This year PuSh is bringing a series of genre-bending online shows and COVID-safe in-person experiences to Vancouver. Although PuSh is looking much different than in previous years due to the coronavirus, the mission remains to connect audiences with original artistic experiences. In-person programming includes Sanctuary: The Dakota Bear Ancient Forest Experience on Granville Island, taking the viewer back to a place that has existed since the last ice age — one household (maximum of two patrons) at a time. Enter your name and email address in the form below for a chance to win a pair of tickets and custom PuSh face masks. Sanctuary: The Dakota Bear Ancient Forest Experience Feb. 3–5, 3–7:15 p.m.; Feb. 6–7, 1–5:15 p.m. Co-presented with the Sunshine Coast Arts Council at Performance Works on Granville Island, this 360-degree projection takes you to a place that is now under threat. Inside a geodesic dome, the viewer experiences a wraparound view of an ancient forest, as well as an auditory mix of music and the sounds of nature. This is a transporting experience — a journey that will bring you to a new understanding, and a new sense of urgency. Online talkback: Skwx̱wú7mesh youth amplifying the message of Sanctuary: The Dakota Bear Ancient Forest Experience Feb. 7, 11–12:30 p.m. Creators Cease Wyss and Damien Gillis are working with two young voices from her Skwx̱wú7mesh Nation to lead a talkback as well as co-lead a workshop for immigrant and refugee youth. Young voices whose ancestors have been here since time immemorial in dialogue with newcomer youth about the land they have just arrived on and what needs to be done to preserve and defend it. Online performances include: Graveyards and Gardens, co-presented with Music on Main Online livestream: Jan. 28–29 at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. PST Here is your chance to see an album emerge before your eyes — and to witness a unique, revelatory melding of movement and sound. This livestreamed performance features a mixture of archival and electronic sounds, and the aural component is joined to dance so creatively as to give each element whole new dimensions. Entrancing, enveloping and ultimately liberating in its innovations, this is experiential art at its best. I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron 我咽下一枚铁做的月亮 a Music Picnic Production Online livestream: Feb. 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. PST, Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. PST In this haunting song cycle, composer and performer Njo Kong Kie sets the poetry of factory worker Xu Lizhi to song and delivers a lament for our digital age. Kong Kie’s score for solo voice and piano is performed in Mandarin with English subtitles and combined with imagery, ambient sound, and more; it is an act of political witness, a vital human document, and, not least, a work of great beauty. DJ Kookum and Sierra Baker plus Missy D, co-presented with Coastal Jazz and Granville Island Online livestream: Feb. 19, 8 p.m. PST Kookum is an open format DJ but grew up listening to EDM and hip hop music. With club residencies, one-off gigs, and through work as the official DJ for Snotty Nose Rez Kids, this diverse mix diva slays on the decks and always keeps it hype, fresh and unpredictable. They’ll perform a 30-minute set with dancer, designer, community consultant, entrepreneur, artist and storyteller Sierra Baker. Next up, it’s Missy D, a bilingual emcee born and raised around the Motherland of Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe. She’s been rapping since she was 11-years-old in both French and English, and represents a blend of African cultures in her life-force and in her music, fusing hip hop, rap and R&B with what she calls Rap & Soul. Gordon Grdina Trio, co-presented with Coastal Jazz and Granville Island Online livestream: Feb. 20, 8 p.m. PST Gordon Grdina is a Juno award-winning oud player/guitarist whose career has spanned continents, decades and constant genre exploration throughout avant-garde jazz, free form improvisation, contemporary indie rock and Arabic music. Special Projects: In addition to all of these exciting works, PuSh is also thrilled to introduce PuSh Walks, aimed to get audience members out and about during these uncertain times. Put on your headphones and join in on this special series featuring guided audio journeys through the urban spaces that have inspired the featured artists. New walks are released weekly and are available on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts. Fill out my online form. Please note: PuSh is following all provincial health guidelines to ensure the safety of its patrons, staff, artists and volunteers. To review PuSh’s COVID-19 safety plan, please visit their website here. About PuSh Festival The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is one of Vancouver’s signature events. Produced over three weeks each January, the Festival expands the horizons of Vancouver artists and audiences with work that is visionary, genre-bending, multi-disciplined, startling and original. The festival showcases acclaimed international, Canadian and local artists and mixes them together with an alchemy that inspires audiences, rejuvenates artists, stimulates the industry and forges productive relationships around the globe. More than just shows, the festival is a broker of international partnerships, a meeting place for creative minds, a showcase of Canada’s best and an incubator of brilliant new work. 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