Come see the Vancouver Youth-Driven Arts Festival happening this week!

Band on stage

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IGNITE! is a week-long arts festival created, performed and organized by youth aged 13-24.  The 2010 festival is taking place for the first time in the newly renovated Cultch theatre (1895 Venables Street) from May 17th to 22nd.

Organized by the City of Vancouver Youth Outreach Team, their mission is to ensure that youth have a place in the city and a strong voice in decision-making. Through events like the IGNITE! Youth Arts Festival, they aim to promote youth as a resource to the city and strengthen the support base for Vancouver youth.

“In other words we’re ‘Conveners, Conveyors, and Connectors.’ We bridge the gaps between the rest of the city structure and the youth of Vancouver.” – City of Vancouver Youth Outreach Team

Monday, May 17th – Toast of the Town, 8pm

Whether you enjoy classic rock, folk, pop, blues, rock and roll or jazz, Toast Of The Town is sure to have something to fit your musical tastes. Featuring performances from The Bank Dogs, Pancakes by Donation, Ian Schram, Georgine Stevenson-Aho, Tarot, Adam Farnsworth, and Riun Garner, this night will showcase some of the best young musical talent Vancouver has to offer!

Don’t forget to gussy up in your finest ’50s or 60s attire!  There will be a prize for the audience member with the best costume, and anyone who dresses up will automatically win a free button!

Tuesday, May 18th – The Olivia Project, 8pm

An evening of engaging, experimental art, the Olivia Project will feature a brand new collaborative work created by some of the city’s most talented young musicians, actors, dancers, filmmakers, visual artists, and spoken word artists.


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In addition to the main attraction, the poets of the Candelabra Collective, Vancouver’s finest spoken word poetry collective and the artists of the Mystical Distribution Company (a multi-disciplinary visual arts collective) will reveal a newly created performance!

Wednesday, May 19th – Swish, 8pm

Come see emerging young dancers perform original works in an array of genres. Swish will feature acts from OneDance Youth Contemporary Company, Dance West Lyrical Group, danceLAB, Emily Walker, and Daina Ashbee & Kelly McInnes (to name a few).  The theme is ‘Out of this World,’ so come dressed in alien children’s attire: primary colours, dealy-boppers (antennae), and anything shiny.

Thursday, May 20th – Word, 8pm

The IGNITE! Youth Panel’s Word Committee presents an exciting showcase for all things literary, legible and linguistic. The night will feature performances from spoken word artists, excerpts from the IGNITE! Youth Zine, films (including one inspired by a beloved childhood favourite, The Paper Bag Princess), as well as the words of Candelabra Collective and the Kidnap Kids!

Guests are encouraged to get inspired by their favourite childhood book character and come in costume.  You won’t want to miss this engaging and moving event!

Friday, May 21st – Fruit Basket, 8pm

Friday’s showcase will feature a live broadcast of the Fruit Basket Radio Show. An advice expert will be on hand to solve callers’ and audience members’ dilemmas regarding sex, relationships, and everything in between. In addition, there will be spectacular dance, drag and musical performances. A show for all ages, guests are invited to come and be a part of the studio audience. Those who dress in drag get in free!

Girl playing saxaphone

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Saturday, May 22nd – Confetti & Streamers, 8pm

The Finale of the IGNITE! Youth Arts Festival will feature performances from an exciting, all-encompassing smattering of talented youth. There will be live entertainment, dancing, and films.  The theme is ‘Office,’ so professional dress is encouraged. Refreshments will be provided, and the guest with the most interesting necktie will win a prize. Make sure you don’t miss out on this spectacular event!

Monday, May 17th to Saturday, May 22nd – Young Playwrights Festival

The 2010 Young Playwrights Festival will be premiering three original one-act plays, written, directed, and performed entirely by youth.

The three shows are running in repertory in the VanCity Culture Lab throughout The 2010 IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival, May 17-22nd.

May 17th: The Death of Me and Our Time @ 6pm
May 18th: Top Secret and The Death of Me @ 6pm
May 19th: Our Time and Top Secret @ 6pm
May 20th: The Death of Me and Our Time @ 6pm
May 21st: Top Secret and The Death of Me @ 6pm
May 22nd: Top Secret, Our Time, The Death of Me @ 2pm (ASL Interpreted)
May 22nd: Top Secret and Our Time @ 6pm

Visual Art – May 10th to May 31st, on display at the Cultch

Featuring art of all media types by Vancouver’s best up-and-coming young artists, IGNITE! Visual Arts Committee is proud to present: The Future. An exciting exhibition showcasing the intriguing ideas youth have on the not too distant future.

On the first night of the IGNITE! festival, May 17th, short monologues will be running every fifteen minutes as part of the exhibit.

To purchase tickets for any of these events contact the Cultch box office: by phone at 604-251-136, in person at 1895 Venables St Mon-Sat 12pm-8pm, or online anytime at

By Flavia Kajoba