PuSh Festival Celebrates 10 Years of Crossing the Line
The 10th Anniversary PuSh International Performing Arts Festival took place in Vancouver from January 14 to February 2, 2014. Building on a decade of growth and achievement, the 10th annual edition of the Festival was once again an artistic, critical and popular success. At the conclusion of the three weeks of performances and celebrations, PuSh Festival Artistic and Executive Director Norman Amour says, “I am both exhilarated and exhausted. Something astonishing just happened. Festivals are like putting on a wedding each and every day, and we just celebrated 20 weddings over 20 straight days. The 10th anniversary PuSh Festival left me gob smacked for the collective enthusiasm and pride that one experienced at every performance, every venue, every PuSh Conversation and Assembly event—at every corner of the Festival and throughout the past three weeks. Ten years is at once a relatively brief period and a great stretch of time. PuSh is as brave as ever, as we now journey into the next phase of the Festival’s life.”
Peter Dickinson, President of the Board of Directors, says, “From Gob Squad’s opening gift of Super Night Shot to the City Council’s recent endorsement of PuSh’s tenancy of the CBC Cultural Amenity Space: it’s been three weeks of wonderful birthday gifts for PuSh, and for Vancouver. While there might still be a bit of head-scratching about that capital ‘S,’ anyone who attended this year’s anniversary Festival knows that “PuSh” is the credo that best describes not just the boundary-crossing work to have appeared on its stages over the past ten years, but also how profoundly that work—and the curatorial and organizational vision behind it—has moved this city forward culturally. That’s definitely something worth celebrating. As is the fact that, along with our friends also marking milestone birthdays in the Vancouver arts community this year, we’re not going anywhere. In fact, we’re just getting started.”
Overview of the 2014 10th Anniversary PuSh Festival:
- Total attendance numbers reached almost 24,000, with an average house capacity of 79% for performances and 37 sold-out events.
- There were over 150 performances and events at 15 venues across Vancouver over 20 days.
- The Festival included: the 10th Anniversary Opening Gala performance and party; 20 Main Stage shows spanning theatre, dance, music and multimedia performance; 17 PuSh Conversations with artists pre- and post-performances; three weeks of startling, experimental performances at Club PuSh; a film series; the PuSh Assembly for arts industry; Patrons Circle donor events; dinner/theatre packages with Dine Out Vancouver and much more!
- A total of 310 artists presented work from Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Lebanon, Portugal, and the United States.
- PuSh hosted two Artists-in-Residence, international visiting artists whose works cross the visual, theatre and literary forms: Rabih Mroué of Lebanon and Tim Etchells of England.
- The Festival sold out 400 PuSh passes to loyal PuSh patrons by the end of December.
- 266 young people aged 16 to 24 joined the inaugural PuSh Youth Passport program, allowing them to see select performances for only $5 ticket.
- 375 tickets were given out to community groups through the Accessible PuSh program to attend performances for free.
- A dedicated roster of over 181 volunteers worked more than 2,400 hours in support of the Festival.
- PuSh connected heavily with audiences online, engaging with 5,300 Facebook fans, 5,900 Twitter followers and 10,300 subscribers to e-news.
Two PuSh presentations continue to run beyond the Festival dates: One, by Montreal’s Mani Soleymanlou, presented with The Cultch, runs until February 8. A Brimful of Asha, by Toronto’s Why Not Theatre, presented with the Arts Club Theatre Company, runs until February 8 at the Revue Stage on Granville Island.
The next edition of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival takes place January 20 to February 8, 2015. Program to be announced in early November.