A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Evergreen Cultural Centre

Last night I took my young daughters down to the Evergreen Cultural Centre for the Monster Theatre presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

evergreen cultural centre

The production was geared towards children and it was cool to see how readily kids broke through the fourth wall that traditionally separates the players on the stage from the audience.

As a “seasoned” theatre goer, I tend to see the fourth wall as an impenetrable wall. So that even when the players on the stage look into the audience and ask a question, I realize I am not to reply. Nor is anyone in the theatre to reply. Unless you are a kid at a Monster Theatre presentation.

Last night, the players on the stage called into the audience and the kids replied. It was a somewhat risky move that worked well.

The kids replied when expected and became quiet observers for the other parts of the show.

As for the play, it is worth noting that it was not actually a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream but a play about the play of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Confusing? It wasn’t. It was actually really neat. Although not a “tight” performance, it was a very entertaining performance.

The performance had two women and one man on the stage. These three people were able to change from one character to another in a blink of the eye. One second she was Demetruis and then Hermia and then Lysander and then Helena.

The characters changed personas with a simple twist of the wrist to change the mask but more importantly, it was not just the mask that changed. The voice, the demeanour, and the body movements were also changed instantaneously. It was really amusing to see the characters changing so quickly. The best part was how the quick role changes kept the kids in the audience transfixed. As was I!!

I will definitely be taking my kids to check out more of the Monster Theatre productions. Especially if they come back to my local theatre, the Evergreen Cultural Centre.


The Evergreen Cultural Centre Celebrates 20 Years

Here is the TLDR for this blog post: The Evergreen Cultural Centre presents their 20th anniversary as the premiere theatre and entertainment venue in the Tri-Cities. Come celebrate this milestone and kick off our new season with a dance party featuring SweetPea Swing Band and rock/blues/R&B masters Brickhouse.

Celebrating 20 years as the premiere theatre and entertainment venue in the Tri-Cities, the Evergreen Cultural Centre presents their season launch party on Friday, September 16 @ 7pm. Come celebrate this milestone and kick off the new season with a dance party featuring SweatPea Swing Band and rock/blues/R&B masters Brickhouse. A silent auction will also be available for patrons to bid on great items from community partners and sponsors.

“All of us at the Evergreen Cultural Centre – staff, volunteers, and board members – are extremely excited to be celebrating our 20th anniversary,” says Doug Matthews, Evergreen Cultural Centre Society Board President. “Over this period, the number and quality of our performing and visual arts presentations have grown considerably and we are proud of the fact that a diverse group from the Tri-Cities area use our facilities on a regular basis. As well, our professional theatre, comedy, dance, and musical presentations are among the best in the lower mainland, and our art gallery shows are of the highest quality found anywhere.”

SweatPea Swing Band

The SweetPea Swing Band has been performing their own unique brand of traditional jazz in and around Vancouver for many years. The band repertoire contains a lively collage of hot jazz music dating back as far as 1916. Although the band’s music is firmly rooted in traditional jazz, The SweetPea Swing Band presents their music in a hip, modern style that continues to incite audiences into a dancing frenzy.


Brickhouse is one of the most uniquely “Vancouver” music experiences – seeing Brickhouse Live is one of the “Top 10” coolest things you can do in Vancouver. With their brand of original, funky tracks and cleverly covered classic R&B tunes, Brickhouse blends classic and modern (Blue Funk) with ease and makes hearing and seeing Brickhouse an addictive experience.

Tickets are only $20 for this great event!

Contact the Evergreen Box Office at 604-927-6555 or visit evergreenculturalcentre.ca for tickets and more information.

“Til Death” and “No Tweed Too Tight: Another Grant Canyon Mystery”

On at the Evergreen Cultural Centre is the double bill of “Till Death” – The tale of Six Queens.  Six Love stories.  Six Deaths.  One Actress!

It all starts in the afterlife, in a bizarre waiting room of sorts. One by one, the wives of Henry VIII arrive, much to the shock and dismay of each previous wife. What culminates is a heated frenzy of an ex-wives club where these women swap stories, toss Anne Boleyn’s head around, pick on the ugly German one, and, most importantly, fight for the right to be acknowledged as Henry’s true bride and eternal partner.

But when Henry arrives…everything changes.

And then to top off the evening at the Evergreen Cultural Centre there is “No Tweed Too Tight: Another Grant Canyon Mystery”

More belligerent than an orangutan at a monkey shaving contest. More uncaring than a potato salad at a funeral.  As inexplicable as a… you wouldn’t understand.

The year is 1976. Grant Canyon is a perpetually inebriated insurance investigator.  Every scene starts with him coming to consciousness on an airplane with no pilots (or getting buried alive, or on a Russian sub), and every scene ends with him either getting knocked out or drinking himself into oblivion. In his few coherent moments he leaves a wake of dead bodies, satisfied ladies, and empty bottles as he staggers toward a shocking and fiery conclusion.

