The Massey Theatre Society has hired two acclaimed arts leaders to join the staff team for Massey Theatre, Anvil Centre Theatre and Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces. These new hires are filling the roles of Programming Director and Performing Arts Programming Coordinator.
Jillian Christmas will be the new Programming Director. Jillian is a queer, Afro-Caribbean writer who worked as long-time spoken word coordinator at the Vancouver International Writers Fest. She has built a vibrant legacy of arts-organizing and curation, including six fruitful seasons as former Artistic Director of Versəs Festival of Words, as well as serving as a founding member and People and Talent Coordinator for Bakau Consulting’s (formerly Cicely Blain Consulting) acclaimed Stratagem conferences. Her organizing work focuses on a desire and duty to uplift underrepresented voices and distribute resources into marginalized and underserved communities. These talents and abilities will be activated towards the expanded creative facilities, uplifting community through the arts.
The Performing Arts Programming Coordinator position will be filled by Fleur Sweetman. Fleur worked as long time General Manager for both Turning Point Ensemble and Vancouver Pro Musica. A trained oboist holding her Masters of Music Performance from UBC, Fleur has an intimate connection and knowledge of the classical and contemporary music communities which will allow her to build local capacity and develop new relationships in the performing arts. She’s also an experienced community programmer and activator having worked at Place Des Arts as Fine and Performing Arts Programmer.
‘We are truly proud to have attracted these two phenomenal individuals. The support of a Pivot Grant from BC Arts Council allowed us to work with programming consultant Gary Cristall to review our needs and support us in our search. These roles and the increased capacity they bring are vital as we expand the Massey Theatre, Anvil Centre Theatre and Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces programs and relationships,” said Jessica Schneider, Executive Director, Massey Theatre Society, “As our capacity grows, so does our ability to serve and inspire the community and provide a home for people to create, celebrate and connect.”
The pair join Schneider, Indigenous Cultural Development Director Ronnie Dean Harris and the Operational Leadership Team as key voices in resourcing and guiding the artistic, social and cultural contributions of the Society.
As the summer continues, activities will continue with the Open Space Saturday series and planning for reopening the facilities to audiences. Schneider promises further announcements about public and artistic programs, staffing and more.Read More →
Summer is a time for relaxation and celebration. And often in New Westminster, a time filled with incredible community festivals. Many of these festivals won’t be able to happen this year.
We present Open Space Saturdays. An outdoor arts and community space activating the outdoor areas around Massey Theatre.
The program has been designed by our Indigenous Cultural Development Director Ronnie Dean Harris who, together with the whole Massey team and Community Partners, will develop a casual, eclectic program for all ages filled with arts, artisans, food and most of all fun.
Open Space Saturdays will run every summer Saturday from 11am to 10pm with programs for all ages starting July 10th.
On Site Activities may include:
On Site Food and Beverage options may include:
Special pop-up events such as plant sales, seed exchange, positive advocacy, food, dialogue and other community priorities will be incorporated through partnerships with community organizations and groups.
Community groups are encouraged and welcomed to think about getting involved and thinking of good ways of being together in small groups and activities.
This is a time to heal and celebrate together safely and supportively. Open Space is the place to do it.
Interested in becoming involved or putting forward an actvity? Please contact Ronnie at firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More →
We are more than excited. We are overjoyed to be able to announce that the theatre will be opening its doors this fall with a dynamic season! As the Province reopens in a safe and responsible way, audiences will be welcomed to the theatre to come and enjoy theatrical performances, as they are meant to be. Live and in person
The Massey Theatre season reflects the diverse lenses and interests of the community with a variety of exceptional performances. Included are iconic musical performers of contemporary Indigenous, pop, folk, rock and guitar jazz. The range of artists is incredible-from Martha Wainwright to Bill Henderson to International Guitar Night. Folk rock powerhouse band The Fugitives explore the realities and lore of Vimy Ridge in a multi-disciplinary concert with the dancers of Ballet BC and spoken word of Brendan McLeod. Musical artist and storyteller, iskwē, shares her impactful artistry with music, movement, images, poetry and prose.
