spencer, our Artistic Producer, will be interviewing Canadian artists, covering an array of topics from each artists lives, to the role of art, and it’s importance, especially now, in the current climate.

As an homage to many years of collaboration, our first interviewee will be David Diamond, Artistic Director of Theatre for Living. Theatre for Living has produced many shows at the Firehall over the years, the last being šxʷʔam̓ət (Home).

Our podcast is hosted both on PodBean and iTunes for free.

We will be posting new episodes every other Tuesday night, so stay tuned!

Have a listen today!

 


28

May
2020

An Update on the Firehall and our 2020/2021 Season

Every year many of patrons purchase Early Bird passes to Firehall season’s offerings. They are a great deal with savings ranging from 10% to 28% depending on which pass program purchasers subscribe too and allow purchasers to chose which shows from the Firehall season of between ten to twelve different productions that they wish to attend.

In this uncertain time, the Firehall is asking patrons to take a leap of faith with us and invest in the 2020-2021 upcoming season. And what will that season be? That is a great question and this is the part where the leap of faith comes in. Artistic Producer Donna Spencer is planning a fall season of events entitled the Salon Series. This series will feature primarily theatre but will, also, include music and dance designed for audiences of 50 or less. Reflective of the current public assembly guidelines of 50, not including staff and crew, set by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry this number allows for a creative team of artists and customer services staff of ten. Through undertaking this scale of programming not only will the Firehall be able to ensure our audiences, artists and venue support staff are safe within the current physical distancing and PPE’s guidelines but will provide opportunities for audiences to enjoy the live performing arts again in an intimate setting. When public assembly limits are increased, which we hope is sooner rather than later, the venue seating will be increased accordingly.

So while we are still in programming stages for the 2020-2021 season, we are planning ten to twelve different productions including our production with Savage Society of Taran Kootenhayoo’s White Noise; Touchstone’s production in association with the Firehall of Adam Grant Warren’s Lights , which unfortunately, were postponed because of the pandemic. Other works could include Manami Hara’s Courage Now ; a remount of our co-production with Puente Theatre of Elaine Avila’s FADO, The Saddest Music in the World ; Rice & Beans’ Yellow Objects ; Yvonne Wallace’s Utzan; more stories from the East side in Opening Doors ; a work in progress showing of Starr Muranko’s Chapter 21 and Allan Morgan’s I Walked The Line, just to name a few. More details will be released about programming as contracts for productions are confirmed.

Early Bird passes come in two flavours: The Full Pack for $79 which allows you to attend four productions through the season and the Four Pack Flex for $100 which allows you to mix and match as you please allowing you to bring guests with you or see your favourite show more than once.

Should the Firehall be forced to shut down operations because of COVID-19, any passes or tickets left on passes purchased will be refunded.

Early Bird passes are available beginning June 8th until July 31, 2020.


27

Apr
2020

Spring Cleaning Finds: George Ryga Photoset

As we plan for our return to performances and to dive in to spring cleaning in our offices and the theatre, we, inevitably, have come upon a few treasures lost in the mess, or as we’d like to call it, “creative build-up.” One such treasure is this beautiful photo set of iconic Canadian playwright, George Ryga. Why do we have these shots was the question and it came up that we think they were taken when the Firehall was producing his one man show for his great friend, Dick Clements, called One More For The Road just prior to Ryga’s passing in 1987.

This was the beginning of the Firehall’s relationship with Mr. Ryga, who is recognized as an essential part of Canadian literary and theatrical history. Ryga was born in Deep Creek, Alberta to poor Ukrainian immigrants. Both the nature of his upbringing, and the variance of his cultural identity pushed Ryga to the margins of larger Canadian society, and it was from this otherness that he was able to draw inspiration for many of his works, including, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. Written in collaboration with Chief Dan George, chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe was one of the first plays in Canadian history to place at the forefront indigenous characters, plights, and realities, in a manner that provided both visibility and agency. The play does not skirt around structural and colonial violence being at the heart of its characters problems in its raw delivery through songs, montages, and tableaus.

First premiered at the Vancouver Playhouse in 1967, the Firehall Arts Centre had the pleasure of producing this unique piece twice, in 1992 and again in 2007, working with some of Canada’s most accomplished Indigenous artists in both productions. Artistic Producer and Director Donna Spencer directed both productions and notes it was the play The Ecstasy of Rita Joe which sparked her first interests in the theatre. “This was the first Canadian play I read that actually addressed contemporary Canadian issues which I could see happening around me in small town Alberta. Unfortunately, now working at the Firehall, we still see the impact of residential schools, the 60’s scoop up and racism towards Indigenous peoples. Things have improved in many ways but in others it has stayed the same or gotten worse. I recall George coming back from lunch one day ,when we were in rehearsal for One More For the Road, and saying ““ I can’t believe it – I just saw someone pulling food out of a dumpster – this in a country as rich as Canada? How can this be happening? “” And in remembering that, I wonder what he would have to say about the current state of affairs in the city with the ongoing Drug Crisis and its impact on the community. And now with the COVID-19 emergency compounding things – I imagine, after using some very colorful language, that he would write a pretty potent piece of theatre.”