The performances run from February 25-27 at 8pm in the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam.

For tickets, contact the Evergreen Cultural Centre at 604-927-6555.

Til Death by Ryan Gladstone and No Tweed by Ryan Gladstone with Bruce Horak

Tickets: Adult $30 | Senior $25 | Student $15

The Contenders at The Evergreen Cultural Centre

Don’t ever count them out. The Contenders are rolling back into the Tri-Cities for a new concert of their classic hits. Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard, Canadian folk music legends from the West Coast, will play at Evergreen Cultural Centre on February 21, 2016 at 7:30pm.

The Contenders
The Contenders

After releasing an album of new music together, including the hit song Contenders, Valdy and Fjellgaard are road warriors who tour, tour and tour. Their music draws on all the aspects of life in the West, reflecting the mountains and the sea, the cowboys and the fishermen, the oil well roustabouts and the loggers, and so much more. Now playing together, this duo don’t have any fancy lights or sound equipment: just two guys, two guitars and two dozen songs about where they’ve been and where they’re going.

Part of the Canadian pop and folk music fabric for over 34 years, Valdy is one of Canada’s most influential songwriters. His hits like A Good Song (Just a Man), Play Me a Rock and Roll Song and Simple Life (Ode to L.A.) recall the heyday of Canadian folk music of the 1970s. He also played a lead role in an episode of The Beachcombers and was a panelist on Front Page Challenge. Now living on Saltspring Island with his wife Kathleen, his fourteen albums sold nearly half a million copies and four were certified gold.

Gary Fjellgaard is an award-winning singer-songwriter who was raised on the Canadian prairies. His western heritage, cattle drives, wagon treks, and working folks with ties to the land inspire the lyrical imagery of his songs. With his finger style acoustic guitar, gentle vocals, colorful stories, Gary takes his western roots music to the people with a rare sincerity. Gary and his wife Lynne make their home on Gabriola Island on Canada’s west coast.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and $15 for students. Contact the Evergreen box office at 604-927-6555 or visit evergreenculturalcentre.ca for tickets and more information.

Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project at the ECC

On November 19th at 8pm Jayme Stone will bring to the Evergreen Cultural Centre a “collaboratory” of some of North America’s most distinctive and creative roots musicians to revive, recycle, and reimagine traditional music

The performance will focus on songs collected by folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax.

The “collaboratory” includes Jayme Stone (banjo, voice), Moira Smiley (voice, accordion), Sumaia Jackson (fiddle, voice) and Tristan Clarridge (cello, voice)

The repertoire includes Bahamian sea shanties, African-American a cappella singing from the Georgia Sea Islands, ancient Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes, and work songs collected from both well-known musicians and everyday folk: sea captains, cowhands, fisherman, prisoners, and homemakers.

For tickets to this event you can visit the Evergreen Cultural Centre’s website or call the box office at 604-927-6555.

I don’t know about you, but I will definitely be attending this event!

Norman Foote: The Howl A Family Halloween Special

The prettiest little performance space in the Tri-Cities, the Evergreen Cultural Centre, presents Norman Foote: The Howl with the Very Scary Big Voice Orchestra.

Angels sing along with ghosts, zombies and ghouls! Music, costumes and Halloween all come together as Juno-award winning children’s music artist Norman Foote comes to the Evergreen for two performances on October 25 at 2 and 4:30pm.

With millions of fans big and small throughout the world, Norman is an award winning entertainer from Vancouver who has received international acclaim for his song writing, outrageous props and off beat sense of humor. His stage show is uniquely Norman and is innovative both musically and visually.

With finely crafted routines and songs, Norman is one of North America’s most highly regarded entertainers of his kind. His concert is a highly engaging experience featuring “Foote” classics and songs from his Juno award-winning album “Love My New Shirt” and now celebrating his 2013 release Always Be Yourself.

Tickets are only $16 for adults and $12 for children through the Evergreen box office at 604-927-6555 or evergreenculturalcentre.ca.

Movie Night at the Evergreen Cultural Centre

If you are anything like me or Toth The Movie Dude, it is likely you too can’t always find the films you’re itching to see in the local movie theatre. If you are looking for more than the same old Hollywood Blockbusters, you can join the crowds at the Evergreen Cultural Centre throughout this season to experience the best in Independent and World cinema.

Twice a month, the Evergreen will present a curated selection of outstanding and award-winning films not being shown in larger theatres.

The Imitation Game
The Imitation Game


On Monday, July 13 (7pm showing) the first movie to play in this series will be The Imitation Game.

One of the greatest stories of our time began back in the darkest days of the Second World War. Alan Turing was a brilliant Cambridge mathematician hired by the British military to break Nazi codes. His work leading a group of misfit geniuses didn’t only shorten the war, it pushed technology to the point where computers could be imagined. But Turing paid a price.

