PuSh Blog

2013 PuSh Festival Takes Centre Stage

February 07, 2013

The ninth annual PuSh International Performing Arts Festival took place in Vancouver January 15– February 3, and proved an artistic, critical and popular success.

“The 2013 PuSh Festival has surpassed all expectations,” said Executive Director Norman Armour, “and after the trials and tribulations our arts community has been through over the last year, for me it has been particularly poignant to see the Festival so triumphantly take centre stage with new audiences, new artists, new works, new partnerships, and new private and public supporters. There is nothing like a ‘good idea’—the more it plays out over time, the better it gets. And PuSh has once again proven just how good an idea it is. On behalf of the 2013 Festival team, staff and contractors, our board directors, our volunteers, our Leaders Council members, the participating artists, our organizational partners and their staff—thank you for crossing the line, for continuing to believe in PuSh and its ever-evolving vision, and for insisting unequivocally that arts and culture are at the centre of this city’s life, well-being and prosperity.”

Photo by Riz Herbosa


Overview of the 2013 PuSh Festival

•    Total attendance numbers reached over 34,000 (a 45% increase over the 2012 Festival 
attendance) with an average house capacity of 79% for performances and 44 sold out shows.
•    There were over 190 performances and events at 16 venues in Vancouver over 20 days.
•    The Festival included: an opening gala; 18 Main Series shows spanning theatre, dance, music 
and multimedia performance; two ancillary shows engaging high school and post-secondary students; a lecture; numerous artist talks; three full weeks of Club PuSh; a free film series; the PuSh Assembly; Patrons Circle donor events; pairings with Dine Out Vancouver and much more!
•    A total of 275 artists presented work from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, Scotland, Taiwan and the United States.
•    PuSh was involved in three commissions, the hosting of four artists in residence, and the local adaptation and resituating of two works from the international repertoire.
•    The Festival sold 400 PuSh passes to loyal audience members, with passes selling out by the end of December.
•    A dedicated roster of over 270 volunteers worked more than 5,200 hours in support of the Festival. (Included in this figure are the 112 volunteer guides that worked on the Do You See What I Mean? blindfolded tour who spent over 2,500 hours of volunteer time both training and leading tours.)
•    PuSh connected heavily with audiences online, engaging with 4,240 fans on Facebook and 4,327 followers on Twitter.

Photo by Liesbeth Bernaerts


“At the end of another amazing and transformative PuSh Festival, I am exactly where I want to be: exhausted but exhilarated. The work I saw (17 shows in total) was exceptional: intellectually compelling, emotionally moving, always unexpected. The people I talked to (audience members; donors and sponsors; artists and co-presenters; volunteers, staff, and fellow Board members) were filled with praise about their experiences of the Festival. In terms of the depth and quality of programming, media coverage, new audiences, fundraising targets, and community awareness, this year’s Festival PuShed through to a whole new level. In 2013, we didn’t just cross the line; we redrew the entire map of the performing arts in this city.” – Board President Peter Dickinson

I, Malvolio (presented with The Cultch) runs until February 10, and Ride the Cyclone (presented with Arts Club Theatre Company) runs until February 16. The dates for the 2014 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival are set for January 14 to February 2, 2014.