The seventh annual Push International Performing Arts Festival held between January 18 and February 6, 2011 in Vancouver took a quantum leap forward. The Festival set out to reconnect with the community the Festival has created over the years, celebrate the City’s 125th Anniversary, and bring back Club Push and the Push Assembly to connect with a broader community and create more connections for the community of artists, creators, and presenters who are pushing the boundaries of contemporary creative expression.
The heart of the Push Festival is to excite a sense of adventure, curiosity, exploration, and conversation. This year attendance increased more than 20% to over 23,000 with unprecedented community support, a new presence in online, print, and broadcast media, and the participation and conversation of a community of intelligent and impassioned bloggers.
With 17 main shows, a mapping symposium, Club PuSh, and the PuSh Assembly there were almost 150 performances and events at 11 Vancouver venues. Work was presented from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Poland and Germany.
Push was involved in the commissioning of six of the works presented by the Festival and housed seven international artists in residency from London, Berlin and Buenos Aires.
This yearâ€™s festival gave the community and creators from around the world opportunities to discover powerful and moving shows rooted in our city like 100% Vancouver and City of Dreams, explore alternative forms of performance like La Marea and PodPlays, and enjoy creative contributions from the world outside with shows like Floating and Bonanza.
Club Push provided a crowded and lively ambience for artists and audiences to share impressions and opinions and experience the off-kilter programming and humour from Festival curators, Norman Armour and Sherrie Johnson, and the other members of the Push creative team.
21 residents from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside were employed in various positions, including the Box Office and Front of House, with the support of the City of Vancouver’s Great Beginnings Program.
The 2012 Push International Performing Arts Festival is set for January 17 to February 5, 2012.