The return season also promises to brighten our hearts with laughter. Comedy will take centre stage with the former “This Hour has 22 Minutes” star Shaun Majumder and his new show, The LOVE tour. A special two week run of Arts Club Theatre Company’s hit show Noises Off offers one of the largest and most fun productions we will see in the coming season. Massey Theatre has been working with Arts Club for over a year to bring back the 2020 hit to delight audiences in the way only live theatre can do.
Here is the list of the seasons’ performances:
Nov. 16, 2021
Love Will Be Reborn
Martha Wainwright is beginning again. The beguiling performer and songwriter graces the Massey stage as part of the tour of her new album Love Will Be Reborn. Wainwright’s fifth studio album follows recent years of loneliness and clarity in search of optimism and joy. PRESALE for this show starts June 10, sale for general public on June 11
Bill Henderson, Solo Tour
In his solo tour, Canadian Rock Icon Bill Henderson of Chilliwack takes the stage like the legend he is. Guitar at the ready. Iconic voice filling the theatre. For those of you who are ready to revisit Henderson’s distinct style of rock…the Massey is ready for you. Tickets on sale soon
January 28, 2022
International Guitar Night 2022
The always exceptional International Guitar Night returns to the Massey Theatre with a dynamic and eclectic lineup of international acoustic guitarists. The next tour features: Lulo Reinhardt, Germany’s Latin Swing master, contemporary classical guitarist Stephanie Jones from Australia, two-hand “tapper” Alexandr Misko from Russia, and Italian jazz guitarist and vocalist Eleanora “Lele” Strino. This show is a celebration of guitar music for new beginnings. Tickets on sale now.
Feb 3, 2022
Shaun Majumder The LOVE Tour
In 2019, beloved comedian and performer Shaun Majumder brought his complex tour de force HATE to Massey Theatre, much of it in response to living amid rampant Trumpism and the rise of hate he was witnessing in the US and Canada. Now, the new dad flips the narrative in with his new show LOVE. Majumder is an absolute comedy star, riveting and hilarious. This show is co-presented with Laughter Zone 101. Tickets on sale now.
February 15-27, 2022
Arts Club Theatre Company’s Noises Off by Michael Frayn
The pre-pandemic hit show is being remounted on the Massey Stage. Noises Off, hailed as the funniest farce ever written, treats audiences to a hilarious peek at a second-tier acting troupe performing a show. With egos, insecurities, and tempers flaring backstage—and forgotten lines, missed cues, and misplaced sardines onstage—this cast threatens to strike the old adage “the show must go on.” Michael Frayn’s dizzying play-within-a-play classic is sure to leave you doubled over with laughter. This is sure to be one of the largest and most fun productions to be staged in the coming season. Tickets on sale now.
March 12, 2022
iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (short for waseskwan iskwew, meaning “blue sky woman”) is, among many other things, an artist – a creator and communicator of music and of movement, of pictures, poetry and prose. And through it all, she’s a teller of stories that have impacted our past and will inform our future. Her solo tour brings timely magic and light to the Massey. Tickets on sale now.
Over The Ridge
Often called the “battle that made Canada,” Vimy Ridge resulted in over 10,000 Canadian casualties. Through direct storytelling, verbatim theatre, live music and dance, Brendan McLeod, folk rock powerhouse band The Fugitives, choreographer Jacob Williams and the dancers of Ballet BC examine misconceptions, personal accounts by the actual young soldiers from the battle. This multi-disciplinary concert is an emotional, powerful and evocative look at our Nation’s past. Tickets on sale soon
Hot Brown Honey
Hot Brown Honey, the smash-hit, genre defying, firecracker of a show from Australia, that’s taken the world by storm is coming to the Massey Theatre.
Steeped in the Word of the Mother and packing a potent punch of Hip-Hop Politics, the show is equal parts theatrical masterpiece and social activism with a posse of phenomenal women who smash stereotypes in a celebration of our similarities and differences. From dance to spoken word, hip hop to performance art, Hot Brown Honey will make you laugh until you cry, clap until your hands bleed and shake every part of what your mama gave you. Tickets on sale soon
Ticket are on sale for some of these shows already, so don’t wait to be entertained. Not only will you be supporting the arts and artists, you will lift your spirits with the unique joy that only culture can provide.
All safety protocols will be in place and guidelines followed. Less than 50% of seats are being sold until reopening guidelines are in place for each date.
