Views / Vancouver / Backstage Pass Vancouver

Let Winteruption and Talking Stick lift your spirit out of the winter blahs

Is February getting you down?

Are you yearning for some warm weather?

Are you still mad that Justin Bieber didn’t get a single Grammy nomination?

If you answered “yes” to the first two questions, I’ve got some good news: spring is just around the corner. If you want proof just look at your calendar. The corner being March. And there’s spring right after it.

Do you see it?

No matter. In the nearer future, we’ve got the eighth annual installment of Winterruption, an abbreviated winter festival that takes place next weekend on Granville Island.

There’s music (Sex Mob Plays Fellini — The Music of Nino Rota), theatre (Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat), food (Sustainable Seafood Walking Tour), Kids stuff (Duh Hockey Gus), and more.

Check it out Feb. 22-24. More information at

Also, next week is the Talking Stick Festival, an exploration of the artistic wealth of Aboriginal people and their traditions in contemporary form.

This year’s festival features three programming streams: the Headliner Series, which includes music, dance and theatre (A Circumpolar Soundscape, Lara Kramer, Agokwe).

Check out Sagkeeng’s Finest, touted as Canada’s own Lords of the Dance. The teenaged trio, consisting of Dallas and Brandon Courchene and Vince O’Laney, blends First Nations clogging with contemporary dance and took home the top prize on Citytv’s short-lived Canada’s Got Talent.

There’s also the Development Series, which focuses on storytelling and other performances for family and young audiences; and the Festival Plus Series, which features slams poetry and multimedia performances.

The Talking Stick Festival runs from Feb. 19 to Mar. 3 at various venues throughout the Vancouver. Tickets range from $12-25; opening night gala: $40. There are also some Pay-What-You-Can performances. For more information visit