Turing and his colleagues race against time to devise a machine that can crack Germany’s Enigma codes, while Turing himself must work out how to be a gay man at a time when such men are routinely crushed by the law.

Two weeks after The Imitation Game screening The Second Best Marigold Hotel will be shown (that’s on Monday July 27th).

The best part of this movie series? It is FREE for members of the Evergreen Cultural Centre. If you are not yet a member, please join up now!!

Music on the Grill at Evergreen Cultural Centre

The Evergreen Cultural Centre’s Music on the Grill series, presented by Aaargon Dental Centre, is back for another season with three shows scheduled for this summer. The first show in the series is Jim Byrnes and The Sojourners on Saturday July 4th.

At the Music on the Grill presentation you can enjoy ?a sumptuous BBQ dinner served al fresco on the patio with pre-show entertainment, followed by the evening’s marquee presentation of Jim Byrnes and the Sojourners in the studio theatre.

Jim Byrnes
Jim Byrnes

If anyone can sing the blues, it’s Jim Byrnes. And he can sing country too! He is one of Vancouver’s most popular musicians, as well as one of Canada’s best-known TV actors. His records with the Sojourners and others have won him multiple Juno Awards. The Sojourners (Marcus Mosely, Will Sanders, and Khari McClelland) are a rock solid unit weaving together echoes of doo wop, R&B, country and blues to create a unique sound that has all but vanished from today’s world. This is gospel music that can take a punch and remain standing. The performance will include some songs performed separately and some together.

You can purchase tickets to all three summer performances in a package for $141 for three concerts with dinner or $90 for three concerts without dinner.

The next two Music on the Grill shows after the evening with Jim Byrnes and The Sojourners this summer will be:

Saturday, July 25, 2015, 8:00pm

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 8:00pm

For the Music on the Grill series the Lobby Bar opens at 6:30pm with dinner served at 7pm. Theatre doors open at 7:30pm with the concert beginning at 8pm.

You can purchase tickets ($55 for bbq and concert) to the Jim Byrnes and The Sojourners performance here.

The Foreigner – A Top Secret Farce

I am very much looking forward to seeing John Voth in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s performance of their “top secret farce” The Foreigner at the Evergreen Cultural Centre next week!

The preview for the play says;

All Charlie wanted was a little peace and quiet. So when he arrives at a fishing lodge in Georgia, it seems harmless enough to masquerade as a foreigner who can’t speak English.

He soon realizes that people will say the most extraordinary things when they think no one can understand them!

The Foreigner has a limited run of performances at the Evergreen Cultural Centre – March 3-7th with all shows starting at 8pm (except the Saturday matinee that begins at 4pm).

If you want to join me at the Evergreen Cultural Centre you can buy tickets online or at the Evergreen box office.


VAG Forbidden City Exhibit

Last weekend I went with the family to downtown Vancouver to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The display that is currently being featured is called The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors. It is a display all about a secret city somewhere in China. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the iconic and long-hidden era of Chinese cultural history. For five centuries Chinese emperors called the Forbidden City (1416–1911), located in the heart of Beijing, their home.

The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City

I’m not exactly sure where in Beijing the Forbidden City is located because, well it’s secret and forbidden for me to tell you that.

I have to admit that the Forbidden City exhibition really did not work for me. I just did not feel engaged to the exhibition.

Unfortunately I was unable to get any photographs because there was a sign saying no photography.

Taicu Bell
Taicu Bell

I did manage to take one photo though. It was of the Taco Bell. I was very surprised to see though they made a typing or spelling error and they spelled Taicu Bell wrong.

My girls were excited about going to see the art gallery because they know that the food trucks frequent the Vancouver Art Gallery.

For this trip to the VAG they chose to have a sandwich from the food truck called Mom’s Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.The sandwich  was very good.

At least it looked good. I can’t really say because the kids ate it all up before I could even get a chance to have a bite.

More of my style of art is the exhibition about to open at the Art Gallery at the Evergreen.

The exhibition of Erin McSavaney’s work will feature a series of paintings and audio works that show familiar but rarely remarked upon landscapes, carved out by privately-owned cars across cities. These are places where the cold concrete geometry of highway corridors and thoroughfares intersect with the unrestrained, organic forms of nature.

In McSavaney’s paintings, the division between the varying shades of grey hard-edge walls and asphalt roads is frequently ruptured by the encroachment of overhanging green trees and the eccentric dark shadows that they cast.

In each of his audio compositions, McSavaney has created pieces that at once, with eyes closed, create aural landscapes on their own while also, with eyes open, provide a soundtrack to the collection of paintings.

The McSavaney exhibition opens at 2pm on Saturday, November 8th at the Art Gallery at the Evergreen in Coquitlam. I may be heading over there on Saturday (opening day) so if you see me, be sure to say hello.

  • Evergreen Cultural Centre
  • 1205 Pinetree Way
  • Coquitlam