13

Apr
2020

Donna Spencer: Had/Has a Vision

In 1982, when this photo was taken, my vision for the Firehall was to create a cultural venue that would not only work in partnership with the resident companies at that time but, also, would be a producer and presenter of theatre , dance, and multi-disciplinary works reflecting the diversity of Canadians. And Firehall staff and board have worked continually to realize that vision starting in 1985-86 as one of only two professional theatre companies in Canada actively working towards inclusivity on stage.

But here and now in 2020, the theatre is closed and only the “ghost light” lights the stage at night and I contemplate what the new reality will be when we are safe to assemble in public once again. Will our audiences have gotten so used to being encouraged to watch all of their entertainment on screen return to live performances? Will they have any money in their budget to go out and enjoy a play or a dance performance? And what is it that we do or can do to bring them back to our wonderful intimate little venue for a performance?

And I return to the original vision of so many years ago and recognise what really was being envisaged was a place where people could gather to share in the witnessing and enjoyment of good stories and good storytelling through live performances, be it theatre or dance. The true goal was to create a safe space where people who might not know each other could gather and share laughter, tears, thoughts and experiences together. A place where artists and arts workers could share their talents with an audience that would breathe with them in the serious moments and laugh with them in the lighter moments.

And while the world has indeed been changed and will for some time continue to be impacted by this pandemic, when it is safe people will come out of their houses and they will want to share communal experiences. That is who we are as human beings – we like to be with and do things with others. So as we wait in anticipation of welcoming audiences back to the theatre, we are considering many ways to enrich audiences experiences at the theatre while also considering how we engage with the artists we work with and all of the different ways we can undertake live performances. And in the meantime, we will stay in touch until such time as we can meet again in the theatre.

Stay safe, laugh as much as you can, and remember you are not alone – we are all in this together.

– Donna


16

Mar
2020

Firehall Suspends Operations

Artistic Producer, Donna Spencer announced today that the Firehall Arts Centre is suspending all productions and presentations until such time as it is deemed safe for the public to meet and enjoy live arts performances.

We are, of course, disappointed that we will not at this time be able to share productions like Trans Scripts, Part 1: The Women and Artistic Fraud’s amazing Between Breaths with you. Our upcoming production of White Noise is being postponed until Fall 2020 and we are hopeful that by mid-May we will be able to resume the balance of our programming for the 2020-2021 season.

Our box office staff will be in contact with all of the patrons who have purchased tickets for these three productions with further information regarding pre-purchased tickets.

As a not for profit charity, the Firehall is reliant on box office to cover a large portion of our annual operating budget and we are working to minimize as much as possible the impact of losses from box office revenues on the Society’s financial health. If you are able, the donation of your ticket back to the Firehall Arts Centre would be greatly appreciated and would help us immensely. All donations of $20.00 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

We are also working to minimize as much as possible the impact these cancellations and postponements will have on the freelance performing artists and part-time customer services and technical staff, with whom we work as they too must have the means to support their living expenses.

Thank you from the Firehall for your support and stay healthy.
Firehall Arts Centre Staff


13

Mar
2020

Steps We’re Taking to Keep Everyone Safe and Healthy

Dear Valued Friends of the Firehall,

The Firehall is committed to providing a healthy safe environment for our audiences, the artists we work with, our volunteers and our staff. We are closely watching COVID-19 developments and looking to the Public Health Agency of Canada, HealthLink BC and BC Centre for Disease Control for their guidance. Currently, all Firehall performances are proceeding on schedule as our venue only seats 134 individuals. We are implementing ways in which to ensure that our venue is sanitized and clean and that our audience and the artists we work with feel safe within the venue. As a live performance not-for-profit charity we are highly dependent on the ongoing support of patrons and donors such as yourself.

We have put in place the following measures to ensure that your health is protected and that your ticket purchase is secure.

  • We have capped attendance at 70% for all Firehall performances until further notice, allowing for greater space between patrons.
  • High-touch services such as handrails, door handles, pin pads and seat arm rests are being cleaned between performances.
  • We have increased the presence of hand sanitizers in our lobby and will ensure soap in the washrooms is regularly replenished.
  • Our staff and volunteers are following official advice and are staying home if they feel unwell.

How you can play your part:

  • If you are feeling ill, please stay at home. We will happily change your ticket to a future date or performance at no charge, give you an account credit or refund your purchase. Email boxoffice@firehallartscentre.ca or call the box office at 604-689-0926 Mon-Friday between 9:30-5pm.
  • Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol if you’re unable to wash your hands.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with your arm or a tissue.

Our website and social media channels will be updated with information as required.

We value your support and hope to see you at upcoming performances at the Firehall.

For more information about your health and COVID-19, please visit the following websites:

Public Health Agency of Canada

HealthLink

BC Centre for Disease Control


10

Mar
2020

Firehall’s Response to COVID-19

As a live performance theatre, the Firehall Arts Centre undertakes its productions and presentations for our audiences and we are very dependent on your support at our events.  We are, also, very aware of your concerns with regard to COVID-19 and its potential to be spread in public gatherings.  We are working to keep our venue as safe as possible through sanitizing our stair rails, counters, and other public areas. We encourage you, also, to protect yourself when attending a performance by using hand sanitizer, washing your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds and covering your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing and sneezing. We want to thank you for your consideration of others and we appreciate your ongoing patronage greatly.

Please check out the interview below from CBC with Dr. Abdu Sharkawy.

Infectious diseases specialist warns of ‘overkill’ when cancelling events over coronavirus fears