Celebrating 10 Years of Club PuSh – A curatorial statement by Cameron Mackenzie
December 03, 2018
Club PuSh 2019—here we are in a very different world than when we started the Club in 2009.
2009: Obama is sworn in as POTUS, Iceland appoints the worlds first lesbian Prime Minister, and BC artists are gearing up for the Cultural Olympiad at Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Games. It’s 2009 and despite the global economics, there is still a sense of hope in the world.
2019: despite Drumpf, despite Kavanaugh, despite Doug Ford, the matriarchy is on the rise. We understand the very dangerous consequences of living in an echo chamber, and now more than ever, we need challenging art that makes us reconsider our complacency and our role in positive change.
This year, the Club PuSh program unabashedly centres female stories and experiences in spaces that are also run by women. Rape culture, intersectional politics, and even an examination of the bible make our Club lineup this year. Powerful, in your face stories, that don’t pull punches and don’t seek permission.
We open the festival with an exciting new Presentation Partner, The Beaumont Studios, and bring you award-winning Jamaican-Canadian playwright, actor, poet and singer, D’bi Young Anitafrika performing songs from her Afro-Fusion-Dub band D’bi. & The 333. I’ve had this album on my radar for over two years now. D’bi is a powerhouse of an artist, the type of performer that weaves a spell around you and transports you to a land of her making with her words and her body and her voice. She is truly captivating and her expansion into music has been a thrill for me to witness.
Our intention had been to close the festival with another new Presentation Partner—one of my favourite clubs in Vancouver— XY, run by a woman and affectionately known as the “Patron Saint of the West End”. A club that makes you feel like you’ve been transported somewhere more fashionable than “ath-leisure-wear” Vancouver and yet without any of the pretensions that go along with it… However due to unfortunate circumstances familiar to those in the performing arts in Vancouver, XY, along with its sister bar 1181, are now closing down. The show must go on, however, and we are excited to have found a new home for Triple Threat and Asking For It at ANNEX.
Triple Threat will make you question everything you know about the bible. The multitalented British artist Lucy McCormick, a true triple threat (singer, actor and dancer), has crafted an absurd feminist exploration of the worlds best selling book, where she plays every major part, complete with sexy back up dancers. The show is smart, irreverent and deceivingly fun but will linger with you for weeks revealing the artists true genius.
What a year to celebrate 15 years of PuSh and 10 years of the Club!
We hope you enjoy the work as much as we do.