All shows are presented with support of the City of New Westminster and the Province of British Columbia. Additionally, iskwē and Hot Brown Honey are posted with the support of the Vancouver Foundation.
We can’t wait to welcome you back.Read More →
Today is Giving Tuesday
A day when community, business and more give back to not for profits and charities. This year, we’re asking for your support. We are fundraising for a bright Massey future. A future that is bright with more spaces to engage the community and the arts. Space to grow and learn. Space to heal.
We were thrilled to be able to host Uptown Live 2020 back in August. Each of the full concert performances are available on their website if you are interested in checking them out.
Our Executive Director Jessica Schneider did a short video with the event producers that showcases our space, our incredible artists and partners and the Uptown New West neighbourhood that we are so proud to be part of.
Read More →
We’ve had the honour and pleasure of working with the incredible Allan Morgan for over a year…a relationship which we hope continues forever. As we enter a completely different New West Pride week, Allan had some reflections on Pride and how his relationship to it has changed.
He did an amazing recording of the piece which we are happy to share with you, in addition to the script.
We hope it moves you as much as it did us.
Happy Pride New West.
THE JOURNEY THUS FAR
Whenever I go for a drive or a trip with a friend I enjoy following along on a map. Not necessarily navigating, but wanting a visual narrative perhaps to help me understand where we’re at.
I think it is much the same with life. As I get older I look back on this map of my life thus far and of the story which I have created that goes along with it. The path to Pride both personally as a gay man, and as a gay man in a community seeking radical liberation is a big part of my map, my story, my artistry. I write about my sexuality and pride and my life thus far in order to understand it a bit better and to help to shed some of the unwanted baggage gained growing up in a world where gay and proud were not anything to celebrate.
The first political action I ever did as a gay man, a proud gay man, was to march across from the church where Anita Bryant, a right wing Christian heading a campaign to deny rights to gays and lesbians was speaking in Scarborough Ontario when I was living in Toronto in 1976, and like many of us that political activity has never stopped since. How could it stop? Once I had accepted that I was gay, born that way, and that it was an intrinsic part of what makes me human I knew that society’s opinions and laws about homosexuality had to change.
The road to Pride has been long. For every victory there was a setback, for every setback another setback. Google it all. Scroll through year by year, check it out.
We lost a decade and far, far too many friends and lovers and artists and loved ones and brothers and sisters to the last pandemic, HIV- AIDS. We remember them and we lift up their names.
After that storm – eventually the rainbow, and the movement for gay & lesbian civil rights gained momentum here and much of the western world. Rights were enshrined and closet doors closed as community beckoned.
We can now marry and divorce, adopt and foster children and live our lives as full citizens in many countries of the world as a direct result of the hard work and bravery and conviction of so many who knew we were right and that more love is never a bad legacy. I am proud of these achievements and happy to experience the profound sea–change in the public perception of who we are.
Although Gay pride has become huge and ubiquitous with a season of gay prides in various cities throughout the world, our country and our province, I consider it an important and essential celebration. Well, I used to.
A few years ago cracks started to appear in the wall of Pride. Discussions and conversations began to appear, questions of who should be involved in our celebrations. At the pride parade in Toronto a few years back Black Lives Toronto stopped the parade with a counter protest.
A demonstration by mostly black women protesting the racism and exclusion of Pride and the parade, as well as the presence of the police in the parade.
That demonstration engendered a conversation not only within our community but across the country. Like many of us I had a firm narrative of Pride – the story I told over and over again about the events and politics that happened and how we got here from there and some fairly firm opinions about inclusion in our celebrations and, like many also felt my activism gave me a stake in these decisions and licence to opine about them.
Last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an event generally described as the beginning of Gay Liberation. As I read literature about the riots I began to realize that my story of Pride and our journey was incomplete, white washed. The role of black transgender women at Ground Zero of Stonewall was indisputable and indelible. I made edits to my map and began to look for more.
Which brings us to now. 2020. The year everything changed, the year of the pandemic.
As it was unknown territory there are no maps, nothing to assist us in navigating our way in a world unknown to us.
For many of us there was no work, we were to stay at home, wash our hands frequently, wear gloves, masks, not venture out trying to flatten a curve so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system and to protect those vulnerable among us. In one of the greatest act of solidarity and love in human history we did just that.
