Theatre Preview: IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival showcases local talent

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The kids, it seems, are certainly alright. IGNITE! Youth-Driven Arts Festival, the Cultch’s annual presentation of multidisciplinary arts created by local artists ranging from ages 13 to 24, returns once again this year from May 17-21 with an impressive showing of music, dance, theatre, drag, circus, visual arts, and more. The festival is completely organized, produced, and curated by a Youth Panel comprised of 15 young men and women.

Held at the Historic Theatre, this year’s IGNITE! Week is broken up into a series of nostalgic-themed nights. May 17 is 80’s Vice Night, where festivalgoers are encouraged to come dressed doing their best Miami Vice or Magnum P.I. impression while taking in sets from musicians like all-girl punk band She Dreams in Colour and dance performances from collectives including Contempo.

A pyjama party, complete with juice boxes and popcorn, inspires May 18’s StoryTime at which a dynamic range of performance arts is on the program. Be sure to catch the expressive words of poet Rian, an original repertoire from the North Shore Celtic Junior Ensemble, and an acrobatic circus number from grade six student, Samuelle.

Play retro video games while listening to an array of live music at the Arcade Party on May 19 and travel way back to the 1920s on, fittingly, May 20’s Cabaret Fruit Basket, where there’ll be a burlesque performance from Sister Vigilante and what promises to be a moving spoken word presentation by Martina Dansereau. The Super Saturday Finale on May 21 delivers a medley of everything from hilarious improv courtesy of Templeton Secondary School’s Temprov senior team to a special set from Sarah McLachlan School of Music student and pianist, Zabrina. And, of course, don’t forget to check out the Visual Arts Gallery, where a selection of photographs, comics, paintings, and more will be on display for the length of the festival.

IGNITE! Youth Arts Festival

When: May 17-21, 2016

Where: The Cultch – 1895 Venables Street

Tickets: Available online. $2 for ages 12-19; $8 for a week pass; $10 for ages 20+; $5 for seniors aged 65+

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Yasmine Shemesh is a freelance writer who was born in Vancouver and raised on The Rolling Stones.
@yasmineshemesh

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