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Seven Things to Do in Metro Vancouver Nov. 15-22: Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week, new comedy fest Big Fun and more

Whether you’re looking for date ideas, free things to do, or just something fun to do in downtown Vancouver, you can’t go wrong with our list of events happening around Metro Vancouver between Nov. 15-22.

Headlining this week’s picks is the latest from the ever-popular Theatre Replacement series, East Van Panto.

For more ideas, click HERE for our coverage of Vancouver’s arts scene, or HERE to search our entertainment listings database.

Here are seven things to do in Metro Vancouver this week:

East Van Panto: Pinocchio

When: Nov. 20 to Jan. 5

Where: York Theatre, 639 Commercial Dr.

Tickets: from $26 at thecultch.com, and 604-251-1363

In what has become a Vancouver holiday tradition, Theatre Replacement presents another panto, this one inspired by Pinocchio. Reuniting the creative team behind last year’s successful run of Wizard of Oz, including playwright Marcus Youssef, composer Veda Hille and director Stephen Drover, East Van Panto: Pinocchio puts a hyper-local spin on the classic tale of the wooden boy by setting the action on Commercial Drive and populating the story with characters like an ice cream vendor named Gelatto and the mysterious Beckwoman. Recommended for ages five and up.


Comedian Jena Friedman performs as part of the inaugural Big Fun comedy festival (Nov. 20-24).

Austin Nelson /

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Big Fun

When: Nov. 20-24

Where: various locations

Tickets: tickets at bigfunvancouver.com

Headliners at the inaugural comedy fest include Eugene Mirman (Bob’s Burgers, Flight of the Conchords), Trixie Mattel (RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars winner), and Jena Friedman (Adult Swim, Daily Show). The festival’s 15-plus events also features underground local comedy and cult nights such as The Hero Show, Bratpack, The Sunday Service, as well as drag script readings of Friends episodes, a pet photo booth, and a book launch (for local comic Alicia Tobin’s collection of essays, So You’re a Little Sad, So What?).


Newly formed company The Search Party presents Florian Zeller’s The Father at the Vancity Culture Lab Nov. 20-30.

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The Father

When: Nov. 20-30

Where: Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables St.

Tickets: from $25 at thecultch.com and 604-251-1363

An unsentimental portrayal of the realities of living with dementia, Florian Zeller’s The Father won the 2014 Moliéree Award (France’s most prestigious theatre prize) for Best Play. It’s been warmly received in London and New York as well. In a five-star review, the Guardian said that The Father “constantly confounds expectations and works almost like a thriller, with a sinister Pinteresque edge.” Vancouver’s Mindy Parfitt directs this production, which is the first from her newly formed company The Search Party.


Loig Morin performs with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra at River Rock Casino Resort Nov. 17.

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Loig Morin

When: Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: River Rock Casino Resort, 8811 River Road

Tickets: $47 at ticketmaster.ca

Originally from Britanny, Loig Morin recorded three albums in France before moving to Canada. Here, the Vancouver resident has recorded and released three albums, including his latest, Citadelle. Recorded and mixed by Chris Potter (Sarah McLachlan, REM, Tragically Hip), it’s a concept album (in French) about the joys and sorrows of living in the city. Morin’s influences range from pop songwriter Serge Gainsbourg to newer French bands like Phoenix and Justice and Quebecois artists Daniel Bélanger and Ariane Moffat. He’ll perform a solo set, then play with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra and his band.


Las Estrellas de Vancouver perform Nov. 15 at Vancouver Playhouse. For Shawn Conner story [PNG Merlin Archive]

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¡Viva México!: A Celebration of Women in the World of Mariachi

When: Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.

Where: Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St.

Tickets: $25 at vivamexico.bpt.me

From the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema (1933-64)—to the emergence of Las Adelitas, the first all-female group in Mexico (Las Adelitas), the contributions women have made to the world of mariachi are explored in this showcase. Based on the experiences of living musicians, and informed by research, the evening features Los Angeles-based guest singer Melinda Salcido collaborating with Las Estrellas de Vancouver on pieces capturing this evolving history, while the dancers of Nahualli Folklore Ensemble highlight the connections between Mexican folk dance (baile, or ballet, folklórico) and mariachi music.


A scene from Chuskit, screening as part of the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival (Nov. 14-17).

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Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival

When: Nov. 14-17

Where: SFU Surrey, 13450 102 Ave., and Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Ave.

Tickets: visaff.ca

The Illegal, a film about a young film student who is forced to drop out of school to support his family as an undocumented worker in the U.S., opens this year’s Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, with guests director Danish Renzu and star Iqbal Theba (Glee, Green Book) in attendance. Other selections include Jhalki, about forced child labour; Laal Kabootar, a crime thriller set in Karachi and Pakistan’s official selection for the 2019 Academy Awards; and Chuskit, about a nine-year-old girl with cerebral palsy trying to overcome her disability to go to school. The festival will screen over 40 films, including eight features, and also host workshops and a networking event.

Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week

When: Nov. 18, 20-21

Where: Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe St., and Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 630 Hamilton St.

Tickets: ifwvancouver.com

Back for a second season after a brief hiatus, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week is set to showcase creations from a roster of talented designers including Debra Sparrow, Yolanda Skelton, Pam Baker, Evan Ducharme, Tyler Jacobs, Kelly Edzerza-Bapty and many more. This year’s event will kick off with a Red Dress Event on Nov. 18, where guests are encouraged to wear red in honour of the murdered and missing Indigenous girls, women and members of the Two Spirit community. In addition to the runway showcases, the three-day event will also include an Indigenous Makers Market offering authentic Indigenous art and designs for sale.

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