It became our new reality and the combination of no work amidst an event unprecedented in our lives we had time to think ( and bake bread, sew masks, spend quality time with our families, help neighbours and bang pots of thanks for those in harm’s way.)
We also became very aware at this time of the huge inequities in our society of the path walked by black, indigenous and people of colour as opposed to our own path. Here in Canada the need for reconciliation with the original indigenous Sovereign Nations whose land our ancestors appropriated from them with no recompense, grew bigger. Black lives matter both in the United States and here took to the streets to shout their outrage at the continuing systemic racism, and at the continued murders of black citizens by the police.
Cracks in the narrative now seemed to be happening everywhere, not just to Pride, but societaly as well.
We worried that the whole thing might collapse, but as Leonard Cohen says in his song ” Anthem” the cracks are where the light gets in.
Pride 2020 for the most part is a virtual celebration meaning that there are no huge parades,no blocks long shutdown as we have in New Westminster, no coming together in person because of the virus. So we have watched online celebrations and activism around the world. We have been able to see more clearly I think the plight of so many in our community around the world.
Personally I came to understand that my narrative, my map needed to be rethought, redrawn and retold. That liberation meant liberation for all, not just some of us. I also came to understand that there is much reading and listening and hearing and questions that need to be asked by us, that there is much work to do to be as inclusive as we can be, to help give ownership to others in the movement that have fought racism and hate and deserve to have their say in helping to move us all forward.
THE PATH FROM PRIDE
The future Has no map. We have to draw it. I don’t know where we go or how we get there oh, but I do know that my sense of “we” is different now. It has grown. We is now bigger, more diverse, more inclusive, more colourful and more powerful. That fuller definition of ” we” will be even more unstoppable and more undeniable. Within that “we” are many new leaders and people of vision who will take different roads different routes and I for one am looking forward to that adventure.
Happy Pride to everyone of you Beautiful Creatures, wherever you are on the gender River, and to all of us in our sexualities and our queerness and our colours, and to all of our allies that march with us.
Let’s put our maps together and find a new route, but let’s keep moving forward. That’s the only path that really matters.
Read More →
As a first step in re-opening the Massey to public activity, the Plaskett Gallery will be opened on a by-appointment basis. In order to maintain pandemic health and safety measures while maximizing the number of people able to experience the program.
You may now book 30 minute visits at the Plaskett Gallery with your bubble! Book conveniently ONLINE or by phoning our box office at 604.521.5050
Visits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed at a time. Your party will be asked to state that you have assessed yourself for Covid 19 symptoms before entering. You will all be required to provide contact information for the purposes of contact tracing by the government if that is needed for any reason.
Liminal Space is where transformation takes place.
It is the time between what was and what will be next. When one has the potential to act, but has not yet done so.
This process of waiting, not knowing what will become, is part of the process that we must patiently embrace – letting it form us.
This state of mind inspired the pieces in this collection. It chronicles the journey from the first steps to the other side, a new beginning…the anticipation of what is to come.
Show runs from June 9-June 30 Tuesday to Saturday from 1-5 pm by appointment only.
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Participation in the arts is dominated by communities who have historically received access and inclusion. The Massey Theatre is committed to increasing access and inclusion for Black community members and artists.
Seeing one’s self reflected in art, in story, in music; being empowered and applauded, particularly for youth and children, builds an important sense of belonging and of being valued.
Currently, violent acts against Black bodies circulate and dominate our view. In response, we offer the use of our physical and human resources to Black community members. Strengthen yourselves and these global social movements with these supports. Facilitate, connect, restore, speak your truths and be heard, we will assist you.
This week we are reengaging with members of BC’s Black artistic community to co-create opportunities which elevate Black voices and inter-connect communities. We invite Black community members and organizations to feed and inform this programming and we call on the community at large to learn and take action toward social change.
Please contact email@example.com if you wish to be involved in supporting or developing these activities or if you have any questions or concerns.
Black Canadian artists embody the resilience and achievements of their ancestors, survivors of a brutal legacy and their work offers valuable perspectives. This collection of National Film Board of Canada films by award winning Black filmmakers, creators and allies is a mere tip of the iceberg of work created by Black artists in Canada. We invite you to watch and learn.